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Meghan McCain says Kari Lake’s comments about John McCain were ‘disgusting and hateful’

“My father will always be an icon, and the people of Arizona deserve someone better than Kari Lake,” McCain said of the Republican gubernatorial candidate.

Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake at a rally with former president Donald Trump on Oct. 9, 2022, in Mesa, Ariz.Matt York/Associated Press

Meghan McCain denounced comments on Monday that Kari Lake, the Republican nominee for Arizona governor, made about her late father, former Sen. John McCain, during a campaign rally last week, calling the remarks “bile trash.”

McCain, a television personality and political analyst, said on Twitter that her family has “unfortunately” grown accustomed to attacks on her father, a Republican presidential candidate in 2008, and his political legacy over the years. She referred to Lake’s statements as “disgusting and hateful.”

At an event last Friday, Lake, a former television news anchor, bashed John McCain’s independent-minded brand of politics. John McCain, who died in 2018, earned the title of “maverick” over the course of his three decades serving Arizona in the Senate.


“We don’t have any McCain Republicans in here, do we? Well, get the hell out!” she said to the audience. “It was the party of McCain ... Boy, Arizona has delivered some losers, haven’t they?”

Lake, who has been embraced by Donald Trump and his supporters, has repeatedly criticized John McCain for sometimes bucking the Republican Party by compromising with Democrats on certain policy issues.

“We drove a stake in the heart of the McCain machine,” Lake, an election denier, said in a speech just days after she won the Republican primary for governor.

Her remarks were in stark contrast to those she made about the late senator after he died, when she referred to him as the “Maverick” and called him a “war hero, icon, and a force to be reckoned with.”

Lake is locked in a close race for governor with Katie Hobbs, a Democrat and Arizona’s secretary of state.

Hobbs also spoke out against Lake’s remarks, saying that she “demeans national heroes like John McCain who served our state diligently” and “continues to demonstrate she will only represent the extreme factions of her party, those who spew hate and conspiracy theories,” according to a statement in the Arizona Mirror.


On Monday, Meghan McCain said Lake was not worthy of being elected governor.

“My father will always be an icon and the people of Arizona deserve someone better than Kari Lake,” she said.

Correction: Due to an editing error, an earlier version of this story had the incorrect date for when John McCain was a presidential candidate. The Globe regrets the error.

Shannon Larson can be reached at shannon.larson@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @shannonlarson98.