February 19th, 2009
06:00 PM ET
9 years ago

Meghan McCain tells GOP to get tech savvy

 Meghan McCain says its time the GOP embraces technology.

Meghan McCain says its time the GOP embraces technology.

(CNN) - The Republican Party needs to change - at least when it comes to its use of technology, Meghan McCain says.

In a column on the Daily Beast Web site, the daughter of Sen. John McCain says the GOP is likely to continue its decline in power unless members vastly improve their tech fluency.

"This has been a source of personal frustration for me for a very long time," said McCain of the party's seeming disconnect with technology. "Unless the GOP evolves as the party that can successfully utilize the Web, we'll continue to lose influence"

McCain, who authored a popular blog on her father's Web site while he was running for president, also recounts early pushback from Republican strategists when she first sought to establish the Web site.

"Many of the established Republican strategists told me that young people would not visit my web site," she wrote. "I used to categorize many of the advisors in my father's campaign into one of two groups: those that 'respected' the Internet and those who didn't. It was a running line between me and my friends who worked on my site."

McCain also suggested the party's lack of online savvy greatly contributed to her father's defeat last November.

"The Obama administration understands that my generation spends most of its day on a laptop or a BlackBerry, and that using the Web is easy way to communicate their ideas to their constituents," she said. "Until the Republican Party joins the twenty-first century and learns how to use the Internet, its members will keep getting older and the youth of America will just keep logging on to the other side."

Several Republicans appear to have gotten the message. According to TweetCongress.org, more Republicans are now on the popular social networking site Twitter than are Democrats. And the recent election for the Republican Party Chairman heavily revolved around who was best positioned to modernize the party's use of technology.

Filed under: Extra • Meghan McCain
soundoff (393 Responses)
  1. July

    Oh yeah they get it .................. in the words of Steel ' They are off the hook ' .......... Honey if the Reps. say words like ' Off the hook ' ... then they are waaaaay out of it jajaaaa.

    February 19, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  2. Ex-Republican

    Tax Cuts make it unnecessary to be in touch with technology. And any form of communication, or devices that allow for progress, are seen as a hindrance to the Party's primary goal, obstruction.

    February 19, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  3. kristen

    . . . said the girl whose father has literally never been on the internet. Hey GOP–I thought candidates' kids were off-limits. Doesn't that mean they shouldn't be spokespeople?

    February 19, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  4. Chris from NY

    Copy cats.

    February 19, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  5. Joe the Schmoe

    Republican have to learn to walk upright and how to get along with others before they'll stop losing elections. Republicans are neanderthals technologically and socially.

    February 19, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  6. Jackie in Dallas

    A McCain with sense? How did that happen?

    Actually, Meghan, I'd be a lot happier if the GOP would just join the last part of the 20th century, much less the 21st. They seem to have gotten caught in resin about 1965, and haven't moved much since.

    February 19, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  7. Phil

    I don't consider myself Republican, but GO MEGHAN!!! She is absolutely right. Unless the GOP wants the "O" in that title to refer to "Ostrich" because of their sticking of their collective head in the sand, they'd better take heed of Meghan's words. True they are.

    However, because I differ with the Republicans on their positions regarding just about everything except for abortion, I hope they do not pick up on this gaping hole in their strate-ger-y.

    Go on being as stubborn as many people already perceive you to be, and reap the harvest that brings. If you do, be prepared to enjoy the inaugurations for years to come – in the 'guest' section.

    February 19, 2009 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  8. Bob

    Shut up, Meg.

    -Peter Griffin

    February 19, 2009 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  9. Chris in Va.

    Sorry Miss McCain, but you are, as most Republicans, completely wrong and misguided. Your father lost the election because he had no plan, no platform, and no clue as to the struggles of everyday Americans.

    The exact same reasons the Republican party will continue to lose in the future if that does not change, and no measure of technology will change that.

