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If former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was expecting an easy day on The View, she certainly didn't get it. The guest co-host clashed with the other panelists repeatedly throughout Wednesday's episode, but things got particularly heated when she and Sunny Hostin sparred about the January 6 commission. While Rice toed the party line as she argued that "it's time to move on" from the insurrection, Hostin insisted that there's no moving on when polls estimate nearly 80% of Republicans want Trump to run in 2024, prompting an argument about the reliability of polls and the future of the GOP.
Rice opened her brief stint as The View's guest co-host by acknowledging that January 6 was "an assault on law and order and an assault on our democratic processes," but she quickly pivoted to praise Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who said yesterday that the 2022 election should not be about "what may have happened" that day. "What Sen. McConnell may be referencing is, yes, it's time to move on, in a lot of ways," said the former Bush administration official. "The American people are now concerned about what we call 'kitchen table' issues: the price of gasoline, inflation, what's happening with their kids in school."
"I hope that what we will do is move on to the next generation of leadership," continued Rice. "We ought to move on to the next generation, move ahead, and deal with the American people's issues."
Hostin was first to challenge Rice's point, saying, "The problem is, past will become prologue if we don't find out exactly what happened January 6."
Rice assured her that "we will find out," but said the government should focus on other issues in the meantime. "I live in California, not Washington, D.C., and the American people do have other concerns that we ought to be thinking about and talking about," she said.
Sec. @CondoleezzaRice: “Our institutions have to be upheld.”— The View (@TheView) October 20, 2021
“What happened on January 6th was wrong. I also know that as a government and as a country, we’ve got to be concerned about the things that are making life hard for Americans and hard for American families.” pic.twitter.com/GGA3FGfu3J
"Respectfully, Madam Secretary," said Hostin, in an attempt to cut in. "Let me finish, Sunny," replied Rice. "I don't know how much more strongly I can say, 'What happened on January 6 was wrong.' I also know that as a government and as a country, we've got to be concerned about the things that are making life hard for Americans and hard for American families."
When Hostin brought up a poll that found that "80% of Republicans" back Trump's 2024 run, Rice insisted that as "a political scientist," she doubts the "questions" and "assumptions that were actually in that poll." Added the former secretary of state, "I'm not going to take for granted that that poll is correct."
"So, Quinnipiac, you don't believe in their polls?" fired back Hostin. "No, I said I'm a political scientist. I understand polls," replied Rice. "Unless I really knew what was in that poll — I just want to repeat, as to what I want to see in my party. I want to see the next generation of leadership step up. I want those of us who have been there, done that to step back. And I want to move on to a better America."
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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.