Grudgingly conceding that Senators Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas), along with Representative Justin Amash (R-Mich.), had all won their Congressional elections by popular vote, Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) went on to tell Huffington Post on March 7:
I also think that when, you know, it’s always the wacko birds on right and left that get the media megaphone. I think it can be harmful if there is a belief among the American people that those people are reflective of the views of the majority of Republicans. They’re not.
Fast-forward a week. McCain found himself and his fellow RINOs on the outside looking in at the potential future of the GOP, as Paul and the new group of Republican Congressmen seized the momentum — all the while keeping their message not on internal party squabbles, but on those Americans eager for government to shrink into its appropriate role.
By Day One at CPAC, even McCain could see that relegating the surging “wacko bird” libertarian movement within his old-school GOP had been a strategic misstep, so he found himself on TV, eating a little… crow.
“In an interview I said that Sen. Cruz and Sen. Paul were ‘wacko birds,’” McCain told FOX News Friday. “That was inappropriate and I apologize to them for saying that, and I respect them both. I respect what they stand for and what they believe in. They both made an impact…in the United States Senate.”
Even though McCain appears not to have included Amash in his apology, that likely isn’t hurting the 32 year-old Congressman. He quickly co-opted the “wacko bird” appellation last week, using it as a badge of honor on his Twitter account.