Michelle Malkin came under fire for mocking the “ghost of John McCain” in remarks at the Conservative Political Action Committee’s conference, but the right-wing pundit refuses to back down from her remarks.
In her speech to the annual conference, Malkin spoke about the need for immigration reform and called out a number of politicians for their lack of support, including mentioning “the ghost of John McCain” as she pointed to the sky. As The HuffPost noted, Malkin came under fire and has now addressed the remarks in an appearance on Fox News — but said she would not apologize.
Malkin even doubled down on the criticism, saying that McCain was out of touch with the roots of the Republican Party.
“I’ve always had my heart in the place of the grassroots of the conservative movement, not the Republican Party,” she said. “The fact is that the ghost of John McCain and all of the other big business, Chamber of Commerce-type of Republicans that have been selling out the American people, that’s where the Republican Party needs to reconnect, and they can’t simply rely on the Democrat Party falling apart.”
Though John McCain was once one of the most popular Republican figures on the right and the party’s nominee for president in 2008, many have taken the lead of Donald Trump and turned on the late Republican Senator from Arizona. Trump frequently mocked McCain, even saying during the 2016 presidential campaign that he didn’t see McCain as a war hero since McCain was captured by the North Vietnamese. Donald Trump continued to mock McCain as he battled terminal cancer, and even got in a dig at McCain’s book sales while speaking to reporters after McCain’s death.
McCain’s lack of support for Trump’s border wall and for making the deciding vote that killed Trump’s effort to repeal Obamacare drew criticism among many Republicans who back Trump.
But Michelle Malkin’s criticism of John McCain dates back long before Donald Trump became a national figure in the Republican Party. She has long been critical of McCain’s immigration policies, even writing a 2010 op-ed in the Washington Examiner calling out McCain for seeming to go back and forth on the issue of border security.
Malkin’s latest slam of John McCain drew considerably more pushback, with many in the Republican Party saying it was beyond the pale and John McCain’s daughter, Meghan McCain, saying on Twitter that it was “ghoulish and deeply disturbed political propaganda.”