Arizona GOP Senate candidate compares political correctness to cancer days after McCain's death

Arizona GOP Senate candidate Kelli Ward compared political correctness to cancer on Monday, just two days after Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainPoll: Sinema approval higher among Arizona Republicans than Democrats Meghan McCain: COVID-19 battle made me doubt if nation will recover from pandemic Biden's year two won't be about bipartisanship  MORE (R-Ariz.) died of brain cancer.

“Political correctness is like a cancer!” Ward tweeted.

McCain, who was a six-term United States senator from Arizona, died Saturday, a little more than a year after his diagnosis. He was 81.

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Ward sparked criticism earlier Saturday when she suggested that a Friday statement issued by McCain’s family about discontinuing treatment for his cancer was intended to hurt her campaign.

"I think they wanted to have a particular narrative that they hope is negative to me,” Ward commented on a since-deleted Facebook post by one of her campaign staffers who questioned the timing of the McCain family’s statement.

McCain died hours after she made the comment. In another Facebook comment, Ward appeared to blame the media for the reaction to her initial remarks.

"The media loves a narrative. I’ve said again and again to pray for Senator McCain & his family,” Ward said. “These decisions are terrible to have to make. I feel compassion for him and his family as they go through this. It’s not the McCains creating a narrative — it’s the media making something out of nothing. The media, the left, and the Establishment have the agenda."

Ward is running in the Republican primary for the Senate seat currently held by Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeFlake meets with Erdoğan in first official duties as US ambassador Poll: Sinema approval higher among Arizona Republicans than Democrats Cruz to get Nord Stream 2 vote as part of deal on Biden nominees MORE (R), who is retiring. Voters in Arizona will head to the polls Tuesday for the primary.

A poll conducted by Phoenix-based OH Predictive Insights in mid-June found that Rep. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) held a 14-point lead over Ward in the primary race. But an NBC News–Marist poll from around the same time found McSally with only a 2-point advantage.