Return to Transcripts main page

CNN Larry King Live

Joy Behar Talks Politics and Hollywood; Can Obama Recover from Wright?

Aired April 29, 2008 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, Barack Obama breaks with the Reverend Jeremiah Wright.

SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm outraged by the comments that were made and saddened over the spectacle that we saw yesterday.


KING: Will today's very public split solve Obama's pastor problem or is his campaign in the wrong when it comes to handling the Wright issue?

And what does it mean for the divided Democrats?

And then Joy Behar from "The View."


JOY BEHAR, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": She's doing more to harm herself and the Democratic Party.


KING: Opinionated, outspoken -- and we'll get her hot topic take on the latest political and tough culture controversy.

It's all next on LARRY KING LIVE.

Good evening from New York. A sprightly show in store for you.

Lanny Davis is with us. He served as special counsel to President Clinton and is a supporter of Hillary Clinton.

All of our guests are in Washington.

Flavia Colgan, the columnist and editorial board member of the Philadelphia "Daily News," a degree in religion from Harvard, a supporter of Obama.

Jamal Williams -- Jamal Simmons, rather, Democratic strategist supporting Obama.

And Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Democrat of Texas, a supporter of Hillary Clinton.

Senator Obama denounced the Reverend Wright today, sometimes intense, sometimes openly angry.

Here's a sampling.


OBAMA: I am outraged by the comments that were made and saddened over the spectacle that we saw yesterday. I want to be very clear that, moving forward, Reverend Wright does not speak for me. He does not speak for our campaign.

When I say I find these comments appalling, I mean it. It contradicts everything that I'm about and who I am.

People want some help in stabilizing their lives and securing a better future for themselves and their children and that's what we should be talking about. And the fact that Reverend Wright would think that somehow it was appropriate to command the stage for three or four consecutive days in the midst of this major debate is something that not only makes me angry, but also saddens me.


KING: Lanny Davis, did he put it away today?

LANNY DAVIS, FMR. SPECIAL COUNSEL, PRESIDENT CLINTON, SUPPORTS HILLARY CLINTON: Well, first of all, I'm not sure he put it away. That's up to people to decide politically. But I do...

KING: Yes, but what do you think?

DAVIS: ...admire very much his candor. I've always said he's a very decent and honorable man. And I've never attributed these hate words and hate comments from Reverend Wright to Senator Obama. I have raised a question of judgment and that's an appropriate one that everyone has to decide for themselves -- why did he remain silent for so long and why did it take until today, when the words were not that much different that he used at the National Press Club.

But that's a question of judgment.


DAVIS: That's appropriate. But I do admire what he did today, Larry. And I think we should be talking about economic issues that people really care about.

KING: All right, Flavia, do you think he's on the way to putting it away?

FLAVIA COLGAN, COLUMNIST, "PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS," SUPPORTS BARACK OBAMA: Well, listen, I agree with Lanny that I don't think that this is the biggest party issue and we should be talking about the issues. When you talk about judgment, though, of course you have to look at Senator Clinton and whether it was OK not to read the National Intelligence Estimate before we invaded Iraq.

So I think there are a lot of issues of judgment that come up. And I will say, looking at this story evolve, you might think, as an Obama supporter, that I would not have wanted this to happen. But you'd be wrong, because I think that this dialogue, both on race and on theology -- because maybe not for the cognitiantae (ph) or the press -- but for average Americans, the way we look at values has everything, for the most part, to do with our faith.

And I think it's a very legitimate question to ask someone like Senator Obama where do his principles come from -- the ones he'll be using in the office. And I think that Barack Obama showed himself, in a speech that I was at in Philadelphia, in that first speech on race, to act as a statesman. Do something that where you're worrying about the next generation, not the next election.

KING: All right...

COLGAN: And today he did something which is very important for voters, which is to show emotion and to show strength. And I think on a visceral level, people really understood that Barack Obama has nothing in common with this reverend.


Congresswoman Lee, what do you think?

REP. SHEILA JACKSON LEE (D), TEXAS, SUPPORTS CLINTON: Well, first of all, this is a tough position, but I think Democrats are focused on the prize. And that prize is winning in November. We have two great candidates. This is a troubling time.

But I want to applaud Senator Clinton, who really gets it. She understands that most of the Democratic primary voters from Pennsylvania to North Carolina to Indiana and on want to talk about the issues. And I commend her for the stand that she's taken over the last 48 hours and begin to continue reaching out to voters in North Carolina and Indiana...

KING: But the question was...

JACKSON LEE: Well, I think...

KING: That wasn't the question.

JACKSON LEE: Well, I think...

KING: The question was, do you think Obama put it away?

JACKSON LEE: Well, I think he responded as Senator Clinton responded, which is the voters want to talk about the issues.

KING: All right. JACKSON LEE: And he addressed the question of his pastor. And that's up to him to address that question.

I like what Senator Clinton is doing...


JACKSON LEE: ...and that is getting out and working with the voters.

KING: I appreciate that. The question wasn't about Hillary Clinton.

