February 19th, 2009
06:00 PM ET
14 years ago

Meghan McCain tells GOP to get tech savvy

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/19/art.meghan.gi.jpg caption=" Meghan McCain says its time the GOP embraces technology."]

(CNN) - The Republican Party needs to change - at least when it comes to its use of technology, Meghan McCain says.

In a column on the Daily Beast Web site, the daughter of Sen. John McCain says the GOP is likely to continue its decline in power unless members vastly improve their tech fluency.

"This has been a source of personal frustration for me for a very long time," said McCain of the party's seeming disconnect with technology. "Unless the GOP evolves as the party that can successfully utilize the Web, we'll continue to lose influence"

McCain, who authored a popular blog on her father's Web site while he was running for president, also recounts early pushback from Republican strategists when she first sought to establish the Web site.

"Many of the established Republican strategists told me that young people would not visit my web site," she wrote. "I used to categorize many of the advisors in my father's campaign into one of two groups: those that 'respected' the Internet and those who didn't. It was a running line between me and my friends who worked on my site."

McCain also suggested the party's lack of online savvy greatly contributed to her father's defeat last November.

"The Obama administration understands that my generation spends most of its day on a laptop or a BlackBerry, and that using the Web is easy way to communicate their ideas to their constituents," she said. "Until the Republican Party joins the twenty-first century and learns how to use the Internet, its members will keep getting older and the youth of America will just keep logging on to the other side."

Several Republicans appear to have gotten the message. According to TweetCongress.org, more Republicans are now on the popular social networking site Twitter than are Democrats. And the recent election for the Republican Party Chairman heavily revolved around who was best positioned to modernize the party's use of technology.

Filed under: Extra • Meghan McCain
soundoff (393 Responses)
  1. Dave

    Man talk about schizo. Most Republicans are trying to push the World back into the Dark Ages where religion, zealots, despots, dictators, and royalty ruled everything.

    February 19, 2009 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  2. S Callahan

    lol it's not just the young on the laptop everyday.....
    Perhaps on one of their 'jaunts' or 'working vacations' they can give lessons to GOP elected members on how to use a PC, create a Web site, etc.....

    February 19, 2009 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  3. KO

    It would actually be much better if the Republicans embraced some new ideas. As far as I can see, they're a party of tax cuts and opposing same sex marriage, and that's about it for their core beliefs. Neither of these beliefs will do anything to solve the problems we have right now (which are largely of the last administration's doing). Getting more tech savvy won't help that core issue.

    February 19, 2009 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  4. Chris

    A republican who actually get its! I'm surprised. The GOP is dying out literally-its members are geriatric.

    February 19, 2009 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  5. Ivan

    Another superficial attempt at trying to seem hip, just as was the selection of Steele as the head of the RNC.

    February 19, 2009 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  6. Independent in NC

    I think she has a point, and nowhere did I see her claiming that lack of tech savvy was the reason her father lost. She said it greatly contributed, which I would agree with. Obama's campaign used technology to effectively spread the message and accept donations, as well as make people feel connected by receiving IMs.

    Using technology to reach the youth voters was a good idea, and the GOP should get on board to get a better connection to and online community with their supporters if they want to stay relevant. Frankly, the amount of hatred being spewed towards Ms. McCain for having this opinion is shameful. I thought we were all about inclusion and respecting others now.

    February 19, 2009 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  7. Rick Sutter

    To Joe the Liberal Plumber – you ignorant lunatic. Who do you think is paying for this program? China and the Arab nations are loaning Obama the money that will be paid back by our children and their children–of they don't call the loan first. Dems are deluded, hopelessly sophomoric, naive, and dangerous.

    February 19, 2009 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  8. Antonio DiNero

    Inexperienced blonde McCain needs to lose weight first before she is embraced by fat Republican Americans. Second, she, like her father, must accept an African-American politician beat the Republicans at the polls. Thirdly, the McCain women have to stop stealing drugs from non-profits for self-profit medication while the rest of America scrounges around for Medicaid! Admit your drug use!

