‘The View’: Is Meghan McCain Right That It’s Harder to Be a Conservative Co-Host? Let’s Find Out

ABC’s all-female daytime talk show The View has certainly had a revolving door of co-hosts for several years. But no spot seems to be more contentious and controversial than the one or two positions for a conservative View host each season. Outspoken Republican co-host Meghan McCain, who joined the show in 2017, has repeatedly suggested that the conservative co-host position is often a nerve-wracking one. 

Most recently, journalist Abby Huntsman announced she was leaving The View after two seasons to serve on her father Jon Huntsman Jr.’s Utah gubernatorial campaign staff in 2020. While Huntsman insists there’s no bad blood with McCain or any other co-hosts and says the job was a “dream,” it’s clear the show can be a pressure cooker environment for many.

But is McCain right about how hard it is to stay on the show as a conservative co-host? Here’s the complete list of every right-leaning co-host on The View so far, as well as their tenure on the show and their reasons for leaving. 

Abby Huntsman
Abby Huntsman | Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

Elisabeth Hasselbeck

Elisabeth Hasselbeck joined The View as the show’s most conservative co-host thus far in 2003, replacing Lisa Ling. The former Survivor contestant was a devout Catholic and frequently sparred with co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Barbara Walters, and Rosie O’Donnell in particular. 

Hasselbeck got into two especially memorable fights on The View during her decade on the show. She threatened to quit the show in 2006, angry that Walters had “reprimanded” her on air during an argument about the ethics of the morning-after pill.

In another, she and Rosie O’Donnell famously fought (with a split-screen setup, no less) about the War in Iraq. The bad blood between the co-hosts was so extreme that it ultimately led to O’Donnell’s departure from the show. 

Hasselbeck claimed later in her book that she was asked to leave the show in 2013, allegedly due to her strong political beliefs. “I was bent over — shock, asthma and betrayal all stealing my wind,” she wrote of the firing. 

Candace Cameron Bure

Candace Cameron Bure, who first shot to fame in her role as D.J. Tanner on Full House, joined The View from 2015-2016 (Seasons 19 and 20) as another conservative co-host. Bure’s devout evangelical Christian beliefs often influenced her opinions on the show. However, she didn’t always appear comfortable with confrontations and didn’t seem to want to “get into it” with other co-hosts.

Bure announced in Dec. 2016 that she would be leaving The View to ease the burden on her family, as her appearances on the show had forced her to adopt a bicoastal lifestyle. She also wanted to focus more on her role in Netflix’s Fuller House and her many Hallmark Channel projects.

In an interview on The Wendy Williams Show after her departure, Bure said she was happy to be discussing “lighter topics.” 

“I don’t miss The View at all,” Bure said. “I love being on talk shows, I love hosting talk shows, but that was a hard job every single day, talking politics.”

Paula Faris

Paula Faris, a journalist and Good Morning America weekend correspondent at the time, joined The View as a co-host at the same time as Bure in 2015. Like Bure, Faris was a Christian conservative voice on the show. She frequently spoke about her faith as a co-host, but unlike Hasselbeck, she didn’t get into many heated political debates.

Faris left The View in Jul. 2018 to begin a podcast all about her Christian faith, as well as to move on to a senior correspondent role at ABC News. Her main reason for leaving, however, was her family. 

Faris told People at the time, “What kicked it off is that I had a really tough miscarriage. I feel like it was in that moment that really repositioned my priority compass and our family’s priority compass. I realized that my kids need me in the stands and on the sidelines, my husband and I need that time to reconnect.”

Jedediah Bila

Jedediah Bila was a bit of a wild card in the politics department, identifying as a right-leaning libertarian. The former Fox News commentator, who wrote about her conservative politics in her 2011 book Outnumbered: Chronicles of a Manhattan Conservative, joined The View as a co-host in 2016, starting in Season 20. 

As an independent, Bila often sparred with her more liberal co-hosts, but she wasn’t as driven by religious beliefs or set Republican values as some of her fellow conservative View hosts. 

Bila shocked viewers when she abruptly announced in 2017 that she would be leaving the show immediately. 

The co-host gave a friendly goodbye, saying warmly during her announcement, “What you don’t know about us, these ladies, we’re friends. Sunny’s texts, Sara, Whoopi, you’re my inspiration. Joy, when I need comedic relief, this is where I go.” 

Still, rumors spread that Bila was actually fired due to her less-popular libertarian beliefs, while others believed she was fired for criticizing Hillary Clinton during her guest appearance on The View.

Meghan McCain

McCain, a political commentator for Fox and other networks as well as the daughter of the late Sen. John McCain of Arizona, joined The View in 2017. The staunchly conservative co-host has repeatedly stated that she’s hoping to provide the kind of outspoken Republican voice on the show that Hasselbeck embodied.

McCain quickly became known for getting into heated political debates with her co-hosts, from a recent argument with Goldberg (who told her on air, “Girl, stop talking”) to numerous strong exchanges with Behar. As of 2020, though, McCain is still a co-host on the show, and she has repeatedly denied rumors of bad blood between her co-hosts and herself.

Abby Huntsman

Huntsman, who formerly worked for MSNBC’s The Cycle and as an assignment reporter for Fox & Friends Weekend, joined The View for Season 22 in 2018. After two seasons as a co-host, Huntsman announced she would be leaving to work on her father’s upcoming campaign in Utah as a senior advisor. 

The journalist’s last day on the show was in Jan. 2020. Although rumors abounded that Huntsman was pushed out because of troubles with co-host McCain, she vehemently denied that her exist was anything other than her choice. 

In a response to the rumors on the show, Huntsman declared on her last day at The View, “People go nuts with rumors on this show and this week has been no exception, but I just want to be as clear as I possibly can. This has been a dream come true. This has been an incredible job. And I do love everyone at this table.”