Entries in Together We Thrive: Tucson and America (2)


McCain Backs Obama's Tucson Message, Takes Some Blame for Political Debate

Arizona Sen. John McCain and his wife Cindy while attending the Jan. 13 funeral service of Christina-Taylor Green, the youngest of the victims from the mass shooting in Tucson. Photo Courtesy - Greg Bryan | Arizona Daily Star | POOL PHOTO(WASHINGTON) -- In an op-ed set to run in Sunday's Washington Post, Sen. John McCain, R-AZ, embraces President Obama's message in Tucson, criticizes his own political rhetoric and makes a powerful statement for civility in the wake of the Arizona tragedy.  He also offers a defense of sorts for Sarah Palin's controversial statement on the Arizona shooting.

"I disagree with many of the president's policies, but I believe he is a patriot sincerely intent on using his time in office to advance our country's cause," McCain says. "I reject accusations that his policies and beliefs make him unworthy to lead America or opposed to its founding ideals. And I reject accusations that Americans who vigorously oppose his policies are less intelligent, compassionate or just than those who support them."

At the same time, McCain, who lost to Obama in the 2008 election, accepts some personal blame for the incivility of the political debate in recent years.

"Our political discourse should be more civil than it currently is and we all, myself included, bear some responsibility for it not being so," he says.

‪While not mentioning Sarah Palin by name, McCain tries to explain why she reacted the way she did in a video message this week after she was blamed by some for playing a role in the tragedy.  ‬

"Political leaders are not and cannot reasonably be expected to be indifferent to the cruelest calumnies aimed at their character," McCain says. "Imagine how it must feel to have watched one week ago the incomprehensible massacre of innocents committed by someone who had lost some essential part of his humanity, to have shared in the heartache for its victims and in the admiration for those who acted heroically to save the lives of others -- and to have heard in the coverage of that tragedy voices accusing you of complicity in it."

"It does not ask too much of human nature to have the empathy to understand how wrong an injury that is or appreciate how strong a need someone would feel to defend him or herself against such a slur," he says.

In conclusion the Arizona senator emphasizes, "It is not beyond us to do better; to behave more modestly and courteously and respectfully toward one another; to make progress toward the ideal that beckons all humanity: to treat one another as we would wish to be treated."

As one step in the push for Washington politicians to come together in the aftermath of the Tucson shooting, McCain has endorsed Sen. Mark Udall's call for both parties to sit together at the Jan. 25 State of the Union address, an idea that is now gaining more support with each passing day.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Pelosi Set to Travel to Tucson with President for Memorial Service

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will travel to Tucson, Arizona Wednesday with President Obama aboard Air Force One to attend a memorial service at the University of Arizona to remember the victims of Saturday’s shooting.

Pelosi, D-Calif., will begin her day at the Capitol and is expected to sign books of condolences before meeting the president and Mrs. Obama at Andrews Air Force Base for the cross-country flight.

President Obama is scheduled to speak at the memorial service at 6:00 p.m. local to remember the victims of the mass shooting in Tucson, Ariz. that left six people dead and 14 wounded. Pelosi is not expected to speak at the memorial service.

The memorial service, called “Together We Thrive: Tucson and America” will take place at the McKale Center and is open to the public free of charge. The event will include a Native American blessing, a moment of silence, a poetry reading and the presentation of a chain featuring messages from members of the public.

Back in the Capitol Wednesday afternoon, members of Congress will participate in a bipartisan prayer service to remember and honor the victims of the shooting.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio