Beto O’Rourke Battles Meghan McCain Over Trump-Nazi Analogy

By matt.wilstein@thedailybeast.com (Matt Wilstein)

Beto O’Rourke tried to ingratiate himself to Meghan McCain at the top of his latest appearance on The View. It didn’t work. 

“Congressman, not too long ago you were a huge rising star,” McCain told O’Rourke on Tuesday morning before painting a dire picture of his fledgling presidential campaign. “You’re polling at zero percent. [He’s actually averaging about 3 percent in recent polls.] You’re trailing Marianne Williamson in the important state of New Hampshire. Your fundraising numbers have gone down by a third. This isn’t great for momentum. Why do you think it’s cooled?” 

“You know what? That’s not what I feel when on the ground,” O’Rourke replied before McCain cut him off to say, “Facts are stubborn things.” 

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“But I think you know that at this time in many presidential races you have folks who are down in the polls, counted out, left for dead, who, through their persistence and courage and tenacity and the amazing people who comprise their campaign, rose to help lead their party and ultimately the country,” he said, citing the co-host’s late father Senator John McCain, who he referred to as one of his “heroes.” 

Unimpressed, McCain replied, “Yeah, his campaign full-on imploded, it’s true.” 

Things became even more tense later in the segment when McCain brought up recent comments O’Rourke made to ABC News comparing President Trump’s recent North Carolina event—where supporters chanted “Send her back!” in reference to Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN)—to an “impromptu Nuremberg rally.” 

In response to O’Rourke’s denunciation of right-wing “extremism,” McCain said, “You’re talking about Trump supporters, comparing them to Nazis in Nuremberg, that sounds extreme to me as well. When Democrats come on here and wax poetic about extremism—I’m not saying Trump isn’t doing it, but you’re calling everybody who was in that North Carolina rally a Nazi. From my standpoint, it seems like the left is pretty extreme as well.” 

Insisting that he was not calling “everyone” who was at that rally a Nazi, O’Rourke said, “We all have accountability for our actions and everyone who shouted to send them back is responsible as well.” 

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As The View’s audience cheered forcefully in response to that line, McCain glared at them and said, “I agree, but there were people in that rally that didn’t and you’re going to have to win over some of these people that voted for Obama and voted for Trump again.” 

“You have to understand how it looks for people in the middle,” she added, “thinking that maybe I don’t agree with everything that the left is saying so automatically you’re Nazis?” 

“I do’'t care who you voted for last time,” O’Rourke told her in response. “I don’t care if you’re a Trump supporter or a Republican. You’re an American first before you are anything else and I call you to this country’s greatness.” 

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