Everything Meghan McCain Has Had To Apologize For

Meghan McCain, famous daughter of the late Senator John McCain, has managed to build a media career out of being John McCain's kid. She started in the aughts as a blogger called "McCain Blogette," winning fans and followers as she tagged along on her father's failed presidential campaign against then-Senator Barack Obama. She parlayed the success of the blog into a column at the Daily Beast, several books (including one called "My Dad, John McCain"), and ultimately a hosting spot on "The View."

Meghan once told The New York Times that she and her father, John McCain, were a lot alike. "We're both very strong-willed and ambitious," she said, "and I think we have a similar sense of humor. I think we both live our lives kind of fearlessly and without apologizing." And like many other public figures who are quick to share their takes on hot-button issues, Meghan has found herself delivering a mea culpa on more than one occasion. Whether it be for spilling what happened at the end of a major TV series hours after the finale aired or attempting to shrug off blatantly racist language used by a political leader, Meghan's no stranger to telling the world she's sorry.

Read on for all of the times Meghan McCain has felt compelled to offer up an apology.

Drop the name-dropping

In her memoir "Dirty Sexy Politics," which focuses primarily on her time on the 2008 campaign trail with her father (who, if you didn't know, was Senator John McCain), Meghan McCain describes a wild night out on the town. She found herself bar hopping in Nashville with John Rich, country star of Big & Rich fame. She asked him if he'd perform "Raising McCain," a country song he'd written in support of the campaign, and he said he'd only do it if Meghan herself would introduce him to the crowd. So, she hopped on stage, excitedly telling the patrons that she was John McCain's daughter.

"When I identified myself by saying that my father was running for president, the room went crazy — an explosion of sound and applause, yelling and cheering," she wrote. "I had never heard such beautiful noise... Nashville loved my dad. And I loved Nashville."

This didn't go over well with the Secret Service, who were tasked with protecting her during the campaign. On NPR, McCain said that she had to apologize over the incident. "The Secret Service had a meltdown," she said. "They're like, 'For the record, don't go on stage in bars announcing that you're John McCain's daughter, okay?' And I was like, oh sorry, sorry. Like, sorry, my bad. Whatever."

Meghan McCain was caught speeding

In her memoir "Dirty Sexy Politics" (via Time), Meghan McCain detailed the bittersweet relief that came with the end of the 2008 presidential campaign, which her father lost to Barack Obama. Although she had hoped her father would win, she looked forward to being able to go back to her regular life without having to worry about how each move would be perceived.

The day after the election, Meghan was driving her car up to her parents' cabin outside Phoenix while listening to her friends gossip about all of the drama that had gone down at the election party the night before. She didn't realize how fast she was going until she "saw blue and red lights swirling and flashing in the rearview mirror." 

When the officer asked why Meghan was driving way over the speed limit, she apologized and offered a one-of-a-kind explanation. "'I'm sorry, Officer,' I said, handing over my driver's license," McCain wrote. "'My dad just lost the election to Barack Obama.' This is possibly the best excuse I've ever had for speeding. He gave me a warning."

McCain's grandmother Roberta "was known for getting speeding tickets," Reuters wrote in her obituary; no word on whether she ever tried to name-drop her son to get out of trouble.

Her use of the term 'wife beater' didn't go over well

Over the last couple of years, few celebrities have had their image re-evaluated as much as Britney Spears has. After her much-publicized difficulties in the late 2000s and her years-long struggle with her conservatorship, the general public continues to grapple with the way we all used to talk about the pop star.

However, it wasn't the mention of the "Womanizer" singer that landed Meghan McCain in hot water back in 2009. As Spears was off around the world on her The Circus Starring Britney Spears tour, McCain tweeted, "I am totally Britney Spearsing it out right now in a wife beater, juicy sweats and starbucks cup...its Sunday." The singer loved her Juicy Couture gear in the aughts, as People noted, and evidently McCain felt like she was channeling her in her Sunday best.

