Meghan McCain: 'Don't underestimate' Bernie Sanders

“The View” co-host Meghan McCain warned viewers on Tuesday not to underestimate Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersHere's what the Dem candidates for president said about the Mueller report Booker takes early lead in 2020 endorsements Harris wants Barr to testify on Mueller report as 2020 Dems call for its release 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 ClintonIf Mueller's report lacks indictments, collusion is a delusion Conservatives wage assault on Mueller report The wisdom of Trump's lawyers, and the accountability that must follow Mueller's report 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 TrumpMueller report findings could be a 'good day' for Trump, Dem senator says Trump officials heading to China for trade talks next week Showdown looms over Mueller report 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 HarrisKamala Harris to pitch using federal funds to give teachers pay raises Dem senator: 'Appropriate' for Barr, Mueller to testify publicly about Russia probe Here's what the Dem candidates for president said about the Mueller report MORE (Calif.), Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandHere's what the Dem candidates for president said about the Mueller report Booker takes early lead in 2020 endorsements CNN town halls put network at center of Dem primary MORE (N.Y.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenHere's what the Dem candidates for president said about the Mueller report Booker takes early lead in 2020 endorsements Harris wants Barr to testify on Mueller report as 2020 Dems call for its release 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 BidenJoseph (Joe) Robinette BidenBooker takes early lead in 2020 endorsements Former Georgia candidate asks Abrams be given 'space' amid 2020 buzz Biden team denies 'pre-cooked plan' of Abrams as early running-mate pick 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.