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THE VIEW IN REVIEW

Sara Haines Shuts Down Sunny Hostin's Nikki Haley Critique: 'You Go By a Different Name!'

Hostin accused Haley of being a "chameleon" who changed her name to advance in politics.
  • Sara Haines and Sunny Hostin on The View (Photos: ABC)
    Sara Haines and Sunny Hostin on The View (Photos: ABC)

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    Sara Haines has largely avoided confrontation throughout the first two weeks of The View Season 26, but on Tuesday morning, she finally made her voice heard during a discussion about 2024 presidential candidates. When Sunny Hostin accused Nikki Haley, who Alyssa Farah Griffin suggested would make a good Republican nominee, of being a "chameleon" who changed her name to advance in politics, Haines put her foot down, saying, "Sunny, you go by a different name!"

    With two full years to go before the 2024 election, the co-hosts were careful to avoid making any declarative statements, but Griffin didn't hesitate to name a few people she believes could lead the Republican ticket. "It's time for some new blood. For me, I would love to see some Republicans who are credible," she said. "We've got some [candidates] if they're willing to challenge Trump. I'd love to see Nikki Haley, I'd love to see Liz Cheney. I'd love to see Chris Sununu."

    "Nikki Haley the chameleon, and Liz Cheney who's like the savior of [democracy]?" replied a sarcastic Hostin.

    As Griffin noted that Haley was "an incredibly effective governor of South Carolina," Hostin asked, "What is her real name, again?" Haley, the daughter of Indian immigrants, was born Nimarata Nikki Randhawa and adopted her husband's last name when they were married in 1996.

    Hostin argued that "if she leaned into it as a person of color, it would be different," but before Griffin could respond, Haines pivoted to discuss other Republicans likely to announce a run in 2024.

    After the commercial break, Griffin got another chance to defend Haley. "Nikki Haley has gone by 'Nikki' since she was a child. It's documented in high school," she said. "I wouldn't be shocked that as an Indian woman growing up in South Carolina at that time, she actually did that to avoid prejudice. So I just want to be careful about critiquing her for going by a name she's always gone by."

    "There are some of us that can be chameleons and decide not to embrace our ethnicity so we can pass," replied Hostin.

    That proved to be the last straw for Haines, who reminded Hostin that her birth name is "Asunción," but she goes by Sunny. "I didn't want to be the one to say it," added Griffin, with an awkward laugh.

    "Yes, because most Americans can't pronounce Asunción because of the under-education in our country," fired back Hostin.

    "But sometimes I would say what Alyssa is saying, which is that people gravitate to names for different reasons," said Haines.

    Finally, Whoopi Goldberg — who was born Caryn Johnson — stepped in to shut things down. "I'm just gonna kill this conversation," she said. "I am authentically myself. I am Whoopi Goldberg. And we'll be right back."

    Elsewhere on The View... Joy Behar had her co-hosts in stitches when she revealed that she just got her third COVID-19 vaccine booster shot, joking, "I've been jabbed more than I was on my honeymoon!"

    When Hostin asked if Behar had any arm soreness after the booster shot, Haines chimed in with a joke of her own: "What about the wedding night? Did you hurt?" Well played, Sara. Well played.

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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.

    TOPICS: Sara Haines, ABC, The View, Alyssa Farah Griffin, Nikki Haley, Sunny Hostin, politics