The term "wife beater" to describe a ribbed sleeveless undershirt, on the other hand, was already receiving backlash in the culture as early as 2001, per The New York Times. After facing pushback from her followers for her choice of words, McCain deleted the tweet. Then, as she does, she issued an apology, telling fans, "I'm sorry if I offended anyone by calling my tank a 'wife beater', a slang term, I should have predicted people would be offended, apologies."

A simple selfie sparked backlash

Though she has had to apologize for some genuine missteps, one of Meghan McCain's earliest controversies was over a simple thirst trap.

It all started in October 2009 when she tweeted, "Buying Arthur Danto's new Andy Warhol biography..." She later shared her plans for the night, writing, "my 'spontaneous' night in is my Andy Warhol biography and takeout....I'm getting old." Then, social media disaster struck, as she tweeted a link to a selfie she took with her new book. Now, that might not sound like a controversial post, but evidently, some Twitter users were not on board with the low-cut tank top she happened to be wearing in the selfie. As Glamour reported, some found the pic to be "inappropriate" and "too racy." 

"I do want to apologize to anyone that was offended by my twitpic," she tweeted shortly thereafter. "I have clearly made a huge mistake and am sorry 2 those that are offended."

The next day, she seemed far less contrite in her Daily Beast column. "I know I have learned a valuable lesson about the internet and the boundaries between personal and public use with social media. I just wanted to get that off my chest." (Get it?) In 2010, she apologized yet again in a tweet to Yale Press, the book's publishers. "Please tell Professor Danto I loved his book on Andy Warhol! And apologies for any distracting press his book received. :-) " she wrote.

A sweeping generalization

In the early days of her career, Meghan was best known as a Republican who supported gay rights, which was enough of a novelty at the time that she built a career on it; the Human Rights Campaign even sent out a press release "applauding" her for posing for the NOH8 campaign. "Gay guys love me," she once told Playboy. "It's the big boobs and blonde hair." 

Before the Supreme Court made same-sex marriage a nationwide right with their landmark decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, individual states determined marriage equality on their own. In 2012, the final state to ban same-sex marriage and civil unions was North Carolina, with 60% of voters supporting Amendment 1 (via The Guardian). Like a number of celebrities that day (via Entertainment Weekly), Meghan McCain jumped into the conversation. However, unlike the other stars who chimed in, McCain would ultimately have to apologize for her reaction. 

Initially, McCain tweeted, "Way to be a bad southern cliche North Carolina. I'm sure your grandkids will look back on this day in horror. #loveisnotamistake." Some followers were offended by the fact that she had lumped the entire South in with North Carolina's homophobic decision. "Ms McCain, with respect, this intolerance is not only southern. #NC" wrote one follower.

McCain apologized, adding, "My apologies, I don't mean to offend southerners. I love the south. I'm just really upset right now, don't understand the logic in this ban."

Walking back comments on Hillary Clinton

In October 2018, as the country was grappling with the fact that mail bombs had been sent to perceived critics of President Donald Trump, including Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, CNN, and more, Meghan McCain evidently regretted the way she had spoken about certain topics on "The View." She worried that her caustic words were contributing to a dangerous rhetoric in politics, and she decided to apologize.

McCain read a prepared statement on "The View," telling her costars, "Last year on this show, I said 'I hate Hillary Clinton' and I called her 'Crooked Hillary.' And it is one of the things that I regret doing ... 'Hate' is not a word that should be coming out of my mouth on television about someone of a different political persuasion." She went on to share that as far as her rhetoric goes, she wanted to do better. "I need to hold myself to the same standard that I would like to hold the president," she said.

In a later interview with Elle, McCain expanded on her televised statement, evidently still feeling guilty. "I apologized on TV and said that I was contributing to the polarization of this country," she said. "I really regret saying [I hate Hillary]. She was friends with my dad. It's really not fair."

Oops, she spoiled Game of Thrones

The morning after the "Game of Thrones" finale aired, Meghan McCain found herself discussing the TV show on "The View." During the show's "Hot Topics" segment, where the hosts give their opinions on the biggest stories of the day, McCain couldn't help but air her grievances about the way the long-running fantasy series had ended.