Jamal, do you think he put it away?

JAMAL SIMMONS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST, SUPPORTS BARACK OBAMA: We'll see is the short answer. I think what he did today was what he needed to do. What happened yesterday especially -- was especially troubling. I watched it and the physicality of it, the very presence that Jeremiah Wright had was troubling.

I think what we are witnessing as a country right now is we are watching the very grisly process of a generation or mindset focused on past grievance that now has to pass the baton to a mindset that's focused on future performance.

And so by watching this process, it's heart-rending. And it's sad to see a man have to walk away from someone who's so important in his life. But, clearly, Jeremiah Wright gave Barack Obama no option.

KING: We'll be right back with Lanny and Flavia and Jamal and Congresswoman Lee.

More excerpts from the address today by Obama and more of their comments, after this.


KING: In his address today, Barack Obama obviously took some of the pastor's comments personally.



OBAMA: What I think particularly angered me was his suggestion somehow that my previous denunciation of his remarks were somehow political posturing. Anybody who knows me and anybody who knows what I'm about knows that -- that I'm about trying to bridge gaps and that I see the commonality in all people.

And so when I start hearing comments about conspiracy theories and AIDS and suggestions that somehow Minister Farrakhan is -- has been a great voice in the 20th century, then that goes directly at who I am and what I believe this country needs.


KING: Flavia, is this a bump in the road or is it going to linger?

COLGAN: No. You know, one of the things I think that helps Barack Obama is that this really does fit into his script. I think when you see things really take down candidates it's because it goes to something the voters are already concerned about.

When you look at Barack Obama's record in the state senate and throughout his life as an organizer, you do see someone -- and I think he's correct in saying so -- that really does try to bridge gaps. And so I think he has a lot of credibility and authenticity on that.

And, frankly, he's backing up the words that a lot of local reporters from the "Chicago Sun-Times" and many parishioners -- or congregants, I guess -- I'm Catholic, sorry -- would say that -- they said, you know, they were shocked. They were really shocked when they saw these YouTube clips of Reverend Wright because they said this is not the pastor that we knew.

KING: The question...


KING: The question was is it a bump in the road or is it going to linger. That's like yes or no?

COLGAN: No. I actually think -- sorry. I actually think, ironically, that this will end up helping Barack Obama. And I know it's a contrarian viewpoint, but I think it really shows how someone deals with a controversial issue and it shows that he does have the skill to bring people together.

KING: OK. Congresswoman Lee, we have another excerpt from the comments. This one came in response to a question about whether supporters had expressed any alarm about the Wright controversy.

Watch and, Congresswoman, then we'll ask your thoughts.


OBAMA: In some ways, what Reverend Wright said yesterday directly contradicts everything that I've done during my life. It contradicts how I was raised and the setting in which I was raised. It contradicts my decisions to pursue a career of public service. It contradicts the issues that I've worked on politically. It contradicts what I've said in my books. It contradicts what I said in my convention speech in 2004. It contradicts my announcement. It contradicts everything that I've been saying on this campaign trail.


KING: Congresswoman Lee, is your candidate, Hillary Clinton, right in not discussing this? JACKSON LEE: Well, Larry, you heard me mention Senator Clinton in the context of what Senator Obama is going through. And I believe that Senator Obama is speaking from the heart.

But, frankly, I also believe that people are now looking to Senator Clinton for her reach, her judgment, her ability to lead, her being the best...

KING: The question is was she right in not discussing Wright?

JACKSON LEE: Well, for her being best prepared. And I think she made the judgment that Democrats want to focus on winning and focus not on something that is distracting. And she was right. And she has been shown...


JACKSON LEE: have been right on these issues because she won Pennsylvania. She's...

KING: I know that.

JACKSON LEE: ...leading in Indiana -- or at least going neck and neck. And so, yes, she was right, because she knows that what he's going through is very difficult. And she also knows that the voters are looking to how you take charge, how you lead, how you make decisions and bring about results.

KING: Jamal, we've got another clip from Obama's rejection of Reverend Wright.

Watch and get your thoughts.


OBAMA: I think that the church he built is outstanding. I think that he has preached, in the past, some wonderful sermons. He provided, you know, valuable contributions to my family.

But at a certain point, if what somebody says contradicts what you believe so fundamentally and then he questions whether or not you believe it in front of the National Press Club, then that's enough. That's a show of disrespect to me. It's a -- it is also, I think, an insult to what we've been trying to do in this campaign.


KING: Jamal, the same question -- a bump in the road or does it linger?

SIMMONS: Again, we'll see. I think Barack Obama right now -- you can tell. I mean, he looks sad. He looks upset. He looks POed.

KING: He sure does.

SIMMONS: I mean he's -- he is like as agitated as I think he's ever been in public.

Does it linger?

It might. You know, one of the things -- one of the things that is happening here is that there are a lot of people who go to church every week. You know, there are a lot of gays who sit in pews and they watch as the pastor gets up and talks about how their lifestyle is going to condemn them to hell. But they stay there every week.

