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At Least 4 Dead, 11 Shot in Florida Mass Shooting; Remembering Sen. John McCain's Legacy on the World Stage; Remembering the Wit and Wisdom of Sen. John McCain; Companies Post Strong Earnings for Second Quarter. Aired 6-7p ET
Aired August 26, 2018 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[18:00:00] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And, you know, it's complicated. There's rocks. The water's moving really fast. So any mistake you do, you can crash really bad.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: And if riders accidentally hit a gate, they're penalized with time added to their run.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've lost the race in the past because of that. I would have had the fastest time but I got a five-second penalty.
GUPTA: This year, Aniol Serrasolses from Spain came out on top at the world class field at 1:49.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you win, you get a crown. You're king of the North Fork Championship and bragging rights. This is the event that every kayaker wants to win. It's unbelievably exhilarating.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: Hello on this Sunday, you're in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. And tonight we remember a senator and symbol of heroism, integrity, and basic human decency. Flags around the country are flying at half-staff to honor the passing of Senator John McCain who died yesterday at the age of 81 after a hard-fought battle with brain cancer.
In his 60 years of service, McCain held many titles, official and unofficial, fighter pilot, father, war hero, and political warrior. A maverick who had a unique voice and knew how to use it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: I've stood in this place many times and addressed this president, many presiding officers. I've been so addressed when I've sat in that chair and that's as close as I'll ever be to a presidency. But anyway.
MCCAIN: It's an honor, I think, we're almost indifferent to, isn't it? In truth, presiding over the Senate can be a nuisance, bit of ceremonial bore, and it is usually relegated to the more junior members of the majority. But I stand here today looking a little worse for wear, I'm sure. I have a refreshed appreciation for the protocols and customs of this body and for the other 99 privileged souls who've been elected to this Senate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: One of the men McCain served with was Senator Lindsey Graham. The two were very close friends for two decades.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: The bottom line is, folks, that the people that you serve with in jail will tell you the same thing in prison that I will tell you. He is loyal to his friends, he loves his country, and if he has to stand up to his party for his country, so be it. He would die for this country. I love him to death.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: McCain's death also comes nine years to the day that his other good friend, Democratic senator Ted Kennedy, died of the same disease. After Kennedy's death, McCain said the place wouldn't be the same without him. And now nine years later, the same is being said about McCain.
CNN's chief political correspondent Dana Bash takes a look back at McCain's storied public life.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): His dramatic Senate return against doctors' orders after being diagnosed with brain cancer.
MCCAIN: I've been a member of the United States Senate for 30 years.
BASH: His late night thumbs down that single handedly crushed his party's push to repeal and replace Obamacare.
John McCain's last big moment in the political spotlight captured so many of the complexities of his character. A stubborn man who survived many a brush with death, who spent a lifetime looking for moments to shine as a leader and put country first. Yet forever a hotdog fighter pilot with dramatic flair and white knuckle political instincts.
John Sydney McCain III was born with a storied legacy of service to live up to. His father and grandfather were both four-star admirals.
GRAHAM: His father and grandfather instilled in him a sense of duty, honor and country.
BASH: Young McCain's passion was literature. He was a voracious reader all his life.
MCCAIN: Hemingway's always been my favorite author in many ways, a larger-than-life figure that I always admired a lot.
BASH: Yet McCain followed the path of larger-than-life figures in his own family. Enrolling at the Naval Academy where he stood out for being a troublemaker. Not a future leader.
MCCAIN: I'm the guy that stood fifth from the bottom of his class at the Naval Academy.
BASH: He became a fighter pilot. His first combat mission during the Vietnam War was aboard the USS Forestall.
On deck his plane was accidentally struck by a missile causing a huge inferno, 134 fellow sailors died. A few months later McCain was on a routine bombing mission. His plane was shot down.
MCCAIN: I was gyrating very violently almost straight down so I had to eject very quickly. I was knocked unconscious.
