February 19th, 2009
06:00 PM ET
5 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. Lee in Iowa

    Until the Repubs quit thinking that criticizing and making fun of Dems is not the way to gain friends is not the way to win votes. they will continue to search to regain their popularity

    February 19, 2009 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  2. Bob

    As a Republican and an ardent supporter of John McCain, I could not agree with Meghan McCain more. It's idiotic for people to suggest that's only reason we lost, but we need to more effectively reach the many young Republicans who don't believe in the liberal garbage ideology that now pervades most media sources, including the internet.

    February 19, 2009 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  3. Kingssman

    What? GOP using internet? they are still ticked that gore invented it to spread his liberal propaganda on global warming.

    Besides, with steele in place, they gop will be targeting the 'hip hop' crowd with conservative rap lyrics and slang while the republican representatives start wearing bling with boost mobile phones

    February 19, 2009 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  4. bigboxes

    I got some bad news for you sunshine... tech savvy is not the reason the Republicans lost in November. They've been lost for more than a few years. Here's a list for you:

    1. Economy
    2. Balanced Budget
    3. Foreign Affairs
    4. Retirement
    5. Health Care
    6. Education
    ...
    997. Tech Savvy

    Offer 21st Century solutions to the issues that are important to the American people and then you can tackle why John McCain doesn't understand the "internets".

    February 19, 2009 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  5. George

    I suspect Meghan is correct with a lot of this premise. The question is do you think Joe the Plumber et.al. are tech savy? Meghan, how are you going to address that issue?

    February 19, 2009 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  6. Tim

    It's not technology, its ideas. Social conservatism is dieing and needs to be hacked off from the Republican party if it has any hope for the future.

    February 19, 2009 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  7. REG in AZ

    Michael Steele, the new RNC chairperson, is aggressively seeking and touting new ways to make the Republican Party more competitive. He is enthusiastically presenting that the party will win over more and new voters with new and aggressive efforts aimed at making the party more politically competitive. There is one gapping hole, one missing and neglected issue, no where, no how does he ever mention anything about being concerned about the drastic negative problems facing the country or about how the Republicans will be more competitive in facing and addressing those problems, to provide solutions that benefit the average American. Nor does he admit how the Bush-Cheney concentration on Special Interests and a select few, giving only apathy, the costs and subterfuge to the many was irresponsibly wrong and how the Republican Party is now going to change that. Doesn't sound like there is any real change of meaning and that he is still just focused on 'more of the same' deceptive self-indulgence!

    February 19, 2009 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  8. john

    There ain't nothing that the GOP can to get back in power for now

    February 19, 2009 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  9. meohmy

    Call me silly, but I think the GOPs challenges are much deeper than technological savvy. Let's start with "how big is your tent?"

    February 19, 2009 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  10. Average Joe (but not a plumber), USA, USA

    Meghan honey, your father's choice of VP is the reason he lost last year. That and the fact he morphed from the old John we used to love to some bastardized version of a Karl Rove hand puppet. Internet-savvy had very little to do with it but if it helps you sleep better at night, so be it.

    February 19, 2009 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  11. Peter (CA)

    She's right that the Republicans are behind the times.

    But that is not why they lost. They lost because they have no ideas, no plans, and no way to motivate Americans to their cause.

    For the GOP's sake, I am hoping the earlier article on Grandmaster Steele (can I get a whoop-de-whoop?) was meant for April 1st and just got out early. It's not about posturing to minorities, it's about telling them how you will make their life better.

    February 19, 2009 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  12. REG in AZ

    We all know that no one is perfect and we each readily admit, as long as we don't have to get specific, that it includes us. Off the record I will humbly acknowledge that it includes my own phobia against dishonesty. I get really upset when I am confronted with dishonesty, worse when I am expected to accept it, and it can then render me stubbornly uncooperative – which I realize is not a plus. After being raised by a devoutly Catholic but paranoid mother who felt people should be honestly and conscientiously driven yet who really saw no one as ever being that way, I developed a scrutinizing and demanding attitude for sincerity and for having a real conscience. I only hope I actually live up to my own demands. Politics and politicians simply do not. It isn't a matter of Republican or Democrat as they all act pretty much the same as they concentrate on their own interests, on their politics, instead of on their responsibility to the people. It doesn't matter if it is Pelosi or McCain, Reed or Boehner, Dean or Steele, Kyl or Clinton, Palin, Graham or Dodd or even Limbaugh or Olbermann, Hannity or Maddow, or whoever, so many are just literally controlled by their self-interests rather than by a sincere and rational conscience. We have seen the absolute worst in the Bush-Cheney administration and to minimize that is to simply irrationally and irresponsibly ask for more of the same. If we admit the truth, in general we simply see a too frequent attitude of 'more for less' that corrupts our society. Now with Barak Obama, for good or bad, we are confronted with an apparently sincere and conscientious leader who wants to honestly resolve our many and drastic problems for the benefit of the average American. Whether that is too auspicious or just unreal isn't as important as is it being a sincere and real effort. The Republicans are literally being irresponsible in their stubborn and belligerent self-serving obstructionist attitude that fails to demonstrate any real concern for their constituents – as Limbaugh says, they just want Obama to fail – and that is absolutely detrimental to all of us. Their bold and obnoxious dishonesty in their deceptive and spurious criticisms and in their failure to be constructive is totally offensive. It strikes me that we the people, the voters, have to first be honest with ourselves and then to firmly reject the dishonesty of the politicians and let them know we hold them to a higher standard. Whoever we support, we need to demand from them an honest and conscientious effort, one which deals with reality. If we continue to accept their self-focused BS, then we can only blame ourselves.

