During Tuesday's Democratic presidential debate, South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg claimed Republicans will try to paint the party's nominee as a radical socialist, even if he or she has a moderate track record. "View" co-host Meghan McCain called his comment absurd.
Buttigieg said:, "It's time to stop worrying about what the Republicans will say. Look, if it's true that if we embrace a far-left agenda, they're going to say we're a bunch of crazy socialists. If we embrace a conservative agenda, you know what they're going to do? They're going to say we're a bunch of crazy socialists. So let's just stand up for the right policy, go out there and defend it."
McCain said Buttigieg's comment will hurt him with independent voters, and she said he was putting words in the mouths of Republicans to try to score political points.
"Mayor Pete, when you're talking about 'Republicans are going to paint everybody as being socialists,' that's just ridiculous and a really good way to lose the moderates," she said Wednesday on "The View." "I thought you as the South Bend, Ind., mayor were trying to get -- do you know who I don't think is a socialist? Joe Biden, I don't think Tulsi Gabbard is a socialist. There are many candidates on the stage I don't think that. So please don't put in my mouth that I'm going to paint all Democrats as socialists. I don't think there's a socialist sitting at this table with me. I think that is a cheap talking point, and I used to like him."
Co-hosts Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg also piled on the criticism and said Buttigieg's disrespect of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., was uncalled for and rude, drawing another comment from McCain about the mayor's on-stage demeanor.
"I thought that was so obnoxious/ ... It's terribly disrespectful," McCain replied.
Goldberg said she was perturbed by the lack of respect Buttigieg had for his elders and claimed she had warned him about it when he appeared as a guest on their show.
"I did point that out to him when he was here," she said. "It's one of the things that I don't appreciate because there have been -- again, I keep saying it -- you all are standing on shoulders that have been fighting these fights for years."