McCain, the daughter of Sen. John McCain known for occasionally parting ways with the views of her Republican dad, was particularly scathing in her assessment of Tancredo's speech on the opening day of the National Tea Party Convention on Thursday in Nashville. In the speech, Tancredo said people "who could not spell the word vote or say it in English" elected a "committed socialist ideologue" because the country does not require a "civics literacy test."
"It's innate racism, and I think it's why young people are turned off by this movement," McCain said. "And I'm sorry -- revolutions start with young people, not with 65-year-old people talking about literacy tests and people who can't say the word vote in English."
Though speakers at the convention repeatedly rejected the "racist" label during the three-day event and held sessions on ways to attract young activists to their cause, McCain pointed to Tancredo's speech as a sign of what's wrong with the Tea Party movement.
"This rhetoric will continue to turn off young voters, and anybody that says different is smoking something -- period," she said.
McCain also criticized her father's former running mate for comments she made during an interview with "Fox News Sunday."
"You should never go to war unless it's the absolute last circumstance," McCain said on "The View."
On "Fox News Sunday," Palin also called for White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel to "step down," in part for using the word "retarded" in a strategy session last year which only recently became public -- but at the same time, Palin defended conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh's use of the word as "satirical."
McCain said that assessment is "exactly what is wrong with politics today."
"We can't placate and say Democrats can say one thing and Republicans can say another thing," she said.