"I can't believe I'm saying that I agree with former congresswoman Mia Love, but..."
It was a wild and woolly morning on The View, as the left-leaning Sunny Hostin teamed up with conservative guest co-host Mia Love to criticize President Joe Biden, much to Whoopi and Joy Behar's displeasure. The resulting debate took up two full segments, and culminated in a Whoopi vs. Sunny sparring match unlike anything fans have seen so far this season.
Tuesday's Hot Topic was nothing out of the ordinary — the ladies discussed Biden's low approval rating and Americans' seeming addiction "to people bashing," as Whoopi put it in her intro — but when Hostin called out Biden's disappointing first nine months in office, things spiraled. "His messaging for a lot of voters, especially the Black community, was, 'I'm going to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. I'm going to work on the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. I'm going to work on immigration reform,'" said Hostin. "Those were the bedrocks of his campaign, and he has been woefully deficient in meeting those campaign promises."
Whoopi and Joy immediately came to Biden's defense, arguing that he's only "been in nine months" and "the media isn't portraying him as a winner." Added Behar, "I don't care if the president has charisma. He does not. Joe Biden doesn't have it ... He's a good manager, though. He manages the country."
Love, for her part, disagreed with Behar's characterization of Biden. "It's easy to be a leader when things are going well. It is very difficult to be a leader when the crap hits the fan," she told the panel. "But the reality is, with all of the promises that were made and not kept, with what's happening at the border with immigrants, with Afghanistan, and also inflation going up, food prices, gas prices — the messaging is not getting to the American people: 'This is how I'm going to relieve you!'"
After the commercial break, Whoopi was finally able to respond, and she said Biden's been unable to keep his loftier promises because he was faced with more pressing issues immediately upon assuming office, like COVID and America's crumbling infrastructure. "I say, in nine months, I'm happy that he was able to get as much of the COVID [vaccine] in people's arms as he could, unemployment is down," she said. "It is not perfect. It's not the way I would like to see it done. I would do it differently if I was president, but you know, I'm not running."
WHY IS BIDEN’S MESSAGE NOT GETTING OUT? Though Pres. Biden recently passed his historic infrastructure bill that includes benefits such as paid family leave and healthcare improvements, #TheView panel questions if Americans are paying attention. https://t.co/cVclFZyKV0 pic.twitter.com/lPqaypYgRi— The View (@TheView) December 7, 2021
In a surprising move, Hostin replied by siding with Love, saying, "He has such a low approval rating right now. People have lost confidence, especially the people that brought him to the dance, that brought him to the barbecue!"
As Hostin continued to list Biden's unfulfilled promises to Black and Latinx voters and "unforced errors," Whoopi tut-tutted and sarcastically told her to "keep doing what you're doing." Seconds later, though, Whoopi seemed to have had enough. "Let's not even start with that!" she said, after Hostin brought up Biden's policy towards Haitian refugees. "That's not the question!"
"He was supposed to be a change agent, and he is not doing that!" yelled Hostin. "Yes he was!" fired back Whoopi. "He came in and had a pile of doody he had to clean it up!"
With that, the debate finally ended — but only because Sara Haines had to plug a new magazine from one of the show's sponsors. Not the most elegant transition, but after 20 minutes of yelling, we'll take it.
Claire Spellberg Lustig is the Senior Editor at Primetimer and a scholar of The View. Follow her on Twitter at @c_spellberg.