'View's' Behar on Bush's Stem Cell Veto: He 'Listens to the Extreme Religious Right'

On the June 21 edition of "The View" the ladies discussed President Bush’s veto of the embryonic stem cell veto funding bill. On what may be a positive trend, the co-hosts split evenly on the issue with Gayle King and Joy Behar for the funding and Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Sherri Shepherd opposed.

Joy Behar exclaimed it violates the "separation of church and state" because some religious organizations morally oppose the practice. Behar, who considers the title "fringe liberal" "name calling," opined that Bush "listens to the extreme religious right in this country."

When Elisabeth Hasselbeck, who articulated her points very well, noted the she does not want her tax money to go to something she considers unethical, Behar dragged in the Iraq War and said that argument "pisses me off." When Behar said abortion is legal, Hasselbeck responded "it is not a question of banning. It’s a question of funding at this point."

Behar did not offer a response to the funding statement but only answered Hasselbeck likewise:

BEHAR: I’m not going to wish anything on anybody, but these Senators and people against this are going to get some disease some day --

HASSELBECK: Are you wishing it on me?

BEHAR: God forbid– no, not you. Some day, some day their children could get multiple sclerosis.

The entire transcript is below.

GAYLE KING: The other thing in the news was President Bush's veto for the second time, the stem-cell research bill. And I'm always so bewildered by this because I think it's embryos that they're going to throw away that I believe could ultimately help people. I don't understand why this keeps coming up and it keeps being vetoed, because I think it could save so many people.

JOY BEHAR: The majority of Americans are for the stem-cell research. But, you know, we should have a new reality show, "is Bush smarter than a fifth grader?"

[Cheers and applause]

ELISABETH HASSELBECK: Why? Because he believes that --

BEHAR: First of all, I believe in the separation of church and state. You know, when I was young, Kennedy was in office and there was a whole hoopla around Kennedy that he was a Catholic and he was going to listen to the pope and everybody was worried about that. Now, George Bush listens to the extreme religious right in this country and they're making policy on my potential getting a disease that could be cured by stem-cell research? Hello! Wake up, America!

[Applause]

HASSELBECK: Let me clarify something. There is– for instance, my grandfather has Alzheimer's. I'm, like, praying every day that we are able to find a cure. I'm also a huge fan of science, as well as a huge fan of ethics. I don't think that you need, need to be without one another. There are ways -- no. There are ways now– I don't believe my tax dollars should go to something that I believe is unethical.

BEHAR: Wait a second. Wait a second. My tax dollars are going to this Iraq War, Honey. Don't bring up the tax dollar thing. That really pisses me off.

[Applause]

HASSELBECK: There are ways, especially now, two days ago, two other methods were approved in terms of research for stem-cells. Okay, they have this directory programming, where take existing human cells --

BEHAR: It's not efficient.

HASSELBECK: It is efficient. It’s help to cure, worked to cure 73 diseases in existence now.

KING: I so disagree, because I just think that it could save things. And the other thing is that -- the other thing in the news today is that the majority of couples say that they would be willing to donate their embryos for stem-cell research, so it backs up what you’re saying Joy.

SHERRI SHEPHERD: I have three boys sitting on ice.

KING: Right now? Right now?

SHEPHERD: Yes, right now. At the invitro clinic.

KING: Why are you freezing them? Because you’re young.

SHEPHERD: I will not donate them.

BEHAR: Nobody is saying you have to.

HASSELBECK: The reason is why, why.

[...]

KING: Why did you freeze them, why did you freeze them? I was wondering if it was age related.

SHEPHERD: No, no, no, because I'm not going to donate them. I will keep those boys on ice until Jesus comes back. I’m not donating them.

BEHAR: Is that the father?

SHEPHERD: Is Jesus the father? Ultimately, yes.

HASSELBECK: I think what Sherri is saying is a lot of people-- it's not like those embryos are going to develop into pencils. They would develop into people, children.

SHEPHERD: I mean I already know the sex.

BEHAR: May I make one point here? Abortion is legal in this country. You're talking about the same thing as Roe v. Wade has already fixed.

HASSELBECK: Legal but is it ethical?

BEHAR: Well, that’s a, that's a religious position.

HASSELBECK: Why do we remove ethics from our society time, and time, and time again?

BEHAR: No, it’s a religious position. Not everybody agrees that it’s unethical to have an abortion. You do. You believe that.

HASSELBECK: I do.

BEHAR: Fine, fine. Then you know what? Wait a second. You should not do it. Neither should you. But if it were me, I would do it. That's what makes America. We're a land of laws.

HASSELBECK: It's not a question of banning. It's a question of funding at this point. Okay? So we need to refocus here. It's not a question of if it’s banned or not. It’s not banned. With these new advances, it actually almost makes the subject of embryonic stem cell research moot.

BEHAR: I’m not going to wish anything on anybody, but these Senators and people against this are going to get some disease some day --

HASSELBECK: Are you wishing it on me?

BEHAR: God forbid– no, not you. Some day, some day their children could get multiple sclerosis.