    February 19, 2009 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  9. Chris

    Obama's circus is just another reason why I'm happy to be Republican. I wouldn't go as far as saying I'm an anarchist, but I'm someone who believes in very limited government. The Republicans are starting to regain their image as anti-government and I'm happy about that. I have disagreed with them on many issues, but agree Democrats are a fraud including Obama.

    February 19, 2009 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  10. Tim

    Republicans need to start embracing a lot more than just technology. Republicans, quite simply, are no longer the conservative party, they've turned into a fundamentalist, hate mongers who live in the past. Part of their problem is how they continue to use the word "liberal" as if its a swear word. They are no longer the party of fiscal responsibility, They are no longer the party of the average American. They are the party of old rich people. Sadly, old rich people have a habit of dying

    Things continue as they are, Republicans as a party will die off and Dems will splinter off into smaller groups, some conservative, some liberal. There will always be a need for a balance of opinions. liberals and conservatives need to come together. Republicans don't do that. Their motto is "Our way or else."

    February 19, 2009 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  11. aliou

    Yeah, like that would teach you how to consider the life of human beings who are grown the same way you consider the unborn child's life: Sacret.

    Tell me what technology is going to do to reconcile your love of guns, wars, and the money that come with it, with your love of the unborn babies, at the expense of adults and born children, and your hate for some of the later?

    February 19, 2009 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  12. Avi Shlomo

    An interesting idea for repulican propaganda. she failed to understand that the repulicans were defeated because of the message they have crafted for years and not the way they have delivered it. The repulicans will only succeed if they adopt more progressive approach. Tecnology will not help them as long as they adhere to the reactionay ideas.

    February 19, 2009 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  13. Sarah

    Ditto to what Tariq just said – I am also a Democrat and I think Meghan makes a substantial point.

    Beyond the party lines, though, we need to do a better job of embracing technology as a nation. It plays such a huge role in communication and education and it has the potential to help us solve some of the big problems that we currently face.

    February 19, 2009 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    Meghan forgot to mention the lack of diversity in the Republican Party. Technology can only take you so far. The Republican Party just does not get it because it is made up mainly of old white men. The demographics of this country are changing. Unless these old white folks get it through their thick heads there is more to be a US citizen than being white their Party will decline to extinction. Just having blond's, redhead's and brunettes is not the answer to diversity. Embracing other cultures and melding their values with theirs will be the only way the Republican Party will survive

    February 19, 2009 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  15. Nurul Aman

    I respectfully disagree with Meghan McCain that the web tech for communication will help the GOP to come back. It is not the technology, but it is the ideological principle and its application in daily socioeconomic lives of America that matters the most. The ideas of the GOP are really old and outdated. Those ideas are backdated as far as 1950s America. Those ideas are simply obsolete for the 21st century America. The GOP at its current philosophical stature is irrelevant for the better future of America. The transformation of the GOP in 2008 from the national to regional party has its proof.

    February 19, 2009 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  16. Mark, B'ham., Al.

    To all you young liberals, It was the US Military that invented the internet not Al Gore. And the all volunteer military at that time was conservative to moderate/right by over 90%. The internet is not a left wing have.

    February 19, 2009 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  17. Gonzo in Houston

    I find it interesting that the most powerful media for the GOP is AM radio, the least advanced of the electronic media, and the most powerful media for the Democrats is the internet. There's a lesson in this somewhere.

    February 19, 2009 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  18. Jim in Bisbee

    I think the GOP should stick with what has worked for them in the past. Follow Newt's dogma and called the opposition names from behind partitions and bushes. Not That Bush though.

    And when they have something odious to say, resort to whispering beneath their white hoods.

    I hope it's a cold day in Hell before the GOP rules again. There was a reason the GOP was out for so long following the fall of McCarthy.

    February 19, 2009 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
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