Meghan McCain explodes after Cory Booker gently scolds her for calling Beto O'Rourke 'crazy'
Sen. Cory Booker and Meghan McCain (ABC)

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) called out "The View" co-host Meghan McCain for slurring his Democratic rival Beto O'Rourke as "crazy."

The New Jersey Democrat appeared Wednesday morning on the ABC talk show, where the conservative McCain challenged him to defend his backing of gun buybacks.

"One of the things that I liked that you have said is that 'Medicare for all' is unrealistic right now, given that it will never pass," McCain said, "but you do support mandatory gun buybacks. When I heard you and Beto saying that, to me, that's like a left-wing fever dream."

She then issued a vaguely violent challenge to his policy proposal.

"I want to know how you think you and Beto are going to go to red states and go to my brother's house is can get his AR-15s, because let me tell you -- he's not giving it back," McCain said.

Booker said he didn't necessarily agree with O'Rourke on mandatory buybacks, and McCain fired back.

"Good," she said. "Because he's crazy."

Booker gently chided McCain for slurring his rival, who accused the TV host of endorsing violence by warning that a gun buyback would prompt violent resistance.

"We should watch the way we talk about each other," he said. "Seriously, we can't tear the character of people down."

"He has no problem doing it to me," McCain replied. "He was very nasty to me about this."

Booker reminded McCain that two wrongs don't make a right.

"You both know that just because somebody does something to us," he said, "doesn't mean you --"

"I'm not running for president," McCain interrupted. "With all due respect, and the way he talks about me inciting violence on this, I take very seriously and I speak for a lot of red state Americans, whether he or you like it or not, there is a lot of Republicans you have to win over."

Booker tried to smooth things over by saying he respected and admired McCain's voice, and told an anecdote about promoting civility with a supporter who wanted to punch President Donald Trump in the face -- but McCain again suggested her brother would violently defend his right to own military-style weapons.

"Just tell me semantically, how you're going to get my brother's gun back," she said.

Booker said assault weapons bans had worked in the past, but McCain wasn't convinced.

"So you're going to go to my brother's house?" she said. "My brother won't do it."

Booker said the bans and voluntary buybacks had worked in the past, and he again scolded McCain.

"Why are we playing into fearmongers that want to give this vision that people are going to show up at your house taking your guns away?" Booker said.