Meghan McCain made her long-awaited return to The View on Monday morning more than a month after the death of her father, Republican Sen. John McCain.
Before she could get a word out, McCain’s eyes filled with tears as the audience roared in response to Whoopi Goldberg’s introduction. “I have a lot of things to say and this is probably the only time I’m going to get a segment to myself to say it,” she began, thanking ABC, The View, and “all of America” for being so kind to her family.
She said that show of support made her “so inspired that the ideals that my father espoused throughout his career are the ideals of America.” McCain said, “There was a lot of talk about what died with him. And I am here today to tell you, it didn’t. It is alive and well. And I need us to remember that.”
Echoing the apparent swipes she took at President Trump during her eulogy, McCain said, “He believed in American exceptionalism, he believed that America is the greatest country in the history of the world. He believed that when your candidate’s opponent says something racist at a rally, you push back. That is John McCain.”
After thanking each of her co-hosts individually—and making Goldberg tear up by saying her father “really loved you”—McCain broadened her message once again.
“We can never surrender to what is happening in the country right now,” she said. “I understand how divided and how scared a lot of people are and that it looks like the fabric of democracy is fraying. We do not surrender. I’m not surrendering.”
Finally, McCain thanked Joe Biden and Joe Lieberman for “carrying her” through the past several weeks. “I’m sure they’re like, I didn’t realize when I became friends with John McCain that his daughter’s drama would all become mine as well, but they are the most wonderful men and they really carried me through this.”
McCain ended the segment by choking up again as she said she believes her father made her “so tough” so that she could “survive” his death. “We’re living in a time when some fathers raise their daughters to be seen and not heard,” she said, urging all fathers out there to “raise strong women.”