Reacting to Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ stance that even the convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev should have the right to vote, the hosts of The View on Tuesday got into a heated and tense shouting match, with Meghan McCain invoking her siblings’ military service at one point.
During a CNN town hall event on Monday night, Sanders was pressed on his position that felons should be allowed to vote even while still incarcerated, prompting moderator Chris Cuomo to ask whether the Boston bomber or sex offenders should also be given that right.
“Yes, even for terrible people,” the Vermont senator responded. “Because once you start chipping away and you say, ‘Well, that guy committed a terrible crime, not going to let him vote. Well, that person did that. Not going to let that person vote,’ you’re running down a slippery slope.”
During The View’s discussion on Sanders’ remarks, which the senator acknowledged would face widespread criticism, co-host Sunny Hostin said she wasn’t sure Sanders’ position is “appropriate” but that U.S. laws “are disproportionately applied to people of color and so there's real disenfranchisement of the African American vote of the Latino vote.”
“That's a different conversation, though, and I think that's a valid one,” McCain interjected before turning back to Sanders, calling his remarks “disgraceful” and suggesting Republicans “turn that into an ad.”
“I was upset about it because… if Democrats want to drag everybody this far left, this is why people like me are so upset and so disenfranchised with how extreme this is,” McCain exclaimed. “It's not hard to say the Boston terrorist was a psycho lunatic who is a threat not only to national security but shouldn't be allowed the right to vote in any election.”
As the rest of the panel weighed in on Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) saying “we should have a conversation” about the issue, McCain blew up the debate by shouting: “Does anyone think a terrorist should have a right to vote?!”
Co-host Whoopi Goldberg offered up her take that an American terrorist that serves his time in prison should have his voting rights restored, prompting McCain to grow further apoplectic at the idea of a terrorist ever being allowed to vote.
As Goldberg, co-host Joy Behar, and McCain continued to go back and forth for what felt like an eternity, McCain inevitably and eventually brought up her family.
“I'm trying to tell you, what Bernie Sanders said is going to be turned into a clip that will be—it upset me this morning,” McCain huffed. “Abby [Huntsman] and I—Abby and I didn’t have brothers that served multiple times, and I didn’t watch my brother deployed when he was 19 to fight this crap to have them come here and have the right to vote!”
“Now, wait, hold on. Let’s be realistic here,” Goldberg shot back. “The discussion here was if he got out. That was the discussion.”
“Then I’m against it,” McCain proclaimed.
McCain also declared that she “would appreciate it if Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris said there are true monsters in this world” and accused Goldberg of laughing about terrorism, scolding her: “Maybe you think terrorism is funny, I do not.”
Of course, Goldberg was laughing because she was unable to interrupt to toss the segment to a commercial break. Accordingly, she scolded her co-host for being so overwrought.
“Don’t do that, Meghan,” Goldberg snapped. “Don’t do that because what—what we are chuckling at, they see me trying to say it, and then Sunny started up again and realized I wasn’t going to get to say ‘We’ll be right back with more hot topics.’”