John McCain's family slams GOP group for using footage of him in ads

The family of John McCain sharply rebuked the National Republican Congressional Committee on Wednesday for releasing political advertisements that use footage of the late senator to attack Democratic candidates in Arizona and Michigan.

"The McCain family believes it's unfortunate that the senator's image is being weaponized this election season," a family spokesperson told NBC News in a statement. "They hope that there would be more respect, especially so soon after his passing."

The first ad goes after Ann Kirkpatrick, the Democratic nominee for Arizona's 2nd congressional district. The spot features a clip of McCain slamming Kirkpatrick over her positions on economic issues during her unsuccessful bid for his U.S. Senate seat in 2016.

"Ann Kirkpatrick won't oppose higher taxes, she won't oppose more federal spending and she won't oppose increased debts that slow economic growth," McCain says in the clip, before a narrator adds: "In 2016, Senator McCain warned us..."

John McCain and family through the years
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John McCain and family through the years
Ok one more. @senjohnmccain with me at our first Christmas as a married couple.
@senjohnmccain @zelda.frenchie.1 and our two boys Jack and Jimmy enjoying the morning at the Navy Memorial.
@DBacks game with @meghanmccain and. @senjohnmccain
So many years ago. @meghanmccain @senjohnmccain at her Columbia University graduation.
One of my favorite family photos. An oldie but a goody! @senjohnmccain @meghanmccain
Thank all of you for the wonderful thoughts. @senjohnmccain is doing well. We as a family will face the next hurdle together. One thing I do know is he is the toughest person I know. He is my hero and I love him with all my heart.
The highlight of my day. ❤️🍴🇺🇸
My rock @cindymccain ❤️❤️❤️
Happy early birthday Dad - I love you with all my heart. ❤️🇺🇸🌵🎂🍰
After dinner talks with Dad 🌵❤️🇺🇸
Hiking the eclipse with Dad 🌵🌙
To everyone who has sent me and my family such kind words of strength and prayers, thank you from the bottom of my heart, it really has been helping me. We start my fathers last (first round) of radiation and chemotherapy today. This last month has easily been the most challenging and difficult of my life. I come from a long lineage of warriors and I have never been more grateful for the strength and fortitude that has been passed down to me, I am relying on it now more than ever. My natural inclination is always to be open and share my life but at the moment I am still in a place where I just want and need to be around my family and am asking for your understanding and patience. To those of you out there living with #GBM or who have a family member or loved one living with #GBM, you are my absolute heroes. We are in this fight together, sending you all love and light. #FUCKCANCER
Happy Fathers Day to my father @senjohnmccain. This picture is how I always think of you, relaxed, in Arizona, grilling us ribs and listening to Frank Sinatra. Thank you for teaching me how to love life and seize every moment. Thank you for exposing me to the world (it's good and bad) and teaching me about character, conviction and having true grit. Finally thank you for always giving me something to believe in, in a world where it has become increasingly harder to find. I love you with all my heart. 🇺🇸❤️

The second ad targets Elissa Slotkin, the Democratic nominee for Michigan's 8th congressional district. The clip features a video of McCain criticizing Slotkin during a Senate hearing at which she was a witness.

"Miss Slotkin, you either don't know the truth, or you are not telling the truth," McCain says in the clip. The ad later flashes a quote from a December 2014 news article in which McCain said Slotkin was "totally unqualified" to become the assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs at the Pentagon.

When reached for comment, a spokesperson for the National Republican Congressional Committee told NBC News that the "ad speaks for itself."

McCain, widely regarded as an independent voice in the Republican Party, died on Aug. 25, little more than a year after he was diagnosed with brain cancer. He was 81.

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