Meghan McCain, Joy Behar spar over school reopenings: ‘I don’t think it’s fair to say Republicans don’t care about children’

During Monday’s episode of "The View," which returned following a weeklong hiatus, co-hosts Meghan McCain and Joy Behar got in a heated debate over the issue of schools reopening this fall as the coronavirus pandemic persists in the U.S.

“I am someone who is a proponent of children going back to schools,” McCain said, mentioning a recent CNN article on the collateral costs of kids staying home. “This is just unsustainable for a lot of working families ... and they’re having to make these hard decisions between ... having childcare and having their kids go to school.”

However, McCain added that she is not remotely pleased with the federal response to the issue, or as she sees it, lack thereof. She specifically criticized Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’s Sunday interview on CNN, where DeVos was murky on reopening procedures for schools in coronavirus hot spots.

“Everyone from Betsy DeVos on down, Republicans, Democrats, vote everybody out on both sides,” McCain said. “Because I’m so sick of our paying taxpayers dollars to come up with absolute jack, five months in for the children of America.”

Joy Behar agreed on the DeVos dig, but saw the reopening debacle in more partisan terms.

“[Republicans have] been spending the last few decades defunding education,” Behar claimed. “And they think that we’re going to believe this baloney that they’re throwing at us now? That they care about our children? Give me a break.”

“I don’t think it’s fair to say Republicans don’t care about children. I think that’s very aggressive and incendiary,” she said.

That led to a shouting match between McCain and Behar with the latter claiming she said they don’t care about “education” not “children.”

As the she-said/she-said cross-talk escalated, Goldberg played teacher and stepped in. “I swear to God if you don’t stop, I’m going to take us to break,” she said. 

After the show, as tensions cooled, McCain tweeted how she lives “to spar” with Behar on the show. Behar replied “we love it.”

Video Transcript

WHOOPI GOLDBERG: OK, I swear to God, if you don't stop, I'm going to take us to break again. OK?

- Monday on "The View," co-hosts Meghan McCain and Joy Behar got into a heated debate over the issues of schools reopening.

MEGHAN MCCAIN: Because I am someone who is a proponent of children going back to school. This is just unsustainable, for a lot of working families, for single moms, for parents that work and they're having to make these hard decisions.

- However, McCain criticized Education Secretary Betsy DeVos' recent interview on CNN and the lack of a federal plan on the reopening issue.

MEGHAN MCCAIN: Everyone from Betsy DeVos on down, Republicans, Democrats, as far as I'm concerned, vote everybody out on both sides from the ground up. Because I'm so sick of our paying taxpayer dollars to come up with absolute jack five months in for the children of America.

- But Joy Behar, a former teacher herself, was more partisan in her criticism of all Republicans.

JOY BEHAR: They've been spending the last few decades defunding education. And they think that we're going to believe this baloney that they're throwing at us now that they care about our children?

- Recently, President Trump has threatened to defund schools that don't fully reopen. But McCain took issue with Behar lumping him in with all Republicans.

MEGHAN MCCAIN: Well, I don't think it's fair to say Republicans don't care about children. I mean, I think that's very aggressive and incendiary. But I think when you're-- education, whatever-- but [? when ?] I think you're talking--

JOY BEHAR: Education. Excuse me.

- McCain later tweeted how she lives to spar with Behar on the show, and Behar seemed to agree. But in the moment, only Whoopi could end the verbal brawl.

WHOOPI GOLDBERG: OK, I swear to God, if you don't stop, I'm going to take us to break again. OK?

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