So Barack Obama is sort of in somewhat a similar situation, where there may have been things he heard over time that he disagreed with. And now here he is, watching his pastor on national television stringing together as many of the things that he's been concerned about and people have raised questions about, and do it in the most flamboyant performance that anyone has seen.

KING: Yes...

SIMMONS: And so he's got to deal with that. And the question is, does the American public believe him when he says this is not me, this is not what I believe. This is not anything that I've done in my public life. And I think that they will believe him on that.

KING: Jamal, thank you very much.

Congresswoman Lee, thank you.

JACKSON LEE: Thank you.

KING: Lanny and Flavia remain.

And Reverend Al Sharpton joins us. The always outspoken Al Sharpton is next. We'll try to guess what he has to say, when we come back.


BLITZER: OK. Lanny Davis and Flavia Colgan remain with us in Washington.

We're joined here in New York by the Reverend Al Sharpton, president of National Action Network. He has not endorsed a candidate.

OK, give us your read on all this.

REV. AL SHARPTON, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL ACTION NETWORK: You know, I think -- I did not see the Reverend Wright's press conference yesterday. I was dealing with the Sean Bell case here in New York. But I did see Barack Obama's statement today.

I think Barack Obama showed a real profile in courage. He showed real character. Whether one agrees or not, here's someone that's risking knowing that many in his base support group would question him. He doesn't know what the backlash will be. He doesn't know what his former pastor is going to say. But he's going to say, I don't care. I'm going to angrily -- because I saw real passion. And I've dealt with him.

I'm going to say wait, this is who I am, this is who I'm not and let the chips fall where they may.

I think if anybody proved they're not the old-style politician, he did that today. I've got to give him credit for that.

KING: So he impressed you today?

SHARPTON: Very much so, as a person. And I'm going to tell you something, I've only known him a couple of years in total off and on. He is a very tough guy. And I think America saw that today. Whether you agree or not, you know, that he's decisive, that he has character and that he will take risks. And I think that that's what people want in a president.

Now, I can theologically come out of the same tradition as the Reverend Bill Jones, who was my pastor, or Reverend Wright.

But when I look at a man for president, I want somebody that will say to me, you know what, if you're wrong, I'm going to say I think you're wrong.

KING: You didn't see the press conference that Reverend Wright held yesterday?

SHARPTON: No, I did not.

KING: Do you think he was out to hurt Obama?

SHARPTON: Oh, no. I don't think...


SHARPTON: I think Reverend Wright has been so subjected to a media onslaught and a double standard -- because we've not seen the same done to Jim Hagee. We've not seen the same done when Romney was in the race. We didn't see the questions about the Mormons. And Romney was an adult when the Mormons said certain things.

So I think that he was saying wait a minute, I'm not going to let my church tradition be in any way distorted by that.

KING: You're still not...

SHARPTON: But I think he's got to deal with the fact that Mr. Obama has to also stand up and say this is who I am.

KING: You're still not supporting a candidate?

SHARPTON: I haven't endorsed a candidate. I certainly am supporting one, but I'm not endorsing one.

KING: What does that mean?

SHARPTON: That means that I know who I'm going to vote for, I'm just not making an endorsement.

KING: I see.

OK, Flavia, what do you make of the comments of Reverend Sharpton?

And then we'll get Lanny's thoughts.

DAVIS: Thanks.

COLGAN: Well, I completely agree with the reverend. And I think, you know, we have three candidates who have essentially no executive experience, which a lot of Americans care about.

And when you really look at a campaign, the hundreds of millions of dollars and the bureaucracy that it takes, I think that it's one of the ways in which you can see what type of executive experience they have.

And I've been very proud of the type of campaign that Barack Obama has run. Basically, 90 percent of his -- 90 percent of his fundraising, for instance, in February...

KING: Do you...

COLGAN: ...all individuals and small donors. And taking positions like this, like Reverend Sharpton said...

KING: If that's...

COLGAN: ...a profile in courage, you know...

KING: Do you think...


KING: Lanny, do you think he was -- I know you're not supporting him. Do you think he was classy today?

DAVIS: Yes. And I was impressed with his performance. But I have to respectfully say to my friend, Reverend Sharpton, and Flavia, you know, I may be the odd man out here, but I am still uneasy with his judgment. In all these years, what he said today was well taken, but late. And I do not understand why he remained silent over the years, with "chickens coming home to roost," 9/11 is America's fault...

KING: Well, hasn't that been said over the years?

DAVIS: It has been said in 2001. In 2003, he said "God damned America." And in 2007, he said "the United States of white America." He has been making these sermons over the years. And while I greatly respect Senator Obama for what he did today -- and I certainty do not attribute any of those views to him -- it is an appropriate question, me, personally speaking, I am uneasy why he was silent, why he still appointed him to his religious advisory committee...


DAVIS: ...and why it took until today to finally use the language that I appreciate his using today.

KING: I'll get...

COLGAN: Larry, could you permit me...

