The family of the late Sen. John McCain said Wednesday it was “disappointed” that the lawmaker’s image was being used in political attack ads paid for by the National Republican Congressional Committee.
The NRCC released a bevy of new political ads on Wednesday to help Republicans running for U.S. House seats, the chamber where the party is facing stiff competition amid a blue wave of activism before November’s midterm elections. McCain is featured in two of those spots, one criticizing Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick, running for a House seat in Arizona, and another lambasting Elissa Slotkin, who is running for a seat in Michigan.
“The family is disappointed that John’s image is being weaponized this election cycle so soon after his passing, and they had hoped there would be a more appropriate amount of time for people to think about his final message before they began to politicize him,” Rick Davis, a friend of the McCain family and a former top adviser to the senator, told Politico in a statement.
Politico reported that the NRCC did not ask the family or friends of the lawmaker for approval to use his words. A spokesman for the group defended the spots, saying in a statement to CNN that the Kirkpatrick ad “speaks for itself.”
McCain died last month at the age of 81 after battling brain cancer. He was buried at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, in early September.
The late senator released a farewell statement through aides shortly after his death in which he urged Americans to set aside partisan division.
“We weaken our greatness when we confuse our patriotism with tribal rivalries that have sown resentment and hatred and violence in all the corners of the globe,” McCain wrote in his farewell note. “We weaken it when we hide behind walls, rather than tear them down, when we doubt the power of our ideals, rather than trust them to be the great force for change they have always been.”