April 30th, 2009
01:11 PM ET
5 years ago

Meghan McCain: 'Arlen, You Let Me Down'

'Let me be clear: I have a lot of respect for Sen. Specter,' said McCain, in her latest blog post for the Daily Beast.
'Let me be clear: I have a lot of respect for Sen. Specter,' said McCain, in her latest blog post for the Daily Beast.

(CNN) - Meghan McCain - whose departure from conservative orthodoxy on some issues has put her at odds with some in the GOP base - said Thursday that former moderate Republican Sen. Arlen Specter had "let us down" by leaving the party.

"Let me be clear: I have a lot of respect for Sen. Specter," said McCain, in her latest blog post for the Daily Beast. "But I also can't help but feel like he's let us down.

"I'm sure this was a long, hard decision. The polls were looking very bleak in his primary contest. His probable opponent was nearly 20 points ahead in many polls. And I understand how he's been made to feel like an outcast by a small, vocal group. Still, this was an opportunity for Specter to hold his ground and set an example for progressive-minded Republicans trying to overcome one of their biggest obstacles: winning the party primaries....

"We need courageous Republicans more than ever. And this week, Sen. Specter turned his back."

Earlier this week, conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh suggested that McCain leave the party with Specter. "A lot of people say, 'Well, Specter, take [Sen. John] McCain with you. And his daughter [Meghan]. Take McCain and his daughter with you if you're gonna…" he told listeners Tuesday.


Filed under: Arlen Specter • Meghan McCain
soundoff (73 Responses)
  1. slickingdom

    Meghan should stop being a part of that losing side of history and join in
    with the winners !!! Senator Specter realized how nasty and down-trodden republicans were to him after he voted for a bill intended
    to help this country get out of a rut, and he was a republican for 40 years.
    That just goes to show how 2-faced republicans are. I'm sure Senator
    McCain let Senator Specter down when he was running for the oval office.

    April 30, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  2. Alex in Wisconsin

    I'm a Democrat. Mark my words, Meghan McCain will be the savior of the Republican Party. At this point, its a race to see if she saves it before Obama leave office in 2017 or if Emperor Limbaugh and his imperial stormtroppers will continue to do what they can to make the Republican Party less viable to the American people.

    April 30, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  3. Terry

    Other Senators seem to have considerable respect for Spector, but I don't see anything special about him. He's one of those "moderates" who want to split the baby in half and call that wisdom. Pennsylvania would be better served by another Democratic Senator.

    April 30, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  4. Michael in Houston

    Just what I needed today...some young daughter of a somebody starting out with saying...."Let me be clear"....as if she is now some National leader and we are all breathless with anticipation of her words of wisdom.
    Whats next from her? "Mr. Ahmadinejad, TEAR DOWN THAT MISSILE SITE"

    April 30, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  5. johnny

    Meghan, the current leadership of the republican party made it crystal clear to Senator Specter that he would be actively campaigned against by his own party for following his own political instincts instead of toeing the party line. Was he to the the sacrificial lamb to the slaughter? Yeah, that would have made a GREAT impact on other members of your party with any idea about being too moderate or progressive. I'm a Pennsylvania Democrat, and I think Specter will do well now without the gun to his back.

    April 30, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  6. GOP ... Follow Chrysler in Chap 11.

    As a practical matter, a man that is around 70 years old IS NOT going to fight the principled fight. He's looking at one more 6-year term and then he will retire. His decision was purely a selfish one.

    He was driven to that decision because there are not enough Republicans willing to confront .... Limbaugh, Cheney, Bachmann, Hannity, Gingrich, Palin, Steele, etc ..... Specter doesn't have time to wait to purge the negative elements from the party. In her 20's Meghan McCain has all the time in the world.

    It will take "an Army of Meghans" 12 to 20 years before they have rid the GOP sufficiently of its divisive, rotting elements to attract the people that are voting Democratic. Much like the American car companies in the late 1970's, it will take them a long time to dispell images of poor quality. You can't just do it with "re-branding".

    April 30, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  7. Wilber

    How much punishment do you expect a person to take Ms. McCain? While I have a lot of differences with Senator Specter on the issues, everyone has his or her breaking point. The Republicans were merciless in attacking him, Senator Collins, and Senator Snowe for their votes on the stimulus. And the most vocal governors in the end contradicted themselves and took the money.

