Pence, 58, said Behar, 75, called him to apologize after she said, “It’s one thing to talk to Jesus, it’s another thing for Jesus to talk to you. That’s called mental illness if I’m not correct, hearing voices” in response to Omarosa Manigault Newman’s comments about the vice president on Celebrity Big Brother, according to The Washington Post
“He’s extreme,” Manigault Newman said about Pence. “I’m Christian. I love Jesus. But he thinks Jesus tells him to say things. I’m like, ‘Jesus ain’t saying that.'”
Behar later soften her position on Pence, saying during the February episode, saying, “Say what you will about Mike Pence and his religiosity and everything else. I don’t think that he’s mentally ill even though he is saying that he’s hearing voices.”
Pence spoke about Behar’s comments on Monday to Fox News’ Sean Hannity saying Behar had called him to apologize.
“I give Joy Behar a lot of credit. She picked up the phone. She called me,” Pence said. “She was very sincere, and she apologized and one of the things my faith teaches me is grace; forgive as you’ve been forgiven.”
He told Hannity he encouraged Behar to apologize publically, saying, “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.”
“You and I know that criticism comes with public life,” Pence added. “But, I felt it was important that I defend the faith of tens of millions of Americans against that kind of slander.”
Behar addressed the criticism a couple of days after her comments aired on The View when co-host Whoopi Goldberg asked her if she thought all Christians were mentally ill.
“Well, I think that would make me mentally ill, I’m a Christian myself,” Behar said. “That would make my mother mentally ill, my father, my aunts, my daughter. Of course not, of course not. I don’t mean to offend people, but apparently, I keep doing it. It was a joke. Comedians are in danger these days.”
She added, “I’m a Christian, I give money to the church, I actually help Christians with my pocketbook. I’m not insulting Christians.”