Meghan McCain: 'Don't underestimate' Bernie Sanders

“The View” co-host Meghan McCain warned viewers on Tuesday not to underestimate Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersWarren raised more money from Big Tech employees than other 2020 Democrats: Report Krystal Ball reacts to Ocasio-Cortez endorsing Sanders: 'Class power over girl power' Saagar Enjeti praises Yang for bringing threat of automation to forefront at Ohio debate 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 ClintonFarrow: Clinton staff raised concerns over Weinstein reporting Perry says Trump directed him to discuss Ukraine with Giuliani: report The Memo: Once the front-runner, Biden now vulnerable 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 TrumpDemocratic senator rips Trump's 'let them fight' remarks: 'Enough is enough' Warren warns Facebook may help reelect Trump 'and profit off of it' Trump touts Turkey cease-fire: 'Sometimes you have to let them fight' 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 HarrisCampaign aide replaces Trump with Kamala Harris in viral 'meltdown' photo Warren raised more money from Big Tech employees than other 2020 Democrats: Report Poll: Biden, Warren support remains unchanged after Democratic debate MORE (Calif.), Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandOvernight Defense — Presented by Boeing — House passes resolution rebuking Trump over Syria | Sparks fly at White House meeting on Syria | Dems say Trump called Pelosi a 'third-rate politician' | Trump, Graham trade jabs Senate confirms Trump's Air Force secretary pick Lobbying world MORE (N.Y.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenWarren warns Facebook may help reelect Trump 'and profit off of it' Martin Luther King Jr.'s daughter knocks Zuckerberg for invoking her father while defending Facebook Overnight Health Care — Presented by National Taxpayers Union — House Dems advance drug pricing bill | Cases of vaping-related lung illnesses near 1,500 | Juul suspends sales of most e-cigarette flavors 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 BidenWarren warns Facebook may help reelect Trump 'and profit off of it' Trump accuses Biden of 'quid pro quo' hours after Mulvaney remarks Testimony from GOP diplomat complicates Trump defense 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.