The Twitterverse scratched its collective head on Memorial Day as Meghan McCain, the daughter of the late GOP Arizona Sen. John McCain, tweeted at Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar to keep her father’s name out of “presidential politics.”
“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,” McCain, a co-host on the popular daytime television show “The View,” wrote.
McCain’s comments were in response to a story Klobuchar told at a 2020 presidential campaign event in Iowa over the weekend.
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.— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) May 27, 2019
The Minnesota Democrat told the story of when the late McCain, whom she has called her “mentor,” began rattling off names to her of authoritarian leaders as they listened to President Donald Trump’s 2017 inauguration speech, suggesting that he was joining their ranks.
“The arc that we are on, this arc of justice, started the day after that dark inauguration,” Klobuchar said. “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.”
That was the first time Klobuchar publicly relayed the story about McCain’s side comments to her during Trump’s inauguration, though she has defended the late senator and 2008 Republican presidential nominee against verbal attacks from the president. Trump continued to speak negatively about McCain even months after his death.
In a statement Monday, Klobuchar’s staff did not say whether she would stop invoking her friendship with McCain on the campaign trail.
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“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,” Tim Hogan, the Klobuchar campaign’s communications director, said. “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.”
Most people on Twitter appeared mystified by what in Klobuchar’s comments over the weekend seemed to set Meghan McCain off.
As of Tuesday at noon, the tweet had over 14,000 replies and less than 1,000 retweets, a “ratio” that typically signifies either confusion or outrage on the social network platform.
“Senator Klobuchar stood up for your father and respected him and supported him. No one minded that. She didn’t say anything wrong today,” one user responded.
Senator Klobuchar stood up for your father and respected him and supported him. No one minded that. She didn’t say anything wrong today.— Christine Beal (@Limbictweets) May 28, 2019
McCain was one of the few Republican senators to rescind his endorsement of Trump before the 2016 election after a tape emerged of the future president bragging about sexually assaulting women to “Access Hollywood” anchor Billy Bush in the early 2000s.
McCain died of brain cancer last August.