Joy Behar apologizes to Christians after Mike Pence joke

Joy Behar apologizes to Christians after Mike Pence joke

“The View” host Joy Behar apologized Tuesday at the urging of Vice President Mike Pence for “slandering” Christianity by joking that Pence’s affinity for acting on calls from Jesus sounded like “mental illness.”

Behar had previously apologized to Pence personally in a phone call, but broadened her sorry scope to include all Christians after Pence encouraged her to do so in an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity.

“I think Vice President Pence is right. I was raised to respect everyone’s religious faith and I fell short of that. I sincerely apologize for what I said,” she said on Tuesday’s episode of “The View.”

Pence told Hannity Monday that he had accepted Behar’s personal apology, but wanted her to take it a step further and go public for the sake of the “tens of millions Americans” who also took offense.

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“I give Joy Behar a lot of credit. 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,” Pence said.

Still, that wasn’t enough for the second-in-command.

“I’m still encouraging her to us the forum of that program or some other public forum to apologize to tens of millions of Americans who were equally offended,” Pence said, adding that he was trying to defend his faith and the faith of others against “slander.”

Joy Behar apologized for saying Mike Pence talking to Jesus sounded like “mental illness.”

Joy Behar apologized for saying Mike Pence talking to Jesus sounded like “mental illness.”

(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The drama erupted last month after Behar made the initial comment in response to claims by ousted White House aide Omarosa Manigault-Newman that the vice president often relied on Jesus to tell him what to say.

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“We would be begging for the days of Trump back if Pence became president. I’m Christian. I love Jesus. But he thinks Jesus is telling him to say things. I’m like, ‘Jesus isn’t saying that.’ It’s scary,” she said as a houseguest on “Celebrity Big Brother.”

Shortly after Omarosa’s comments aired on CBS, Behar responded on “The View,” saying it sounded like Pence was suffering from mental illness.

“It’s one thing to talk to Jesus. It’s another thing when Jesus talks to you. That’s called mental illness, if I’m not correct, hearing voices,” she said.

Behar’s comment also sparked backlash from the conservative Media Research Center, which launched a campaign that sparked 40,000 protest calls to ABC.

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