Last night on Fox’s Hannity and Colmes, Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) daughter Meghan explained that she could never bring herself to “get behind Pesident Bush” because of “what happened in 2000.” She was referring to a racist smear campaign run by Bush supporters in the 2000 South Carolina Republican primary.
Meghan McCain recalled, “It had to do with my little sister … And there are things that I don’t know if I’ll ever completely get over.” Watch it:
In 2004, Sen. McCain’s campaign manager Rick Davis wrote an article in which he explained the smear campaign that turned Meghan McCain against Bush:
John and his wife, Cindy, have an adopted daughter named Bridget. Cindy found Bridget at Mother Theresa’s orphanage in Bangladesh. … Bridget has dark skin. … Anonymous opponents used “push polling” to suggest that McCain’s Bangladeshi born daughter was his own, illegitimate black child.
In 2000, Sen. McCain held that those “anonymous opponents” were Bush adviser Tucker Eskew and Bush political strategist Karl Rove. McCain accused them of negative campaigning, saying that they had “unleashed the dogs of war.” Today, however, Eskew is Gov. Sarah Palin’s (R-AK) chief of staff and Karl Rove is an informal McCain campaign adviser.
Eskew has been instrumental in pushing the McCain-Palin campaign to adopt a Lee Atwater-style playbook. Independent organizations have debunked numerous McCain campaign smears. Still, Meghan McCain yesterday said, “[O]f course, I’m supporting my father.” She further claimed that the attacks in this election have “been particularly harsh on my family.”
COLMES: Is it true you voted for Kerry last time?
MCCAIN: I did, I voted for Kerry and Al Gore, yes.
COLMES: What happened? Oh your father ran, that’s what happened, right?
MCCAIN: You know — you mean what happened now?
COLMES: Well, I mean there was a transition for you in terms of what your.
MCCAIN: I can be behind my father all day every day.
MCCAIN: — until the end of time. I just couldn’t get behind President Bush. I just couldn’t. It’s personal.
COLMES: Yes. You couldn’t get behind President Bush?
MCCAIN: It’s personal. I was 19 at the time.
HANNITY: And it’s a primary 2000.
COLMES: Hold on, let’s.
MCCAIN: It had to do with my little sister, and like, you know, you were just saying that the wounds of a political child run really deep. And there are things that I don’t know if I’ll ever completely get over.
COLMES: Was it because of what happened in 2000 during the campaign?