Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a longtime friend of John McCain’s, said it was shameful for the White House to raise the U.S. flag after bringing it down to half-staff following McCain’s death.
“I think it’s shameful, to be honest with you,” Kasich told MSNBC’s Ali Velshi Monday afternoon.
McCain, a longtime senator from Arizona, died Saturday after a year-long battle with brain cancer.
“We’ve lowered all the flags” in Ohio, Kasich said. “We’re going to pay respect and honor to this man. But I happen to believe in the decency of every individual, every human being, even with those that I can have strong feelings about. I don’t wish them harm. My responsibility as a man of faith, as hard as it is sometimes to always have that faith, is to look for the basic decency in others, to search for it, even when sometimes it’s hard to find.”
The lowering of the flags across the U.S., he continued, “is just a great sign of respect for what he represented in terms of values.”
Flags are lowered by presidential proclamation, and President Donald Trump late Saturday ordered the flag over the White House after news of McCain’s death broke. By Monday morning, the flags were at full-staff again. On Capitol Hill, though, the flags remained at half-staff.
Following an outcry over the decision to raise the flag over the White House, Trump ordered the flag be brought back to half-staff.
Trump and McCain often sparred publicly, and McCain before he died told reporters he didn’t want the president at his funeral. Trump in a statement Saturday said he still had respect for McCain.
“Despite our differences on policy and politics, I respect Senator John McCain’s service to our country and, in his honor, have signed a proclamation to fly the flag of the United States at half-staff until the day of his interment,” Trump said in a statement released by the White House.
Kasich also told MSNBC he called McCain when he was sick just to make sure he was “squared away” with God.
“I called John when I found out that he was sick and I asked him point blank, how are you doing with the big guy? How’s your faith? And he said to me, Johnny, he’s one of three people that call me Johnny, my mother, my wife and him. He said, Johnny, I’m all squared away there.”
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