    The Republicans are not the "Party of No", they are the Party of ridicule, derision, and personal attacks. At least a "Party of No" may have a coherent philosophy as a basis for dissent. The current crop of Republicans in the House and Senate are mere "Know Nothings".

    April 30, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  8. Nicole

    "What do the Republicans do every day that lets you down? Tell us just exactly does the Democratic Party do for you everyday?"

    Wow, where do I begin? As a former Republican turned Independent, I consider myself aligned with some core conservative principles of freedom, fiscal responsibility, and security. However, the Bush administration tainted these principles and last year's GOP campaign only solidified their recent reputation of being the party of no and a fear-mongering exclusive group. Arlen Specter's departure underscores the lack of identity and leadership of this dwindling group. Why would I support them when they automatically oppose almost every policy the current administration has put forth without offering any viable solutions of their own? Who is their bona fide leader? Rush? I don't always agree with the Obama administration, especially on fiscal policy, but he has my support and tirelessly calling him socialist with the hope of scaring Americans to the "other side" is not my idea of addressing our current problems, which are probably the most a president has ever faced in history. Have you heard even ONCE a GOP member articulate a solution to any of our problems without criticizing the president?

    Time can only tell how these will play out but I for one, after the last 8 years, am willing to give POTUS the benefit of the doubt and by his own admission, if the president fails to get us out of this slump within this term, then we as Americans can vote him out. Whether or not that means we vote for a Republican remains to be seen but they need to get their act togther first.

    April 30, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  9. RRR

    Just because you are in your 20s, can do Twitter unlike your father, and have a familiar last name.......does NOT mean I have to care about your opinion!
    PLEASE Meghan, go hang out with Sarah Palin and all the other complaining Republicans. Soon the 60 Democratic Senate seats will give you something ELSE to complain about.

    You are the minority now....either help or get out of the way!

    April 30, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  10. Edward Veidt

    Meghan: Leave with him!

    I say that not as an angry hard-right conservative, but as someone who sees how clearly the current GOP has FAILED. It's time to destroy the broken, old nonsense and form a new party – one that's about fiscal responsibility, one that's about social justice not preaching, and one that's about patriotism not jingoism.

    The Republican Party is DEAD. It's finished, it's over. It's time to stand up and band together as people who live in the real world not his bizarre fantasy-land desire for a resurgence of McCarthyism.

    We don't have to join the Democrats, it's time to form a significant new party that's not just the "party of no." We have to form an all-new entity that's responsible AND progressive – those things are not mutually exclusive!

    Meghan, voices like yours are the future. Let's not try to save what's old and broken and no longer able to serve America. Let's make something NEW!

    April 30, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  11. Big Ed

    Don't be disappointed by Sen. Specter, be disappointed with the Republican Party. Yes, he had his career interests in mind, but remembert the Republican Party created conditions where moderates are not welcome. If you don't believe me, ask Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter!

    April 30, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  12. Chris ~ Albany, NY

    Meghan the man is 79 yrs olf, been in politics for over 40 years on the republican side...he's seen a lot. If he now sees a landscape that he no longer can stand with I think it's 100% his decision. The man deserves nothing but respect.

    April 30, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  13. Florida Boy

    I feel that Meghan is denying the fact that her own party doesn't like her because she expresses her own views about the party. I think Meghan knows deep down inside she fits in better as a Democrat. But she doesn't want to be look at as a traitor to the Republican party and she knows that wouldn't help her father. But how much BS can Meghan take from her own party..I agree with Carl from MI

    YOUR OWN PARTY HATES YOU, MEGHAN!! Wake up….

    April 30, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  14. just another "arrogant" American

    Shut your trap, Beny.... what have Republicans done to let you down? Judging by your racist comment, it's obvious you've never voted for one, therefore you should not have any expectations. I've personally never voted for a Democrat, so when they "let me down", I'm not bothered by it because I expect them to do stupid things, such as apologizing for the big, bad United States or spending pretend money in the middle of a recession.

    Oh well, lunch breaks over.... time to get back to work supporting government dependents.

