After news broke that Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren was dropping out of the presidential race on Thursday, Meghan McCain and her co-hosts on The View had a few things to say about the fact that a woman has never been elected to the country’s highest office.
McCain — a proud Republican but vocal critic of President Donald Trump — has said in the past that she did not vote for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election and instead wrote in third-party candidate Evan McMullin.
“There’s this feeling where you have people like [Amy] Klobuchar, Warren, Kamala Harris, who’s a sitting senator, who gender really did come into play,” McCain, 35, said on Friday’s episode during a discussion about Warren’s candidacy and the issue women candidates face.
“The way they’re covered by the media — it’s the way they look, they’re too likable, they’re not likable enough, they’re too shrill, she’s not smart enough, she’s not warm enough — it’s every woman that runs,” McCain said. “I think there’s a feeling of exhaustion among a lot of American women, like, when is the media going to … when are we going to start treating them like the men?”
McCain’s comments came as the panel discussed Warren’s interview on Thursday night with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, who asked the senator if her campaign ending felt like the “death knell” to prospect of having a woman be elected president “in our lifetimes.”
“Oh god, please no,” Warren responded. “That can’t be right. This cannot be the right answer.”
“I would like a woman to be president in my lifetime!” — @MeghanMcCain
“Maybe you should run!” — @JoyVBehar
Meghan: “Would you vote for me, Joy?”
Joy: … pic.twitter.com/B0lSYkhAqX
— Matt Wilstein (@mattwilstein) March 6, 2020
McCain expressed her frustration with the way she says the media has traditionally covered women candidates versus how men are covered — voicing her displeasure alongside moderator Whoopi Goldberg, co-host Joy Behar and guest co-host Sara Haines. (Haines temporarily returned Friday to sub in for Sunny Hostin, who took Thursday and Friday off after her grandmother’s death.)
“There’s been horrible trends and they’re just treated differently,” McCain said.
The show’s hosts and audience were displeased on Thursday to learn that Warren had dropped out of the race, “right before we went on air,” Goldberg announced at the beginning of that episode, drawing a sigh from the studio crowd.
“It’s two old white guys,” Behar said, referencing the fact the race for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination is now effectively between former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
“It’s always been a lot of white guys,” Goldberg said. “So, this is not a shock, y’all.”
On Friday’s show, the co-hosts continued their conversation about why every woman candidate has been knocked from the campaign’s front-runner spot since the historically large field of candidates began to take shape in early 2019.
Behar said she believes the “horror show happening in the White House” — Trump’s presidency — played a role in a woman not being chosen as the Democratic nominee, guessing that voters weren’t “willing to take a chance” on a woman going up against Trump because it risked “misogynists” voting against her.
“I don’t think it will next time,” Behar said. “People are getting smarter.”
For McCain — who said her dad, the late Sen. John McCain, always told her she could be president when she grew up — the outcome for women in U.S. presidential elections so far confounded her on what could happen next.
“I feel like if I had a child right now and it was a girl, I don’t know what I’d say anymore,” she said. “There’s this quote, ‘Where’s my jetpack?’ Well, ‘Where’s my woman president?’ Like, why are we still here as Americans? I think it’s frustrating.”
She suggested that Nikki Haley, a Republican former governor of South Carolina, would be someone she’d like to see in the Oval Office.
“I think women are traditionally better leaders in a lot of situations because we’re more compassionate and we’re more collaborative,” she said. “I’m going to be 36 by the next election. Where’s my woman president? I would like a woman to be president in my lifetime.”
Behar told her, “Maybe you should run then — just run,” causing the audience to cheer her on as McCain playfully responded, “Would you vote for me, Joy?”
Behar — who often disagrees with McCain during the show’s political segments — went silent and jokingly clammed up, avoiding an answer: “You put me on the spot.”