The View moderator Whoopi Goldberg and co-hosts Joy Behar, Sunny Hostin, Meghan McCain and Abby Huntsman were back at the Hot Topics table today, putting an end to summer-long speculation that one or another of the women would be taking a hike.
McCain, in particular, had been the subject of the will-she-or-won’t-she rumors, especially after she revealed in July that she’d secretly suffered a miscarriage last season. In a New York Times op-ed piece, the daughter of John McCain wrote that confirmation of the miscarriage came “at the worst possible time,” just before the show’s photo shoot.
“I look back at those pictures now, and I see a woman hiding her shock and sorrow,” McCain wrote. “I am posed for the camera, looking stern and strong, representing my fellow conservative women across the country. But inside, I am dying. Inside, my baby is dying.”
Rumors of McCain’s commitment to the daily afternoon talk show was questioned publicly after she took a brief, unexplained hiatus to mourn the end of her pregnancy.
McCain wasted no time stirring a ruckus, returning to her usual defensive stance — this time on the subject of proposed assault weapon bans. “If you’re going to be a gun-grabber you won’t get my vote,” she said.
Watch a clip of the exchange below.
The discussion followed the latest in a summer-long series of mass shootings, most recently this weekend in Odessa, Texas, where seven people died. McCain soon accused the other co-hosts of “virtue signaling” while she endorsed the AR-15 as “by far the most popular gun in America.”
“I was just in the middle-of-nowhere Wyoming,” McCain said. “If you’re talking about taking people’s guns from them, there’s going to be a lot of violence.”
When Behar pointed out that people lived with an AR-15 ban “for many years” under the Clinton administration, McCain said: “I’m not living without guns. It’s just that simple.”
At one point during the discussion, McCain rolled her eyes and said to herself, “All right, welcome back.” She also attempted to define “assault weapons” as “any gun other than a musket.”
Even former Fox Newser Abby Huntsman, returning to the show after time off last season before giving birth to twins in June, wasn’t on board with fellow conservative McCain.
“If nothing is going to happen after Sandy Hook,” Huntsman said, “I don’t know what it’s going to take.”
McCain’s comments were greeted on Twitter with expected disdain. Shannon Watts, founder of the anti-gun violence group Moms Demand Action, tweeted McCain’s quote about violence, with the hashtag “#walmart.”
To which former View co-host Rosie O’Donnell added about McCain, “hard to watch.”
With the table at full capacity today, last season’s frequent fill-in co-host Ana Navarro was announced as a continuing Friday co-host (Goldberg typically takes Friday off).
“There is something about this particular group of women at this particular moment in our country that has touched a nerve and made The View resonate like never before,” said executive producer Brian Teta. “No matter what your point of view, you’ll find someone who represents it passionately, fighting for you at The View table.”
Among the upcoming guests announced for Season 23’s first month are Sen. Bernie Sanders; former astronaut Mark Kelly, who is running for John McCain’s Senate seat; Jennifer Lopez; Kim Kardashian West; Rapper Rick Ross; Pamela Anderson; Wendy Williams; Gwen Stefani; Chef Bobby Flay; Keke Palmer; the cast of Downton Abbey; authors Stephen King, Margaret Atwood, Ta-Nehisi Coates and Malcolm Gladwell; and original View moderator Meredith Vieira.
Hilary Estey McLoughlin serves as senior executive producer with Candi Carter and Brian Teta as executive producers. The View is directed by Sarah de la O.
Here’s the video of today’s discussion on guns. McCain’s portion starts at the 1:50 mark.