It takes guts and no small measure of insolence to tell someone their own father sold out on an important issue and quit being courageous after losing on that issue. Yet that's precisely what Geraldo Rivera did to Meghan McCain today in a segment taped by the Daily Beast.
Specifically, Rivera attacked Meghan McCain's father, John McCain, for being less "moderate" on the issue of immigration than even President George W. Bush, who Rivera claimed had been more willing to entertain a courageous about-face on the issue. Meghan McCain was stunned at the accusation.
"You think George Bush is more moderate than my father?" she gasped.
"On the issue of immigration, he certainly was," Rivera shot back. "Not your father in 2007, when I loved him, or 2006, I should say, but your dad changed halfway through...He back down on his principles. That's why I lost faith in him."
"Should I leave?" joked Meghan McCain, who continued to press Rivera on how exactly her father had backed down on immigration since 2006.
Rivera responded by pointing to McCain's 2010 Senate run against J.D. Hayworth. Mediaite reports:
Rivera pointed to the exact moment McCain had lost his vote: When McCain was running as an incumbent senator against J. D. Hayworth in 2010, he was asked whether he would vote for the immigration reform bill he himself had worked to draft alongside Ted Kennedy. McCain response? No, he would not. “It was like he threw a spear in my heart,” said Rivera, tying McCain’s response to Romney’s own stance on immigration reform.
Rivera then said that, nonetheless, McCain is a magnificent politician who deserves to be on Mt. Rushmore.
“I thought we were here to talk about Mitt Romney,” McCain interjected.
“You asked me and I’m just telling you,” said Rivera.
Watch the tense exchange below: