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McCain seemingly was first made aware of Malkin's comments by a follower on Twitter. She responded: "bet it sucks, to see my face everywhere" -- Kelly Clarkson @DennisAlcover @MichelleMalkin just dissed @McCainBlogette." McCain also tweeted, "chill people, I don't give a ---- about @michellemalkin."
On Tuesday, McCain used decidedly more intellectual language in her column on the DailyBeast, saying Malkin "rounds out the trifecta of extreme female conservative pundits, following Laura Ingraham and Ann Coulter, who believe that I, and Republicans like me, need to shut up and get out of the party."
McCain's strongest point in the column is that the Republican Party needs to be more inclusive: "What do Malkin and the other conservative pundits hope to accomplish by arguing that people 'like me' have no place within the Republican Party?"
But she then waters down her argument with a high school-like comparison of who is the more popular girl: "I don't know exactly what about me threatens them so much, other than that people are listening to me. Malkin has the No. 1 book on The New York Times bestseller hardcover nonfiction list, but I have nearly twice as many Twitter followers as she does."
Malkin has 25,927 followers on Twitter to McCain's 53,668 followers. The NYT does not provide the number of books Malkin has sold to get to the top of the list.
McCain, who pushes for a more inclusive, moderate GOP, has been the target of female conservative pundits like Malkin, as well as Ingraham and Coulter. McCain thinks she is the victim of GOP females' schoolyard bullying: "But if people like Michelle Malkin and Ann Coulter think they can bully me into giving up this fight and what I am doing, they are going to be severely disappointed."
Ironically, it was McCain who started this war of words in March when she wrote that "certain individuals continue to perpetuate negative stereotypes about Republicans. Especially Republican women. Who do I feel is the biggest culprit? Ann Coulter. I straight up don't understand this woman or her popularity. I find her offensive, radical, insulting, and confusing all at the same time."
Coulter did not respond to McCain's comments, but Republican radio talk show host Ingraham said,"Memo to Meghan McCain: Enjoy the media coverage while it lasts, but know you're being used. You are the flavor of the month in left-wing media land because you are a Republican bashing the GOP."
Malkin also came to Coulter's defense, writing that "the trouble with Meghan McCain is that, like her father, she has no fixed ideological principles -- conservative, liberal, or otherwise. She seems to have inherited the notion that playing the "maaaaverick" imparts her with moral authority and credibility as a fresh voice for the GOP."
I'm a conservative Republican woman, in the Malkin, Ingraham, Coulter camp politically.
But I also firmly believe the GOP needs to reach out to independent voters and be more inclusive of our party moderates, so I agree more with Meghan McCain's point of view. I believe in the Big Tent Republican Party, and I want anyone who wants to be in our party to feel welcome and their views respected.
A tactical note to my fellow GOP ladies: We are not helping our party get back in power by in-fighting and name-calling. From spending us into generations of national debt to forcing government to run health care, the Democrats have provided us plenty of legitimate issues for us to attack.
And, as always, remember President Ronald Reagan's 11th commandment: Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican.
Follow Emily Miller on Twitter.
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