March 17th, 2009
11:55 AM ET
14 years ago

Ingraham to Meghan McCain: You’re a ‘useful idiot’

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" Meghan McCain and Laura Ingraham are in a war of words."]

(CNN) –– Laura Ingraham is calling Meghan McCain a "useful idiot" and a "flavor of the month" - the latest salvo in the war of words between the conservative radio host and the daughter of former Republican presidential candidate John McCain.

"Memo to Meghan McCain: Enjoy the media coverage while it lasts, but know you're being used," writes Ingraham, in a blog post titled "'USEFUL IDIOT' WATCH." "You are the flavor of the month in left-wing media land because you are a Republican bashing the GOP. Likewise, your dad is most popular among the same people when he is slamming his Republican brethren in full-blown 'maverick' fashion. At least he backs up his views with a lifetime of sacrifice and public service.

Ingraham says liberals are taking a single satirical comment out of context "to paint Meghan as the victim of a right-wing hate crime" and "malign outspoken conservatives."

The radio host mocked McCain on her show last week over comments urging Republicans to seek compromise with Democrats. She referred to McCain “a Valley Girl gone awry” and a “plus-sized model.”

Ingraham calls the furor over her remark "manufactured and totally phony."

"This comes from the same playbook responsible for the ongoing demonization of Rush Limbaugh," she writes.

"If any off-the-cuff remark about a woman's size was condemnable, then where was the outrage when President Obama made a passing reference to Jessica Simpson's 'weight battle' during his Super Bowl interview with Matt Lauer?" she asked, referring to a headline the president noted on a magazine cover during his interview with the NBC anchor.

Ingraham pointed to digs Rush Limbaugh has gotten over his weight, and references to herself and Ann Coulter as "peroxide blondes."

(Update: John McCain responds after the jump)

"I laughed it off. If you can't stand the heat...get out of the punditry business," she writes. "Next time, just for fun, Meghan should pretend that she's had a change of heart and is now a pro-life conservative. Then she'll really see how the Mean Girls treatment feels."

Meghan McCain has taken aim at both Ingraham and Coulter over the past week during a media blitz that's included blog posts and appearances on network television.
On The View yesterday, she said she felt like model Tyra Banks, who “went on her show in her bathing suit and said, ‘Kiss my fat ass.’”

“That’s what I feel right now,” McCain said. “I’m like, ‘Kiss my fat ass!’”

Update: In a Tuesday afternoon interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos on Twitter, Sen. John McCain repeated what seems to be his standard response to his daughter's string of headline-grabbing statements. "I'm proud of my daughter and she has a right to her opinions," he said, adding that "like any family we agree on some things and disagree on others."

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soundoff (257 Responses)
  1. Bill

    These Republicans are MEAN. Best to stay far away from their cages at this point. We may need to hose them down with cold water later.

    March 17, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  2. RevC

    Heh – poor Miss McCain's fallen into one of the nastiest viper-pits in recent memory, and is reaping the whirlwind; I say good for them all! Let the Repugs chew each other to bits!

    March 17, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  3. Joe from Oklahoma

    I love a good cat fight...But this is pointless.

    March 17, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  4. John

    As a liberal, I like Meghan McCain simply because she actually recognizes that the Republican Party is going to have to change and grow to stay viable. The Democrats do not remain controlled by segregationist Dixiecrats. The Democratic Party of today is not what it was 50 years ago, or 100 years ago. The Republican Party has this fanatical adherence to obsolete issues and ideals that the new generation, my generation and Meghan McCain's generation, just don't care about. It plays great with 23% of the country, but they're just not going to win elections outside of the South, the Bible Belt, and rural areas. I would be fine with that, except that our political system needs to have two parties, and preferably more then that. Even as a Democrat, I do not want to see a country with nothing but Democrats in any office that is statewide (governor, etc) or higher.

    If the Republican Party stopped listening to obsolete idiot demagogues who represent decaying and dying ideologies, like Rush, Dr Laura, Glenn Beck, O'Reilly, etc, and started listening to the few young people they are lucky to have in the GOP, they might have a chance of remaining a viable political party. The problem the Republicans face is that they've hung their hats on Christian religious extremism, and it is not a viewpoint that allows for a variety of goals and beliefs under one big tent. The Democrats welcome both liberal Democrats, conservative Democrats, moderate Democrats, and anybody else. The Republicans have made it clear that unless you toe a right-wing religious conservative line, and pay homage to the correct talking heads, you're a tool of the liberal media, a traitor to the Party, and not welcome among the Republicans.

    Please turn it around Republicans. Less crazy, more viewpoints.

    March 17, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  5. Sharon

    I am a liberal democrat and I think what Meghan McCain is saying is the truth about her party...She's a breath of fresh air...Meghan is more of a Democrat than she thinks...A young lady like her should open up her eyes and join the Democratswho won't insult her like the Right Wing Fringe Lunatics!!! You go Meghan!!!!

    March 17, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  6. CFO

    This is quite childish. Are there really no problems in the country/world that these two women feel as though they need to use their respective platforms to comment on one another. Please...people are seriously hurting right now and reading news like this only irritates those that have real problems. If the GOP has nothing to offer then they should take a back seat and let those interested in thinking of solutions occupy the airwaves. This is nonsense and should not be encouraged.

    March 17, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  7. jenn

    This is who the Republican Party is–a group of mean-spirited, shallow ideologues who resort to ad hominem attacks when all else fails.

    John McCain sold out to these people after the 2000 election, despite the nasty Bush-Rove attacks on his family, and consequently I don't feel sorry for him. I do feel sorry for Meghan McCain, however. She's apparently just realized how nasty so many Republican idols are, and they're going to tear her apart for speaking out. Charming bunch!

    March 17, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  8. Ohio Woman

    I can't believe the hate that comes from Ingraham's mouth. How sad that she portrays herself as such a devout Christian and this is how she makes a living. Americans are tired of this and we are on the world stage. Coulter is even worse with her screeching.

    March 17, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  9. Susan

    Ingraham is no pundit. She is a very old "mean girl". You go Meghan.

    March 17, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  10. Robin in SC

    These right-wingers are bashing anybody and everybody who speaks out against the extremism that has become the GOP. Let them destroy themselves.

    March 17, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  11. Patty, NH

    You go, Meghan! The Republican party should be listening to this insightful young lady. People like Coulter need to get with the future and begin working FOR OUR COUNTRY AND NOT AGAINST IT. We have a Democratic President who is really trying to help people. Republicans...get with the program. Your divisiveness tells me that you put yourself and your party before your country. What hypocrites!

    March 17, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  12. Dan

    I hope Meghan turns Democrat as a result of all of this...
    it would be the smartest move she ever made!

    March 17, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  13. Tina

    Keep talking Laura. You just keep making yourself (and your party) look worse.

    March 17, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  14. Ben

    leave Miss McCain alone....for once I'm inclined to sympathize with a one should be persecuted for their weight...she is clearly trying to turn over a new leaf and escape the evil and backwardness of the GOP, maybe even update it from the 1700s

    March 17, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  15. itbeme

    wow....the repukes are starting to go after each other....this can't be good.....

    L M A O

    I think Megan is really a closet dem and doesn't want to tell daddy..

    March 17, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  16. jean in florida

    Just let them fight,it's good for dnc. What does not kill you,makes you stronger!

    March 17, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  17. Ire Verent

    Cat fight. I think Laura Ingraham should take Meghan's advice and pucker up. Listening to the Republican party these days is like watching some hyenas fight over meat scraps.

    March 17, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  18. jon

    It's like almost everyone speaking for the Republican party comes right out of the middle ages. They are so mean-spirited that I cannot even imagine being in the same room or in the same world as these people. And to top it off, they have NO SHAME!

    March 17, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  19. Amy

    Ms. Ingraham,

    If more Conservatives were like Meghan McCain maybe this country would be more successful solving our most difficult issues. It's people like you, Ms. Ingraham, who are the cause of difficulty getting those difficult issues solved.


    Keep it up! Know that people like me appreciate what you are saying. It appears that even though you are younger, you have far more common sense than Ms. Ingraham.

    March 17, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  20. David

    Ah yes, the "blame the media" crowd. For about half a day there I thought these folks grew up.

    March 17, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  21. MJ

    Oh this is great. I got my popcorn out, feet up... This aught to be entertaining.

    March 17, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  22. DairylandDemocrat

    If the Party of No would only listen to Meghan McCain they'd realize she makes real sense. Theres something to be said about reaching out to independents and young Americans. Meghan has learned the lesson of the last two elections, other republicans have not.

    That said, its fun to just sit back and watch the republicans continue to self-destruct. A recap of recent entertaining events include: Michael Steele is a clown, their rising star Bobby Jindal humiliated himself, conservatives like Mark Sanford are still tragically out of touch, House and Senate Republicans can't come up with anything but total obstruction, the old guard is cannibalizing one of the only younger republicans that has anything close to a plan, all the while Rush Limbaugh is in control. Great work guys!

    March 17, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  23. Akinola

    Ingraham says liberals are taking a single satirical comment out of context "to paint Meghan as the victim of a right-wing hate crime" and "malign outspoken conservatives.

    Hey woman, dont drag liberals into this. This is between the 2 of you. We are just watching from the sideines, popcorn in hand.

    March 17, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  24. Chibeardan

    Not Dr. Laura is showing off the brain that neconservatives have – and I sincerely mean that one-half of an improperly working brain that seems to be shared by 20-30 idiotic conservative commentators. Even her come back was wrong. How are these people so wrong so much of the itme and still have an audience?

    By the way, Obama was just reading the cover of the magazine – he was not implying Simpson had a weight problem. Of course Not Dr. Laura is too stupid – and I mean dumber than a box of rocks kind of stupid (although that probably is being somewhat mean to a box of rocks) – to realize that.

    March 17, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  25. Greg Bruno

    This is the kind of brainless nastiness that has characterized the Republican party in the Limbaugh era. Does Ingraham think that she is being constructive in some way? Probably not. Like many who like to rant and rave over everything they don't like, she is merely being childish and selfish.

    March 17, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
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