WASHINGTON (CNN) – Meghan McCain wrote Monday that South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford's revelation that he had an extramarital affair "isn't relevant to his role as a public official" and called on her fellow Republicans to forgive him.
McCain, the daughter of Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, said that she is "mad" about the "hypocrisy of it all," and doesn't condone Sanford's actions, but added that the public needs to "stop requiring that our politicians live at such a high level of moral superiority."
"Above all, the Sanford scandal just makes me sad for my party," she wrote on the Daily Beast Web site. "The GOP is struggling right now to find anyone who looks to be our next leader. Those who have been anointed so far have ended up falling completely short. Going forward, I suggest that the party concentrate less on what goes on in the bedroom and more on what is going on in policy."
(CNN) - Meghan McCain again took aim at some leaders of her party Monday night, declaring the GOP is currently being hijacked by those trying "to make it more extreme."
In an interview on The Colbert Report on Comedy Central, the outspoken daughter of Arizona Sen. John McCain said the party needs to broaden its message as it struggles to regain power in the halls of Congress and eventually the White House.
"I do believe the Republican Party can be a safe place for the gay community," McCain said in the at-times lighthearted interview. "President Obama said that he was going to repeal 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' and I think me and a lot of other people are still waiting on that and the Democratic Party isn't necessarily a better place for the gay community than the Republican Party is.
McCain's statements come only hours before Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele is set to tell party leaders during a speech in Washington that the GOP should focus on conservative principles and that, "The era of apologizing for Republican mistakes of the past is now officially over."
But during the interview with the faux-conservative Colbert, McCain suggested the party's mantra of limited government does not conflict with more socially moderate principles.
"If you go to the basic beliefs of the Republican party of keeping government out of your life, why can't that include marriage?" she said.
McCain also criticized the recent push from Bristol Palin - the 17-year-old daughter of former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin who gave birth last year to a baby boy - to promote abstinence among teenagers, calling it "not realistic for this generation.
"I think we need to have sex education with condoms, birth control and etc, etc.," McCain said. "I think that if the Republican Party says abstinence only is the only way to be then we're going to lose a lot of young voters and I think I wouldn't want to practice anything I didn't preach."
"It can be a party for a 24 year-old pro-sex woman. It can be," McCain also said.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Prominent Republican Bill Bennett took issue Sunday with what he called the “media’s focus” on Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
Asked about the Republican Party’s increasingly public struggle to define itself and identify new leaders after eight years of the George W. Bush administration, Bennett said the press should be less myopic in its coverage of the GOP.
“One of the things the media could do – some of the media – is to move the debate off Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh,” Bennett, a CNN Contributor, said on State of the Union. “This is probably not the future of the Republican Party,” added Bennett.
“You don’t think Gov. Palin’s the future of the Republican Party?” queried CNN Chief National Correspondent John King.
“I do not,” said Bennett. “It could talk about a Paul Ryan or a Mike Pence. It could talk about a Bobby Jindal. It could talk even about a John Kyl or a David Petraeus. You know, there’s a lot of talent in this party.”
Democratic strategist Donna Brazile has her own ideas about who the GOP might look to, to help find its way out of the political wilderness.
(CNN) - House Minority Whip Eric Cantor tells CNN's John King that the GOP still has a lot to learn from President Obama.
"President Obama is a great communicator. We understand that," he said in an interview that aired on CNN's State of the Union Sunday. "He's also been very adept at adopting the technology of today to access the youth vote and the younger population of this country. That's the future, and I believe we've got a lot to learn. The Republican Party can't keep doing things the way it always has in terms of technology."
Cantor, along with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, held the kick off event Saturday for the National Council for a New America, a high-profile Republican effort to engage a diverse group of voters.
One new GOP face who seems to disagree with Cantor's point of view: Meghan McCain, whose father John McCain is involved with the NCNA effort.
"Simply embracing technology isn't going to fix our problem," the 24-year-old told a gay Republican group last month. "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."
The NCNA is planning to hold a series of town halls across the country in the coming months in an effort to re-cast the party’s image.
(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.”
(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.
(CNN) – Meghan McCain- who has been known for her outspoken criticisms of the Republican Party, did not soften her voice Tuesday calling Sen. Arlen Specters party switch a "selfish choice."
Recognizing that it had been a hard day for the Republican Party, McCain offered some encouraging words " I am still a believer in this party! I have faith we can bring this back, who is with me?!?" she tweeted.
Sen. Arlen Specter might have left the GOP, but Meghan McCain isn't going anywhere. "In my Republican Party there is room for everyone! There is no need for an admissions test to be a member, lets be more inclusive!" she wrote.
The twitter updates to McCain's page came shortly after Conservative host Rush Limbaugh suggested that there were a couple other Republicans that should follow in the senators footsteps "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.
"…..It's ultimately good. You're weeding out people who aren't really Republicans" Limbaugh said.
McCain sees the future of the GOP differently, "its good to have disagreements, were never going to agree on everything! Who wants to agree on everything? so boring."
(CNN) - Conservative host Rush Limbaugh said Tuesday he isn't sorry to see Arlen Specter leave the GOP - and that many Republicans wish the Pennsylvania senator would take a few others with him when he goes.
"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, dissolving in laughter.
".....It's ultimately good. You're weeding out people who aren't really Republicans," he said.
Limbaugh did concede the downside of Specter's defection. "It makes the Senate essentially as big a slam dunk for Obama and the Democrats as the House of Representatives already is," he said.
Earlier this month, Specter said Limbaugh did have a tendency to make "provocative" statements, but told radio host Howard Stern he didn't have a problem with the conservative talker. "Do I like Limbaugh?... yeah, I like him," he said then.
UPDATE: Late Tuesday afternoon, Meghan McCain fired back on Twitter. "RED TIL I'M DEAD BABY!!! I love the republican party enough to give it constructive criticism, I love my party and sure as hell not leavin!"
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. John McCain told CNN Friday he doesn't always see eye-to-eye with his outspoken daughter.
Meghan McCain, the 24-year-old daughter of the former Republican presidential nominee, has grabbed the media spotlight this year, thanks to a string of attention grabbing blog posts, television appearances and speeches.
Her comments critical of some of her party's positions, and jabs at some senior Republicans like former Vice President Dick Cheney and former Bush senior advisor Karl Rove, have made her one of this year's hottest young GOP pundits.
"I love and respect my daughter, and I appreciate the fact that she brings fresh views and ideas and we need that in our party," the senator said Friday on CNN's American Morning. "We don't always agree, and sometimes we have spirited discussions, and that is good in families."
The younger McCain is writing a book about the future of the Republican Party.