Arizona Senate Candidate Calls Political Correctness 'Cancer' After Criticizing McCain

Kelli Ward’s campaign had suggested John McCain announced he was stopping his cancer treatment to distract from her primary race.

Republican Arizona Senate candidate Kelli Ward on Monday likened political correctness to “cancer” after she was widely criticized for suggesting that the late Sen. John McCain’s cancer battle was timed to hurt her political campaign.

“Political correctness is like a cancer!” tweeted Ward, a former physician and state senator who is running to replace Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), two days after McCain died from an aggressive form of brain cancer called glioblastoma.

Ward, who unsuccessfully challenged McCain in 2016, came under fire over the weekend after a Facebook post by her campaign suggested that McCain’s decision to end medical treatment was timed to “take media attention off her campaign.” The post, which The Washington Post reported was written by one of Ward’s staffers, has since been deleted. 

“I think they wanted to have a particular narrative that they hope is negative to me,” Ward commented.

McCain died later that day at the age of 81.

Ward, whose candidacy President Donald Trump has indicated he supports and who once met with “alt-right” leader Milo Yiannopoulos, received immediate criticism on social media for her remarks.

Ward highlighted some of her critics on Twitter on Monday. “Are there no depths to which these people won’t sink?!” she asked. 

Ward expressed her condolences to McCain’s family on Saturday. As of Monday, however, she had not directly addressed her previous comments about him harming her campaign.

Clarification: Language in this story has been amended to clarify that while Trump has not officially endorsed Kelli Ward, he has signaled support for her candidacy.