Meghan McCain duly expressed her (performative) outrage on the March 5 episode of “The View” over President Joe Biden’s assertion that Republicans are engaging in “Neanderthal thinking” for rolling back COVID-19 restrictions.
After Joy Behar, who had just joked that Neanderthals existed when she graduated high school, questioned if the controversy surrounding Biden’s comments was simply “manufactured outrage,” the outspoken Republican co-host made it clear that she found Biden’s comment highly offensive, and shot down the idea that the outrage was manufactured. She said Biden’s words only reinforce negative stereotypes about how Democrats view Republicans.
“You can laugh and say ‘Oh, it’s a joke,’ whatever, but Republicans across the country already feel like people on the left think they’re dumb rednecks,” she continued, “they’re just stupid deplorables in baskets, nobody cares about their trucks and their flags. That’s what Republicans think the media thinks of them.”
McCain also recalled a comment made by Hillary Clinton at New York fundraiser in 2016, where the then-Democratic nominee said half of former President Donald Trump’s supporters fit into a “basket of deplorables.” The co-host said the comment “really ended up hurting her” and that Biden’s recent comment is a “self-inflicted wound.”
After governors in Mississippi and Texas announced they were lifting major COVID-19 restrictions, including mask mandates and occupancy limits, Biden expressed his disapproval, saying it’s not the time for “Neanderthal thinking.”
“I think it’s a big mistake,” Biden said on March 3. “Look, I hope everybody’s realized by now, these masks make a difference. We are on the cusp of being able to fundamentally change the nature of this disease because of the way in which we are able to get vaccines in peoples’ arms … and the last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking.”
As the nation’s COVID death toll continues to climb past 500,000, about 15 percent of Americans have been vaccinated against the virus. However, experts say 80 to 90 percent of the population would have to have COVID immunity for herd immunity to be reached.
On social media, users sounded off about McCain’s outrage.
Sunny Hostin seemed to find the “pearl-clutching” response to Biden’s comments laughable.
“All the pearl-clutching over language is really something to me when you have four years of someone speaking in the lowest of terms and debasing people and degrading people,” Hostin said in an allusion to Trump. “I think he put the term kind of nicely. I think I would have called it something worse than Neanderthal thinking quite frankly.”
Co-host Sara Haines, who was also unbothered by Biden’s comments, joked that picking on an extinct Homo sapien seemed like “pretty safe ground” to her.
“As someone who is two percent Neanderthal, I represent my community. I’m not offended,” Haines said.