    February 19, 2009 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  10. Lord help us all

    They can not be tech savvy they are all to old their learning days are over... Did she tell her Dad that

    February 19, 2009 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  11. Nick

    I think she's absolutely right. If you plan on catering to younger voters, you must get their attention using THEIR technology, not YOUR technology. Not every young person spends hours of the day watching NBC or CNN... many will channel surf, or stick to particular networks with their interests in mind, yet precious few political ads are shown during those timeslots. However, many young people would rather spend their time online... and having an up-to-date website, and showing you have some ability to connect with the technology generation, is essential to obtaining the younger vote.

    Frankly, there are a number of "kook" right-wing websites out there, relative to the number of legitimate right-wing blogs and websites. Sure, plenty of kook left-wing websites as well (overall, just as many, perhaps more), but there also seem to be more legitimate news sites, and certainly more tech-savvy left-wing political organizations and politicians.

    Sorry... the "old school" mentality is to make blanket phone calls to entire neighborhoods in the evening... that just won't cut it in the 21st century. Ask Hillary and John how well that idea went with the voting public.

    February 19, 2009 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  12. Kia.

    For heaven's sake...what next? The Republicans are grasping at straws. The Democrats have Obama, the Republicans get Steele. The Democrats have Hillary Clinton, the Republicans get Sarah Palin. The Republicans make POOR choices and it's showing.
    The GOP needs to grasp more than technology......they need to grasp what is important and what is not.

    February 19, 2009 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  13. indevoter

    She better tell them more than that...learning to use a computer is the least of their HUGE issues they must deal with.

    February 19, 2009 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  14. Zal

    The GOP just doesn't get it...she sounds like she takes after her father, MORON.

    February 19, 2009 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  15. Hal

    The GOP needs more than savvy..they need brains.

    February 19, 2009 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  16. steve

    She's hot. Too bad she's a repub.

    February 19, 2009 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  17. Griff

    You can bet your life: Lady. No communications, no Connections.
    This does not mean there is an overpowering Transmission.... No! Much more than that.... An overpowering impression.... If you don't like comments, then don't Dictate on the Air.

    February 19, 2009 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  18. Larry


    February 19, 2009 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  19. Susan from S Illinois

    Duh!!!! Who cares what Meghan McCain is saying?

    February 19, 2009 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  20. Nevada Independant

    Why is it that Meghan McCain is much more articulate about how to bring younger generations of voters into the Republican party than its new leader Michale Steele?

    This young lady has at least got a real plan to advance the party into a more modern age.

    All we get from Steele is nonsense about conducting an urban, hip-hop campaign that will be "off the hook". Oh, and more efforts to include one armed midgets, too.

    Can someone please give Meghan McCain a meeting with Mr. Steele? Perhaps he might be able to take some of her advice.

    February 19, 2009 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  21. Sniffit

    Yes, start by first admitting that science is real.

    February 19, 2009 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  22. Linda in MS

    It's going to take a hell of a lot more than being tech savy for the GOP to reach out to anyone but the so called "base". After reading the comments by Mr. Steele on the hip-hop stuff, and watching their temper tantrums, I'd have to say these guys are doomed.

    February 19, 2009 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  23. Angie

    meg honey it is more then the lack of being "tech savvy" that is hurting the gop. their ideas, leader, members are old white outdated and self serving men.(electing steele as rnc is a joke). they don't like the idea of including ALL people. their antiquated ideas have not kept up with changing of the times. they don't like change (which is evident). so they have alot of work to do. what they need is to dump the whole bunch and start over. I don't think they have that kind of time the world would come to an end first. so what I'm really saying is, it aint goin happen. LOL

    February 19, 2009 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  24. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    So, Meghan is looking for savvy.
    No hip-hop? No off the hook? What's with that?

    Well, apparently she has more brains than Michael Steele.
    And a better Iphone!

    Steele's Ipod only plays "Mr. Bojangles"!

    February 19, 2009 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  25. Staunch Democrat

    "Unless the GOP evolves as the party that can successfully utilize the Web, we'll continue to lose influence...



    February 19, 2009 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
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