Cindy McCain criticized the Arizona GOP in a podcast interview published Wednesday, saying the “local” Republican party is no longer the party she and her husband were a part of.
McCain was married to Arizona’s late Sen. John McCain, who was the 2008 Republican presidential nominee and represented the state for six terms in the Senate before his death in 2018.
Cindy McCain appeared on Politico’s “Women Rule” podcast, where she said the “local party in Arizona” is “not functioning well.”
She blasted the party for “excluding people” and “excluding people for the wrong reasons…If you’re not walking the line, then you’re out. That’s just not right. That’s not the party that my husband and I belonged to,” Cindy McCain said.
As a result of the GOP’s extreme shift, Cindy McCain said she wouldn’t be surprised to see a Democrat win the historically red state of Arizona in the 2020 presidential election. If a Democrat carried Arizona in 2020, it be for only the second time since President Harry Truman won the state in 1948.
McCain also lamented the ugliness and divisiveness of modern politics and said there is an “inability to even discuss issues” without degenerating into “name-calling and Twitter responses.”
McCain’s comments come after her husband was censured by the Arizona GOP in 2014 for being too liberal and famously feuded with President Trump after he swept into office in 2016.
The Arizona Republican Party is currently led by hard-right conservative Kelli Ward, a former state senator who unsuccessfully challenged McCain in Arizona’s 2016 Republican Senate primary and Martha McSally in the 2018 GOP primary.
Predictably, Cindy McCain’s prompted backlash from both sides on Twitter.