The party announced its intentions to censure Cindy McCain—the widow of late Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.—last week, arguing she helped Democrats win Arizona, which has long been a Republican stronghold.
This kind of action is not unprecedented: John McCain himself was censured by his state party in 2014 for what they called an insufficiently conservative voting record.
The censure resolution, which the party will vote on at the end of the month, says McCain “has supported leftist causes such as gay marriage, growth of the administrative state, and others that run counter to Republican values, a Republican form of government, and the U.S. Constitution.”
The resolution also accuses McCain of supporting “globalist policies and candidates, including Democrats such as Joe Biden, in direct opposition to Republican values, the interests of the American people, and the Constitution of the United States.”
Cindy McCain, however, said the only person to blame for turning Arizona blue is Kelli Ward, the chairwoman of Arizona’s Republican Party.
“I’m not surprised by the continuous insults and personal attacks from Arizona GOP Chairman Kelli Ward,” McCain said.
“She’s shown how attacking Republicans like me can impact elections,” McCain continued. “Her involvement in both Senate elections to replace Jeff Flake and my husband John McCain, two regular targets of her personal attacks, resulted in Democrat wins.”
McCain went on to say that the last time Arizona had backed Democrats was a quarter-century ago, well before her husband’s ill-fated 2008 run against Barack Obama as the losing Republican presidential candidate.
“As Chairman of the AZGOP she managed to turn Arizona blue in November for the first time since 1996,” McCain said. “Maybe she should be reminded that my husband never lost an Arizona election since his first win in 1982; he and Governor [Doug] Ducey are the last two Republicans to win statewide races in Arizona,” McCain continued.
Ducey also has been criticized widely for being a weak Republican and for failing to take a more assertive role in the election crisis, where vote fraud in places like Phoenix is suspected to have swung the race for Biden.
In response to McCain’s accusations, state GOP spokesperson Zachery Henry accused her of pushing a “false narrative” about a personal grudge.
“As any leader in the Republican Party knows, state party bylaws allow for resolutions to be brought forward and then voted on by the body,” he said in a statement.
“While Mrs. McCain would like nothing more than to spin up a false narrative that this is about some perceived grudge between her and Chairwoman Ward, it is in fact a tragic indictment by the Republican Party of Arizona at large of her own efforts to campaign for and support left-wing Democratic candidates,” he added.