‘The View’ struggles to find just the right Republican punching bag to co-host

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To be, or not to be, seems to be the question for ABC’s “The View,” amid reports that the day time talk show is struggling to find just the right Republican host to replace Megyn McCain.

As might be expected, Donald Trump is at the center of the conundrum facing executive producer Brian Teta, who reportedly is seeking someone who is somewhere in the middle when it comes to the former president, who is still very popular with many conservative.

“Sources close to the show said that the search has stalled as executives struggle to find a conservative cast-member who checks all the right boxes,” Politico reported. “They will not consider a Republican who is a denier of the 2020 election results, embraced the January 6 riots, or is seen as flirting too heavily with fringe conspiracy theories or the MAGA wing of the GOP. But at the same time, the host must have credibility with mainstream Republicans, many of whom still support Donald Trump.”

The show has been using a rotating cast of Republican guest hosts, with Politico noting that Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Sara Haines, and Sunny Hostin have grown tired of the process and “are upping the pressure to pick a successor, and voicing their displeasure at having to introduce new guest hosts week after week in a seemingly endless process that they find disruptive to the flow of the show.”

“The problem is that they bring people on under the mantle that this woman is a conservative, when they’re ‘Never Trump,’ so they don’t represent the country,” one such rotating guest host told the political news outlet.

Hostin commented on what she believed a permanent conservative co-host should NOT encompass while being profiled by New York Magazine.

“Right now, we still do need a really conservative voice,” she said. “I also believe it’s really important to not have someone on the panel who spreads misinformation, who adheres to the big lies, who is an anti-vaxxer, because I think that’s dangerous.”

CNN’s favorite Trump-hating Republican Ana Navarro’s name is referenced in the article. She has appeared on the show, but is seen as “too chummy” with the regular co-hosts — perhaps, that’s because she is a closet liberal. Market research reportedly shows that the audience wants to see the women go at one another so, in effect, they need a Republican the other ladies can beat up on once in a while — one who can stand up to the beating without punching back too hard.

“They are really looking for a unicorn,” an anonymous former show staffer is quoted. “They want someone who is going to fight — but not too hard, because they don’t want it to be ugly and bickering.”

Some of the fill-ins used thus far have included S.E. Cupp, Alyssa Farah, Morgan Ortagus, Condoleeza Rice, Carly Fiorina, and Gretchen Carlson. Citing sources, and the article said Fox News’ Kat Timpf was seen as a strong recruit but that “she turned them down because of the show’s reputation for treating conservatives poorly and her contract with Fox.”

“It doesn’t help that there’s a perception that whoever sits in the conservative host slot is on borrowed time, with prominent Republican former co-hosts like NICOLLE WALLACE, ELIZABETH HASSELBECK, ABBY HUNTSMAN and McCain leaving the show with claims of being bullied by their co-hosts and ABC executives on-set and off, while veterans like Goldberg and Behar have thrived,” Politico observed.

On that note, here’s a quick sampling of responses to the story from Twitter:

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