While The View co-host Meghan McCain began Wednesday’s episode with a critique of Steven Bannon’s attempts to influence the Alabama special election, the daughter of Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) broke down while discussing Joe Biden’s new book. Beau Biden, the former vice president’s eldest child, died from complications due to severe brain cancer in 2015. Biden is currently promoting the book, which has been described as a memoir about his son Beau, and his ongoing promotional tour included Wednesday’s stop on The View.
Hence why McCain, whose politician father (and Biden’s former presidential ticket rival) was diagnosed with the same form of brain cancer in July, broke down:
“I couldn’t get through your book. I tried. Your son Beau had the same cancer that my father was diagnosed with six months ago. And I’m sorry. I think about Beau almost every day, and I was told — sorry — that this doesn’t get easier, but that you cultivate the tools to work with this and live with this. I know you and your family have been through a tragedy that I couldn’t conceive of. What would you tell people?”
She then interrupted herself, declaring “it’s not about me” when Biden and Sunny Hostin — who had been sitting next to McCain — switched places so the vice president could comfort her:
“It is about everyone, but look. One of the things that gave Beau courage, my word, was John. Your dad, you may remember when you were a little kid, took care of my Beau. Your dad, when he was working with me, became friends with Beau. And Beau talked about your dad’s courage — not about illness, but about his courage.”
Toward the end of the segment, which lasted nearly seven minutes and can be watched in full here, Biden recalled the car accident that killed his first wife and daughter and left Beau and his brother in the hospital. He then apologized for going “too long,” but McCain quickly swooped into the conversation to thank him. “Thank you for your compassion,” she said. “You’re a great hope to me and everyone else in the country right now.”
UPDATE: Sen. John McCain responded to Biden’s kind words to his daughter on Twitter: “Thank you @JoeBiden & the entire Biden family for serving as an example & source of strength for my own family.”