It’s an argument that would be right at home on Fox News. It didn’t fly on The View.
During a discussion about President Donald Trump’s recently leaked schedule—showing that he spends the majority of his work hours tweeting and watching TV, or as the White House calls it, “executive time”—former Fox host Abby Hunstman defended the president by saying this shouldn’t be a surprise.
“Here’s the thing, though,” Huntsman said. “He never ran as a normal candidate. He never said, I’m going the go in and be presidential. He didn’t say, ‘I’m going to have the same schedule that every president had.’”
This rubbed all of her co-hosts the wrong way, with Whoopi Goldberg saying the country “assumed” he would be working hard as president; and Huntsman’s conservative cohort Meghan McCain shooting back: “I think he's become a public servant, the idea and onus would be that you get up in the morning and start working for the American people. And when he’s tweeting cable news hosts and people…” She trailed off before contrasting Trump’s thin schedule with her father’s “work ethic.”
“It doesn't take a genius to understand what he's probably doing in the morning!” McCain added. “He’s obsessed with cable news and he’s spending too much time—in my opinion—watching it.”
“My point is, why are we surprised?” Huntsman asked in response. “He’s been tweeting cable news since before he got into office.”
Yet there likely was some expectation from even Trump’s supporters that he would become at least marginally more “presidential” if and when he became president, despite the fact that he once said acting that way during the campaign “would be boring as hell.” In the months leading up to the 2016 election, Melania Trump also promised that her husband “can be presidential” if he puts his mind to it and Trump himself told The New York Times’ Maureen Dowd, “I can be as presidential as anybody who ever lived. I can be so presidential if I want.”
In response to the schedule leak over the weekend, President Trump’s personal secretary tweeted that he is in fact “working harder for the American people than anyone in recent history.”
“You know what we can agree on, all of us?” Goldberg asked her co-hosts. “That the fact that he's ‘working harder than any other president,’ I think we can all agree that's probably not so.”
There was one other member of The View crew who agreed that Trump’s “executive time” might not be the worst thing. But it was for a very different reason than Huntsman’s.
“Don't you think in a way it’s good?” Joy Behar asked at one point. “Imagine the damage he could do if he did something!”