KING: Hold it. Hold it, Flavia.

COLGAN: Sorry. Could you permit me just to talk about this from a theological standpoint, just for a quick second?

KING: All right, quick.

COLGAN: OK. I agree with Jamal in that, you know, you can't back up everything your church always does. Hillary Clinton, for instance, is the only candidate in the race who is part of a religion, the Methodist Church, that, in writing and in their doctrine, says that it's impossible to be a Christian and a gay person. Now, obviously, that's not how Hillary Clinton feels. And she's never felt that she needs to come out and say by the way, I'm a member and I feel strongly...

KING: I see.

COLGAN: well, about the Methodist Church.

So I really think that we have to look at liberation theology in general.

SHARPTON: You've got to have one standard.


SHARPTON: You have to have one standard. I think the problem with my friend's position there is, first of all, they keep talking about 20 years he's been a member. There was 20 years of events. There was no 9/11 20 years ago. So we can't act like this is an ongoing judgment.

I think that Barack Obama -- I first heard of Barack Obama when he was a state senator running for Congress. What he was saying then, what he said at the convention, what he said in the Senate is what he's saying now.

KING: Most people heard him on that...

SHARPTON: And I think that this is not somebody changing. This guy has always been inclusive. That -- you know, the irony is that when he started running, Larry, we were sitting around saying, is he black enough?

Now we try to make him too black by somebody else's blackness. I mean, so now he becomes too black by some miracle of media.

I mean come on, the man is what he is. And I think that's what he came out today. Whether I agree or disagree everything he said...

DAVIS: And I don't...

SHARPTON: ...I've got to respect him.

DAVIS: And I don't disagree with you, Al. And I, again, admire what he did say. I have an appropriate and legitimate unease at his silence in the face of this since 2001, 2003, 2007 and 2008 -- silence in the face of what I believe was hate speech. And so that's my unease.

And I hope, as a Democrat, that he can explain further why he remained silent over the years, because if he's our nominee -- and I believe Hillary will be -- I want to be enthusiastic. And right now, Al, I feel uneasy.

SHARPTON: Well, I agree with you...

COLGAN: But, Lanny, from a...

SHARPTON: this sense...

COLGAN: Lanny, from a Christian stance...

SHARPTON: Can I just say this?


SHARPTON: Let me say this quickly. I agree with your sense of uneasiness, because I will be at the convention and I will have to say...

DAVIS: Thank you, Al.

SHARPTON: ...that I will have to judge whether Senator Obama really knew some statements, which he said he didn't...

DAVIS: Thank you.

SHARPTON: ...and whether Mrs. Clinton, who voted for the war in 2001...


SHARPTON: ...and stayed with it all that time, what really is the most important judgment. Because she certainly had access to intelligence information. She certainly had access to information from the CIA and others.

DAVIS: And...

SHARPTON: So if I must compare a president on having intelligence information or whether a member who was in the U.S. Senate got the DVD of, three weeks ago...

COLGAN: Right. SHARPTON: ...a sermon, I might have a problem...


COLGAN: Exactly.

DAVIS: It's a fair question on judgment, Al...

KING: All right, let...

DAVIS: And that's a good debate.



DAVIS: But it is a difference between (INAUDIBLE).

COLGAN: And, Larry, look, I think...

KING: Flavia, go ahead.

COLGAN: I take Obama at his word, just like I take Senator Clinton at her word that she doesn't remember that she wasn't under sniper fire. And I do take Barack Obama at his word. And, also, of course, we have the record with his schedule, since he is a public figure, that shows very explicitly that he, in fact, was not in the church. And we also have a tremendous amount of interviews from the parishioners within the church that this is something that they are very shocked about.

And again -- hold on one second, Lanny, because I know he's excited over here.

From a Christian standpoint, the one thing that Lanny is failing to recognize -- and I actually have to disagree with both him and Reverend Sharpton on this issue of why I don't have a tremendous amount of uneasiness about it.

Barack Obama, as soon as these remarks were made clear to him, not only was he very clear in denouncing them, not only was he very -- and, frankly, he didn't do the political thing. He tried to have a more nuanced discussion, which is, frankly -- shows a lot of respect to the American public.

KING: All right, get to the point, though.

COLGAN: But I will -- but OK.


COLGAN: My point is that from a Christian perspective, it is not an individual human's role to ask for the atonement or tell other people to atone. He spoke...

DAVIS: Can I... COLGAN: He spoke to the reverend.

KING: All right...

COLGAN: He spoke to the reverend in private and told him he didn't disagree. And then he went on the record to chastise him.


COLGAN: I don't know what more Lanny wants.

KING: I'm running out of time. Lanny, quickly.

DAVIS: Larry, very quickly. I don't know why Flavia is always directing her comments to me and I'm not exciting.

COLGAN: Because you're important.

DAVIS: So you're interrupting me again.

Here's the point, Al. The judgment issue on the war, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, both of them voted since the war resolution vote 85 times on the war. They agreed 84 out of 85 times. That's a fact. And the only time they disagreed is Senator Obama voting with the Bush administration in promoting a general.

