Kelli Ward apologizes for suggesting McCain timed announcement to hurt her campaign

Republican Senate candidate Kelli Ward apologized Monday for suggesting...

Posted: Aug 28, 2018 8:54 PM

Republican Senate candidate Kelli Ward apologized Monday for suggesting an announcement by Sen. John McCain's family that he would end his cancer treatment was designed to hurt her campaign, saying her comment had been misinterpreted.

"I do understand how many could have misconstrued my comments as insensitive, and for this I apologize," Ward told reporters at her campaign headquarters. "The intention of my comments were in no way directed at Sen. McCain or his family."

Apologies

John McCain

Political Figures - US

In a Facebook post over the weekend -- following the McCain family's announcement, but before his death -- one of Ward's campaign staffers speculated that the timing might have been designed "to take media attention off her campaign." Ward seemed to agree, writing in response, "I think they wanted to have a particular narrative that they hope is negative to me."

Reading from a written statement Monday, Ward said she hoped to "set the record straight" regarding her comment, which has sparked backlash in the final stretch of her primary campaign. On Tuesday, she will face off against Rep. Martha McSally, the front-runner, and former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio for the Republican nomination in the race to succeed Sen. Jeff Flake.

"To be clear, my comments were in no way directed at Sen. McCain or at his family or his team," she said, adding that they were "in reference to the media" and its "hope for a narrative that would hinder the momentum of our campaign."

Ward acknowledged that she and McCain, whom she had challenged in the 2016 Republican primary, "held different political views on many, many things -- on domestic policy, foreign policy, and of course, on President Trump." But, Ward added, "our differences were always strictly political."

McCain remained a central bogeyman in Ward's campaign this year, even as he fought brain cancer.

Ward has also at times seemingly crossed a line into insensitive rhetoric. On Monday, she tweeted, "Political correctness is like a cancer!"

Ward later stood by that wording, saying, "Political correctness, yes, is exactly like a cancer."

She also drew public scorn last year when she said McCain should step down from the Senate "as quickly as possible," suggesting he would not be able to perform his duties.

Ward defended that statement again Monday, explaining, "If you aren't able to do that job and do it well, then you should" resign.

Asked whether she could better express herself, the former state senator said her style is to "talk directly to the people."

"I'm not a robot. I'm not an automaton. I'm not somebody who's programmed with talking points," Ward said. "I don't mean to offend people, I just mean to speak directly to people, and I think that's why people want me in this race."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 33558

Reported Deaths: 2110
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion9616571
Lake3538185
Cass15897
Allen145168
St. Joseph124834
Elkhart116328
Hendricks116171
Hamilton115693
Johnson1093108
Madison58559
Porter51627
Bartholomew50034
Clark49241
LaPorte42423
Howard39526
Tippecanoe3903
Jackson3791
Delaware37736
Shelby36822
Hancock32728
Floyd31839
Boone30935
Morgan27824
Vanderburgh2652
Montgomery23517
White2318
Decatur22431
Clinton2231
Noble21121
Grant20621
Harrison19221
Dubois1923
Henry16910
Greene16824
Monroe16612
Warrick16628
Dearborn16621
Vigo1648
Lawrence15423
Miami1411
Putnam1367
Jennings1304
Orange12522
Scott1193
Kosciusko1111
Franklin1098
Ripley1086
Carroll922
Marshall901
Daviess8516
Steuben812
Newton7710
Wayne776
Fayette767
Wabash762
LaGrange712
Jasper651
Washington521
Jay500
Fulton481
Clay471
Rush462
Randolph463
Pulaski460
Jefferson431
Whitley393
Starke363
Sullivan341
Owen341
Brown331
DeKalb331
Perry310
Benton300
Knox290
Wells280
Huntington272
Tipton251
Crawford240
Blackford242
Fountain202
Switzerland200
Spencer191
Parke170
Posey160
Gibson142
Adams131
Ohio130
Warren121
Martin110
Vermillion100
Union80
Pike60
Unassigned0164

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 117455

Reported Deaths: 5270
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook762663570
Lake8063287
DuPage7543362
Kane6188170
Will5442269
Winnebago215654
McHenry151471
St. Clair109179
Kankakee87144
Kendall76919
Rock Island64624
Champaign6177
Madison56558
Boone42817
DeKalb3924
Sangamon34629
Jackson26810
Randolph2674
McLean21713
Peoria2128
Ogle2023
Stephenson1992
Macon19519
Clinton18117
Union1519
LaSalle14713
Whiteside13512
Iroquois1314
Coles12514
Unassigned1250
Out of IL1191
Warren1130
Jefferson10116
Knox970
Grundy952
Monroe9411
McDonough878
Lee791
Cass710
Tazewell714
Henry680
Williamson642
Pulaski510
Marion500
Jasper457
Macoupin452
Adams441
Perry420
Montgomery391
Vermilion391
Morgan351
Christian334
Jo Daviess320
Livingston322
Douglas260
Menard210
Fayette203
Ford201
Jersey201
Woodford192
Mason180
Washington180
Mercer170
Hancock160
Shelby161
Bureau151
Carroll142
Bond121
Franklin120
Piatt120
Schuyler120
Clark110
Crawford110
Fulton110
Moultrie110
Brown100
Cumberland100
Logan100
Wayne91
Alexander80
Henderson80
Effingham71
Johnson70
Massac70
Saline70
Greene50
Marshall50
De Witt40
Lawrence40
Richland30
Stark30
Clay20
Edwards20
Gallatin20
Hamilton20
Wabash20
White20
Calhoun10
Edgar10
Hardin10
Pike10
Pope10
Putnam10
Terre Haute
Broken Clouds
61° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 61°
Robinson
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 61°
Indianapolis
Broken Clouds
63° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 63°
Rockville
Clear
60° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 60°
Casey
Clear
62° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 62°
Brazil
Broken Clouds
61° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 61°
Marshall
Broken Clouds
61° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 61°
A wonderful Saturday with sunshine expected!
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events