April 19th, 2009
09:00 AM ET
5 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. Mr, Kityy

    Megan: Please go away, your 15 minutes of fame ended a long time ago.

    April 19, 2009 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  2. john

    She can join the Democrat Party. She will fit right in.

    April 19, 2009 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  3. republicans hate america

    the rush limbaugh party has no past successes they have had their hand in every mess this country has endured for the past 150 years and it has always been the democrats to come in and fix things.

    April 19, 2009 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  4. Art

    She's right look at her own father's campaign manager who's now on board to support same sex marriage. How is Palin getting so much support when she has a public dispute going on with a 19 yo? I also find it amazing how dems are critisized for their stand on abortion when the majority of the Supreme Court make-up favors the republicans and yet no one attacks them for not reversing Roe vs Wade. They (GOP) need to go into hiding and agree on platform. As long as they look like White Supremists or Nazis holding a rally they can forget ever getting back into the Whitehouse.....

    April 19, 2009 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  5. Bob T - Fl.

    Unbelievable a republican with a soul and brains too!!!.

    I was a middle of the road Republican for years but the neocons took over the party and ruined it. They became the true internal terrorist in the USA.

    I would have voted for her father, an honorable veteran but I could not stand Palin (right wing extremist). Bush & Cheney both were Vietnam Cowards. Maybe some guts will rub off on the republican party from her.

    I also hope President Obama will succeed. For America's sake not for the Republican't party sake!!!!

    April 19, 2009 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  6. Joel Parkes

    The language that she uses is the language that Republicans should listen to. I think that Republicans are headed for extinction because of their seething rage for anyone/anything that is different than their own narrow view of the world.

    April 19, 2009 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  7. Terri in FL

    Before the GOP can seriously become a viable alternative, some real thought leadrship needs to happen. While unbridled capitalism sounds fabulous – everyone can make the most of their future, the truth is such an approach disregrds human nature and the inherent greed that any one of us can experience when given the opportunity of too much power and influence. What took us down this financial disaster was unbridled capitialism combined with unbridled greed. Once power is gained, those with the power have opportunities to play pretty darn dirty and that's exactly what they did. Others no longer have a chance at that so called American Dream because the deck is stacked against them.

    The correct way is right down the middle – not too far to the left and not too far to the rigt. We need opportunities to be the best we can be, but we also need the mechanisms in place to make sure temptations don't run away with us and allow us to unfaily exploit everything around us.

    April 19, 2009 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  8. Cathy

    Why do some Republicans argue that she is too young and inexperienced to have good ideas, when CPAC went wild over a 12 year old speaker whose voice hadn't yet broken? If you can articulate arguments agains her, fine, but you have to come up with something better than "She hasn't earned the right to express ideas."

    April 19, 2009 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  9. John

    Why do we care what she has to say? She is not old enough to understand the past! I tend to lean more to the republican side, but , I am against same sex marraiges and gay rights. They are immoral!! This country needs to get back to the bible!

    April 19, 2009 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  10. Ben Hansen

    "Concerned about the Environement," can't work unless there is government regulation. The free market does not care about the environement, just about making money.

    April 19, 2009 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  11. tim

    Theres comes a point in time when you do too much bashing. Meghan is getting there.

    April 19, 2009 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  12. SNAPPA

    I think I really like this woman, she speaks truth even though it will fall on deaf ears...sad.

    April 19, 2009 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  13. dishninja

    The more I read about Meghan, the more I like her. I'm more of a metal fan, though.

    April 19, 2009 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  14. John

    Who cares what she thinks? A moron daughter of a moron guy who isn't real Republican anyway. McCain is the reason a Socialist is in the White House.

    April 19, 2009 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  15. downeast dave

    meghan for republican nominee for president

    April 19, 2009 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  16. Alan

    Meghan's right. The Republicans have no clue. I see people in this blog saying that the Obama administration is out to control businesses. Nothing could be farther from the truth. When you seek a government handout to SAVE your business you must EXPECT someone will also demand to have some governance over how you run it. It's the same with Venture capitalists or bankruptcy court. I don't see anyone talking about judges interferring in business operations when a business files for backruptcy.

    REAL people with REAL brains see through the Republican BS. That's why they can't seem to get anywhere these days. Meghan actually speaks TRUTH and they try to debunk her, too.

    Sad.

    April 19, 2009 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  17. MK

    If the GOP followers really want the government out of their lives then how do they really feel about the wiretapping Bush authorized? We know he let the NSA listen in on ordinary conversations, they passed around and laughed about some things they heard.

    I think republicans are so twofaced. They profess a love for the USA but don't want to pay taxes to support the USA, they want the government out of their lives but condone wiretaping. Where were they when Bush was spending us into the mess? They profess a love for the Constitution but let Bush shredd it before our eyes, laughed about an outed, undercover CIA agent and want their home states to succeed. Too confusing for me.

    I will follow the golden rule in life, live and let live, love your fellow man and work hard to take care of each other. If my taxes go to someone who has no job, in the form of benefits, then I will remember that one day I may need to help too and would want it to be there for me or my family. I fully support President Obama and I am a proud American.

    April 19, 2009 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  18. mmt

    Meghan McCain is the future of the Republican Party, not Sarah Palin. And I am a Democrat. Hooray for Meghan.

    April 19, 2009 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  19. Annique

    To all the people faulting Meghan McCain for being born with a silver spoon in her mouth, you need only look at the majority of politicians and their children. They are all Upper Class Crust. And just as you shouldn't judge someone for coming from a poor back ground, you shouldn't judge someone for coming from a wealthy one. She is a very well educated (Columbia) young woman who happens to be a fine writer. I am 100% Democrat. I am socially very liberal, and I believe that as a unified country we must band together to get through crisis together. If that means keeping government programs, then absolutely, but do it responsibly. Meghan McCain makes a lot of sense, even if her father doesn't. I don't want people judging me for my father, would you want someone judging you for yours?
    Furthermore, just because someone hasn't fought in a war or marched in Alabama, or stood in an unemployment line, doesn't mean they don't have a right to their opinion, nor does their opinion lose merit. I've never fought in any way, marched in any protest, and while I was on unemployment, I always had food in my belly and the roof over my head. That doesn't mean that I haven't learned the lessons of the fights, the causes or the plights. People faught and suffered so that others wouldn't have to do it again. Ergo, you are only sounding like a bitter martyr if you can't look at another citizen of this country which you fought for with pride when they speak in cogent relevant ways, strictly for the betterment of said country.

    April 19, 2009 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  20. todd Bronson

    I hope she doesn't give a speech to the old goats at the NRA. The Republican party needs to cut the noose of the "God and Guns" party and go back to financial conservatism and individual rights. Being gay is an individual's right. Stop appeasing to the "God hates gays" crusade.

    April 19, 2009 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  21. Michigander

    So the Republicans believe in less government, fewer taxes, and strong defense (paid for with what, exactly?)

    The Republicans I know believe in protecting fetuses but killing 'enemies,' think the death penalty is just fine, and want all Americans (or maybe just Republicans) to own, carry and use as many handguns as they can afford.

    They say they are Christians, yet they appear to hate anyone not Christian, as well as the poor and needy.

    No wonder the party is in a mess! None of the above makes sense. You cannot be Christian and support war, killing of any one, and government involvement in bedroom decisions. Seriously.

    You also cannot run wars on lower taxes–Bush's decisions on that front account for many of our current financial woes.

    But just keep throwing Palin out there...WASP KKK males love to see cute women, and don't seem to care whether they have a brain or not.
    Mehgan at least appears to be able to think.

    April 19, 2009 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  22. Tom

    If Meghan had been her Dad's campaign advisor, he might have actually had a shot.

    April 19, 2009 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  23. peter

    Spot on! Government can best stay out of peoples' lives by refusing to impose socially conservative morality on a people that reject such interference. Now, if Republicans decide that universal access to necessary health care is not a bogeyman to be feared and fought to the last pneumonia-strained breath, they just might get somewhere.

    April 19, 2009 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  24. John in VA

    If the GOP had more people like Meghan I'd still be a Republican.

    April 19, 2009 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  25. snippydoo

    I left the republican party in 2006 and registered as an independent for the very reasons that these "old school" republicans are blasting Meghan McCain.

    Small government, personal and religious freedom and fiscal responsibility were heartily laughed at by the Bush administration and its supporters, and it cost the party dearly as the many 20 and 30 somethings left in droves these past years.

    I was most severely dissapointed to see the about face that her father pulled to tow the party line for the election. Talk about a display of lack of integrity.

    The people who stand in the media as the face of this party is costing it dearly (read 2008 election). I find Ann Coulter to be one of the most repugnant faces of this party, Rush Limbaugh to be a big OLD bag of hot air, and Fox News crew and its Carl Rove followers to be the most bombastic and archaic bunch of idiots that this Nation has ever seen.

    The republican party needs to change if it plans to keep myself and the millions of other 20 and 30 somethings in their fold. The world is changing, but the party has not. Meghan represents that change...too bad they are not listening.

    April 19, 2009 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
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