So the judgment issue on the war and Barack Obama saying, when he was asked how would you have voted had you been a U.S. senator, here is a fact. In July of 2004, he said I don't know.


DAVIS: So judgment should be debated. I think that's a fair point.

KING: We have not heard the last of this.

Al, do you think either one of these can win?

SHARPTON: I think that Senator Obama can win. I think Senator Clinton can win. I think Senator Obama probably would be the easiest to win, because I think, particularly today, people saw somebody with character, someone that will stand up and know that they're going to get flak for it but stand up anyhow. And I think that's what we've been missing in the White House.

KING: Thank you, Reverend Al.

Thank you, Lanny.

Thank you, Flavia.

We have not heard the last.

Joy Behar is up next. We'll get her view on Wright and Obama and the whole campaign and all the hot topics of the day. Stay with us.


BEHAR: Recently I heard you released some information that you used to go to strip clubs as a young man.


BEHAR: Now, why did you put that out there?





KING: One of the great pinch-hit hosts of LARRY KING LIVE is Joy Behar of "The View," the co-host, author of "When You Need A Lift, But Don't Want to Eat Chocolate, Pay a Shrink or Drink a Bottle of Gin." By the time you read the cover, you're done with the book.

Joy, thanks for coming. What's your reaction to this whole Obama thing.

BEHAR: I was thinking at least now we know he's a Christian, you know.

KING: Finally.

BEHAR: That's been one of the issues; 20 percent of the country thinks he's still a Muslim. So now we know. Now he's a Christian. He's in trouble, we know, with his pastor and his pastor is in trouble with him. So we can put that dog to rest. I was reading this 18th century playwright, a great egotist -- this is Jeremiah Wright, in my opinion -- a great egotist is someone who will burn the house down to cook himself a couple of eggs. That's what I think this guy is doing.

KING: Do you think -- Newt Gingrich thinks he's out to hurt Obama.

BEHAR: I think so. I don't know that he deliberately wants to hurt him, but he want to aggrandize himself, and, thus, in the process, he's hurting who I think is a very good candidate. I was watching Obama today. I've met him a couple of times now.

KING: He was on "The View."

BEHAR: We bonded, he and I. I just like him. He's a sweet guy. He's a very -- he's authentic. I've met everyone now and you have, too.

KING: You think this is all about ego, then? BEHAR: With Reverend Wright? Well, somebody was saying he wants to clarify because he's been called different names and stuff, so he wants to clarify. OK, fine, you clarified. Now get over it and say something good about Obama. Say something that would help him instead of hurt him.

KING: Would you have Wright on "The View?"

BEHAR: Jeremiah Wright is a great "View" guest. Of course, we love controversy at "The View." Today we had Newt Gingrich. Barbara dragged him over from "Good Morning America."

KING: Barack, as you mentioned, was on "The View" a while back, well before this Wright controversy. A provocative exchange took place, though. Let's watch.


BEHAR: I understand that you're related to Brad Pitt in some way?


BEHAR: How are you related to Brad Pitt?

OBAMA: I guess we're ninth cousins, something removed or something.

BEHAR: Isn't that fascinating?

OBAMA: I think you got the -- he got the better looking side of the gene pool.

BEHAR: Not necessarily.

BARBARA WALTERS, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": We were saying just before you came out -- maybe we shouldn't say this -- can we say it? We thought you were very sexy looking.


KING: Barbara regarded that as racy to say the word sexy.

BEHAR: She said, we think you're sexy. He's very -- he's got a sex appeal, a charisma.

KING: What is it about him? He has a certain -- he changes the room.

BEHAR: It's his charm and his ease with himself. Some people are comfortable in their own skin. He seems to be comfortable in his own skin. When I was with McCain, I didn't get that impression that the guy is comfortable with himself, that he seems uncomfortable a little bit.

KING: Do you buy any of this elitist charge about Obama? BEHAR: Oh, please. You know what, are you an elitist? Am I an elitist? Do we like -- yes, of course we are because we like certain things in life. That doesn't mean you look down your nose at anybody else. You're in a -- why -- I don't know. John McCain -- they also say that if they have money, it doesn't mean they're an elitist. John McCain is worth -- his wife is worth 100 million bucks. George Bush -- what did Ann Richards say, he was born with a silver foot in his mouth. Hillary has got a lot of cash.

You know, the thing with Hillary is she's like Tracy Flick. Did you ever see the movie "Election" with Reese Witherspoon?

KING: Oh yes, great movie.

BEHAR: She's like the little Tracy Flick, she's going to win no matter what.

KING: She's relentless.

BEHAR: She's relentless and so was Tracy Flick. Now, the people around her in the movie were not that great either. But I think that she's like that. This girl will go, go, go, until she gets it.

KING: Speaking of John McCain, he was on "The View." You took a much tougher tack with him. Watch.


