Meghan McCain Makes A Subtle Statement About Rush Limbaugh's Death

On Feb. 17, 2021, Rush Limbaugh died at age 70 from complications related to lung cancer. For those who don't know, Limbaugh was a well-known and controversial conservative radio host.

In the hours following the news, condolences began to pour out from the right. Former President Donald Trump called into Fox News to share his thoughts about the loss. "His fight was very, very courageous, and he was very, very sick," Trump said of Limbaugh, who had lung cancer at the time of his death, per USA Today. "In theory, he could have been gone four months ago, really," he added. "He was fighting to the end. He was a fighter. He was just a great gentleman." Other notable Republican figures also offered their condolences via social media. Kellyanne Conway called Limbaugh "an architect of the center-right movement" in a tweet. "History counts few entertainers among those who made a difference in the country. Rush Limbaugh did," wrote Bill O'Reilly

Although most Republicans made official statements following Limbaugh's death, Meghan McCain took a slightly different approach — here's what she had to say about the situation.

Meghan McCain deleted her tweet about Rush Limbaugh

Meghan McCain, a co-host on The View and the daughter of the late Arizona Sen. John McCain, has been a conservative voice for over a decade. Despite her Republican commitment, she was an outspoken critic of President Trump throughout his time in politics. Not only did she disagree with many of his political stances, but she was also equally critical about Trump's critiques of McCain after his death.

That's potentially one reason she shared her feeling on the less than glowing Twitter commentary that followed Rush Limbaugh's death in February 2021. "People who can't show grace when famous people they disagree with die reveal their true character and it only reflects on them. Everyone has a family and people who loved them," McCain wrote in a since-deleted Tweet. The tweet, which followers screenshotted, was deleted shortly after McCain posted it. It's unclear why McCain opted to delete the tweet.

McCain has come to the late radio personality's defense before. In one notable instance, she argued with View co-host Whoopi Goldberg that Limbaugh did deserve the medal of freedom awarded to him by Trump in 2020, per HuffPost.

Meghan McCain butted heads with Whoopi Goldberg over Rush Limbaugh's Presidential Medal of Freedom

In February 2020, former President Donald Trump awarded Rush Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom. But many critics, including The View co-host Whoopi Goldberg, didn't think Limbaugh deserved the honor.

"You know, I am very sorry that Rush is ill because you never want to wish bad stuff on people," Goldberg said on The View at the time, according to HuffPost. "He has stage 4 cancer. But I'm sorry, I thought that the Medal of Freedom was supposed to go to people who actually did stuff." Meghan McCain came to Limbaugh's defense, arguing that he "completely changed the paradigm of radio."

"[Limbaugh] has 30 million listeners a day," McCain said at the time, per HuffPost. "To put it in perspective, this show averages around 3 [million]." Whether or not his radio accomplishments made him worthy of the Medal of Freedom is up for debate. But her argument in favor of his Medal of Freedom is proof that McCain's now-deleted tweet isn't the first time she stuck by the controversial radio show host.

McCain didn't share the reason she deleted her tweet, but she's received plenty of backlash online from people reminding her that Limbaugh himself has spoken ill of the dead.

Twitter users remembered Rush Limbaugh speaking ill of the dead himself

Meghan McCain may have deleted her tweet, but other conservatives spoke highly of the often controversial radio host. Others pointed out hypocrisy.

"Rush Limbaugh changed the hearts and minds of so many Americans with his commentary and insight," tweeted U.S. Representative Lauren Boebert. "His great voice will be so deeply missed, but his impact will live on forever." "The legacy of Rush Limbaugh is clear: the most successful radio broadcaster in history," wrote Bill O'Reilly.

But for many people, Limbaugh's history of open hatred is the only legacy he'll leave behind. Furthermore, Twitter users pointed out a memorable instance in which Limbaugh celebrated the dead himself.

"Rush Limbaugh had a radio segment called 'AIDS Update' where he'd read out the names of gay people who had died and celebrate with horns and bells," tweeted British actor Harry Cook. "So the whole 'don't speak ill of the dead' thing doesn't apply to this absolute f***ing monster." (A 1990 article from the Iowa Gazette reports that Limbaugh indeed had a two-hour segment in which he played songs like "Kiss Him Goodbye" and "Looking For Love in All The Wrong Places" when discussing those who died of AIDS.)

Star Wars actor Mark Hamill also shared his thoughts on Limbaugh's death, including Bette Davis' quote about her nemesis, Joan Crawford. "'You should never say bad things about the dead, only good... Joan Crawford is dead. Good.'"