BASH: He found himself surrounded by angry villagers swinging bayonets. The North Vietnamese forced him to give this interview in exchange for life-saving treatment.
[18:05:03] MCCAIN: I'm treated well here.
BASH: He was taken as a prisoner of war and tortured.
WILLIAM COHEN, FORMER SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: He was beaten on a regular basis. You know, being hung by his arms from a ceiling. Sockets pulled out.
BASH: When his father, Jack McCain, was named commander of U.S. Pacific Forces, the Vietnamese offered John McCain freedom. He refused. It would have broken POW protocol, release in order of capture.
MCCAIN: There was a correlation between my refusal to accept early release and my treatment. The treatment got very much worse.
BASH: Ultimately, they broke McCain. Getting him to sign a statement admitting to claims against him which he regretted the rest of his life.
JOHN WEAVER, POLITICAL CONSULTANT FOR MCCAIN 2000, 2008 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGNS: After he signed it, I think he wanted just to die.
BASH (on camera): Because he felt so disloyal?
WEAVER: He felt -- he felt shame. That he had let the country down.
BASH (voice-over): Finally after nearly 5 1/2 years in prison, McCain was released. WEAVER: You still see the impact of that today. The way he was tied.
You know, the way he can't raise his arms. His hands. Can't comb his hair. The things that we take for granted.
BASH: His marriage to first wife, Carol, who waited anxiously for McCain while imprisoned, fell apart. Captain McCain became a naval liaison to the U.S. Senate where he caught the political bug. In 1982 he ran for the House from Arizona. Home with new wife, Cindy, and won.
Four years later it was on to the U.S. Senate. Early on controversy. The Keating 5. McCain and four other senators met regulators investigating the failed savings and loan bank of Charles Keating, a McCain contributor.
MCCAIN: I am, of course, relieved that I have been exonerated.
BASH: An investigation cleared McCain of wrongdoing, but rebuked him for poor judgment. The episode sent McCain on a crusade to clean up Washington. Pushing campaign finance reform, fighting big tobacco, railing against earmarks.
MCCAIN: That's our obligation and our duty to the American people.
BASH: Everything with passion. Humor.
JOE LIEBERMAN, FORMER U.S. SENATOR: He's very direct. He's also very funny. Has a way of sort of teasing people he likes.
MCCAIN: And thanks for the question, you little jerk. He was a little jerk.
BASH: And a famous temper.
GRAHAM: And be a complete jerk to his closest friends and hug you dearly next.
BASH: In the fall of 1999, McCain announced his candidacy for president. As an underdog, he got attention by being constantly available to reporters aboard his bus, the Straight Talk Express.
He trounced frontrunner George W. Bush in the New Hampshire primary but then lost South Carolina where it got ugly and personal. McCain soon dropped out and returned to the Senate even more determined to work across the aisle with Democrats like Ted Kennedy on issues like a patient's bill of rights and immigration reform.
MCCAIN: I announce my candidacy for president of the United States.
BASH: In 2008, his second presidential bid. This time, he was the heir apparent, but McCain's support for a surge of troops in Iraq and bipartisan work on immigration reform hit him with GOP voters. His poll numbers plunged. He held town halls in New Hampshire, talked border security instead of immigration reform and climbed back.
(On camera): The fact that you're getting a second chance, sir, what does that say to you?
MCCAIN: It means that we are happy with how far we've come.
BASH: After securing the GOP nomination, he had to pick a running mate. Close friend, Democrat turned independent, Joe Lieberman was his first choice.
LIEBERMAN: So I hear.
BASH (on camera): He never told you that?
LIEBERMAN: No, he did.
BASH (voice-over): Aides convinced McCain that Lieberman's support for abortion rights made it impossible.
McCain still went bold. First-term Alaska governor Sarah Palin. At first, Palin helped McCain draw conservative support he was lacking. But after some bizarre interviews, many campaign aides considered her a liability.
SARAH PALIN, FORMER VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Putin rears his head and comes into the airspace of the United States.