BEHAR: I don't like George Bush as a president. I think he was one of the worst presidents we have ever had. Don't applaud, please don't. Let me just get through this question. I want to know, since you are for his tax cuts for the wealthy, that you are for staying in Iraq, that you are against Roe vs. Wade, therefore Supreme Court justices may come in and overturn women's rights, and that in fact you hired Karl Rove as one of your campaign advisers, which is like hiring Mike Tyson to be your bodyguard; how are you different from George Bush?

MCCAIN: First of all, we have not hired Karl Rove --

BEHAR: But he's hanging.

MCCAIN: I talked to him once in the period of -- in the last year or so, first of all. Second of all, I respect President Bush, and we have a friendly relationship. There are issues that we've disagreed on.


KING: Do you think Senator McCain is uncomfortable around women?

BEHAR: Yes. When I asked him about -- I think you showed another clip that he used to go to strip clubs. He was like hummina, hummina, hummina. He got scared, the guy. Why put it out there.

KING: He's a good guy. BEHAR: I know that. He's a war hero and he's a very nice guy. But he is Bush -- the continuation of Bush. And it's like -- this week -- and he comes up with some crazy ideas like this business with the gas tax. I figured it out. If you use 50 gallons of gasoline a month, which is what a lot of people do use, and you get a rebate, you don't have to pay 18.5 cents federal tax, you know what you save, basically, at the end of the month? $9.25.

This to me is just a canard. We did the math. My boyfriend -- my spousal equivalent Steve is a math teacher. He used to be.

KING: By the way, what are you going to do with your 600 dollars that's coming maybe Monday?

BEHAR: You can't even get a good haircut anymore for 600 dollars in this town.

KING: Go spend it.

BEHAR: Well, I'll spend it.

KING: Who is your favorite co-host on "The View?" Head to our Web site,, and vote.

By the way, Star Jones has filed for divorce. We'll find out what Joy knows after the break.


KING: Before we get back to politics, what about the Star Jones break-up? I know she's your friend.

BEHAR: Well, you know, I haven't seen her in quite a while. No, so I know the same thing you do. I read about it in the -- on the Internet somewhere or something.

KING: Were you surprised?

BEHAR: About her getting a divorce?

KING: Yes.

BEHAR: You know, you get married, you get divorced. That's what happens. You know all about that.

KING: Interesting how you'll never be back. Hillary Clinton was a guest on "The View" last year. Obviously, a lot's changed since then but you asked her about Al Gore. Watch.


BEHAR: Now that Al Gore has won the Nobel Prize, the Oscar and the Emmy, people are saying, why doesn't he run for president? How do you feel about that when people say this?

CLINTON: I'm thrilled he won the Nobel Prize, absolutely thrilled. He's been working on this probably 30 years and finally people are paying attention. So I'm just as excited as I could be, because maybe now when I'm president we can get something done on global warming.


BEHAR: See how they turn the conversation back to me!

KING: They do.

BEHAR: Enough about Gore. Now back to moi.

KING: Why does Hillary, do you think, evoke such passion in people? They hate her -- love her or hate her.

BEHAR: I like her very much. Don't you?

KING: I always like her. I don't understand -- I know people love her, but why do people hate her?

BEHAR: As a woman comedian, I can relate to it only. I don't really know the answer. But people don't like a woman who has a powerful position. You know, when I started in stand-up, it was harder for me because they just don't accept the fact that you've got the microphone and you're in the position. It's almost castrating for people, you know, in a way.

KING: We both saw Bill Clinton last night at Rachel Ray's party here in New York.

BEHAR: He was all over me. No, I'm kidding.

KING: Had a nice conversation with the former president.

BEHAR: I like him too, very much.

KING: What do you think of his role lately?

BEHAR: I think he's ready. He's older now. He had his little heart attack. He's ready to back off now and take backstage, I think. Back seat, don't you?

KING: He sure wants her to win.

BEHAR: He wants her to win. The egos are rampant in this particular whole election series now. Everybody is out of control with their egos, in my opinion, everyone. They should back up a little bit.

KING: The e-mail -- we had an e-mail for you but it was about Star Jones, so we don't have to --

BEHAR: We answered that. I don't know anything. I know nothing. I know nothing.

KING: I know nothing. What would I know? What would I care? Are you supporting any candidate? Or can't you do that on "The View?"

BEHAR: No, I'm supporting the Democrat, whoever is the Democrat.

KING: But you're not -- among the Democrats, you're not supporting?

BEHAR: I just don't want another Republican in office anymore. Have you watched the "John Adams" series?

KING: Watched all of it.

BEHAR: Isn't it brilliant? When you see what John Adams was like and George Bush, it's almost like Darwinism in reverse? You know? It's like, how did he get to be the president of the United States for eight years? I don't know what happened? It's like the country had a nervous breakdown.

KING: Whoopi said the other day that maybe McCain should win so the Republicans can clean up their own mess.

