Meghan McCain, the conservative The View host who has long been a vocal critic of Donald Trump, admitted on Sunday that she was “wrong” about Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, saying that she underestimated her, AOL News is reporting.
Speaking to ABC News’ This Week, McCain said that she completely failed to anticipate how Pelosi would handle squaring off with Donald Trump over the government shutdown. By most accounts, Pelosi came out the victor in recent shutdown negotiations, as Trump signed a temporary spending bill that does not include any money for the border wall, which was itself the reason for the shutdown.
The 78-year-old Pelosi has represented California’s 12th Congressional District for 17 terms – that’s 34 years, going back to the Reagan administration. During her career in Congress, she’s served twice as Speaker (2007–2011 and 2019–present), twice as House Minority Leader (2003–2007 and 2011–2019), and once as House Minority Whip (2002–2003).
To McCain, she represents the Democratic Party’s Old Guard, and McCain admits she felt like Pelosi should have stepped aside for younger, fresher leadership.
McCain admits she never anticipated that Congress would force Donald Trump to blink, not with Pelosi in charge of the House.
“I was one of the people that was saying that Nancy Pelosi was not the right speaker going forward, that they needed leadership change. I’m here saying I was wrong, I completely underestimated how powerful and how strong she is.”
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) January 28, 2019
McCain, who like her late father, Arizona Senator John McCain, has been a vocal critic of Donald Trump, is still, at her core, a conservative. In fact, according to a Yahoo Finance report, she’s had to shrug off suggestions that she’s no longer a Republican.
This past weekend, she took to Twitter to defend herself against accusations that she’s left the GOP.
“These headlines are ridiculous – I stated very clearly I am a member of the party, and vote on the republican ticket but that I put my conservative principles and worldview above all else.”
She’s actually come to the defense of the Republican party, however obliquely. For example, on the topic of Trump’s border wall, she rejects the idea, held by some Trump opponents, that the entire notion is based on racism. As a person from Arizona, she understands first-hand the problems that result from illegal immigration. Similarly, she rejects the notion that the entire GOP is, at its core, an institution that embraces racism.
Meanwhile, McCain admits that her time on The View may be limited. Comparing seats on the show to a Las Vegas residency, she says that if people don’t like her on the show, producers can replace her at a moment’s notice.