February 19th, 2009
06:00 PM ET
6 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. liz

    How about they also get this crazy idea that bipartisanship means REPUBLICANS have to give up something too? Are we really surprised that the party of grumpy hold men clinging to their milllions is resistant to change??

    February 19, 2009 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  2. Hope?

    Dare we wish?

    February 19, 2009 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  3. WILL IN AZ

    I don't give a dam how tech savvy you get . You won't get my vote with that same tax cut BS. trying to fool us with palins dumb a$$ and now steel with this hippidy hop crap. up to the same old bs ( come have a beer with me ) GO TO HELL !!!!

    February 19, 2009 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  4. BL

    Yeah – they can diss the internet and go with those automatic calling machines that everyone hangs up on!

    February 19, 2009 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    But I thought her dad invented the blackberry!?!?!

    I've got news for the GOP: a new image, fancy websites, deluges of emails/spam, etc., are not what you need. You first need to accept that some of what you believe has been disproven and how you behave has been rebuffed....and work on adapting it all to reality. Window-dressing and lipstick won't help you until you make the necessary substantive changes.

    February 19, 2009 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  6. Frank, Las Vegas

    Even if the republican party accepted the internet and learned how to use it, there's still another problem. America rejected the republican message and policies and that part of the republican party has not changed, in fact it has even moved farther to the right. So having the GOP spread their lies on the internet won't help them any more than spreading their lies on TV did. It wasn't the method of the message, it was the message.

    February 19, 2009 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  7. Mike

    "Until the Republican Party joins the twenty-first century ..."

    Well, that IS the challenge isn't it. Not just with relation to technology, but with respect to all aspects of their 19th century outlook on the world.

    February 19, 2009 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  8. mikerucker

    the republican party is not losing because of the internet.

    but i'm somewhat encouraged by her point of view: if she thinks all the republicans need to focus on is nice web sites, she ensures democratic victories for years to come.

    the republicans are losing because they are fake conservatives trying to hide millionaire cronyism behind the facade of being for the average guy. they pretend their tax cuts benefit everyone equally, when the actual truth is that the difference between the 1-5% at the top and the average wage-earner grows bigger each year.

    keep hollering about learning how to write html, meghan – you must be a democrat at heart, working to turn the attention of the bigoted big-money bankers onto something that will do little for their chances of being returned to power. we thank you for your support...

    February 19, 2009 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  9. NW

    Talk to Joe the Plumber. He knows technology.

    February 19, 2009 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  10. Pat, CA

    She's right - the conservative message is intact - 58,343,671 said so during the election - PERSONAL RESPONSIBILIY, PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITY, NO BIG GOVERNMENT TO RUN OUR LIVES

    The message we sent was right - but the messengers didn't get equal time because of the media's infatuation with Obama.

    NOW WE WILL CORRECT THAT!

    February 19, 2009 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  11. rich

    And their idealology is a bit rusty too.

    February 19, 2009 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  12. videodrome

    What is she talking about??
    The Internet WAS the reason that McCain lost the election. Because of modern technology, we all witnessed the fumbling of Palin, the lack of any economic plan on McCain's part, and the fact that the GOP is still stuck in the Middle Ages as far as social issues are concerned. We all got to witness the many election losses the GOP suffered, and some red states turn blue. We got to witness the refusal of McCain to lead us out of endless wars at endless $$ to the American people. All this thanks to that wonderful modern miracle called the INTERNET.
    So, instead of just worrying about getting "tech savvy", how about the GOP start trying to meet the needs of ALL people?? How about some updated political platforms, and not just catering to the wealthy whitebread types and the Religious Right?
    Get your heads on straight, GOP, before you go high-tech, or you will continue to make fools of yourself.

    February 19, 2009 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  13. Gracie

    OH PUHLEEEZE........ they just don't get it. They continue to throw spaghetti noodles against the wall to see what sticks. The GOP is the blind leading the blind, they don't what the heck to do or try next. They are so PISSED that President Obama and his staffers are ALL just too advance for the GOP!!! President Obama is the NEW Thin Apple IMac and the GOP is still working on Apple II, The Commodore PET (Personal Electronic Transactor)!!!

    NOW for the next three LONG weeks we are going to hear nothing about how "tech savy" the GOP is, when in FACT they are NOT!!! They lie about everything and anything to make themselves look good.

    Just like we've heard for 5 weeks from the likes of of..
    John McCain
    John Boehner
    Lindsey Graham
    Eric Cantor
    Gov. Mark Standford
    who did nothing but yelled NO, NO, NO, NO, on the stimulus, BUT what they DIDN'T TELL YOU is how quickly they are willing to TAKE, TAKE, TAKE, TAKE the billions in STIMULUS money behind our backs!!!!

