April 19th, 2009
09:00 AM ET
7 months ago

Meghan McCain warns of looming civil war in the GOP

Meghan McCain addressed a group of gay Republicans in Washington Saturday.
Meghan McCain addressed a group of gay Republicans in Washington Saturday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Meghan McCain warned a group of gay Republicans Saturday that there was "a war brewing in the Republican Party" – a war between the past and the future.

"Most of the old school Republicans are scared s***less of that future," she told a gathering of the Log Cabin Republicans, a group of gay and lesbian party members.

The 24-year-old daughter of former GOP presidential candidate John McCain pushed back against critics upset over her comments to CNN that she wanted President Obama to succeed, and played down her recent headline-grabbing feuds with conservative commentators Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham. "I did not expect my frustration with what I perceive to be overly partisan and divisive Republicans to cause a national incident," she said.

"I feel too many Republicans want to cling to past successes...I think we're seeing a war brewing in the Republican Party," she said. "But it is not between us and Democrats. It is not between us and liberals. It is between the future and the past...

"I am concerned about the environment. I love to wear black. I think government is best when it stays out of people's lives and business as much as possible. I love punk rock. I believe in a strong national defense. I have a tattoo. I believe government should always be efficient and accountable. I have lots of gay friends. And yes, I am a Republican," she told a cheering crowd.

Last week, McCain signed a deal with Hyperion to write a book about the future of the Republican Party. She said Saturday that embracing new technology wouldn't solve the party's problems. "Republicans using Twitter and Facebook isn't going to miraculously make people think we're cool again. Breaking free from obsolete positions and providing real solutions that don't divide our nation further will," she said. "That's why some in our party are scared. They sense the world around them is changing, and they are unable to take the risk to jump free of what's keeping our party down."

On Monday, McCain wrote an opinion piece urging the Republican Party to use more gay-friendly language. "Of all the causes I believe in and speak publicly about, this is one of the ones closest to my heart," she wrote in a blog post on the Daily Beast titled 'Memo to the GOP: Go Gay.' " If the Republican Party has any hope of gaining substantial support from a wider, younger base, we need to get past our anti-gay rhetoric."

McCain's father, former Republican presidential candidate John McCain, does not support same-sex marriage but opposed a constitutional amendment five years ago that would have banned the practice, calling the legislation "un-Republican." Speaking to the Log Cabin Republicans Friday, former Bush and McCain senior advisor Steve Schmidt publicly endorsed same-sex marriage.


Filed under: Meghan McCain
soundoff (241 Responses)
  1. john

    Oh no.... McCain will make a nice president in 10~20 years. That's feels so wrong.

    April 18, 2009 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  2. Kerry, CA

    I'm registered Democrat and voted Obama but consider myself more of a moderate...and I'm liking this young woman more and more each time she speaks.

    April 18, 2009 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  3. Alan Bleiweiss

    Meghan McCain truly speaks wisely about the problems the Republican party faces. A similar issue exists within the Democratic ranks, yet because the Dems are in power, it's less obvious and less urgent an issue to many.

    It's a clear case though that old thinking needs to give up the ghost for the health of the nation as a whole.

    April 18, 2009 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  4. Helen

    Why doesn't Meghan just become a democrat. Leave the republican party to the nut cases that took it over.

    It's hopeless.

    April 18, 2009 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  5. Fitz in Texas

    Ok, Levi isn't about to let Meghan get one up on her. I see the future and CNN is about to bore us with another one of those waste of time reports.

    April 18, 2009 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  6. Ben (Eugene, OR)

    I'm with you and you pop's McCain. Keep doing what you're doing. There are many of us that are ready to join your party!

    April 18, 2009 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  7. Sick if Lies

    The republican party won't accept gays. The percent who believe like her in the party are small...she's kidding herself. And I hate totell her bit many Democrats support a string defense and don't want government in our personal lives. Duh that is why we are pro CHOICE and pro gay marriage / civil unions.

    April 18, 2009 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  8. darko

    Oh please... can we get political commentary from someone other than this mental lightweight???

    April 18, 2009 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  9. Carl from MI

    Wow.... a Republican that doesn't have brain damage!!!

    If this catches on... they might just start winning elections again!!!

    April 18, 2009 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  10. barking republican ankle biters

    Wish I was still in my 20s,she has a brighter future than I thought.

    April 18, 2009 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  11. jason twombley

    one republican at least....Meghan...is very astute and can see the writing on the wall. America IS changing, get with it or get left behind !!

    April 18, 2009 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  12. Jon

    Just when Ingraham and Coulter and Rush and all of Fox News made me think I would have to leave the party I love and become a Blue Dog Democrat, it seems the young crowd might finally be able to sway the archaic positions of the GOP.

    Here's to youth.

    April 18, 2009 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  13. miss_fortune88

    Wow. Maybe she should run for president.

    April 18, 2009 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  14. Franky

    You know, she's not a bad girl, she seems like a nice one but for starters, we really thought it was a big, I mean big mistake that Schmidt endorsed gay marriage. Let's be fair, he has someone of that nature...ohh yeah, read that article. All I'm saying is if the GOP are freaking out with these rulings about gay marriage, what makes you think all that is gonna change?? Guys, we don't think that's smart, ohh no, is bad. Let alone gay rights activists are happy they are making progress but come on buys, is no secret, who's upset?? Exactly...