BASH: McCain would never say he regretted choosing Palin.
(On camera): He doesn't talk about it?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, ever. And he never will.
BASH (voice-over): The economic collapse in September 2008 ultimately sealed McCain's defeat. Still, he worked to stay out of gutter politics, taking the mike from a voter who claimed Barack Obama was Arab.
MCCAIN: No, ma'am.
BASH: And giving a concession speech that marked the historic moment for the country.
MCCAIN: This is an historic election. And I recognize the special significance it has for African-Americans and for the special pride that must be theirs tonight.
BASH: McCain settled into life as a senior statesman, fulfilled the dream of becoming Senate Armed Services chairman, and traveled around the world every chance he got. An informal diplomat and an informed senator.
When President Trump was elected, McCain took it upon himself to reassure world leaders, visiting 26 countries and four continents in the first six months of 2017, alone.
[18:10:10] Even at age 80, McCain liked to travel with and mentor younger senators in both parties forging close relationships. GRAHAM: He is loyal to his friends, he loves his country, and if he
has to stand up to his party for his country, so be it. He would die for this country. I love him to death.
BASH: His July 2017 brain cancer diagnosis and treatment for it forced McCain to slow down, but he hated pity. This is how he always wanted to be remembered. Paraphrasing his political hero, Teddy Roosevelt.
MCCAIN: I've had the most wonderful life and career that anybody you will ever meet. Thank you.
BASH: Dana Bash, CNN, Washington.
CABRERA: The passing of Senator John McCain now leaves a gaping hole in the Republican Party. McCain was an independent voice. The Senate maverick, often challenging his fellow lawmakers to dial back their partisan behavior and reach across the aisle for the good of the country.
I want to bring in a man who knew McCain well. Bill Kristol. He served as foreign policy adviser on McCain's 2008 presidential bid. He is now editor of the "Weekly Standard."
Bill, on a personal level, how are you processing Senator McCain's passing?
BILL KRISTOL, FOREIGN POLICY ADVISER ON MCCAIN'S 2008 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN: You know, it's funny, Ana, we all expected it, of course, but somehow it still is a real punch in the gut. I mean, such a huge figure. And knew him some, and I wasn't intimate, but I, you know, was friendly to him and supporter, ally of his on many, many issues, it's just hard to believe he's not going to be there really.
Now I do think the example remains. And I really am encouraged in the way by -- encourage maybe isn't the right word. But I take some comfort from the last 24 hours. The tributes to him both in terms of his character and also what he stood for, I mean, country first at home, bipartisanship where appropriate, and also human liberty first. I mean, that's been a little bit not noticed.
And this is a man who from the Balkans in the '90s, when he led the effort to intervene there, to stop the slaughter of Bosnians in Serbia, to the Middle East and then to Russia. Someone who stood up against dictators, who stood with dissidents all over the world. (INAUDIBLE), the great Russian Jewish dissident, who left Russia, now is in Israel, wrote a very moving piece today about how much John McCain meant to him, and to many, many others around the world. So really, you know, someone who stood for the American ideal of liberty, he was that as well as just a wonderful person in so many ways.
CABRERA: He was an inspiring human being. And I keep hearing one word in connection with John McCain, the word, integrity. Bill, in your view, what was it about McCain's integrity and his
character in general, perhaps, that commanded such universal respect in Washington, which isn't easy?
KRISTOL: I mean, obviously, it was the -- what he went through as a POW, and his reaction to that, and his -- that's just so unimaginable almost. But that, you know, there are others, honestly, who are heroic in circumstances like that and they went on to live lives. And many I guess impressive lives.
McCain really went beyond sort of that was the basis you might say of the beginning of his public career. He went so much beyond that. And even if that hadn't happened, I think McCain would be a huge figure as a senator if he had not, you know, been a POW, and he had, you know, fought in Vietnam and just come back and because of what he did in the Senate, but also beyond the Senate.
I mean, he was a -- very few senators become national leaders. Scoop Jackson was one when I was younger, Teddy Kennedy if you were a liberal, Robert Taft in the old days, Henry Clay back in the 19th century. People who were senators but more than senators. All those people wanted to be president, they ran for president. They failed. I think I remember when I studied American history way back when, you know, there was this kind of category of great senators who never made the presidency, who were maybe superior to some of the people who did make the presidency. But nonetheless helped shape American history.
CABRERA: I've been so taken by the reaction really from around the world, not just in this country. Again, all of these foreign leaders who have put out statements and tributes to John McCain because they felt a connection to this senator from the United States of America as you point out. Not even a president. I mean, although we know he had those political ambitions. But perhaps it was his military service and that drawing him to really foreign policy issues, often front and center were the military issues.
He was a foreign policy hawk. Champion wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. And yet he vocally opposed torture, calling the Bush administration's use of waterboarding immoral and really digging his heels in the sand on that issue. To the very end with the appointment of Gina Haspel, the nomination for her to take over as CIA because of her background in that time period.
But, Bill, who do you see in Congress right now stepping up on issues affecting our troops at the same level? Can anyone replace John McCain there?
[18:15:04] KRISTOL: You know, I'm not sure. I worked with him a lot and we both supported the Iraq war. And then we both saw -- he saw very, very quickly that we were -- didn't have enough troops, that we didn't have a sensible counterinsurgency plan that was going badly.
The Bush administration didn't want to hear that for three years. We did our little bit at the "Weekly Standard" to make the case for the surge, and the case for changing Don Rumsfeld, for swapping him out as defense secretary. The Bush people hated that. They really hated the fact that John McCain who had the most credibility if anyone on these issues said -- kept saying it's not working, we're not winning.
He supported the war but we're not winning, we're not fighting it right. That took a lot of courage, taking on his own party there, his own president. This is post-9/11. He supported George W. Bush. He wasn't with the Democrats who wanted to get out and he was sort of a lonely man in the middle there.
We ended up doing the surge and worked out as he predicted it would which is to say, well, and just one example of -- and look, he knew he had been in war, he wasn't somewhat cavalier really to say let's send more troops over there knowing what the implications were. But he cared about the country, he cared about liberty. You know, you said that foreign leaders respected him. And that's true.
Some of those leaders had been dissidents. Other leaders didn't like him because they were dictators and he challenged them. I mean, he stood with the forces of liberty around the world.
CABRERA: In fact, as we see a lot of world leaders celebrating John McCain, Russia not so much. One prominent Russian politician saying the senator was driven only by American interests, rather than a higher international principle and that there was another Russian senator who commented today describing McCain as the symbol of outspoken anti-Russian thinking, saying in essence Russia cannot be anything other than hostile.
You think John McCain would have seen that as a badge of honor today?
KRISTOL: I think he would is corrected it, he would have said Gary Kasparov, the great Russian dissident, the great chess champion, who now lives in the U.S., a great enemy of Putin, said this today, that McCain was no enemy of Russia. McCain cared about the Russian people. He was an enemy of dictatorship, he was an enemy of Putin, he was an enemy of corruption. And I think that's the correction that John McCain would make.
He wished the people -- not just wished people well, he worked very hard to help people around the world including obscure people, people we don't know much about, he probably didn't know much about at one point but he heard what was happening in places ranging from Burma to Russia to Africa and wanted us to use our power to help as much as we could.
CABRERA: Bill, are there any Republicans right now in Congress up to the task of filling McCain's shoes?
KRISTOL: You know, it's not been the most encouraging couple of years, honestly, for the Republicans on the Hill, obviously. I think you know what I think about that. But you know, I do wonder if this last 24 hours could remind some people that it's not so terrible to be in a minority and to take some positions that aren't immediately popular, and to try to do the right thing and stand for the right principles. So maybe this would be a moment where some people get a little courage and a little insight into what real leadership is.
CABRERA: Yes, channel their inner John McCain. I'm trying to do that today.
Bill Kristol, thank you very much for joining us.
