The hosts of The View—minus a still-suspended Whoopi Goldberg—laid into Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams on Monday for giving Republicans political “ammunition” by posing maskless for a photo with a room full of masked schoolchildren.
The talk show took aim at the progressive star over the “lame excuse” her campaign released in response to the growing outrage, specifically calling out Abrams’ invocation of Black History Month to hit back at her critics.
Abrams, who is once again running for governor in Georgia, has come under fire over since-deleted tweets that featured photos of her visiting a Decatur elementary school. The school’s principal shared the photo of the maskless Abrams sitting in front of rows of masked kids—prompting the candidate to publicly thank the principal while quote-tweeting the photos. (Both Abrams and the principal have removed the posts, with the latter also deactivating her Twitter account.)
Considering Abrams’ support for strict school mask mandates, it didn’t take long for the backlash to build over the weekend, especially from her Republican opponents. In response to the criticism, her campaign said it was “shameful that our opponents are using a Black History Month reading event for Georgia children as the impetus for a false political attack.”
While not offering any further explanation for the photos, the Abrams camp did take swings at both Gov. Brian Kemp and former GOP Sen. David Perdue, who is running against the embattled Kemp in the Republican primary. “One of Stacey's opponents downplayed the virus while trading stock to profit off the pandemic after his private coronavirus briefings as a Senator,” the statement added. “Another of her opponents attacked mayors seeking to protect their citizens and has failed to expand access to Medicaid even as rural hospitals close.”
During Monday’s broadcast of The View, co-host Joy Behar said she was “a little bit shocked” over the photo snafu as the prominent Democratic activist “is one of the most intelligent people in politics” and should know better.
“And she kind of slipped up here,” Behar sighed. “They took a picture of her with these kids without a mask, giving aid and comfort to the other side. That’s what she did. And I’m surprised at her, to tell you the truth, that she would slip up.”
Agreeing with Behar, co-host Sunny Hostin wondered why Abrams would even do that as it would just “give the right more ammunition.” She then blasted the campaign’s handling to ordeal.
“First of all, this has nothing to do with Black History Month. The point is she was not wearing a mask when she is one of those proponents of mask mandates,” Hostin insisted.
After reading an additional statement from the campaign manager claiming Abrams took off the mask so she could be heard by the children, Hostin added: “She should’ve worn a mask. That’s a lame excuse.”
As the segment wound down, and co-host Sara Haines said Abrams is “better than that,” both Behar and Hostin lamented over the needless controversy the gubernatorial hopeful—and frequent View guest—had sparked.
“It’s shocking because she’s such a good strategist,” Behar noted. “Also, she strategizes.”
“It was an unforced error of the worst sort because I don’t know that I necessarily believe that politicians are role models anymore, but to many people she is, and you want better from your role model,” Hostin responded. “Model the correct behavior.”