"He put her in the ground, I enjoyed it," McCain said of Biden's interaction with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y. McCain was specifically reacting to an exchange at the second Democratic primary debate in which Gillibrand suggested the former vice president denigrated women in the workplace.
"What did you mean when you said when a woman works outside the home it's resulting in 'the deterioration of family'?" she asked, referring to his 1981 op-ed on his opposition to tax credits for child care.
Biden responded by mentioning how he had to raise his two surviving children as a single father after his first wife and 1-year-old daughter were killed in a car accident.
"As a single father who, in fact, raised ... children for five years by myself, I have some idea what it costs," he said during Wednesday's debate.
He also noted how Gillibrand praised his work on gender equality, adding that her opinion seemed to change once she ran for president. "I don't know what's happened, except that you're now running for president," he said.
Co-host Sunny Hostin similarly scolded Gillibrand for playing "dirty politics" by lodging an "unfair" and "desperate" attack against Biden. After defending Biden's comments in his op-ed, Hostin said Gillibrand "lied to the American people."
"You don't do that, senator," Hostin said, while wagging her finger towards the camera. "You don't do that when you're on a debate stage." She added that Biden handled the exchange "so well."