Meghan McCain to Amy Klobuchar: "Leave my father's legacy and memory out of presidential politics"

"The View" host tweeted her dismay at Klobuchar over the Minnesota senator's campaign anecdote about her late dad

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published May 28, 2019 9:06AM (EDT)

Meghan McCain; Amy Klobuchar (Getty/Tasos Katopodis/Brendan Smialowski)
Meghan McCain; Amy Klobuchar (Getty/Tasos Katopodis/Brendan Smialowski)

Meghan McCain, the daughter of the late Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., as well as a co-host of "The View," criticized Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota for telling an anecdote about her father during a recent campaign speech.

"The arc that we are on — this arc of justice, started the day after that dark inauguration. The day when I sat on that stage between Bernie and John McCain, and John McCain kept reciting to me names of dictators during that speech, because he knew more than any of us what we were facing as a nation. He understood it. He knew because he knew this man more than any of us did," Klobuchar said during an address in Iowa. The two senators appeared to share concerns over President Donald Trump developing into an authoritarian-style leader.

Meghan McCain responded to Klobuchar's anecdote with a tweet saying, "On behalf of the entire McCain family - @amyklobuchar please be respectful to all of us and leave my fathers legacy and memory out of presidential politics."

Tim Hogan, the campaign's communications director, did not directly address the question of whether Klobuchar would continue using that anecdote, although he did say in a public statement that "Senator Klobuchar had a long-time friendship with Senator McCain. She has defended him against President Trump’s attacks in the past, and she has deep respect for his family. While she was simply sharing a memory, she continues to believe that the best stories about Senator McCain are not about the views he had about President Trump — they are about McCain’s own valor and heroism."

Meghan McCain has had more than her share of differences with  Trump, even though her recent statement indicates she wants Democratic presidential candidates to refrain from using her father's name as they wage campaigns against the president. During her eulogy for the late Arizona senator last year, Meghan McCain remarked about "opportunistic appropriation" and the "cheap rhetoric from men who will never come near the sacrifice he gave so willingly," comments which many observers interpreted as swipes at Trump.

"He was a fire that burned bright. A few have resented that fire for the light it cast upon them, for the truth it revealed about their character, but my father never cared what they thought. And even that small number still have the opportunity, as long as they draw breath, to live up to the example of John McCain," Meghan McCain added.

The former Arizona senator himself denounced Trump on a number of occasions, most notably after the release of the "Access Hollywood" tape during the 2016 presidential election. After learning of the future president's bragging about sexually assaulting women, McCain withdrew his endorsement.

"I have wanted to support the candidate our party nominated. He was not my choice, but as a past nominee, I thought it important I respect the fact that Donald Trump won a majority of the delegates by the rules our party set. But Donald Trump’s behavior this week, concluding with the disclosure of his demeaning comments about women and his boasts about sexual assaults, make it impossible to continue to offer even conditional support for his candidacy," Sen. John McCain said in a statement to Time Magazine.

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

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