Republican John McCain's wife visited centers where Georgian refugees from the recent war with Russia are sheltering and she blamed Moscow for forcing them into misery.
“The only place these people want to be is home, and they can't go home because of what has happened to them and because of the situation that the Russians have caused,” Cindy McCain said Tuesday outside one of the centers in Tbilisi.
The influx of tens of thousands of refugees places strain on Georgia, which already had some 300,000 refugees from fighting in the two separatist republics in the 1990s.
John McCain has been a strong critic of Russia in recent years and has proposed expelling Russia from the Group of Eight club of the world's major developed democracies.
Democrat Barack Obama and some of his advisers offered conflicting views on how to respond to Russia's recognition of the breakaway regions.
Obama said the U.S. should “further isolate Russia internationally because of its actions,” while two of his top national security advisers, former defense secretary William Perry and former Navy secretary Richard Danzig, called for more engagement.
Cindy McCain dismissed speculation that she had timed the trip to coincide with the Democratic Party convention.