Meghan McCain rips Tom Steyer during 'View' appearance: 'You bought your way' onto debate stage

"The View" co-host Meghan McCain got very confrontational with billionaire Democratic donor Tom Steyer during his Friday morning appearance on the daytime talk show, particularly over his participation in the upcoming Democratic debate.

McCain began the hostile exchange by pointing out that he and fellow billionaire candidate Michael Bloomberg have spent "$200 million" on political ads and acknowledged that he had managed to earn a podium on the debate stage despite his relative lack of standing in the polls

"I think you bought your way there and I don't think it's fair that you're there and Cory Booker isn't," McCain sternly said. "Change my mind."

Steyer responded by explaining he has a clear "message" that the government is "broken" and "bought by corporations" and said he had spent a lot of time in the early battleground states, which ultimately helped him earn enough standing in state polls to qualify for the debate.

"So did Cory Booker but he doesn't have $200 million," McCain swiped back.

The billionaire spun the criticism by vowing to "break the corporate stranglehold on our government" by self-funding his candidacy. But that didn't pass muster with McCain.


"It's good that you have $100 million to buy Facebook ads to get you onto the debate stage," she told Steyer. "I'm completely unconvinced by this, but we can move on."

After Steyer promised liberal co-host Joy Behar that he would help "vulnerable" candidates in other races, McCain quickly dismissed him.

"That doesn't make you a good politician, with all due respect," McCain said. "And Mayor Bloomberg was mayor [of New York City] for three terms, so if you're going to go the billionaire route, he's a lot more compelling than you are."

"Well, let me put it this way... he's a very different person," Steyer responded.

"He's a seasoned politician!" McCain shot back.


Steyer is one of seven candidates who qualified for next week's debate in Los Angeles, along with former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang.

Last month, McCain had similarly harsh criticisms of Steyer's candidacy.

"You can't buy voters. Tom Steyer is actively trying to do that right now ... I think that is un-American and disgusting," McCain previously said. "And I do not think you should be buying voters in the United States of America and the idea that you can just come in because you're a billionaire at this late stage in the game -- I am not for [that]."

Fox News' Sam Dorman contributed to this report.