After quickly rattling off a list of plot points in the finale that she had been annoyed by, McCain was shouted down by her colleagues, urging her to stop spoiling the show for people who hadn't yet had a chance to watch the episode. "I'm only on Season 4!" exclaimed Sunny Hostin.

"I wasn't told I wasn't allowed to say it!" McCain protested. "I'm sorry everyone, it's all over the Internet; you would have found out one way or another." After Whoopi Goldberg jokingly got up and left the table, McCain blamed producers for even giving her a "Hot Topics" notecard about the show if she wasn't supposed to go into detail. "I'm sorry you guys are so triggered by my telling the ending," she said, pointing at the audience. "You guys are, like, genuinely upset."

She apologized again later that day on Twitter, writing, "I'm so sorry for the #GOT spoilers on the show today! I assumed every diehard fan had watched! My bad."

Meghan McCain and her messy metaphors

Donald Trump's time in office was plagued by scandal, and there was much discussion about whether he should be removed from office. Speculation about a possible impeachment trial was at a fever pitch in early 2019, after Special Counsel Robert Mueller went public with the fact that he was leaving it to Congress to decide whether Trump had committed any crimes (via the Daily Beast).

Discussing the subject on "The View," Meghan McCain was more concerned with how a potential trial would affect the upcoming election, and she deployed an extremely violent, graphic metaphor to describe her electoral thoughts. "I will say if you take this kill shot, Democrats, you better not miss," she said. "You better hit his jugular. If there is even a finger still moving at the end of it, you're gonna ruin your chances in 2020, so you better do this well if you're gonna do it."

Whoopi Goldberg jumped in, pointing out that her cohost was speaking metaphorically, and McCain seemed aghast. "I don't mean literally! I'm so sorry! Oh my God!" she clarified before adding that she was a "hunter and shooter." Lesson learned? Not so fast. As The Hill reported, McCain used the exact same metaphor a year later, describing a Trump ad against Nancy Pelosi as "a kill shot." Ah, well.

A controversial choice of words

Back in 2019, President Donald Trump made racist remarks against Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar, who came to America as a Somalian refugee; per Politico, he tweeted telling her to "go back," which became a regular chant at his rallies that summer.

Meghan McCain didn't like that. On "The View," she focused on how the then-president's racism affected her own ability to disagree with Omar. "The problem right now is, you're taking away my agency to criticize her policy," McCain said. "You're making this so much about race, xenophobia, racism. I think any time you're hitting in a territory where you're telling any American citizen who is of a different color than you are, to send them back? I too didn't think this is something I would see in my country." She added that Trump's remarks would make it difficult for her to "try selling conservatism to a younger generation."

Her choice of phrasing did not go over well. "Meghan McCain feels victimized by Trump's attacks on Omar," read a headline in RawStory

That afternoon, McCain tweeted an apology. "I am sorry," she wrote. "I was trying to say Trump's racist tweets and the horrific chanting prevent us from arguing about critical policy issues. It's my fault for using language that has led people to feel frustrated. I would like to strive for more productive conversations all around."

Meghan McCain forgot about one of her dad's gigs

After he left office under the cloud of the January 6, 2021 insurrection, former President Donald Trump spoke at the 2021 incarnation of the Conservative Political Action Conference, known as CPAC. "The View" panel discussed the event, focusing in particular on the way the Trump side of the Republican party was clashing with the more traditional side, led in this instance by another famous political daughter, Congresswoman Liz Cheney.

During the discussion on "The View," Meghan McCain was asked to share her perspective. "My father never spoke at CPAC and he was never invited," she said, "so it's not really ever been a place for more moderate people."

Turns out, he had attended. "Thank you for inviting me," her father, John McCain, said at CPAC in 2008. "It's been a little while since I've had the honor of addressing you, and I appreciate very much your courtesy to me today." Though video of any previous appearances is not widely available, his opening remarks certainly suggest that he may have spoken at CPAC before 2008 as well. "We should do this more often," he told the crowd. "I hope you will pardon my absence last year, and understand that I intended no personal insult to any of you."

