Whoopi Goldberg had to ask The View’s audience to applaud for the show’s first two guests on Wednesday morning, an inauspicious start for White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and her father, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.
Yet the interview began with perhaps the softest ball imaginable as Goldberg asked how Sanders is juggling her dual roles as spokesperson for Donald Trump and mother to three young children.
In regards to Trump’s 2 a.m. tweeting habit, Sanders joked, “Well, I'm already up. As a parent you're up 24/7 a day, so it's an easy transition.” As she did in her next breath, Sanders has repeatedly compared the White House press corps to her children in the past, but this may have been the first time she did so with the president.
It didn’t take long for Joy Behar to break the cheery spell, jumping in with a more pointed question of her own. “You always say I'll get back to you,” she said. “What is that about? Why do you keep saying ‘I’ll get back to you?’” Sanders insisted that “a lot of times” she will get back to individual reporters. “Who approved you coming here? The Mooch?” Behar followed up. “I mean, is that why he was fired? I’m shocked that you're here.”
Asked what advice her father gave her when she took the job in Trump’s White House, Sanders said, “It's the same advice he's given me in any other job, to always be honest and always be myself. If you live by those two things you don't have to worry about too much else. I try to go in every day with that in mind and never veer from that and so far it's served me pretty well.” The hosts apparently had nothing to say in response to the assertion that she’s always been “honest” from her podium.
Behar had tougher questions for Mike Huckabee. Given the “horrendous” things Trump has said about women in the past, she wanted to know, “How can you let your daughter defend him?”
“He's also empowered a lot of women,” Huckabee replied, using his daughter as a prime example. “People say, oh, he's a racist, but he's been on this show many times,” he added, as if somehow sitting down on a morning talk show moderated by a black woman negates racism.
“Yes, and I said it to him to his face!” Goldberg shot back at Huckabee, who had inadvertently opened the door to a conversation in which he had to convince the hosts that the president of the United States does not hate black people.
Huckabee admitted that Trump is not a “perfect man,” but added, “If I didn't have confidence in his integrity, I would never encourage my daughter to work for him.” Neither father nor daughter appreciated it when Behar replied by saying Trump has “nicer things to say about neo-Nazis” than he does about his predecessor Barack Obama.
Sanders would not even admit that anything Trump has said about women in his personal life has made it “harder for her to defend” him on a professional level. “I think he's an equal opportunity president,” she said. “He hits men just as hard. Women want equal opportunity and this president certainly gives it to them.”
When Huckabee said that as an evangelical Christian, he truly believes Trump “does look at people with intrinsic worth and value,” all Goldberg and Behar could do was laugh in disbelief.
Later, during a discussion about the Trump administration’s war against what it categorizes as “fake news” media, Behar said she feels for Sanders that she has to go out and defend Trump’s “lies” every day, citing Politifact’s scorecard for the president, which states only 5 percent of what he says is “true.”
“I completely disagree with the fact that what you're saying is only 5 percent of that is true,” Sanders said. “I know that is simply not accurate and I think that's one of the dangers we have right now is pushing so many false narratives every day, creating false perceptions about the president. I think America should want him to succeed. He is the president, whether they voted for him or not, and I think we have to get behind him.”
“You’re absolutely correct,” Goldberg replied. “But you also have to get somebody in office who recognizes what the truth is.”