Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., delivered speech Monday night that criticized politicians supporting the new movement of “half-baked” isolationist politics.
McCain, who did not name any one by name, called the movement “unpatriotic” while at the National Constitution Center Liberty Medal ceremony.
“To abandon the ideals we have advanced around the globe, to refuse the obligations of international leadership 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,” he said.
Accepting the award for a lifetime of service and sacrifice to the country, McCain also used the opportunity to reminisce about a time where bipartisanship was a normal part of politics.
“We often argued — sometimes passionately,” McCain said of himself and the former Vice President Joe Biden who was also in attendance. “But we believed in each other’s patriotism and the sincerity of each other’s convictions. We believed in the institution we were privileged to serve in.”
McCain joined the Navy in 1958 and rose to the rank of captain during his 22 years of service. In 1967, his plane was shot down over Hanoi, Vietnam, during a bombing mission, and he spent years in a Vietnamese prisoner of war camp. He recently revealed that he’s fighting brain cancer.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.