    April 30, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  15. shucks

    Meghan has missed the point. Moderate repulicans have no place in the conservative religious right wing evangelical republican party. That is what it has become. That is why 200,000 Pennsylvanians changed their party affiliation last election from republican to democrat. What you have left if a right wing religious evangelical faction that is determined to destroy this country in the name of religion. Senator Specter was going to be an example of this just because of his vote on the stimulus bill. Toomey as all Pennsylvanians know is a right wing religious nutjob like Rick Santorum was. Senator Specter a 30 year sitting republican was let down by his party. Not the other way around Meghan. We are extremely glad he made the move and I as a democrat will be glad to vote for Senator Specter come 2010.

    April 30, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  16. SHIRLEY "60"

    Megan I like you very much, but on this one you are not really getting it. Specter is not leaving your party, he is just calling himself a democrat to try and get ahead with a particular chairmanship that he wants, and to get re-elected. I frankly, don't think he will win, because he trying to be too cute about all this. His overly ambitious nature, as does Palin's, will be his downfall. He wants under any circumstances to be re-elected, and believe me he will continue to be as ridiculous and irrational as most of the others in the GOP are being right now, whenever necessary. He will go along with them. He will continue to be a repub, and most of us realize he is just doing what is politically expedient for himself, and don't think much of him being a progressive/democratic thinker. When all is said and done, he really is one of the dinosaurs who should be retired to make room for new senators with new ideas. Ask you father how it works. By the way, he is also one of the senators who should retire.

    April 30, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  17. John from California

    Meghan McCain knows all too well that Senator Specter didn't leave the Republican Party, the Right Wing Takeover left him.

    The Right Wing manipulation of John McCain's presidential campaign sunk his hopes as well but, Old John is too polite to say anything about it.

    Meghan McCain would do well to work within her party to wrestle control from the "Rush & Cheney Fringe" before she's criticizes the Senator from Pennsylvania. Senator Arlen Specter would not win the Republican nomination in Pennsylvania because of the Right Wing influence so Meghan should congratulate the Senator on his plan to continue doing good work for the country.

    The Right Wing fringe has driven the republican party down to 21% of American Voters and it's time that the GOP got it's collective act together.

    April 30, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  18. Joseph, Los Angeles California

    Meghan, Arlen didn't let you down... The republican party let this whole country down. I can't blame him for leaving and you should to.

    April 30, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  19. Tulsa

    ray ray,,,,,

    maybe because the Republicans are a bunch of racists? you see, if you are addressing a racist, then you have brought race into the picture already....... ya racist.

    April 30, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  20. KLK

    I like Meghan, but only in small doses.

    April 30, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  21. David

    I think the GOP let Specter down rather than Specter letting the GOP down. While I don't agree with her on this particular issue, I'm glad Meghan speaks up. She's one of the very few moderate/sane voices coming from the GOP lately. There may be other GOP'ers out there that are moderate and sane but they're apparently silent.

    I certainly hope Arlen Specter continues to vote for what he believes is the best for his state and country rather than blindly following party lines. Honest debate based on facts is good for everybody. The GOP voting in lock step with your party (Party First) nonsense needs to stop. It doesn't help the country and in the long run will not help the party either.

    April 30, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  22. dave from pa

    I am one of those former republicans in PA that switched parties to vote democratic in the primary and general election. I was considering switching back after the election until I saw all the hate and and exclusinary tactics that the republican party was and still is dishing out. I looked deep in myself and said, "that is not what I am about". You cannot win elections by spewing hate and hoping for the current president to fail. We are a different America. We have to include latinos, african americans, gay, straight, disabled, and not, because wether you like it or not THIS is the make-up of America. I once heard it said that America is not a melting pot, but rather a salad bowl. Republicans are using the wrong dressing thus giving this "salad" a bad taste. Meghan is giving a good fight for moderates (like myself) to be heard, but I dont think it is worth it.

    April 30, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  23. Jaime

    His would-have-been opponent in the primary will never win a general election in PA. I’m sure the party must realize that. So they’re basically saying they would rather have no republican senator from PA, than a moderate one. It’s the Republican party that let you down Megan, and they let down Senator Specter too.

    April 30, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  24. Karen

    Why in the world are we listening to Meghan McCain?? She is just trying to prolong her 15 minutes of fame.

    April 30, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  25. obama/mama

    I like Meghan McCain but she should have asked her father that question when he picked Palin out of the woods.

    April 30, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
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