Family members of the late Senator John McCain have criticized the Republican Party for using McCain in their midterm election campaign ads.
The National Republican Congressional Committee released two ads, featuring McCain on Wednesday, both of which show him criticizing Democratic candidates, Politico reported.
A family friend of the McCains,’ and former adviser to the late senator, Rick Davis, told Politico that the family is disappointed that the NRCC has “weaponized” McCain’s comments in their political ads so close to his death.
The two ads show McCain criticizing Elissa Slotkin, who was an Obama administration official, and another with him speaking to the camera about Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick, a Congresswoman who ran against the senator in 2016, and is running for a seat in the House of Representatives this year
“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 told POLITICO.
However, the same is being done on the other side of the aisle with Democrat Tom Malinowski, who is running for Congress in New Jersey, using a clip of McCain praising him as part of his campaign strategy.
Republicans aren’t thrilled about that, with Matt Brooks, the executive director of the Republican Jewish coalition, calling for Malinowski to take the ad down.
“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,” Brooks said.
Malinowski’s campaign said Brooks’ criticism was incorrect.
“Tom has been in touch with Senator McCain’s representatives throughout the campaign and has kept them in the loop since we initially used the footage back in February, including prior to running this ad. They expressed no objections to Tom using this footage or speaking about his work with Senator McCain,” said Benji Schwartz, Malinowski’s communications director.
The NRCC declined to comment on the ads with a spokesman saying that the content could speak for itself.