UPDATE 12:35 p.m. ET:
Joy Behar apologized publicly for comments she made in February, mocking Vice President Mike Pence’s Christian faith.
During the Tuesday airing of “The View,” Behar said, “I think Vice President Pence is right … I was raised to respect everyone’s religious faith. I fell short of that. I sincerely apologize for what I said.”
The studio audience applauded after Behar issued her apology.
While Vice President Mike Pence appreciates Joy Behar’s apology for mocking his Christian faith on television, he believes that she also owes an apology to the millions of Americans who took offense to her comments.
During a discussion with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, which aired Monday, Pence also said that he gives a lot of credit to the ABC co-host for her personal apology to him.
What triggered the comments?
Behar suggested during a February airing of ABC’s“The View” that Pence’s mental fitness is not up to par because the vice president has reportedly said that God speaks to him.
Behar’s commentary began after the show’s co-hosts cued video footage featuring former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman’s comments on “Celebrity Big Brother,” in which the former staffer discussed the Trump administration.
Newman, in the clip, said, “As bad as you think Trump is, you would be worried about Pence. … Everyone that is wishing for impeachment might want to reconsider their life.”
“I am Christian, I love Jesus, but [Pence] thinks Jesus tells him to say things,” Newman concluded.
The panel on “The View” then went on to discuss Newman’s analysis of Pence’s faith. That’s when Behar made a comment connecting Pence’s faith to mental illness.
“It’s one thing to talk to Jesus,” Behar said. “It’s another thing when Jesus talks to you,” adding that hearing voices is symptomatic of “mental illness.”
Did Pence respond?
After Behar’s remarks went viral, Pence told “Fox & Friends” that he simply couldn’t bite his tongue over Behar’s comments attacking his faith.
“When I heard that ABC had a program that likened my Christianity to mental illness, I just couldn’t be silent,” he said. “My Christian faith is probably the most important thing in my life. I do try and start every day reading the Bible. My wife and I try and have a prayer together before I leave the house every morning. But I do think I’m a very typical American.”
“People of all different faiths and traditions have cherished their faith in God,” Pence continued, “and for ABC to have a forum that spoke in such demeaning terms, I think it’s evidence of how out of touch some in the mainstream media are with the faith and values of the American people.”
Fox & Friends actually made Mike Pence address Joy Behar’s joke about his Christian faith from last week.
“When I heard that ABC had a program that likened my Christianity to mental illness, I just couldn’t be silent.” pic.twitter.com/QXPG4kjqEW
— Jon Levine (@LevineJonathan) February 19, 2018
What about Behar’s apology?
As a result of Behar’s comments, ABC reportedly received more than 30,000 complaint calls defending Pence.
The Media Research Center reported that the network was flooded with complaints about Behar’s purported “anti-Christian bigotry” after Media Research Center President Brent Bozell penned a scathing open letter to the network.
Disney CEO Bob Iger revealed Thursday that Behar called Pence and apologized for the remarks.
Disney owns the ABC network, which broadcasts “The View.”
“Joy Behar apologized to Vice President Pence directly,” Iger told a shareholders meeting. “She made a call to him and apologized, which I thought was absolutely appropriate.”
So what is Pence saying now?
During his conversation with Hannity, Pence discucssed Behar’s apology.
“I give Joy Behar a lot of credit,” Pence said. “She picked up the phone. She called me. She was very sincere, and she apologized, and one of the things my faith teaches me is grace; forgive as you’ve been forgiven.”
Though he forgave Behar, he also encouraged her to apologize to America’s Christians.
“I’m still encouraging her to use the forum of that program or some other public forum to apologize to tens of millions of Americans who were equally offended,” Pence said, noting that while he understands “criticism comes with public life,” he felt compelled to “defend the faith of tens of millions of Americans against that kind of slander.”