American Conservative Union chairman Matt Schlapp on Friday joined “The View” to discuss a number of controversies stemming from this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference—and the hosts absolutely hammered him.
Meghan McCain, who's dad John McCain was booed relentlessly during Donald Trump’s speech before the conference, demanded to know why “there can’t be a modicum respect” from the organization for her family.
“When President Trump called out my dad and led a crowd of booing, I was so upset, I was so hurt,” McCain said. “I know he’s not a conservative darling, but why at this moment when he's suffering from the worst brain cancer that exists and going through chemo, there can’t be a modicum of respect for my family from CPAC?”
Schlapp rattled off a talking point about McCain being a “national hero” before he told McCain he believes there can be a “disagreement on policy questions, and let’s keep it to policy.”
“I would have applauded you had you said that onstage at CPAC,” guest host Ana Navarro replied. “That crowd was getting stirred up to boo him by a guy who dodged the draft five times, man!”
“Why did you get up onstage and do it from of [those] people, not this audience?” Navarro wondered.
“The way John McCain would have done it—as he has,” co-host Joy Behar offered.
Sunny Hostin later explained she was “very disappointed” in a speech by ACU Communications Director Ian Walters, who said former GOP chairman Michael Steele was only picked to lead the party because he’s “a black guy.”
Playing a clip from Schlapp defending Walters to Steele—during which Schlapp demanded Steele show some “grace”—Hostin demanded, “What the hell does Michael Steele have to be graceful for?”
Schlapp argued Walters, as a “dark-skinned conservative,” has a right to discuss Steele’s race, and to suggest that’s the only reason Steele landed his job as GOP chairman.
“I will not tell my dark-skinned colleague … that he’s not able to have a point of view on these racial questions we have in society,” Schlapp said. “Shutting people down is the wrong way to handle this.”
“Isn’t the right way to handle it by shutting down racism?” Hostin shot back. “Isn’t that the right way to handle it?”
“You’re a Notre Dame Catholic!” she exclaimed. “That’s what we’re called upon to do.”
“I believe Ian … has the right to have a point of view,” Schlapp insisted.
“Does he have the right to be racist?” Hostin asked.
Watch the full exchange below, via ABC: