McCain challenger Dr. Kelli Ward hit back Wednesday at “offensive” attacks from Sen. John McCain and his “establishment cronies” after a former McCain senior adviser called conservative leader Governor Sarah Palin — McCain’s 2008 Presidential running mate — “classless,” incompetent, and a “moron.”
McCain himself has assailed conservatives and conservative leaders as “wacko birds” and “crazies.” Following Palin’s Tuesday endorsement of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, a former McCain senior advisor told Politico’s Ben Schreckinger the endorsement is “just classless.” The McCain insider went on to call the strong conservative leader, “one of America’s most astounding morons” and essentially incompetent.
McCain primary election challenger Dr. Kelli Ward — a former Arizona State Senator — fired back defending Palin:
No matter who Sarah Palin is supporting for president, insider attacks like this are offensive. She is an accomplished, effective leader who has been a game changer in both Alaska and the entire country. She inspires the little guy. She is a powerful female conservative. She has given small government Republicans across the country a voice that the elite media and career politicians seek to silence at every turn. Love her or hate her, hearing Republicans calling her names and belittling her is offensive on every level.
Ward went on to comment on an overarching theme coming from McCain and his allies:
John McCain and his DC Establishment cronies have shown their true colors time and time again. They never miss an opportunity to attack a conservative expressing their beliefs. From calling those of us that want stronger border security and fiscal responsibility “wacko birds,” to his votes in the Senate for more gun control. He refuses to acknowledge that his policies, the policies of the Beltway, are at fault for the predicament our nation is currently in.
Trump held a rally in Arizona last July that drew a crowd in excess of 10,000. Following the event McCain told the New Yorker, “This performance with our friend out in Phoenix is very hurtful to me.” McCain went on to claim that Trump’s rally, “fired up the crazies.”
In March 2013, McCain lashed out at “Rand Paul, [Ted] Cruz, [Justin] Amash, whoever” after a Senate filibuster, calling them “wacko birds.” The comment came on the heels of a dinner McCain shared with President Barack Obama, Sen. Lindsey Graham, and a small contingent of select legislators.
McCain’s own party in Arizona censured the senator in January 2014 over excessive liberal voting. The entrenched Republican senator’s support for the “Gang of Eight” amnesty plan was among specific examples cited at the time.
Following the censure, Politico reported that McCain and his allies hit back in a political cleansing of Arizona GOP leadership, systematically ejecting conservative Republicans. The report stated that McCain’s team sought to, “unseat conservative activists who hold obscure, but influential, local party offices.”
Gun Owner’s of America endorsed Ward over McCain citing Ward’s strong voting history and McCain’s insufficient support of the Second Amendment.
Last Saturday the Republican Party of Maricopa County — which was among those who censured McCain in 2014 — voted to endorse “anybody but McCain.”
Ward raised over half a million dollars in her first quarter of fundraising, more than any other insurgent Senate candidate in recent history other than Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).
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