After Meghan was called out for misrepresenting her father's history, she tweeted simply, "Apologies! I forgot about this!"

She wasn't fazed by the phrase 'Chinese virus'

In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Meghan McCain said on "The View" that she didn't mind that President Trump was using the racist term "Chinese virus." She told her co-hosts that if "the left wants to focus on PC-labeling this virus," it would be "a great way to get Trump re-elected." She added, "It's a deadly virus that did originate in Wuhan. I don't have a problem with it."

Almost exactly a year later, the country was rocked by the Atlanta spa shootings that left eight dead, and President Trump had not, in fact, been re-elected. On "Last Week Tonight," host John Oliver called out McCain's complicity in the culture of racism against Asian-Americans, taking particular issue with McCain's hypocrisy in tweeting a simple "Stop Asian Hate" graphic given her previous comments about President Trump's choice of words to describe the coronavirus. "There has to be an understanding that saying 'I don't have a problem with calling it the China virus' is very much giving space for that hate to grow," Oliver said.

The next day, McCain apologized on air for defending President Trump's terminology, and then she later tweeted the same sentiment. "There is no doubt Donald Trump's racist rhetoric fueled many of these attacks and I apologize for any past comments that aided that agenda," she wrote.

Meghan McCain's G7 mixup

Meghan McCain wasn't feeling too well the day she criticized President Biden on "The View" for meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Sounding audibly congested throughout the 2021 episode, she told Whoopi Goldberg that she didn't think the international community should treat Putin as an equal. "I think that Russia should be kicked out of the G7," she said, "especially while Alexei Navalny is still sitting in a Kremlin prison for being just an absolute freedom fighter."

As the BBC notes, "G7" refers to the "Group of Seven," a collective of seven of the world's largest economies who meet regularly to discuss international economic cooperation. The seven countries are Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States... a list that, notably, does not include Russia.

When it was Joy Behar's turn to weigh in on "The View," she corrected the record. "I'm not an expert on Russian international information," she said, "but I do know one thing, and that is that Putin was kicked out of the G8, which is why it is now the G7. He is not in the G7 at this point." McCain chimed in to own up to her error and said, "I'm very sick, I apologize. You are right."

Behar replied, "That's fine, I'm happy to correct you."

Making nice with Whoopi Goldberg

During what would come to be her final few months on "The View," Meghan McCain and Whoopi Goldberg got into an escalating argument while discussing President Joe Biden's "testy" handling of a reporter's question at a press conference in 2021. When McCain pointed out that President Trump would have been criticized for talking to a reporter that way, Goldberg made the distinction that Biden had apologized.

"With all due respect, I don't care if he's apologizing," McCain shot back, prompting a heated exchange where she and Goldberg let each other know that they don't care about their respective takes. Goldberg threw to a commercial break, telling McCain to "be how you always are." ("You can be how you always are!" McCain parroted dutifully). When they came back, the two apologized to one another. Goldberg said, "I want to apologize, because I was rude." 

"I apologize too, Whoopi," McCain said. After a slight pause, Goldberg simply replied, "Cool."

A producer and his blood pressure got an apology

Meghan McCain's four seasons on "The View" were marked by frequent disagreements with her cohosts, copious questions about her fashion choices, and occasional feuds with the show's guests. Then her tenure on the show was over and it came time to say goodbye.

In her farewell remarks on her final episode of "The View," McCain shouted out the people she's worked with each day on set. "You women have been so incredible to work with," she told her co-hosts, and then she added an apology to someone who worked behind the scenes: "I hope our executive producer Brian can forgive me for making his blood pressure rise for the past four years as much as I probably have." Her co-hosts all let out a big laugh.

According to his LinkedIn, Brian Teta has been with "The View" since 2015, when he joined the show as a producer after spending eight years at "The Late Show with David Letterman," where he was nominated for an Emmy. Teta responded to McCain's apology online, writing, "Not wrong about my blood pressure" with a crying-laughing emoji. He added that they would be cheering McCain on in her next "adventure."