Meghan McCain Reveals the Comment From Joy Behar That Pushed Her to Leave 'The View'

Just months after her much-discussed exit from The View, Meghan McCain is opening up about the moment she knew it was time to leave the Hot Topics table for good. The former co-host announced in July that she would be leaving the most-watched show on daytime TV to spend more time with family in Washington, D.C., but it turns out that the moment that sealed the deal was an on-air spat with McCain's co-host Joy Behar.

Reflecting on her early relationship with Behar during her first few months on The View in a new interview with Variety, McCain said "there were pockets of time when Joy and I had a great relationship," as they had "foundational things that are similar. We're both strong. We were both unemotional." McCain said she "found a lot of synergy between us as women." However, their relationship soon took a turn, and those on-air spats became more frequent and more fiery, with McCain indicating that the start of the COVID-19 pandemic marked that change, as "it's easier to solve problems in person," something the co-hosts were unable to do as they temporarily filmed from their homes. But it was one discussion in particular that cemented McCain's decision to leave the show.

On Jan. 5, her second day back from maternity leave following the September 2020 birth of her daughter Liberty, McCain joked about how Behar must have missed her when she was gone. A stoic Behar, however, didn't hold back when she said, "I did not miss you. Zero." The comment, McCain said, left her in tears and marked "the day I decided" she would exit The View.

"I had postpartum anxiety. When I was back, I was really nervous. It was like starting TV all over again. I felt unsteady. I was trying to make a joke, 'You missed me so much.' If you watch the clip, her reaction is very sharp. I can't explain what it felt like," she recalled. "The people in the room with me in the D.C. bureau, there was a sound engineer and the hair and makeup artists. The sound woman looked shell-shocked at what she'd seen."

McCain said that Behar's comment rocked her, and following the show, she "went back to my office and I had a panic attack." McCain was "so overcome" that she "couldn't stop crying" and "threw up in the garbage can." She said she was most worried about the narrative that would arise from the remark — "'I come back from maternity leave and no one missed me.' I knew it was going to be everywhere. I was just so confused, because women when they have babies should be treated respectfully when they come back to work."

Although McCain asked for an apology from both the show's executive producer as well as Behar's producer, "they said she wouldn't do it." It was just six months later that McCain announced live on-air that she would be leaving The View, at the time stating that she was departing in order to spend more time with family. She last appeared on the talk show in August and has since gone on to take a job as a columnist and also executive produce the Lifetime original movie Don't Sweat The Small Stuff: The Kristine Carlson Story.