March 17th, 2009
11:55 AM ET
13 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. Kevin -- Indiana

    Megan McCain raises completely valid points, and the GOP will only further isolate themselves as a lunatic fringe if they continue to push away and repulse the people that actually try to think for themselves.

    This really underscores why the GOP is losing all the elections now. They've alienated most every group, and now wonder why they are the minority. Who has the GOP not insulted? Unless you think identically and believe 100% party dogma, and march lock-step with the mindless followers, you are cast out as a leper.

    Really, the GOP is resembling a cult these days, more than a party with ideas. The only ideas on the table I hear is "tax cut – tax cut – tax cut." That and "How about we do nothing and hope things work themselves out?"

    - another ex-republican that is disgusted by the party

    March 17, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  2. Denise in MD

    So, because Meghan McCain is constructively critical of the GOP, she's "bashing" it? Interesting. In all honesty, Meghan is one of very few relevant voices coming from the GOP today. She "gets" it. Too bad the rest of the party does not.

    March 17, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  3. Marydoe

    You're a reasonable person, Meghan McCain. Laura Ingraham, on the other hand, doesn't know the meaning of the word compromise. Life is a series of compromises. Looks like to me the public thinks so, too, given the latest numbers out on approval ratings for the president vs. the republicans in Congress.

    March 17, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  4. Sebastian, Baton Rouge, LA

    President Obama's comment was read off the cover of the magazine as an observation, "Seems she is battling a weight problem."

    Calling someone a "plus-sized model" has a negative connotation to it that was intended and received as delivered.

    Trying to cover the tracks by creating a straw man through the interjection of a month old discussion about a magazine cover is yet another weak defense on Ingraham's part.

    The real issue now is that someone dared push back and did so very directly. I think "kiss my @$$" was pretty darned pointed. Nothing veiled in that counter-attack.

    March 17, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  5. Jeff Anderson

    Ms. McCain should go on Laura's show and state exactly why she resents conservatives and expound on her political/cultural beliefs.

    March 17, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  6. ursula

    How do you respond to that? The republicans are crazy. I hope everyone remembers this wackiness during the next election cycle. The republican party appear to have no control whatsoever. Who in their right mind would vote for that?

    March 17, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  7. bob

    I can't agree with the characterization but if Meghan McCain is a "useful idiot" that puts her one up on Laura Ingraham – a useless idiot if there ever was one.

    Actually, I can think of at least two more – Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter.

    Wait, I can think of still more – George Bush, Dick Cheney, Michael Steele...

    March 17, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  8. TheDurkinKnight

    Meghan McCain isn't bashing the GOP, she took aim at ONE commentator (Anne Coulter) and made a very good point...Ingraham is the one who injected herself in the issue and I think she's trying to use it for publicity. Scoffing at McCain for suggesting the Repubs reach a compromise with the Dems is exactly the kind of behavior that people have chastised the Dems for when they forced the Stimulus package through. Glad to see Ingraham isn't a hypocrite or anything!

    March 17, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  9. ChrisO

    Great. Another right-wing person deciding who gets to weigh in on a particular issue. First, Meghan McCain is too fat. Now, she's not allowed to speak her mind until she's got a "with a lifetime of sacrifice and public service" under her belt. What, exactly, has Laura Ingraham contributed to the public good that allows her to discount the opinions of Megan McCain, or anyone for that matter? Her time in the public eye, along with Rush's, Coulter's etc., is coming to an end, and they're getting more desperate in their attempts to appear relevant. Pathetic.

    March 17, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  10. suresh

    The fact that stupid and divisive women like Ingram and Coulter get such a following by Republicans shows how low the party has gone down. It is no longer a party of ideas but a party of hate mongering.

    March 17, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  11. Bryan

    A "valley girl gone awry" and a "plus sized model?"

    Way to miss McCain's point, Ingraham. You say "get out of the punditry business" if you can't stand the heat ... um, punditry isn't by definition a mudslinging hatefest. Maybe for you on the extreme right because that's all you know ... but wow. What powerful debating skills you have: "I disagree with you" ... "Yeah? Well you're fat and stupid" – brilliant, Ms. Ingraham.

    March 17, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  12. newz4i

    Meghan, become an Independent again. Join the rest of us who WERE Republicans. We dropped out because we're Americans, not a party.

    March 17, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  13. GEE

    i love it repugs at war with each other i guess that what happens when you have nothing positive to say

    March 17, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  14. Barbara

    At least Meghan is useful which is more that I can for Ingraham!

    March 17, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  15. phoenix86

    Ingraham is right. Meghan McCain is acting foolishly and playing to the liberal press. That didn't work for her dad and it is not working for her.

    March 17, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  16. Tom

    It's incredible how easily conservative talkers lie.

    I saw Obama's interview with Lauer. He wasn't making fun of Jessica Simpson's weight. He was reading the headline for an image that was covering part of his family portrait.

    Come on. The lies have to stop.

    March 17, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  17. Frozone

    Funny how these conservative radio djs are always victims of misunderstandings. Ingraham made fun of Meghan McCain's weight and now doesn't have the guts to stand behind her comments. What a liar.

    March 17, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  18. ST

    Is it just me or are these people acting like 5 year olds? I don't blame Meghan McCain for standing up for herself, but all the name calling is really juvenile. Why can't there be an intelligent, adult conversation or debate among these folks without the childish name calling and bickering?

    March 17, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  19. Ohnoes

    And the Republicans wonder why they continue to fail?

    March 17, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  20. sully

    lol just what i needed to start my day.

    March 17, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  21. Anonymous

    Since when does being "plus sized" make your opinion invalid? I don't agree with the majority of Meghan's views, but I'm standing behind her on this. She shouldn't have to put up with it!

    March 17, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  22. random comment

    Laura Ingraham would have been taken far more seriously had she found factual/ideological issues to debate, not trivialities like hair color, age and physical appearance. But instead it's far safer to reduce the big issues to a catfight, and buffoon Meghan McCain. By saying Meghan's "being used," Ingraham is basically TELLING the Republican pundits to use Meghan McCain as a punching bag and ignore the deeper issues.

    March 17, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  23. "Demonization of Rush Limbaugh"

    That line cracks me up. Boss Limbaugh creates his own demonization when he hopes the President of our United States fails.

    March 17, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  24. Nick, Minneapolis, MN

    This is one Democrat who hopes Meghan McCain's media coverage never drops completely off. The idea of a "nice" and "smart" conservative is so off the wall to the far right that they see it as a threat. Morons like Ingraham can't realize that she's not being critical of the GOPs values – instead it's the dismissive, disrespectful, and hateful messengers who give the right wing its bad name.

    March 17, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  25. coeide

    Laura Ingraham is probably the most hate-filled person I can think of off the top of my head.

    Meghan is roughly my age and I think it is fantastic she has the guts to throw the BS flag and say Republicans simply cannot keep going down the same road that is obviously a dead end. As a Democrat I hope she fails miserably but I love that she is trying.

    March 17, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
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