BEHAR: That's an interesting point of view, but I don't agree with that particularly, because I don't want them in here anymore. The planet cannot afford -- even though McCain is better on the environment than Bush ever was -- but anybody would be compared to what he did, which was nothing. I still don't think we can afford to have any kind of that -- any Republican in the White House for another eight years. The environment can't tolerate is it. The economy --

I relate to John McCain in this way. I don't know anything about the economy either. The guy says, I don't know anything about the economy. I shout it from the roof tops.

KING: You like that?

BEHAR: His honesty. Meanwhile, do you want somebody who doesn't know anything about the economy? Do you really?

KING: That's a good question. How did you get on "The View?"


KING: Yes.

BEHAR: That old story. I went to Milton Berle's 89th birthday party. My Blackberry just went off. I can hear it, it's like a child crying in the night.

KING: I hate them.

BEHAR: I love it.

KING: They own you.

BEHAR: They do, in a way. Anyway, what was the question? I was at Million Berle's 89th birthday party. I was performing. I was doing a benefit, basically, another freebie they got me for. KING: And?

BEHAR: An I made a joke about the fact that Salman Rushdie had been in hiding for three years and managed to get married three times and how men can always find a woman to married. I have girlfriends making Ovinas (ph). They have ads in J-Date, nothing. But Salman Rushdie, who never left the hotel, got married three times. Barbara Walters was in the audience and she liked it.

KING: What does Joy make of the Miley Cyrus photos? Heavy stuff. We'll ask this when LARRY KING LIVE returns.


KING: Joy Behar, co-host of "The View," is our special guest. She will be performing this weekend in Raleigh, New Jersey.

BEHAR: Not at the prison. There's a theater there.

KING: Theater and a prison, don't go to the wrong place.

BEHAR: Talk about a captive audience.

KING: What do you make of the "Vanity Fair" photographs of --

BEHAR: Miley?

KING: Miley Cyrus, also known as Hannah Montana.

BEHAR: I thought they were a little bit racy, frankly, especially the one with her father. That was weird, that picture. What kind of a pose is that? My father, he was in the Navy. He pulled his own teeth out. He didn't want to go to the dentist. I mean that's the kind of tough guy my father is. I can't even picture him sitting me next to me in a sexual pose like that. There's something weird.

KING: What do you make of it? Annie Leibovitz is a great photographer.

BEHAR: She's great. She's brilliant. Did she push it?

KING: I guess "Vanity Fair" hired her.

BEHAR: Apparently there were ten minutes there where the mother and father left and then she took this picture, right? That's what I read. And her grandmother, Miley's grandmother and a teacher were there. In my day, my grandmother would have said, put some clothes on, don't take your clothes off.

I think this is a very suggestive picture for a 15-year-old. I really think we're on a slippery slope with these kids. They grow up too fast. You know what it is. They grow up too fast. Now I sound like I'm 100 years old, but I do.

KING: What do you make of the whole Hannah Montana story? BEHAR: Which is what? I don't even know what it is.

KING: A major star, 15-year-olds --

BEHAR: A lot of times the parents seem to be hooking themselves on the kid's little stardom. Lindsay Lohan's mother, she's a big star because of Lindsay. This guile, Billy Ray Cyrus, is resuscitating his career or whatever because of his daughter.

KING: You think there's usage.

BEHAR: There's something weird and creepy about it and I think these kids have been in the business too long already. They're worn out already at 15 years old. Stretch these years out. When I was a kid, you know, if you wore patent leather shoes and the boys could look up your skirt, the nuns used to be very upset. In those days, if you did that, you were a putan. You know what a putan is, right?


BEHAR: A putan, a whore, a tramp, a slut.

KING: Is that an Italian word?

BEHAR: Yes, putan. But nowadays they take their clothes off. The worst thing was the patent leather shoes. You see my point. We were virgins. Try to follow this.

KING: I'm a Jew. We're lost. What do you make of the polygamy story? Now they've got 62 girls they've found to be pregnant.

BEHAR: That's disgusting. There's so many skeevie stories going on. That other crazy nut case in Austria. I can't even imagine --

KING: He keeps a daughter for how many years?

BEHAR: Twenty four years. I don't understand. There's something missing in that story, like where was the mother all that time, how did the girl give birth to all those kids in the basement? Something is very strange about that story. I think we'll find out more about that story.

KING: Did you discuss the polygamy story on "The View" a lot?

BEHAR: Not too much. No, I don't understand polygamy. They're kind of like lions. The lion mates 50 times a day with all different lionesses, and they almost feel like they're the king of the jungle, these men, and they have all these lionesses around them. Those girls are welcome to come on "The View" for makeovers also. I'd just like to make that offering.

KING: We'll be back with more of Joy Behar. Friday night, Sidney Poitier. Hey, don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) KING: We're back with Joy Behar, one of my favorite people, who will be performing this weekend in Raleigh, New Jersey. Let's take a call.

Detroit, hello.

CALLER: Hi. Joy, are you there?

BEHAR: I hear you.

CALLER: Oh, I am a big fan of your work. I love watching you on "The View."

BEHAR: Thank you.

