The panel was discussing Beto O’Rourke‘s sudden exit from the presidential primary race, a decision McCain said was the result of the ex congressman’s stance on mandatory gun buybacks and efforts to remove tax exempt status from religious institutions that don’t support gay marriage.
“He did a lot of, like, battleground culture war,” she said, “and he ran as the most left, most woke candidate. Look where he ended; one of the first out of the race.”
“But that’s the point of the electoral process is that you are supposed to sink or swim,” McCain added.“That’s the whole point so you know when you get to the general, you know who you’re working with.”
She then mentioned Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif), saying she was “shocked” that the one-time favorite “is doing as poorly as she is” in the polls. Co-host Joy Behar argued that Harris had lost support because of the way she went after Joe Biden during the first Democratic debate.
Hostin disagreed, however, saying it was much too early to count her out completely.
McCain countered her argument, noting that with the Iowa caucuses just a few months away, candidates are in a time crunch.
“The problem with Iowa is you start getting momentum,” the conservative commentator said. “You talk about people wanting to get excited. People are going to see a winner in both of those races and it’ll create momentum that downturns into Super Tuesday.”
“Primary politics is the only thing I know 100 percent well,” McCain added. “I grew up in this. It’s actually not that much time.”
However, Hostin hit back with a few historical examples to rebut McCain. First, she pointed to President Ronald Reagan, who launched his campaign less than 400 days before going on to win the presidency.
“Ronald Reagan was the shortest person to sort of launch a campaign,” Hostin explained. “He didn’t announce until mid-November, 1979. He gave himself only 357 days before winning. So, there’s time.”
She further noted that candidates have until Nov. 3, 2020M to hop in the race.
“Good luck with that, whoever’s doing that,” McCain muttered.
Watch more in the clip below.