Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney declared his support for John McCain Oct. 17 after the senator delivered a speech widely interpreted as a criticism of President Donald Trump.
"Ran against him, sometimes disagree, but proud to be a friend of Sen. John McCain: hero, champion of character and last night, Lincolnesque," Romney wrote on Twitter, according to The Hill.
McCain gave a speech on Oct. 16 in Philadelphia after being awarded the Liberty Medal by the National Constitution Center. He did not refer to Trump by name, but his remarks painted a dark picture of American politics in the Trump era.
"To fear the world we have organized and led for three quarters of a century, to abandon the ideals advanced around the globe, to refuse the obligations of international leadership and our duty to remain 'the last best hope of earth' for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems is as unpatriotic as an attachment to any other tired dogma of the past that Americans consigned to the ash heap of history," said McCain.
He also took issue with the white supremacists and neo-Nazis who chanted the Nazi slogan "blood and soil" in Charlottesville, Virginia, when an August right-wing protest turned violent.
"We live in a land made of ideals, not blood and soil," added McCain.
Trump responded to McCain's speech Oct. 17: "At some point, I fight back and it won't be pretty."
The Arizona senator disagreed with Trump in August following the events in Charlottesville. While Trump blamed right-wing protesters and counter-demonstrators equally for the violence, McCain rejected that characterization.
"There is nothing in their hate-driven racism that can match the strength of a nation conceived in liberty," McCain wrote in an opinion piece for The Washington Post.
McCain has criticized Trump on a number of other issues since the president took office. In July, McCain cast the deciding vote in the Senate to block a Republican effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
Prior to that vote, McCain delivered a speech in the Senate attacking the Trump administration's record.
"We're getting nothing done," McCain said in the speech. "All we've really done this year is confirm Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court."
In the same speech, McCain also seemed to take issue with Trump's plan to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
"We don't covet other people's land and wealth," he added. "We don't hide behind walls. We breach them. We are a blessing to humanity."
Sources: The Hill, The Washington Post / Featured image: Gage Skidmore/Flickr via Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: Gage Skidmore/Flickr via Wikimedia commons, Shealah Craighead/Whitehouse.gov via Wikimedia Commons