KRISTOL: Thanks, Ana.
CABRERA: Still to come, so much more as we remember the extraordinary life of Senator John McCain.
Plus we're also following developments out of Jacksonville, Florida, a mass shooting at a video game tournament. What we are learning next in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[18:22:26] CABRERA: Before he was senator, John McCain, he was Lieutenant Commander John McCain, the third of the United States Navy serving in Vietnam. Military service was in his blood. His father was a four-star admiral. His grandfather had been a four-star admiral.
On October of 1967, Lieutenant Commander John McCain was flying his Sky Hawk dive bomber on a mission over Hanoi, North Vietnam. That day, the 30-year-old was shot down and captured by the enemy. He would spend the next 5 1/2 years as a prisoner of war.
In 1973, he wrote a firsthand account of his Vietnam years for "U.S. News and World Report" and he described the moment a missile hit his plane. "I pulled the ejection handle and was knocked unconscious by the force of the ejection. I didn't realize it at the moment, but I had broken my right leg around the knee, my right arm in three places and my left arm. I regained consciousness just before I landed by parachute in a lake right in the corner of Hanoi."
McCain was then captured by the North Vietnamese who tried to get the naval officer to give them military secrets. Here's how he described it. "I think it was on the fourth day two guards came in instead of one. One of them pulled back the blanket to show the other guard my injury. I looked at my knee. It was about the size, shape and color of a football. I lapsed from conscious to unconsciousness.
"During this time, I was taken out to interrogation which we called a quiz several times. That's when I was hit with all sorts of war, criminal charges that started on the first day. I refused to give them anything except my name, rank, serial number, and date of birth. They beat me around a little bit. I was in such bad shape that when they hit me, it would knock me unconscious. They kept saying, you will not receive any medical treatment until you talk."
Now once his captors realized McCain was the son of a U.S. Navy admiral, they wanted to capitalize on his high profile for propaganda. The North Vietnamese told him President Johnson had called for his release.
Here's how McCain described what happened when his captors asked him if he wanted to go home. "I was astonished and I tell you, frankly, that I said I would have to think about it. I went back to my room and I thought about it for a long time. I was worried whether I could stay alive or not because I was in rather bad condition. I had been hit with a severe case of dysentery which kept on for about a year and a half. I was losing weight again. But I knew that the Code of Conduct says you will not accept parole or amnesty, and that you will not accept special favors. For somebody to go home earlier as a special favor. There's no other way you can cut it.
[18:25:05] "I went back to him and three nights later, he asked again, do you want to go home? I told him no. He wanted to know why. And I told him the reason. I said that Alvarez, the first American captured, should go first. Then enlisted men. And that kind of stuff."
During his 5 1/2 years as a POW McCain was beaten, kept in solitary confinement for months on end and bombarded with anti-American propaganda. He lost more than 100 pounds but he maintained his honor, refusing to be used for propaganda and encouraging his fellow POWs to stay strong. On March 14th, 1973, Lieutenant Commander John McCain was finally released.
Here's how he humbly reacted to the show of support he received from Americans at home. "This outpouring on behalf of us who were prisoners of war is staggering and a little embarrassing because basically we felt that we were just average American Navy, Marine, and Air Force pilots who got shot down. Anybody else in our place would have performed just as well. I had a lot of time to think over there. And came to the conclusion that one of the most important things in life, along with a man's family, is to make some contribution to his country."
[18:30:23] ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back. We are learning more about a mass shooting in Jacksonville, Florida. A source tells CNN at least four people are dead, several others are injured. Some of those people shot multiple times.
Officials say there was one gunman described as a White male. He is among the dead. The shots rang out at a tournament for the video game Madden 19. And if you're not familiar with it, this is an NFL football game.
The NFL just tweeted this statement, we are shocked and deeply saddened by the horrific tragedy today in Jacksonville. Our hearts go out to all those affected.
And this venue was at a video gaming bar located in a popular shopping area called Jacksonville Landing. The bar just posted online that staffs are safe and all are accounted for.
