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The View in Review

Sunny Hostin and Tara Setmayer Throw Down Over AOC: 'That is Not What Happened!'

Producers had to send the show to commercial to cool things off between the warring panelists.
  • Tara Setmayer played the conservative card today on The View. (Photos: ABC)
    Tara Setmayer played the conservative card today on The View. (Photos: ABC)

    The View has been light on fireworks over the past few weeks, but on Wednesday, viewers were treated to a major sparring match between Sunny Hostin and guest co-host Tara Setmayer. The two clashed during a Hot Topic about Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's criticism of moderate Democrats, and the screaming quickly escalated to the point that producers had no choice but to send the show to commercial to cool things down. Perhaps The View's search for its conservative co-host isn't as over as we thought...

    Though Setmayer largely kept her conservative views to herself on Tuesday, her first day at the table, she came out swinging on Wednesday morning while discussing AOC's warning to moderate Democrats ahead of the midterms. "The country is not left-of-center. We are a moderate country. Independents dominate the electorate. And it's swing districts that make a difference," she said. "It looks like it's a bloodbath for the Democrats if they don't turn things around. Now, the way to do that is not to go further to the left and get into these squabbles that give Republicans the ammunition they need for the culture wars."

    After Hostin quoted polls showing that "progressive policies are popular policies across the board," Setmayer replied with the popular Republican argument that someone has to "pay for" these programs. She added that AOC "also wants President Biden to rule by executive order, which is not how our system works," prompting an immediate response from Hostin, who said, "He has to! He can't build consensus with crazy people!"

    Whoopi stepped in to shut things down, but the debate picked up again after the commercial break when Setmayer accused progressives of destroying "the political capital" Biden built up with his infrastructure bill by "whining about Build Back Batter."

    "That's not what happened," replied Hostin. Beside her, Joy Behar agreed, and she explained that "the difference between the Democrats and the Republicans" is that only one party is afraid of their base. "The Democrats are not afraid of the Democratic base, and they should be," she said. "I consider myself a liberal Democrat, and I'm annoyed with the way they're behaving. They should be scared of me!"

    "Are you going to stay home though? Are you not going to vote?" fired back Setmayer. "The difference is that they need to demonstrate — okay, you're upset you didn't get Build Back Better at a $6 billion price tag, which was untenable, then what are the alternatives? The alternative is you compromise and we get some things done, or the alternative is Republicans come back into power, and you have the extremists that want to penalize talking about gays and —"

    Hostin then chimed in to correct Setmayer's characterization of the infrastructure bill and Build Back Better timeline. "What Biden said was, 'I can get Manchin's vote. Let's de-link these, and there won't be a problem. I can get the vote,'" said the former prosecutor. "What did Manchin do? Manchin reneged on that negotiation and said he was a 'No' on Build Back Better. What Build Back Better, that framework included things like childcare, universal preschool, paid family and medical leave—"

    "Which they couldn't pay for!" replied Setmayer. "They can pay for!" fired back Hostin, as Setmayer's protests continued. "This country pays for so many things, Tara! This country pays for wars. This country gives tax breaks to the rich. This country has money for everything except for poor people!"

    Whoopi Goldberg attempted to cut in as the two yelled over each other, but her efforts were ineffective. After a few uncomfortable seconds, The View's producers cued up the pre-commercial music, which finally put an end to the fiery debate. Who says The View's boring without Meghan McCain?

    Claire Spellberg Lustig is the Senior Editor at Primetimer and a scholar of The View. Follow her on Twitter at @c_spellberg.

    TOPICS: Sunny Hostin, ABC, The View, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Tara Setmayer, politics