Meghan McCain Defends Joe Biden, Accuses Eric Swalwell of Using 'Ageist Crap' to Attack Democratic Frontrunner

Meghan McCain came to the defense of Democratic 2020 frontrunner Joe Biden on The View Friday, accusing rival Eric Swalwell of using "ageist crap" to attack the former vice president during Thursday's second night of debates in Miami.

Biden, 76, came under fire from California Representative Swalwell, 38, on more than one occasion on Thursday over his age.

"I was 6-years-old when a presidential candidate came to the California Democratic Convention and said it's time to pass the torch to a new generation of Americans," Swalwell said. "That candidate was then-Senator Joe Biden.

"Joe Biden was right when he said it was time to pass the torch to a new generation of Americans 32-years-ago," he continued. "He's still right today."

The comment sparked an intergenerational debate on stage, with the 37-year-old South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and 77-year-old Bernie Sanders also entering the fray. It wasn't until Senator Kamala Harris interjected that what she called a "food fight" came to an end.

In discussing the debate on The View, which has become an increasingly influential political forum heading toward 2020, McCain, the daughter of late Senator John McCain, took issue with Swalwell's approach.

"Did [Biden] have the greatest night he's ever had debating? No. Did it change my opinion of him? No," McCain began. "But I will say Eric Swalwell with this ageist crap, I hate it.

"I work with women of all ages. I want experience and people who know how Washington works and who have served and have a life and experience they can bring that to the White House. I thought Pete Buttigieg looked real young last night and real green. And Eric Swalwell take a seat, you're an asterisk on the end, Ok?"

Swalwell's references to age were far from Biden's biggest problem during the debate, however. The former senator from Delaware came under sustained attacks from Harris over his record on desegregation and especially the issue of busing.

"It was hurtful to hear you talk about the reputations of two United States senators who built their reputations and career on the segregation of race in this country," Harris said in response to recent comments from Biden in which he praised the "civility" of two segregationist senators and his ability to work with them in the 1970s. "And it was not only that—you also worked with them to oppose busing."

Biden struggled to respond on the night, eventually cutting his own answer short due to time constraints. In the day since, Biden has sought to brush off the controversy by insisting he was not against busing, a scheme by which students of color were bused to schools in whiter, more affluent districts, but opposed to federally mandated busing.

meghan mccain, joe biden, eric swalwell
Former Vice President Joe Biden and Representative Eric Swalwell speak during a break in the second night of the first Democratic presidential debate on June 27, 2019 in Miami, Florida. Drew Angerer