Tessa Duvall is a reporter with the "Jacksonville Times-Union," and she's joining us now.
Tessa, what have you learned about the shooter and why this may have happened? TESSA DUVALL, ENTERPRISE REPORTER, THE FLORIDA TIMES-UNION: So we're
still learning a lot right now, actually. All that we have confirmed from officials on the record is that there was one individual, a suspect, White male, who was at an event at the -- at a restaurant in the Jacksonville Landing. And that he is currently -- he has been described as deceased. And that is really all we have from officials at this time.
CABRERA: What can you tell us about that area?
DUVALL: So the area is called the Jacksonville Landing. It's in the heart of downtown Jacksonville. There are high-rise office buildings all around us. The Landing is sort of an indoor/outdoor mall with restaurants. There's some shopping.
It's been at the heart of discussions in the past relating to safety. There have been shootings here in the past, including at another event called Art Walk, which is where local galleries and vendors come out in downtown Jacksonville.
So safety concerns have surrounded the Landing for a while now. It's right on the heart -- on the riverfront of the St. Johns River here in Jacksonville.
It is -- the Landing has arguably seen better days because a lot of the properties inside are vacant. And there are still some bars and restaurants. And it is our understanding that this event was taking place at one of the restaurants inside.
CABRERA: Tessa, walk us through what you've learned about how this went down. What are you hearing from witnesses and police?
DUVALL: It's our understanding that there was a video game tournament going on. That it was a really popular event. And that is when the shooting began.
I'm hesitant to say too much more because the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office has issued a tweet, saying that there has been some incorrect information circulating with regards to the number of individuals who were shot. And so because I don't have official confirmation of anything else at this time, I just want to be very careful about speculating on the -- on casualties that may have taken place.
CABRERA: Yes, and that's important, obviously.
Tessa Duvall, thank you for joining us and for sharing with us what you do know about what happened.
At last check, four people killed, the including the gunman, and 11 others injured.
All right. Returning to our other top news today, the impact of the death of John McCain will be felt not just at home but all around the world. How Senator John McCain is being remembered today, next.
[18:33:39] (COMMERCIAL BREAK) CABRERA: Senator John McCain's impact extended far beyond the borders of this country. Tributes from world leaders are pouring in for the late American patriot.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel saying, in a statement, it was John McCain's firm conviction that all political activities must aim to uphold and promote freedom, democracy, and the rule of law. His death is a loss for all those who share this belief.
And French President Emmanuel Macron tweeting, John McCain was a true American hero. He devoted his entire life to his country. His voice will be missed. Our respectful thoughts go to his beloved ones.
And from our neighbors to the north, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeting, Senator John McCain was an American patriot and hero whose sacrifices for his country and lifetime of public service were an inspiration to millions.
Here to talk more about Senator McCain's legacy on the world stage, former ambassador to NATO, Kurt Volker. He is also the executive director of the McCain Institute at Arizona State University.
Ambassador, thank you for taking the time. I know today is a hard day for a lot of people, yourself included.
We just, you know, went through this laundry list of world leaders reacting to Senator McCain's passing. He made his mark not only on this country but obviously around the world as well. What do you see as his defining legacy when it comes to foreign policy?
KURT VOLKER, UNITED STATES SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE FOR UKRAINE NEGOTIATIONS: Well, I think a couple things. First off, he was able to combine strong support for American values, freedom, democracy, human rights, rule of law, with a strong commitment to national security and to active internationalism and foreign affairs. That is a rare combination, but I think is ultimately the right one.
As he, himself, said, our values are our interests and our interests are our values and you can't separate them. And I think that's something that a lot of people around the world recognize and appreciate.
[18:40:01] The other is that he really epitomized, for a lot of people, what was best about the United States. A steadfastness as an ally, a willingness to speak out on behalf of those who are oppressed, facing authoritarian leaders or facing conflict or aggression against their countries whether it's Ukraine, Georgia, for example. So he really meant a lot to a lot of people around the world.
