John McCain's Daughter Meghan on Her Latest Book and Her Father's Race for the Presidency

This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," October 14, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: All right, ahead of tomorrow night's final debate even some of John McCain's supporters are piling on, calling for him to get tougher, attack Barack Obama more on taxes, the economy.

Reaction now from Meghan McCain. Of course, she is the senator's daughter, and author of a very — a very nice, touching book on her dad, author of "My Dad, John McCain."

And it just ends at the point he's got the nomination. So...


Video: Watch Neil's interview with Meghan McCain

CAVUTO: So, there may be a couple of pages you can add if he finishes it off.

What made you do this?

MCCAIN: I just thought it would be a really good way to bring my father's story to children, make it accessible. I actually met a lot of kids that were not familiar with his story.

So, and it's such a labor of love. It's like — it was something that's very cathartic for me, to tell my dad's story through my eyes and my words. And I used actual pictures. And it was just — I really enjoyed doing it.

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CAVUTO: I think there are a lot of adults who don't know the full story. Were you also reaching out to them?

MCCAIN: Yes. I mean, it's for everyone. It's like a CliffsNotes version of my dad's life. And it includes real pictures, which is why I think it's cool, because it's actual, you know, parts of my family and things I literally ripped off the wall to put in the book.


MCCAIN: So it's good.

CAVUTO: What did he say about it when he saw it?

MCCAIN: Well, he was around for like the — you know, the dummy copies and the previews, but when I finally showed him the final copy, he got a little emotional.

CAVUTO: Did he really?

MCCAIN: Uh-huh.

CAVUTO: Could I ask you something? And you heard obviously the guest we had on before. He was at one of your dad's rallies, loves your dad, but says you got to, you know, rev up the passion, bring the fight.

That's the rap against your dad, that he's — he's doing neither. What do you say?

MCCAIN: I think that the passion is there, but I think you just have to be careful.

I mean, what Congressman Lewis said, I think that's the risk of the reaction. And I think it's — it's all very complicated. I certainly don't claim to know exactly what we should be doing. But for anyone to say that my father isn't passionate enough, that's one criticism I have personally never heard until recently.

And I think just people are frustration with this election in general. You know, it's very intense. I was just watching this thing on the news said it's the most emotional election that people can remember in history. And I certainly feel emotional about it, and I know my friends do. So, that's probably...

CAVUTO: Now, a lot of — for instance, talk about the youth vote. That is supposedly, depending on the polls, Meghan — and these things are dicey — but it's overwhelmingly for Barack Obama, young folks, like yourself, overwhelmingly for Barack Obama.

I have a feeling who you're for, by the way.


CAVUTO: But what do you make of that and that young people either they don't know the story that you've put here or they do know it and they just prefer Obama more?

MCCAIN: I think it's a stereotype put out by the liberal media, and I never thought something like that would come out of my mouth.

But I just — there are so many young people that comes to rallies, especially in the military, and my blog that I write is predominantly young people coming and reading it.

So I just know the kind of traffic my blog gets. So to say that young people aren't interested in my father at all or...

CAVUTO: So, you think we could have a surprising surge in young voters for your dad that's not showing up in the polls?

MCCAIN: I do. And I think that, as a general whole, he does have a lot of young...


MCCAIN: ... voters and supporters. I meet them every single day. So...

CAVUTO: I don't know how inside you are on the campaign, but a question I had for you, knowing you were coming, is why does the campaign seem to be holding Sarah Palin back? She's phenomenal on the stump. Maybe had a couple of dicey interviews. But she's — she's pretty good. Why not just let her rip?

MCCAIN: I don't think they're holding her back. I mean, I think that she's been pretty aggressive.

CAVUTO: But would you let her do every interview under the sun?

MCCAIN: I think she's doing a lot of interviews. And I respect what she's doing. I think that I really enjoy those speeches she makes, and I think she's really good at what she's doing. And I think she should do every interview she wants. I think she's fantastic. So..

CAVUTO: So, when you watch "Saturday Night Live" or some of these other shows that rib her or make fun of her, do you ever say, "Maybe she wasn't the one, maybe, you know, my dad's getting sidetracked on this other stuff and it's not fair to my dad"?

MCCAIN: No. I think, no matter whom his choice would be, they would be lampooned on shows like that. That's what they do.

CAVUTO: You know what's weird about this, Meghan? I can remember when your dad ran in 2000, and the media loved him. And I know a thing or two about the media and how it falls in love and hate very quickly. Then the new star was Barack Obama, and they really fell in love with him. And now your dad's on the receiving end of quite a different reaction.

MCCAIN: Yes. One of my favorite quotes is from "Primary Colors," the movie, and it's, "The media giveth and taketh away." And I think it's true. I think the pendulum swing both ways. And I think it doesn't matter at the end of the day, because of the media was dictating who would win, then Obama would be 50 points ahead, instead of just six or whatever the polls say.

So I don't think — I think it has something to do with it, but I don't think the media can tell voters exactly what to do. Voters will make their own decision.

CAVUTO: Let me ask you, you know, at a couple of rallies recently, Meghan, you dad has been trying to calm down the fierce anti-Obama reaction among some of the more rabid folks in the audience, and saying that Obama's a good man, a good family man, we disagree on some of the big issues here, but, you know, he would make a fine president. He didn't say that, but he said he wouldn't be a bad president.

What did you make of that? Was he forecasting a loss or was he preparing for the worst? What was going on?

MCCAIN: No, I think he was trying to calm down some people that possibly had a little too much caffeine before coming to the rally.


MCCAIN: You know? I have seen it before.

CAVUTO: The woman who said he's an Arab, and your father immediately got in and stopped that, what did you make of that?

MCCAIN: It's — I just don't think there's a place for it. I mean, I think it's the same thing as someone literally standing up at an Obama rally and started talking about how old my dad is, and he's an old man. I think Obama would stop him, too.


MCCAIN: He's not Arab. He's American, you know. And I think that anyone who would say that is just misinformed or I don't know. I can't imagine what that person was thinking.

CAVUTO: Now, I remember you said in this book — it's a very cute book — in 2000, your dad had kind of asked the family, "Look, I'm thinking of running for president. How do you feel?" You guys said at the time — you were very young at the time, I'm sure, and — maybe 14 or 15 — and said, "OK, we're all for this."

When he asked it again, what was the reaction?

MCCAIN: It was mixed. My mom has openly said she was hesitant to have him run again. I was hesitant, too, just simply because I know campaigns, I know politics, I know elections, and it's dirty no matter what happens.

And I think that what the family has to go through is terrible. And it's...


CAVUTO: Well, Meghan, you're a young woman. If your dad gets elected president, you're going to be in the same fish bowl. Are you ready for that?

MCCAIN: You know, I think I have done everything up to this point differently. You know, I have done everything making my own rules. I don't know why that would be any different. I don't like rules. I don't like boxes. I don't like people telling me how I should...

CAVUTO: You're kind of like you're dad, aren't you?

MCCAIN: Well, I just don't like people saying get in this box, this is the box that politicians' daughters look like, act like, talk like, stay in there. I'm not like that. So, I think that's what I'm holding to.

CAVUTO: All right. Well, I wish you well, Meghan — Meghan McCain.

The book is "My Dad, John McCain." It's a very, very, very cute read of what's going on. And what's left out is the final, final ending.

I guess that's a sequel, right?

MCCAIN: Possibly, yes.


CAVUTO: Thank you, Meghan, very, very much.


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