Meghan McCain Talks Representing Conservatives on 'The View,' Calls Elisabeth Hasselbeck an 'Icon' (Exclusive)

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The View returned after a weeks-long hiatus on Tuesday, and Meghan McCain was back on the panel as the show's lone conservative voice. 

It's a lonely, often contentious position for the TV personality, but one she says she takes pride in. Speaking with ET's Keltie Knight on Tuesday, McCain said she takes the role of representing the point of view of the show's conservative viewers very seriously.

"I try to just remind myself that I'm representing 50 percent of the country," she shared. "I'm representing a bunch of women even though I only have one chair, and it's really important."

She also pointed to a former The View panelist as her inspiration, explaining, "I also try to think of, as cheesy as it sounds, what Elisabeth Hasselbeck used to mean to me when I was young."

"I used to watch The View in college and she was really such an icon for young Republican women and I hope I'm giving that to anyone that's watching," McCain shared. "I know there's people in the middle of the country that feel like they're really happy that someone is representing them."

However, with co-panelists Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Abby Huntsman and Sunny Hostin, tensions between McCain and her co-stars -- or her co-stars and other conservative guests -- can often get heated. But for her, it's all par for the course.

"Some days are really smooth and someday are Jeanine Pirro," McCain quipped, referring to an explosive exchange between the Fox News host and Goldberg during Pirro's appearance on the show last year. "It just depends on what the day is."

"I mean, I think that's why people like the show. They know it's not scripted and they know we're not being phony and I'm not trying to placate to an audience," McCain added. "I always say we're like the only show that [talks] about J.Lo and A-Rod and North Korea in the same show, and I think that's important."

Ultimately, McCain said the disagreements and fights are usually blown out of proportion by reporters, and for the panelists themselves, it's all water under the bridge by the time the show is over.

"We all have other projects and things going on. I actually forget about it. Other people remind me of fights, I'm like, 'I don't remember that one happening,'" she shared. "So you know I let it roll off pretty easy."

The View airs weekdays at 11 a.m. ET, 10 a.m PT/CT on ABC.

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