Meghan McCain: Greta Thunberg Didn’t ‘Earn’ Person of the Year

Matt Wilstein

Meghan McCain has mixed feelings about Time’s choice for Person of the Year.

Yes, she “disagrees” with Time magazine’s decision to put 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg on its Person of the Year cover. But, no, she will not “attack” a child, especially not when she has previously said it’s inappropriate to drag 13-year-old Barron Trump into critiques of his father.

“I don't put a lot of clout into the Time Person of the Year,” McCain said when the topic came up on The View Thursday morning. “Keep in mind, Hitler and the Ayatollah were also the Person of the Year.”

She went on to explain that she thinks the Ukraine whistleblower, who was named among the Guardians of the Year, would have been a “more salient and timely choice.” 

“It’s hard for me to talk about Greta Thunberg because she’s 16, and I still don’t believe in attacking underaged people,” McCain continued. “I disagree with her, I think everyone knows how I feel about climate change as religion on the left, but I’m not going to attack a 16-year-old in the same way I don't agree with attacking Barron Trump.” 

This led Joy Behar to wonder why Melania Trump will not defend Thunberg against her own husband’s bullying tweets when she was “so upset” about the Stanford professor who dared to mention Barron’s name during her impeachment testimony.  

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“So ridiculous,” President Trump tweeted in response to the Time cover on Wednesday. “Greta must work on her Anger Management problem, then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend! Chill Greta, Chill!” In response, Thunberg changed her Twitter bio to read: “A teenager working on her anger management problem.” 

“I did not think it was appropriate for Barron's name to be invoked even as an analogy, as some sort of pun,” Sunny Hostin added. “And I don't think it's appropriate for the president to go after a teenager who has Asperger's, who’s a climate change activist, and I would like to see from the first lady the same kind of energy and verve with which she used defending her son.”

Referencing Melania Trump’s #BeBest anti-bullying platform, Hostin said, “She’s married to the bully-in-chief!” 

But McCain wasn’t convinced, and couldn’t help attacking the teenage activist just a little bit. “I just didn't think she earned it in the same way that the whistleblower did when it comes to influence this year,” she said. 

After Behar noted Thunberg’s “global” impact over the past year, McCain continued sniping: “I don’t agree with her as a choice, and I also think if you are 16, is this peak for her? What comes next? I mean, this is a high, high bar for her,” adding, “I don’t know how you can possibly live up when you are 17 when you’re already person of the year.”

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—This story has been updated throughout.

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