    February 19, 2009 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  13. sick n tired of CNN moderators

    Hate to tell you this Meghan, but it's going to take a lot more than just being "techno savvy"! How about showing a little concern for what "We The People" are concerned with.Sound like a plan?

    February 19, 2009 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  14. D. D.

    The GOP is just entirely too anal.
    They need to reach the people rather out to each other. They work well in their inner circles but what comes out of it for the people?

    February 19, 2009 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  15. Shalom

    Oh wow, like that's new news kiddo!

    February 19, 2009 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  16. Nan

    Didn't vote for her dad but I like her. She appears to be very well informed. You may not like her politics but you shouldn't be bashing her for trying to modernize the GOP. She sounds a lot better than the new RNC chair.

    February 19, 2009 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  17. Karen in FL

    It's a pretty sad commentary on the party when top strategists don't realize the power of the internet. It's actually hard to believe. I wonder if they were against Meghan launching a site because they didn't want her to be their spokesperson.

    It seemed to me that the GOP had a pretty good grasp on how to use the internet to send the dozens of half cocked email forwards- most of which could be debunked. That did a lot to ruin their credibility in my book.

    February 19, 2009 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  18. rodney brown

    I agree with the statement that Meghan made the republican party
    needs to be more tech savy because this will help to establish a
    relationship between a younger voter base, who have embraced
    technology in different forms.

    Rodney

    February 19, 2009 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  19. Mrs. Shankel

    "Until the Republican Party joins the twenty-first century..." Yea, and on many many issues and policies not just the internet. But what can you expect from a party that is mostly old paranoid white folks that are anti education.. always making fun of college educated folks and people that can actually quote the Constitution and don't believe in a monster like god and creationism .. GOP = Neanderthals.

    Oh, but they change their minds when its time to go to an ER. All of the sudden educated people of real medical science based on evolutionary theory become really important them ...LOL ... and it better be one of the hospitals that has the latest gear too even though paying for it with tax dollars is not allowed.

    February 19, 2009 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  20. hitobito

    Meghan McCain is right about the internet handicapped Repubs. But they need to do more than that to win back the hearts and minds of the people of this country. First, don't nominate a dimwit like Sarah Palin who may have been better off by only speaking in tongues! The GOP may want to try to attract a few minorities. Their convention was whiter than a snowstorm in Minnesota. The GOP used to stand for fiscal conservatism. Now thats out the window and anti abortion and anti gay rights are the central unifying theme of the Republican party. They may want to start over after they fire all of their current ideologues in Congress.

    February 19, 2009 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  21. Mari

    Take note far-right:

    Meghan McCain is right. She is part of the generation that will soon be leading our Nation. Though I did not vote for McCain, I thought Meghan McCain did a fine job campaigning for her dad. She did NOT spew hate, nor division, nor fear. She talked only about the issues. Refreshing.

    Here we are in the 21st Century and it is just now that the GOP is talking about getting "tech savvy"......... no wonder they lost!

    February 19, 2009 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  22. Benjamin Irizarry

    No. Your father lost the election because he is an imbecile.

    February 19, 2009 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  23. Obama for President

    Nice try, but it's more than being out of touch with technology. The Republicans are out of date and out of touch with everything progressive in the 21st Century!

    February 19, 2009 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  24. Cheney

    You have to be able to read and write first,not just listen to your messiah,Rush Limbaugh,the dropout druggie.

    February 19, 2009 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  25. Kevin

    Among Other things... Like turning away frombeing the most sexist hypocritical, racist organization that it has become

    February 19, 2009 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
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