“I'm really glad that you decided to come and talk to us,” Meghan McCain said when it was her turn to question Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) on The View Wednesday morning. “I feel like you’re the bogey woman of the right and I’m the bogey woman of the left, so it’s interesting to be talking to you.”
After explaining that as a conservative she believes “big government is very, very dangerous,” McCain admitted that similar to how Fox News views the senator, she does believe Bernie Sanders’ “complete paradigm shift of the American system” is “like the apocalypse.”
Ocasio-Cortez has her own primary and re-election campaign to run this fall, but she was primarily there on The View representing Sanders, who she endorsed last fall to great fanfare, possibly helping push him into the frontrunner status he now enjoys.
With that in mind, McCain and the rest of her co-hosts pressed Ocasio-Cortez to answer for all aspects of his campaign, from how he will pay for his big proposals to what should be done about the “Bernie bros” on Twitter.
On the former issue, Ocasio-Cortez was eager to defend Sanders’ plan to spend $2.2 trillion over 10 years to make public colleges and universities tuition-free. “It’s funny because progressive policies are always talked about in 10-year price tags, conservative policies are always talked about in one-year price tags,” she said, noting that the military budget has increased about $100 billion since President Donald Trump took office.
“We don’t ask how he pays for that,” she added. “When we talk about big government, we don't talk about big government interjecting themselves into the bodies of women and gender-nonconforming people for anti-choice policies. So I'm happy to talk about the reduction of government's role in places that I think are harmful.”
After Ocasio-Cortez explained the various corporate and Wall Street tax increases that will pay for Sanders’ ambitious plans, McCain moved on to a topic on which she hoped they could find more “middle ground.”
“I want to talk about the Bernie bros,” McCain said. “The one thing that connects women on the left and women on the right, I have found at least a lot of guest co-hosts, a lot of guests that have come on over the three years I’ve been here, is the abuse that we have all been subjected to by the Bernie bros.”
“It is by far, of anything I’ve ever seen in my life, the most violent, most misogynistic, the most sexist, the most harmful, my mother has cried over doctored photos that Bernie brothers have sent me,” she continued. “He has a real problem, and I don't think he's doing enough to tamper it down.”
As an “extremely powerful woman,” McCain asked Ocasio-Cortez, “How do you feel that he’s attached to this deeply misogynistic—and I would go so far as to say violent—sector of people?”
This question seemed to make Ocasio-Cortez more visibly uncomfortable than the ones about Sanders’ policies. She responded that, as a whole, “internet culture can often be very toxic” and noted that women of color are often the biggest targets. “I think that to a certain extent we have to always reject hate, reject vitriol, and denounce that kind of behavior,” she said, before adding that “anonymous” actors online are “difficult to control.”
“Do you think he's done enough to try and stop it?” McCain asked.
“I think he works very hard,” Ocasio-Cortez answered, pointing to “messaging emails” from the campaign as evidence and turning the issue around on ICE and CBP officers who targeted her in a private Facebook group.
But at least one other host of The View was unconvinced. “He’s got to do more,” Whoopi Goldberg said. “He’s got to stand up and say it every day if he needs to, stop this, we’re not accepting it.”