Family members of the late Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainVoto Latino CEO: Sinema will have a 'very difficult pathway' in 2024 reelection Meghan McCain rips 'selfish' Sarah Palin for dining out despite COVID-19 diagnosis Poll: Sinema approval higher among Arizona Republicans than Democrats MORE (R-Ariz.) say they are “disappointed” in the GOP for using clips of McCain in a series of attack ads, Politico reported Wednesday.
Rick Davis, a former adviser to McCain and a friend of the family, told Politico that the McCains are upset that the senator’s image and words are being “weaponized” just weeks after his death.
“The family is disappointed that John's image is being weaponized this election cycle so soon after his passing, and they had hoped there would be a more appropriate amount of time for people to think about his final message before they began to politicize him,” Davis said.
The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) features McCain criticizing Democratic candidates in the past in two ads that were released Wednesday. A spokesperson for the NRCC declined to comment on the ads to Politico.
An unnamed source close to the family told Politico that the NRCC did not ask the McCain family or other associates for permission to use his comments.
A Democratic candidate in New Jersey is also facing criticism for using McCain’s comments in a campaign ad. Tom Malinowski, who is running in a New Jersey House district, is running an ad that includes a clip of McCain praising Malinowski for opposing torture.
A source close to the matter said Malinowski sought permission from McCain's family to use the senator's comments but there were no objections.
Some Republican figures have called for Malinowski to stop using McCain in the ad, according to Politico.
"To wait until the passing of Senator McCain to release a political ad featuring his kind words, and implying support for Malinowski, a claim that McCain is no longer here to refute, is disgusting," said Matt Brooks, the executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition.
McCain died last month at age 81, about a year after being diagnosed with brain cancer.