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For better or for worse, ex-Trump official Alyssa Farah has established herself as the frontrunner to fill Meghan McCain's seat on The View. Farah, who spent seven months in the Trump White House in 2020, went head-to-head with the regular panelists during her two days as guest co-host, and she refused to back down when they challenged her Republican talking points (of which there were many).
Farah was particularly McCain-esque on Tuesday, when she insisted that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and "the Squad" are holding up Biden's infrastructure agenda, rather than moderate Democratic Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema. "Why are we demonizing moderates?" she asked. "Republicans and Democrats in the Senate came up with an infrastructure package that I think most Americans can get on board with. It's AOC and the Squad in the House that are demanding we have this $3.5 trillion package that goes along with it. I don't blame Sinema and Manchin. I blame House Democrats."
True to form, Sunny Hostin told the conservative that this is "not true," as "Sinema and Manchin wanted two bills passed" and agreed to vote for both. "They reneged on that, and they only decided to vote on the smaller bill so they could get what they wanted," said Hostin. "So the progressives are the ones that are supporting Biden's agenda. And by the way, Biden's agenda is supported by the majority of Americans. 66% of Americans, 61% of Independents, 39% of Republicans. And also, 65% of Arizona likely voters support the plan, so who is Sen. Sinema representing?"
Farah responded by saying "you've gotta separate" the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill ("Which is an infrastructure bill," interrupted Hostin) from the smaller infrastructure bill, which she sees as more necessary. "Things that transformational, I would agree we need Republican support and Democrat support," she said. "I don't think we should be doing transformational legislation without any buy-in from the other side."
BIDEN CALLS OUT MANCHIN, SINEMA FOR STALLING BILL: After the president voiced his frustration on the holdup of his infrastructure agenda and the two senators clashed with activists on planes, boats, and in a public bathroom, the co-hosts discuss. pic.twitter.com/Xtnd32eh9M— The View (@TheView) October 5, 2021
When the co-hosts reminded her that "you're not going to get buy-in" from Republicans, Farah once again said that "it's House liberals that are blocking [the bill] from moving forward," prompting Joy Behar to hit her with the receipts. "Let's take a look at what the Squad wants," said the longtime co-host. "Expanded Medicare: we need that. Paid family and medical leave: we need that! I certainly need it. An extended child tax credit to get people out of poverty. Universal pre-K — why not give all children a leg up, not just people with money? Tuition free community college: the country's getting dumber, send them to college!"
Farah laughed at Behar's joke (a likely sign she'll be welcomed back to the table), but a few minutes later, she hit the liberal with her Republican talking points. "It has to be paid for. There's no such thing as a free lunch," she said, as Behar said taxing the rich is a viable solution. "That's the discussion that needs to be had, but this bill is not paid for, as it is."
"Let's also mention that Republicans keep on saying, 'How is it going to be paid for?'" replied Hostin. "They never said that when we were talking about tax cuts for the rich, first of all. And second of all, this is over 10 years. It's over 10 years. And that is something that no one is talking about."
While it remains to be seen whether Farah will return to The View in the future, there does seem to be one very important person in her corner: Meghan McCain. On Monday, McCain tweeted about her husband, Ben Domenech, hosting Fox News Primetime, and Farah responded by saying that "sexy, brilliant Meghan is dropping fire at The Daily Mail," where the former View co-host writes an opinion column.
♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) October 5, 2021
It might be a nothing burger, but let's just say Meghan McCain isn't tweeting hearts at Mia Love, Mary Katharine Ham, or other guest co-hosts.
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Claire Spellberg Lustig is the TV Editor at Primetimer and a scholar of The View. Follow her on Twitter at @c_spellberg.