    What a bunch of CLOWNS!!! All they do is "mimmick" everything President Obama has accomplished. The GOP would sell their souls to have a candidate like President Obama, but they would NEVER say it outloud, but you bet your butts they say it to themselves. President Obama has BROKEN every historical RECORD and RAISED MORE MONEY than any other candidate in HISTORY!!!

    The GOP and the RNC can't stand the fact that they are NO MATCH for when it comes to President Obama's political, technical and business savvy.

    The GOP are nothing but "copycats" because they can't come up or implement a single plan, policy or agenda without quoting those OLD and TIRED conservative Reagan year ideology.

    February 19, 2009 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  14. Retired exGOPer

    Right on, Meghan! I am 66 years old and cannot imagine life anymore without the internet and email. My gosh, GOP, get with the greatest technology we have at the moment. And by the way, GOP, Gore DID NOT invent it, so its okay for you to use it!

    February 19, 2009 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  15. Mike

    It's not but because he's not tech savvy. McCain lost because he is a Northeast Liberal Republican RINO...and not a conservative...and for the first time, he's failed his country and given us a communist in the White House! Thanks Mr. McCain !

    February 19, 2009 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  16. BeanerECMO

    The former GOP leadership may not grasp the technology capabilities that are available, but the rank and file do. If she was so bright about this, why wasn't she spearheading the effort to capitalize on the available technology and technology sites to better promote the Republicant (sic) election effort? And, just like her father, she has great hindsight (no pun intended). The GOP doesn't need RINOs such as her father; they need conservatives. And, just because one is conservative, doesn't mean that one is not tech savvy, or doesn't know how to implement technology for the best return.

    February 19, 2009 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  17. Steverino

    The Republicans are D.O.A. They're out of touch with reality and still don't get the fact that their policies were rebuked in the last national election. Becoming tech savvy won't help them.

    And what exactly are they trying to "conserve?" Some vision of the America that never really existed. Their mantra of "smaller government" is nothing but a bad euphemism for deregulation. And that's what got us in the mess we're in now. Ever wonder what GOP really stands for? Geezers on parade.

    February 19, 2009 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  18. Gallimimus

    Smart girl, she could have a future in the gop if she keeps saying things like this. It may take the rest of her life, to change the GOP. She does have a point though.

    February 19, 2009 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  19. Daryl from Seattle

    Using the internet alone won't save the GOP. They have to change their political philosophy of the rich benefiting from it through tax cuts while the poor pay higher taxes. What is ethical about that? It doesn't create balance, it creates an unfair hierarchy. It also creates recessions because then the people who are the economy can't support it like they normally would. Who do you think makes the rich, rich????

    February 19, 2009 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  20. Marcia, Marcia, Marcia in CA

    Maybe, she and Sarah can run on the 2012 ticket. I mean, McCain wants to be president that bad!!

    Actually, it makes perfect sense since the leadership is now trying to attract the hip hop crowd and urban dwellers to the party. The members are going to have to learn to break dance and rap. I can't wait!!

    Thank you for the laughs today, it has been lovely!!

    February 19, 2009 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  21. carol

    Denise: you are absolutely right! To think that he lost because of technology is very funny.

    February 19, 2009 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  22. Jerry in San Diego

    One of the problems was a lack of modern methods. However it was only one of many many problems. McCain would have done better if he had been true to himself, instead of following the RNC handlers. Truth be known, with all the damage that GWBush did, it would have taken a miracle for anyone with the "Republican" brand identity to win. Lets all hope Obama succeeds for the good of the country as a whole.

    February 19, 2009 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  23. alex

    I'm sure the Republican Party appreciates a lecture by some young privleged fashion major who once blogged for the losing candidate. That'll show them.

    I think the privilege and arrogance she displays is more telling as to why the Republican Party appeals to so few people now.

    February 19, 2009 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  24. Vicki5

    Republicans have allowed their party to become the party of trickery and deceit (with devastating effects) in order to accomplish what was an original purpose of standing up for God in this world. The ends will never justify the means. By allowing and supporting acts of hatred and division, it is hypocrisy at its worst, and it is turning people away from God, rather than being a witness for Him. Republicans, you have been lied to for so long, you do not realize that you have been led astray.

    I grew up in Colorado, and never actually experienced racism, except perhaps some name calling in Jr. High school. The election has exposed the vast amount of racism down South, and I’ve got to say, I’m stunned. The rest of the world has moved on without you, and I hope you get on board soon and quit trying to provoke people into another civil war of types. There are too few of you to matter anymore, and you will soon reap what you sow.

    February 19, 2009 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  25. John O'Grady

    The Republicans can get all the "tech" they want, but until they get some 21st century ideas, all the laptops and Blackberries and websites in the world aren't going to change a thing. The programmer's adage applies in this case: "Garbage in, garbage out."

    February 19, 2009 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
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