Sen. Bernie Sanders became the first 2020 Democratic candidate to grace the new season of The View on Wednesday. And while he may have gotten a friendly reception from longtime supporter Joy Behar, the rest of the show’s co-hosts treated him much more warily.
This was true not only for Whoopi Goldberg, who seemed to insult Sanders by touting Andrew Yang’s universal basic income proposal, but especially for Meghan McCain, who pressed the candidate to explain how could get anything accomplished in Washington given his extremely progressive agenda.
McCain’s questions came after Behar elicited a response from Sanders to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s apparent desire to see a “moderate” Democrat face Trump next fall. “I love Nancy, but she and I disagree on this issue,” he said. When Sanders went on to say, “I have conservative friends that I love and respect,” McCain interrupted him to ask, “Any in Congress or the Senate?”
Asked if he could “name one” sitting Republican he respects, Sanders came up with Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA), who announced his retirement just last week. “Your dad was somebody I worked with!” Sanders added.
“But they’re dead!” McCain shot back, referring to her father, the late Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). As Sanders started to praise former President George W. Bush, she again pushed him to name “anyone in office, if you were president, that you would work with on the other side.”
Finally, Sanders arrived at Lamar Alexander, the 79-year-old Republican senator from Tennessee. “Lamar is not a liar,” he said. “Lamar is not a sexist, he’s not a racist, he’s not a homophobe. He’s a conservative guy.”
Sanders failed to mention that Lamar Alexander would not be in the Senate by the time he hypothetically took office as president. At the end of last year, Alexander announced that he will not be seeking re-election in 2020.