Meghan McCain: 'Don't underestimate' Bernie Sanders

“The View” co-host Meghan McCain warned viewers on Tuesday not to underestimate Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersVolatile presidential polls spark new round of anxieties GOP memo deflects some gun questions to 'violence from the left' British Bookmaker: Warren has replaced Biden as Democratic primary favorite MORE (I-Vt.) during the 2020 presidential race, calling him a “truly formidable" candidate. 

“The thing I will say about him is don’t underestimate him,” McCain said on the talk show shortly Sanders announced his White House bid.

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McCain pointed to Sanders’s early success during his 2016 presidential run before ultimately losing the Democratic nomination to former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonAre Democrats turning Trump-like? The Hill's Campaign Report: Battle for Senate begins to take shape The Hill's Morning Report — Trump and the new Israel-'squad' controversy MORE.

She also noted that the Democratic National Committee last year voted to limit the power of superdelegates in picking presidential nominees. The move was viewed by Sanders supporters as a victory because they maintained that without superdelegates, he would have been the party standard-bearer.

“He’s still the original — with all socialist disciples coming up after him,” McCain said of Sanders. “I think he’s a truly formidable candidate, I wouldn’t underestimate him.”

“He’s the most popular politician in the country right now,” McCain added.

The Vermont senator, 77, announced on Tuesday that he was entering the crowded Democratic field against President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump watching 'very closely' as Portland braces for dueling protests WaPo calls Trump admin 'another threat' to endangered species Are Democrats turning Trump-like? MORE, whom Sanders described as "an embarrassment to our country."

"I think he is a pathological liar," he said in an interview on Vermont Public Radio. "I also think he is a racist, a sexist, a homophobe, a xenophobe, somebody who is gaining cheap political points by trying to pick on minorities, often undocumented immigrants."

Sanders is competing against several of his Senate colleagues, including Democratic Sens. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisAre Democrats turning Trump-like? Volatile presidential polls spark new round of anxieties Conservative commentator rips Shapiro over criticism of people with multiple jobs MORE (Calif.), Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandSteve King to Gillibrand: Odds of me resigning same as yours of winning presidential nomination The Hill's Morning Report — Recession fears climb and markets dive — now what? King incites furor with abortion, rape and incest remarks MORE (N.Y.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenAre Democrats turning Trump-like? Manufacturing shrinks, raising questions for Trump Volatile presidential polls spark new round of anxieties MORE (Mass.).

Early polls show Sanders near the top of potential Democratic contenders in early primary states.

A Des Moines Register–CNN–MediaCom poll of likely Iowa caucusgoers conducted in December showed Sanders in second place, after former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenAre Democrats turning Trump-like? Volatile presidential polls spark new round of anxieties British Bookmaker: Warren has replaced Biden as Democratic primary favorite MORE, who has not yet announced whether he will run in 2020.

Feb. 19 straw poll by the liberal blog Daily Kos showed Sanders in first place, far ahead of Harris, Warren, Biden and others.