McCain’s former opponent responds to his cancer news with fierce demand

Dr. Kelli Ward — who is running for Senate in 2018 and failed to defeat Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) in the Republican primary in 2016 — is saying McCain should step down after it was announced this week that he had been diagnosed with brain cancer.

While speaking on Indiana radio WOWO 1190 AM, she said, “I hope that Senator McCain is going to look long and hard at this, that his family and his advisers are going to look at this, and they’re going to advise him to step away as quickly as possible.”

Ward argued that McCain should step aside “so that the business of the country and the business of Arizona being represented at the federal level can move forward.”

“Because you probably realize that with John McCain out of commission we don’t have 51 votes on the Republican side,” she said. “That can’t stand.” (Scroll down for more.)

“We can’t have until the 2018 election, waiting around to accomplish the Trump agenda, to secure the border and stop illegal immigration and repeal Obamacare and fix the economy and fix the veterans administration,” she said. “All those things need to be done, and we can’t be at a standstill while we wait for John McCain to determine what he’s going to do.”

She then suggested that McCain should allow Gov. Doug Ducey to appoint a replacement before unabashedly touting herself as his potential replacement.

“Well, you know, I certainly hope so because I have a proven track record in the Arizona state Senate of being extremely effective and of listening to the voice of the people that I represent,” she replied when asked if she would consider replacing McCain. “And you know, I made an extremely good showing against Senator McCain, against all odds.”

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), upset by Ward’s insensitive remarks on the radio show, hit back on social media:

“In all the ways I measure good Senate colleagues (honor, class, integrity) Kelli Ward falls short. [People] like her aren’t welcome in the US Sen,” Manchin wrote.

Manchin followed it up with a second tweet, saying, “People like Kelli Ward are what’s wrong with politics today. The people of AZ deserve representatives with dignity & decency.”

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) also criticized Ward’s comments Friday. “John McCain is a fighter and an American hero. I fully expect to see him back in the Senate soon,” he told reporters. “I’m dumbstruck by Kelli Ward’s comments.”

McCain has not indicated any intention of stepping down, and even tweeted Thursday that he will be “back soon.”

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