Meghan McCain Makes Emotional 'View' Return: "I'm Still Here Fighting"
"None of us agree at this table on very much when it comes to politics and the world, but we are all sisters here supporting each other. This is what America should be," John McCain's daughter, who took a leave of absence following her father's death, said of her co-hosts.
Meghan McCain returned to The View on Monday after taking a leave of absence from the ABC daytime show following the death of her father, Arizona Sen. John McCain.
"I have missed all of you so much. Thank you so much," she said as the audience applauded her return. After thanking ABC for giving her the time off, McCain thanked "all of America for being so kind to my family."
"From the second that my father passed ... there were people in the country — all races, all ages, all creeds — out there with American flags waving, saluting, praying," she recalled. "He would have loved it.
"Everyone came out and celebrated him with love and it made me so inspired that the ideals that my father espoused in his career are the ideals of America, and I think there was a lot of talk about what died with him and I'm here today to tell you it didn't," McCain continued. "It is alive and well and I need us to remember that.
"He believed in American exceptionalism. He believed America is the greatest country in the history of the world. He believed that when your candidate's opponent says something racist in a rally, you push back," she said. "That is John McCain and that is what America is."
McCain then took a moment to thank her co-hosts. "I just want to start with you, Whoopi [Goldberg]. My father loved you," she told her View co-host as she began to tear up, with Goldberg walking around the table to give McCain a hug. "And I love you. This woman has let me cry in her dressing room all year last year. I would go in before the show and she would let me cry on her shoulder." McCain continued, "Your daughter Alex and her friends, they are my sisters. You are my family. He loved you. And you wanted me to come back here, which is why I'm here."
"Abby [Huntsman], when my dad was first diagnosed, I got wasted with you. I drank so much," McCain said to the View co-host. "She was heavily pregnant and she watched me down Jack Daniels after Jack Daniels after Jack Daniels, and then I threw up and her sister held my hair back."
McCain then addressed guest co-host Yvette Nicole Brown. "People don't know this about you. You're a caregiver to your father, as well, and I met here on the show. I text with you all the time. You just prayed with me backstage. You're a true friend. I love you very much," she said as Brown walked over to give her a hug. "You're a very, very, very special person and I think you are someone who has such wisdom about taking care of our parents and the role we have to play as daughters, especially to our fathers."
"In this moment, I want you to know that everything that was in him was in you and this is your moment in time," said Brown. "He has passed the torch to you. The mantle has been passed to you, and you are the perfect person to carry on everything that he began."
McCain then addressed co-host Sunny Hostin. "When somebody dies, you need Sunny around because this is what she'll do. She'll text you and say, 'You need to hide out at my house? I got it for you and I won't tell anyone,'" she said. "You and [Hostin's husband] Manny prayed for me and you've been such a friend to me. You've been amazing to me. I also got drunk with you a few weeks before the [last season of the] show ended. I just appreciate having you here as a friend.
"None of us agree at this table on very much when it comes to politics and the world, but we are all sisters here supporting each other," McCain said. "This is what America should be."
She noted that her father's final farewell address represents how the country should be acting. "He said, 'We're Americans and we never surrender.' That's how I feel. We can never surrender to what is happening in the country right now," McCain said. "I understand how divided and how scared a lot of people are, and it looks like the fabric of democracy is fraying. We do not surrender." She added, "I'm still here fighting and I want all of you to fight with me."
McCain concluded her thoughts by addressing her faith. "God is real. I wouldn’t be here without my faith, but I also wouldn't be here without Joe Biden and Joe Lieberman," she said. "Those two men have carried me throughout this experience and I just want to thank them for being uncles to me. Really gone above and beyond. I'm sure they're like, 'I didn't realize when I became friends with John McCain that his daughter's drama would all become mine as well.' But they're the most wonderful men, both of them, and they've really carried me through this."
The View co-hosts praised McCain for the eulogy she gave at her father's funeral. "I will say that there's a lot of questions about his funerals in general and let me tell you, everything was planned down to the song and every element. Everything that was done, including my eulogy, he planned," she said. "I was so honored that he picked me as his daughter. I was the only woman to do it. The only woman to eulogize him.
"I never really understood when I was growing up why he made me so tough," McCain said. "Almost to my detriment, I am so tough, so strong, all the things I said. And I realized he made me so tough, so I would survive this and because maybe he knew there would be a time he wouldn't be here and someone needs to extend it. And my brothers and my sister will, as well.
"I will say that we're living in a time, some fathers raise their daughters to be seen and not heard. They raise their daughters not to speak out," she continued. "Raise strong women. Really, it is the only thing that is keeping me now is how tough he made me and he did that and I love him."
After relating that her family is doing well, McCain circled back to thank the co-hosts a final time for their support. "There is not enough said about women supporting women," she said. "I really, really would not have made it through this experience without every single one of you and I'm eternally grateful."
Watch the full segment, above.