    We really do believe the GOP are just thinking too much. They are worrying too much about their problems instead of their solutions, that's a big problem. They are pressuring themselves too much, either they expect a lot of themselves or quite honestly, don't expect at all. The only reason we are saying they are freaking out because let alone their own party is in shambles, they don't know how to control themselves and Steele is the leader. He's the one who's supposed to bring them together and so on and by far, they are complaining whether he is the right choice or not.

    They have too many problems, they can't pressure themselves. Hey, for starters we care, we do. But if they are alienating their own party, even if they think they are trying, trust me my friend, they are so confused, they have no leader...

    All we are saying is if they can't control themselves, what makes you think they can control their future??

    That's all you'll get from us GOP, we don't care about you guys, we know already. You're just letting your own destiny ride out before your own eyes...ohh and for the record, tell the GOP is our day today, Hawks won baby!! Hell yeah!!! We smelled once I came today on your guys site, it smells like destiny...

    Later guys, have a good evening, don't stay up late and yes, I too won't stay up late...when I'm 60! LOL!! Later guys, take care...

    April 18, 2009 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  15. Ula Nejad-Sacramento ,Ca

    So tell us dear Megan, how would you want the baby boomers to re-write the law ? Don't just tell us you like to wear black and support a strong national defense to support gays and lesbians. Solutions backed by logical reasoning is what you need to tell the "old" republicans who like to listen to Frank Sinatra and the philamonic orchestra.

    April 18, 2009 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  16. Joel Weymouth

    Why do we care what she thinks.-you people at CNN suggested that Sarah Palin was irrelevant because she was the Governor of Alaska, but Meghan McCain is relevant why, because she set up her own blog. Something that a 12 year old can do. Oh yeah and she is a pretty blonde – that is important. If her daddy was Joe Schmo, she would be selling vacuum cleaners. The only Civil War you should worry about is the one about to be initiated by the Conservatives against both the establishment Republicans and Democrats. You have seen the tea parties, what the conservatives need now is a a 10 million man peaceful march to demonstrate the dragon.

    April 18, 2009 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  17. Tina W

    As a gay individual, I appreciate Meghan McCain's comments about gays and Republicans and getting the Republican Party back to what it should be. However, I believe any efforts to get the Republican party to accept gays will be pointless. If Republican leaders begin to really accept gays and really stay out of people's lives, the Religious Right will pull away from the party. When the Religious Right pulls away from the party it will be split and it will lose power. We would then become a three party country, Dems, Republicans, and Religious Rights.

    April 18, 2009 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  18. Rob

    Meghan McCain is obviously a Democrat in Republican clothing trying to stir up discontent. Her goal is to use her status as John McCain's daughter to mount a soapbox from which she can divide and conquer the Republican party. Does she really not understand that her actions are transparent?

    There isn't a Republican in this country who gives a lick what she has to say. Why doesn't she just admit she's a Democrat, voted against her own father in the last election, and is best friends with Janeane Garofalo?

    I understand why CNN gives her so much coverage, being left-leaning themselves. But, does anybody really believe that anything Ms. McCain has to say will influence any real Republican? Of course not. It's the left-leaning independents that CNN and McCain are after.

    Yellow journalism and nothing more. Sorry, CNN - I actually get most of my news from you. I just wish I didn't need that five pounds of salt that's sitting next to my recliner.

    April 18, 2009 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  19. Splat!~

    Please Meghan, if you can start a bonafide 'Independent Party' based on the ideals mentioned in this article, I will be more than willing to join you. I will NEVER be associated with the Republicans, NEVER!~

    April 18, 2009 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  20. Mike in NYC

    Of course, she didn't say, "I believe in controlling our nation's borders and stopping illegal immigration." Because she doesn't. Just like her Dad. Yeah, that kind of attitude is so "past."

    A GOP civil war would be a positive development, and not because of the amusement it would provide to giggling libs. Without it, the GOP is just going to end up a cheap, slightly right-of-center imitation of the Dems, sucking up to the "New America" and getting nowhere. Maybe we'd end up with three parties, then. It'll probably entrench the Dems in power, but at least there would be another choice, and battle lines would be clearly drawn.

    Polarization works. Dialectics in action.

    April 18, 2009 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  21. Bob

    That is one of the most astute comments about the GOP I have heard in a while, I hope the future wins and the USA gets a 'David Cameron' Style conservative leader (UK Conservative).

    April 18, 2009 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  22. MIke in New York

    Meghan, third party coming, we in the past as you say it will be leaving the Republican Party and joining the Conservative Party to distance oursleves from people like you, the sad thing is that is just what the democrat/liberals want, to divide us so it is easier to defeat us and you are making it happen, are you sure you are not a closet democrat waiting to come out of the closet, maybe you even voted for Obama instead of your father even though I voted for your father, what a wasted vote.

    April 18, 2009 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  23. Geraldine

    She is the only honest republican I've heard so far.

    April 18, 2009 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  24. Daniel, Atlanta, GA, ex-republican

    She may get me to come back to the GOP! Wow! You're great!

    April 18, 2009 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  25. Josh

    Everyone keeps asking who the next leader of the Republican Party is or should be. I'm a Democrat, but I can tell you this, if I was a Republican, I'd start listening to what Ms. McCain has to say because she's the only conservative I've heard in years that makes any sense. Kudos to you, Meghan, for being sensible and reasonable. Hopefully some of your party elders will follow your lead.

    April 18, 2009 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
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