May 3rd, 2009
07:59 AM ET
5 years ago

Meghan McCain: Don't look at us like 'dirty moderates'

Meghan McCain says the Republican Party needs to become an 'umbrella party.'
Meghan McCain says the Republican Party needs to become an 'umbrella party.'

(CNN) - Meghan McCain, daughter of former Republican presidential candidate John McCain, said the GOP is going to have to become more inclusive if it wants to rebuild.

“I just wish that moderates like myself - more moderate Republicans and more socially liberal Republicans - weren’t looked at as, ‘Get rid of the dirty moderates. Get rid of them,’” the 24-year-old told CNN affiliate KTAR radio in a joint interview with her father.

“We need to be an inclusive party. We need to be an umbrella party. We need to inspire 20-somethings, which is something the Obama campaign did very well,” she said on the "Mac & Gaydos" show.

“And it’s not that I think that our message is neither good nor bad - I just think it’s that the Democrats package their message better, and I think if we could be able to communicate with my generation, the Republican Party can really rebuild itself,” she added.

Asked about the coverage she’s been getting for the GOP, McCain said she feels like she’s “speaking out for a lot of young people that don’t feel spoken for.”

The graduate of Columbia University has been known to break with traditional conservative orthodoxy and hasn't shied away from voicing her criticisms of the Republican Party.

Her father, Arizona Sen. John McCain, said communication is key to rebuilding.

“By Twitter, by Internet –by all the things that frankly, the Obama campaign did a very good job at. That’s why we need lots of young people involved. If you are young, give us a call,” said the senator, who was mocked on the campaign trail after admitting he didn’t use e-mail.

McCain said that while he and his daughter don’t always see eye-to-eye on the issues, he shares her concerns about the party.

“I think we go back to old principles - and that’s less government, lower taxes, national security, etc. but we have to also have a new set of ideas and policies to implement and bring our principles into the 21st century,” he said.

Meghan McCain's comments came one day before Republican leaders held the first in a series of town halls marking a new initiative to rehabilitate the GOP.

Rep. Eric Cantor, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney met with voters in Arlington, Virginia, on Saturday and stressed the importance of listening to the public and strengthening the party.

“Let’s not underestimate the people of America. Let’s make sure and listen to the people of America and that’s what Congressman Cantor is attempting to do with this council. Make sure we get the chance to go across the country, and listen to what people are feeling and get their ideas because that will make a real difference,” Romney said at the National Council for a New America meeting.

John McCain is on the new council, but he was not at the town hall meeting Saturday.


Filed under: John McCain • Meghan McCain • Popular Posts
soundoff (108 Responses)
  1. Steve

    I think the current Republican leaders have packaged their message very clearly...there's little doubt where they stand. If there are moderates in the party who believe the GOP has been highjacked by members with extreme positions then they ought to do more of what Meghan McCain is doing...speaking out.
    And by the way, I think it's a bit disingenuous for Republicans in Congress to bay so loudly about spending. They didn't seem to make much noise when President Bush was spending the nation down the tube. Isn't it a bit hypocritical now?
    Whether or not I agree with Meghan McCain isn't the point. I like what she's doing...trying to clean her own house first.

    May 3, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  2. Mark, B'ham., Al.

    Charities like Catholic Relif, loacl missions and food banks, churches and United Way participants do alot more for those who need help than the government. In Government they are more worried for the Teachers Unions than they are the kids educations (look at the inner cities where more money is spent per student than in the suburbs or rural schools yet they are the worst schools in America) Government run health care is rationed already for medicaid, my autistic adult son gets 12 visits a year before he has to seek special authorization. The military which I did 20 years in is an HMO system now! There is more waste, fraud, and abuse with government money than with the charities systems.

    May 3, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  3. kgeukes

    What the Republican party needs to to stop listening to people like Mush Limpnoid and his followers because their only message is hate. You can tell that Mush is back on the drugs just by the way he acts when he has an audience. All that bouncing around has damaged his brain...no, wait , that was already a problem!! lol

    May 3, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  4. You like her because she's LIBERAL

    No No NO!!!!!!!!!!!! This liberal windbag is NOT the future of the GOP.

    I'll say it again. If her last name wasn't McCain, nobody would give her 15 seconds of airtime, but just because you do doesn't mean she speaks for the GOP.

    Enough Meghan. Why don't you and Specter create your own party without trying to turn ours into something more liberal. Republicans will never succeed by trying to be like the Democrats. Unless and until they offer a more distinct choice – a conservative choice that is well articulated, they'll get beat like a cheap rug every time.

    May 3, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  5. Expat American

    One way that something might get done in Washington is if moderates/centrists from both sides make it happen.

    The Conservative Right is poison not only to their 'party' but to the country as a whole. Never will the United States be ruled by an American theoretical bastardization of European Christianity.

    Bush failed in the manner that he shot first, hit the wrong target and asked the wrong questions to the wrong people later.

    May 3, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  6. pancho villa

    Why not "shut-up" and go spend some of your momma's money ?

    May 3, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  7. elana

    For the record, Meghan: You are a Republican!!! Generally speaking ALL Republicans are conservative! So, I doubt you are EVER going to convince the American people, let alone the young people of America that there might be GOP moderates! If so, there are very few at this point in time! Republicans have represented CONSERVATIVES since the inception of the GOP! And certainly there are no MODERATE Republicans on Capital Hill!! The behavior of ALL of the GOP in Congress since President Obama took office certainly confirms this fact!! Their OP continues to be "Just Say NO" to any proposal that may come to Congress IF it is a Democrat who is putting it on the table!!

    May 3, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  8. Rubyredman

    Polly"...I think he got a lot of votes simply because he's black, ..."

    This is the problem with "old, white" people. The second you think someone gets a vote for being Black you cry reverse racism, blah, blah, blah. But you had not problem with the dumb, white guy getting votes for 2 hundred years. You had no problem with the undereducated, unqualified, over-privileged white guy getting white voters to support him for no other reason then he looked like you.

    The problem lies at your over confidence. You never had to work for anything. For centuries you mistakenly had a sense of entitlement. It made you lazy. Minorities may wear their pants around their ankles but they know how to work and compete. They have been doing it since the Chinese showed the Europeans gun-powder. Just remember your ancestors thought the world was flat. Without gun-powder, you would still be living in caves eating potatoes
    It's the dawn of a new age, with a Black man leading the charge.
    Get used to it, there's more where that came from – I guarantee.

    May 3, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
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