(CNN) – When John McCain agreed to appear on the day-time talk fest known as The View, he may not have been expecting too many hard-hitting questions.
But the Arizona senator was aggressively pressed on VP candidate Sarah Palin's qualifications to be vice president, as well as his new negative campaign ads that several independent fact-checks have called downright misleading.
Co-host Barbara Walters immediately asked McCain about a remark he’d made that Palin might just be the most "marvelous running mate" ever, asking, "that's not a little strong?"
"We politicians are never given to exaggerations or hyperbole, as you know," McCain joked, before praising Palin as the most "popular governor in America" and one who has united a "spark in America."
Walters went on to press Palin's reformist credentials, noting McCain has served in Washington for more than two decades and asking repeatedly, "who's she going to reform, you?"
McCain began to answer by saying Democrats have held control of Congress for two years, before Walters quickly interrupted: “But tell me who she is going to reform - we aren't talking about the economy, we're not talking about housing, she was chosen to reform, who is she going to reform?"
"The Democrat Party, the Republican Party, even an independent," McCain said, appearing somewhat frustrated, "She'll reform all of Washington."
"How? What will she do," Walters appearing somewhat exasperated said. "What is she going to reform specifically, senator?"
McCain said Palin had a strong record on vetoing earmark spending. "The fact is she was a reform governor, she took on an incumbent governor of her own party and defeated him. She sold the airplane and fired the chef –" he began.
"She sold the airplane at a loss," an unrelenting Walters interrupted.
McCain was later pressed on the increasingly derisive tone of the campaign, and his new television commercial that carries the widely discredited claim Obama supported comprehensive sex education of kindergarteners as an Illinois state senator.
McCain defended the ad’s claims, as well as those of a Web ad that said Obama’s “Lipstick on a Pig” comments were directed at Palin. He added that if Obama had agreed to a series of townhalls he’d proposed, the tone of the campaign might have been more amicable.
"If we had done what I asked Senator Obama to do, I don't think you'd see the same tenor of this campaign," he said. “Why don't you ask Obama the next time he's on this show why won't he be in town meetings with me?"
"You bring us Sarah Palin and we'll ask Obama," Walters quipped.