Meghan McCain Says Sarah Palin Could Win 2012; Sen. McCain ‘Coming Along’ on Gay Marriage

Jan 28, 2010 3:30pm

ABC News on Campus reporter Miles Doran blogs: While many were watching President Obama’s State of the Union address on television Wednesday night, about 400 people gathered at the University of Florida in Gainesville to hear Meghan McCain, daughter of senator and 2008 presidential candidate Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), speak and take questions.
 
The 25 year-old, self-described “progressive Republican” and supporter of marriage equality called for a return of civility to politics.
 
"I am asking the Republican party to stop being so stubborn and closed-minded," she said. "This party will never be able to lead effectively or be able to inspire a nation until they accept people like me."
 
For about 45 minutes she took questions from the audience.
 
On the Election, Sarah Palin and 2012 Since the 2008 election, McCain has kept her thoughts on her father’s running mate to herself, declining to comment on Sarah Palin in TV and online interviews.
 
“I liked Sarah,” McCain said, “To me she represents a lot of feminist ideals. Our politics differ.”
 
She added, “I can’t stand here and say I hate her…I think anybody that underestimates her at any point is very foolish.”
 
McCain said she couldn’t comment any further because she plans to go into great detail about her experiences and conversations with Palin in her new book, "Dirty Sexy Politics: A True Story," due to be released in August. The book is about life on her father’s campaign.
 
When questioned about the accuracy of the campaign stories in Mark Halperin and John Heilemann’s bestseller, Game Change, McCain quipped “My book will be much more accurate,” after admitting she had only read the excerpts of Game Change.
 
McCain was also asked if she thought Palin could win the presidential election if she ran for office in 2012.
 
“Oh sure,” McCain answered, “I honestly haven’t seen another candidate so far that I believe has the panache.”
 
Though McCain was not completely convinced Palin actually will seek office in 2012, McCain said if she did run, the primaries could “get dirty.”
 
Her Parents, and Gay Rights McCain’s mother, Cindy McCain, made headlines earlier this month when she stepped forward to support gay marriage by posing for an ad against California’s Proposition 8, which bans it.
 
“She’s so excited now,” the younger McCain said. “She’s like, ‘I want to come with you to Pride Week.’”
 
As for her father, who supports efforts to ban gay marriage in California, McCain said she is having conversations with him and taking things step-by-step.
 
“I think that he is coming along. He’s 73 years old. It’s difficult,” she said, “I keep telling people ‘You continue putting pressure on President Obama and I’ll continue putting pressure on my father.’”
 
Florida’s Senate Race A Quinnipiac University poll released this week found former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio with 47 percent support in the Florida Senate primary versus 44 percent for Gov. Charlie Crist, a difference within the survey’s margin of error.
 
The president of UF’s College Republicans asked McCain which candidate she likes best. McCain said she campaigned with Crist and sides with him because of his moderate views.
 
“I know it seems he’s made a lot of mistakes,” she said. “But I still think at the end of the day, he’s the better choice.”
 
McCain’s appearance was sponsored in part by UF’s student government. The university paid McCain $10,000.

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