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'No peace' between Meghan McCain and U.S. Senate hopeful Kari Lake

Meghan McCain says Republican Kari Lake’s attempts to mend bridges that Lake burned as a gubernatorial candidate in 2022 are disingenuous and likely fueled by poor polling in the U.S. Senate race that Lake is now running in.

Lake extended what her campaign described as an “olive branch” to McCain on social media Wednesday,  two days after Lake claimed in an interview with KTAR (92.3 FM) that her repeated broadsides against the McCain family and Republicans loyal to the late U.S. Sen. John McCain were said in jest.

In August 2022, after winning the GOP nomination in the race to be Arizona’s next governor, Lake boasted that she “drove a stake through the heart of the McCain machine.” 

And at a November 2022 campaign rally, Lake asked, “We don’t have any McCain Republicans here, do we? Get the hell out!”

“I think that if John McCain, who had a great sense of humor, would have heard it, he would have laughed,” Lake said Monday of her previous remarks.

Meghan McCain isn’t laughing — and in  a social media response to Lake’s KTAR interview, wrote, “No peace, b----.”

Lake issued a lengthy response on X, formerly known as Twitter,directly to the younger McCain on Wednesday morning. She appealed to Meghan McCain as a fellow mother of two, and as someone who also lost a father to cancer. John McCain was diagnosed with glioblastoma more than a year before he passed away in 2018.

“I’m [sic] know we both agree that our children’s future is too important to let it slip away over past grudges or hurt feelings,” Lake said to Meghan McCain.

"I value you. I value your family and I value the passion you have for our state," Lake added. "I’d love nothing more than to buy you a beer, a coffee or lunch and pick your brain about how we can work together to strengthen our state."

Meghan McCain responded that same morning,  saying again, “NO PEACE, B****!”

“I breathe fire for my family and never forgive those who have trashed us — particularly my Dad in death,” she added in a later post.

In an interview with KTAR later Wednesday, Meghan McCain speculated that “the internal polling for Kari Lake’s campaign must just be staggeringly awful and scary to them when it comes to independents and McCain Republicans not voting for her.”

“There is a giant swath of Arizonans who will never vote for this woman in no small part because of how much she attacked my dad, who is a beloved Arizona icon,” she added.

The spat, which played out all week on the radio and on social media, is a reminder of Lake’s woes with the Republican electorate. 

Her fierce loyalty to former President Donald Trump, and repetition of Trump’s claims of stolen elections in 2020 and 2022, have secured a solid base among some GOP voters and made her the frontrunner for the Republican nomination in the U.S. Senate primary in July.

But her previous campaign trail rants against more centrist Republicans and independents helped cost Lake the gubernatorial election in 2022 —  11% of voters identifying as Republicans voted to elect Democrat Katie Hobbs as governor, according to the Associated Press — and could hurt her again in November in a head-to-head campaign against Congressman Ruben Gallego, the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination in the U.S. Senate race.

Gallego joined the fray on Wednesday by  tweeting a video montage of Lake’s various barbs against the McCain family.

Lake’s campaign responded by  tweeting a roundup of negative comments Gallego previously made against John McCain.

Incumbent independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema has not yet announced whether she’ll run for reelection.

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Ben Giles is a senior editor at KJZZ.