As the nation mourns the death of Senator John McCain, one Republican — in a now-deleted Facebook comment just hours before McCain’s passing — alleged that the news was timed to hurt her Senate campaign.
On Friday, McCain’s family announced that the Republican senator would be ending treatment for brain cancer. Kelli Ward, an Arizona GOP candidate and supporter of President Donald Trump, then took to Facebook on Saturday where she and one of her campaign staff posited a theory about the news.
“I wonder if it were just a coincidence that Sen McCain released his statement on the kickoff day of Kelli Ward’s bus tour or if it was a plan to take media attention off her campaign,” the staffer wrote. “I’m not saying it was on purpose but it’s quite interesting.”
Ward replied in the comments: “I think they wanted to have a particular narrative that they hope is negative to me.”
The comments, now deleted, were captured by Arizona TV reporter Brahm Resnik and first reported by the Arizona Republic.
— BrahmResnik (@brahmresnik) August 25, 2018
In a follow-up post, Ward blamed the media for creating the unflattering “narrative” about the Facebook post.
Aaron Border, former second-vice chairman of a Maricopa County Republican Party group told The Arizona Republic that Ward’s comment was “wildly inappropriate.”
“It’s classless. It’s not decent … it’s very narcissistic,” said Border who is supporting Ward’s rival, Rep. Martha McSally in the GOP race. “It’s a narcissistic comment to sit there and think that the McCain family made this decision to interfere with your bus tour.”
In the upcoming Republican primary on Tuesday, August 28, Ward is up against McSally, the front-runner, and former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Ward has a long history of commenting about McCain, who defeated her in the 2016 Senate GOP primary.
At the time, Ward attacked McCain for his age and his criticism of Trump. In an interview with MSNBC, she said that as a physician, she knew “what happens to the body and the mind at the end of life,” adding that McCain has gotten “weak” and “old.”
We are saddened to hear of the passing of @SenJohnMcCain. His decades of service will not be forgotten by the men & women of Arizona. May God grant the McCain family comfort and peace during this difficult time.
— Dr. Kelli Ward (@kelliwardaz) August 26, 2018
On Saturday evening Ward took to twitter to offer her condolences to the McCain family: “His decades of service will not be forgotten by the men & women of Arizona.”