Sen. John McCain’s daughter says that her father is “depressed” and “frustrated” with the impact the “hyper-conservative wing of the party” is having on national politics, including on the recent government shutdown.
“We’re both frustrated with the idea that only the hyper-conservative wing of the party is going to represent the masses,” Meghan McCain said in a joint interview with ABC and Yahoo News.
Ms. McCain, who has her own reality show “Raising McCain,” said the last time she can remember her father was so depressed about the state of politics was after his failed 2008 presidential bid.
“He is so depressed. He is so downtrodden,” the 29-year-old said. “The way he’s talking about it, how he’s never seen it this bad in his 30-plus years in office.”
Mr. McCain, Arizona Republican, has been one of the most vocal critics of the effort led by Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah to reject any spending bills that included funds for Obamacare, a strategy that a number of Republicans say was doomed to fail and led the nation into a 16-day government shutdown that has hurt the GOP’s national brand.
Mr. McCain said that the politics that led to the shutdown marked “one of the more shameful chapters that I have seen in the years I have spent here in the Senate.”
Mr. McCain announced this week that he is flirting with running for a sixth term in the Senate — a move that would make the 77-year-old a target of tea party activists, who think he has sold out conservatism and is part of the problem in Washington.
Some big GOP donors say that Mr. McCain is right to push back against tea party.
Ms. McCain, though, said she has reservations about her father seeking another term.
“My father has more energy than I do,” Ms. McCain said. “So it is not his age, it is just the idea of having another dirty tea party election.”
Ms. McCain said that the GOP is still struggling to reach out to young voters.
“Republicans are giving young people no reason to join their party right now,” she said.