Meghan McCain skipped out on Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-KY) appearance on The View Friday morning—citing “personal reasons”—despite accusing the GOP senator of having Kurdish “blood on his hands” in Syria the day before.
In her place was frequent guest host Ana Navarro, who Whoopi Goldberg noted at the top of the show was filling in for both McCain and Joy Behar. “One for the price of two,” the Republican strategist joked.
Paul was ostensibly on the show to promote his new book, simply titled The Case Against Socialism, but they began the interview with his support for President Donald Trump’s controversial decision to let Turkey wipe out America’s Kurdish allies in Syria.
Sporting a white turtleneck and blue plaid jacket, Paul compared Trump to former President Barack Obama, arguing that both men knew “we were overextended, that the Iraq War was a mistake,” adding, “if anything, Syria is more complicated” than Iraq.
In an attempt to break through Paul’s abstract theorizing about the cost of war, Goldberg asked him, “I'm sorry, so if you have allies and they are working with you and fighting with you, and in 24 hours, somebody wakes up and says, ‘No. we're out,’ is that the right way to do this?” When he started to answer a different question, she repeated, “No, no, is that the right way to do it?”
When Paul said we should never have been in Syria “in the first place,” Goldberg shot back, “That's not the question. That's all good, but we're in there.” When the senator said that “the left” used to agree with him on regime change, Goldberg told him, “I am not left or right, I'm just American. And I want to know, should we be walking out on them?”
As the rest of the co-hosts started jumping into the conversation, Paul grew more and more agitated. “There's a difference in having a strategy and leaving the Kurds there to die, which is where they are now,” Abby Huntsman told him. “They were left there to die. And now it’s the GOP’s problem.”
When it was Navarro’s turn to speak, she pressed Paul to defend America “breaking our word to allies,” asking, “What message does that send internationally to other allies if we abandon them?”
“The only duty we owe, and the only oath I take is to the Constitution,” Paul replied. “I didn't promise to take the country to war, I promised not to take the country to war. So did President Trump by the way.” He added, “Anyone who tries to make the argument someone in Syria is a danger to our country, is not paying attention.”
“Well, I think Assad is in Syria and a danger to our country and our world!” Navarro responded before Paul attempted to explain the “very complicated” Middle East to the panel, shouting, “Don’t interrupt!” when Huntsman tried to get a word in. He was still talking when Goldberg threw to commercial.
The tension only ratcheted up after the break when the crew started talking to Paul about his book. Again, it was Navarro who got under Paul’s skin by asking if he thinks it’s “fair” for Trump and the Republican Party to run ads that say, “If you vote for Democrats, they will turn the United States into Venezuela.”
“Well, if you vote for a socialist, you might get socialism,” Paul answered with a smirk.
“Come on, don't do that!” Navarro said. “Maduro is not a socialist. He's a corrupt, murderous thug who is starving his people.” When Paul denied those facts, Navarro added, “That’s not true? Maduro is not a thug and murderer who is starving his people?”
As Paul attempted to argue his point, Navarro interrupted him with, “I can't let you finish. If you are going to say Maduro is not a murderous thug, I’m not letting you finish because that's a damn lie!” While Goldberg was trying to end the segment, Paul literally waved his hands in Navarro’s face.
“Don’t do this to me, don’t mansplain,” she told him. “I’m a 47-year-old grown woman!”