CABRERA: He was the member of Congress who would go where many of his colleagues and other government officials didn't. He wasn't afraid to go to some of the most dangerous parts of the world, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, many times during active operations there.
VOLKER: Yes. CABRERA: I remember in 2013 when he went into Syria and he met with
the rebels. What do you think he was trying to accomplish in these visits?
VOLKER: Well, the first thing is that he wanted to communicate directly with the people who are facing these troubles themselves. He wanted to see them, understand what they're going through. And by his person, his physical presence being there, he was conveying to them that the rest of the world knows what's happening, we care about you, we support you.
There's a piece that Mark Salter wrote in "The Washington Post" today where he talked about these Burmese political prisoners. All John McCain did was really read out their names and call attention to them. But years later when they met, they were in tears because it meant so much to them that someone like John McCain called attention to what they were going through.
CABRERA: You know, as the executive director of an institute that bears McCain's name, what did he mean to you personally?
VOLKER: Well, I knew the Senator for over 20 years. I worked in his Senate office in the '90s and stayed in touch in the years after that. I've been a foreign policy professional my whole adult life, and so having someone like Senator McCain who was consistently standing up for the right values and principles and issues has really been an inspiration to me personally and to my work.
And then in the McCain Institute, what we've tried to do is build an institute that is dedicated to advancing those values that he and the McCain family have stood for. Particularly, character-driven leadership, leaders who care about serving a cause greater than one's self and also taking action.
And we've organized ourselves trying to do programs to take action in areas of combatting human trafficking or other humanitarian work, advancing human rights and democracy, advancing national security and so forth.
CABRERA: And thank you for the work you do, Ambassador Kurt Volker. Thank you for --
VOLKER: Thank you.
CABRERA: -- taking time to share your memories of John McCain and help us honor his legacy. We'll be right back.
VOLKER: Thank you.
[18:46:53] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Are you someone who likes fine jewelry and also respects a politician who can reach across the aisle? If so, you can't go wrong with McCain/Feingold. (LAUGHTER)
MCCAIN: We've talked about it. I told him maverick I can do, but messiah is above my pay grade.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How does it make you feel, knowing that voters may reject you because they feel you're too old to be president?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wake up, sir.
MCCAIN: There's a statute of limitations on Sarah Palin questions.
MCCAIN: By the way, thanks for keep mentioning about me losing, I appreciate that, Jeffrey.
MCCAIN: You know, I have this line, after I lost, I slept like a baby. Sleep two hours, wake up, and cry. Sleep two hours, wake, and --
MCCAIN: Being a friend and colleague of Barack, I just called him "that one."
MCCAIN: He doesn't mind at all. In fact, he even has a pet name for me. George Bush.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Any advice for Donald Trump?
MCCAIN: I gave up on that sometime.
MCCAIN: I don't want to talk about the bleeping campaign, understand?
MCCAIN: If you think I'm going to go back to that bleeping situation, then bleep you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
MCCAIN: Thanks for the question, you little jerk.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: So many who knew John McCain are, today, remembering the Senator for his humor.
CNN's S.E. Cupp not only knew the man well, she's good friends with his daughter, Meghan, and joins us now.
S.E., first, how are you holding up?
S.E. CUPP, HLN HOST: It's been a long year. It's been a rough go of it, mostly for my friend. And she's been so strong through all of this, but it's really -- it's been a lot. And I just hope that there's some -- after grieving, some peace for the family.
CABRERA: No doubt. Here is what Meghan McCain wrote after her father's passing.
He was a great fire who burned bright, and we lived in his light and warmth for so very long. We know that his flame lives on in each of us. The days and years to come will not be the same without my dad, but they will be good days filled with life and love because of the example he lived for us.
S.E., how close were they?
CUPP: To call them close is to misuse the word. You know, they were incredibly close. When I would spend time with her, she would get multiple calls a day from him. You know, obviously, over the past year, she spent a lot more time at home, but considering how busy both of these two people were, they made time for each other every day.