CALLER: I just want to know that I've heard on interviews that you're not a very religious person, and I do respect that about you. I just want to know like when you do -- excuse me, I'm a little nervous -- that when you do talk to people or interviews about -- like about God or anything, how do you handle it?

BEHAR: About God?

KING: God, yes.

BEHAR: Well, I was raised Catholic. Thank you very much, Detroit. I was raised Catholic. I could speak to the Jeremiah thing in a certain way, because the Catholic church, I went there for years and years, wore the hat every Sunday. My family still goes to church. They don't approve of the pedophile scandal. They still go to church. I mean, it's very similar to what Barack is going through. He doesn't have to approve of everything the guy says. None of us approves of everything that our pastor says.

But as far as being religious or not religious, I mean, I have respect for religious people as long as they're not nuts.

KING: With Joy Behar, we'll take another call.

Covington, Kentucky, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry, how are you doing? Hi, Joy. Great to be on.


CALLER: I noticed you were talking earlier about how you guys like to have controversial guests on "The View."


CALLER: You mentioned Newt Gingrich. When Nancy Pelosi was on the program, did you consider her controversial?

BEHAR: Yes, sure. I mean, Nancy Pelosi is somewhat controversial. I don't think she's spoken out enough, to tell you the truth. She needs to open her mouth more. KING: She was on our show last week. She's a strong speaker of the House.

BEHAR: I like Nancy. Newt Gingrich was very nice. He's one of these people I completely disagree with practically everything he says, but he's very amiable. I asked him about a quote he gave to Hannity and he basically backed off on what he said. So I appreciate that.

KING: What do you make of the success of "American Idol?" Are you a fan?

BEHAR: Oh, yes. Aren't we all? I think the success is because of Simon Cowell, is my feeling, that he is basically the reason that the show works, because you could -- people all over the country have talent and we want to see everything. But if we had to sit and listen to, I think you're wonderful, I think you're wonderful, I think you're wonderful, the show would be boring.

But he always say, I don't think so. That makes it entertaining.

KING: He can be caustic.

BEHAR: He can be very caustic. I appreciate the fact he might hurt their feelings. When I was that age, I got out of the business because somebody told me something negative. So it has an impact on you as a young person. On the other hand, we have an entertainment value thing that we have to look at.

KING: Getting one more call.

Korin, Ohio, hello.

CALLER: Hi Joy. I have to tell you, you're my favorite of all the women on "The View." I want to ask you, once a Democrat gets in office, what are you and Elizabeth going to talk about?

BEHAR: I'm sure that --

KING: Who is a Republican?

BEHAR: Oh, yes, big time. I think Elizabeth will still have many things, critical things to say about whatever Democrat gets in there and I'll have to either defend the position or -- look, if a Democrat makes a mistake, I'm the first one to say it. I don't care if it's a Republican or a Democrat. I want them to do what I think is right for the country.

KING: Have you been close to blows?

BEHAR: With Elizabeth? Never. I've never had a fight with that girl. When we're on the air, we talk politics. It's never been personal between us, never.

KING: That's good, because you don't agree on anything.

BEHAR: It doesn't matter. It's like Newt Gingrich, I'm not going to hit him.

KING: What do you make of "Dancing With the Stars?" You like that show?

BEHAR: Well, as soon as you have a -- either you faint or you trip or your feet are bound, you -- I read somewhere that the minute you have an accident, people vote for you, that the -- they vote with their hearts when they see an injury. So that's what --

KING: And your show --

BEHAR: Maybe you should get a sling, your numbers will go up. Put your arm in a sling.

KING: They asked me to be on. I couldn't do it. I couldn't do the rehearsals.

BEHAR: Why, were you thinking of doing it?

KING: No, they asked me. I said no.

BEHAR: They asked you to do it?

KING: Yes.

BEHAR: What dance would you do, the Cha-Cha?

KING: That's it, go back to Miami and go home. Good luck. "The View" is nominated, right?

BEHAR: I don't know yet. We're going to announce it tomorrow, what the nominees are. I don't know if we're nominated.

KING: We get advance word.

BEHAR: So we're nominated? Look at this, you slipped.

KING: I don't know. They told me you're nominated.

BEHAR: Thank you.

KING: Thanks, Joy.

BEHAR: Thank you, it's always a pleasure to see you, Larry.

KING: They're announcing the nominations tomorrow. Quick note about one of our mutual friends; if you want help making a meal that is fast, fun and family friendly, pick up Rachel Ray's latest book "Yum-O." It's full of terrific recipes, photos, so delicious looking. You want to eat them right off the page. "Yum-O," the family cookbook by our friend Rachel Ray.

Don't forget to check out our Web site, Download our current podcast, Laura and Jenna Bush. We also have a special quick vote about the ladies of "The View." As always, you can e-mail upcoming guests. Tomorrow night, Michael Moore. Thursday, Dr. Phil. And Friday, the amazing Sidney Poitier. All at

Now to New Orleans, Louisiana, and here he is, Anderson Cooper and "AC 360. -- Anderson.