Jimmy McCain says family feels betrayed by Kari Lake

McCain’s youngest son, 33-year-old James “Jimmy” McCain

By Stacey Barchenger | Arizona Republic

Kari Lake’s repeated attacks on Arizona’s late Sen. John McCain — whom she has called a “loser” and recently claimed still ruled the Republican party despite his death four years ago — have left at least one McCain family member in disbelief.

McCain’s youngest son, 33-year-old James “Jimmy” McCain, spoke out after Lake’s latest negative comments about the six-term U.S. senator, whom Lake has increasingly portrayed as a villain in her campaign for governor.

Jimmy McCain said he and his family members are dismayed and feel betrayed by the comments from a woman they once considered a close friend.

“I’m not trying to hurt anyone, I’m just trying to say I don’t understand where this person came from, because back then, we were thick as thieves,” Jimmy McCain said in a phone interview about Lake.

“It’s abnormal for me to have someone that’s this close to me just flip like this,” he added later.

Jimmy McCain said in several years of friendship, which began in about 2015 after Lake extended an invite to family matriarch Cindy McCain, Lake only said positive things about his father.

Kari Lake speaks at the Save America rally held by former President Donald Trump in Florence on Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022.

But now, John McCain is a frequent target of Lake as she seeks the Republican nomination to replace Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey. Just as former President Donald Trump blasted Arizona’s famed senator as part of a long-running feud, Lake is following suit in a campaign that echoes Trump’s unconventional style.

Lake’s campaign spokespeople did not respond Thursday to emailed questions for this article nor to follow up text messages. 

Late last week, Lake told a conservative podcaster that John McCain was “reaching up from the grave trying to keep power on Arizona.”

“It was never about power that helped the people of Arizona, it was never about that,” Lake said. “He had complete power over Arizona and rarely did he do anything good for the people.”

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