[18:49:57] He was her touchstone. She was his rock. I mean, they were as close a father and daughter as I have ever seen. And, you know, to say that he was incredibly proud of her is a real understatement.
CABRERA: Do you have a favorite John McCain story?
CUPP: I mean, I have many as a conservative, you know, of a certain age.
We all remember the campaign trail of 2008 when McCain was running against Barack Obama and really had an incredible moment of grace and dignity and honor when he told some of his own supporters that Barack Obama was a decent man, a family man, whom he just disagreed with. I mean, very rarely in politics do you get to see someone in real time reveal their character as clearly as he did in that moment.
But personally, I mean, gosh, wild horses or glioblastoma could not drag him out of the arena. I remember just at Meghan's wedding, I just went over to say, thank you, Cindy, thank you, Senator McCain, congratulations. This is, you know, a great event, a great moment. And he said, thanks.
You know, that conversation you guys were having on CNN yesterday about what Republicans should do is -- was right on.
CUPP: And I just thought, this man does not miss a beat. And he lived and breathed politics and service, and so he was always watching. Always. I'm sure, you know, all day long, was plugged in. You just couldn't -- you couldn't unplug him. And so he was -- he was somebody.
CABRERA: You mentioned that moment on the campaign trail, and I think that one stands out for a lot of us as journalists covering different races and particularly, the presidential races. And as you point out, it was a moment of him showing his character but also a rare moment in which a political person defends their opponent which is extremely rare.
CABRERA: And we know he has asked that President Obama and George W. Bush speak at his funeral. What is your take on him asking these two men who are behind his biggest political defeats, who ended his White House ambitions, to deliver eulogies at his funeral?
CUPP: I think there were people he clearly respected and they know who they are. And we know who they are. You know, he was very close friends with Senator Lindsey Graham and former Senator Joe Lieberman. And I think for the people he didn't have a lot of respect for, we knew that, too. And so I'm not surprised that he made that decision.
You know, it's interesting. That moment on the campaign trail at the town hall gets a lot of attention. There was another one at that same town hall where a voter said, I'm terrified of Obama. And John McCain said, you don't have to be terrified of him. You know, we just disagree fundamentally on policies.
But if you think about today's culture of fear-mongering in politics, Trump does it daily, Republicans do it, Democrats are doing it, really preying on fear. To see that moment where he said, you don't have to be afraid of my opponent, was really, even then, incredible.
But certainly, now, in today's kind of climate, it's just -- it's unimaginable. You couldn't imagine a politician saying something like that today.
CABRERA: S.E. Cupp, thank you for being with us and sharing those thoughts. We appreciate it.
CUPP: Thanks for having me.
CABRERA: And, of course, our condolences go out to the family. Please pass those along to Meghan McCain and Cindy and the rest of the family.
John McCain, dad to seven kids, two different marriages. Mothers still alive.
As we continue to honor his memory, coming up, you'll hear from some of Senator John McCain's closest friends, including former Senate majority leader and World War II veteran, Bob Dole, who will tell us just how important Senator McCain was to him.
[18:54:20] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CABRERA: Business is booming on Wall Street. Companies are showing strong earnings as August trading winds to a close this week. CNN's Christine Romans has this week's "Before the Bell."
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: You know, as the summer winds down here, the most important thing for investors about the economy is interest rates and earnings. And so far, we've been hearing from companies, they have had very strong results in the second quarter.
Ninety-one percent of S&P 500 companies have reported their quarterly report cards. And, you know, 79 percent have done better than expected. That shows us that companies are making a lot of money.
Earnings growth is more than 24 percent. That's the second best quarter since the recession.
We're also going to get a second look at second-quarter GDP, economic growth. That's coming up this week. So again, really important to gauge how well the economy is doing here.
[19:00:03] The initial reading showed growth of a whopping 4.1 percent. That's the fastest pace in four years. So we'll be looking to see if that number is revised higher.