PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey is sending a harsh message to politicians lobbying for him to appoint them to Sen. John McCain’s seat should the ailing senator step down.

Ducey said on KTAR radio Tuesday that those people have “basically disqualified themselves by showing their true character.”

Ducey didn’t name those fishing for McCain’s seat, but said he considered the whole topic of McCain’s health a “little bit off color.”

McCain is battling brain cancer and was briefly hospitalized before flying home to Arizona over the weekend.

Ducey said he talked to McCain’s wife Cindy and “got a good report from her.” McCain plans to return to Congress after the holidays.

The governor said people should be rooting for McCain and called him “the toughest man in the United States Senate.”