Joy Behar: Obama Picking Rick Warren Like 'Cheney in Charge of Gun Control'

On Thursday's The View, co-host Joy Behar expressed her displeasure at President-Elect Barack Obama's choice of Rick Warren for the invocation at his inauguration: “I don't think it's appropriate. It's like putting, you know, Cheney in charge of gun control. It's's just wrong.”

The topic of Obama choosing Warren came up during the regular opening “Hot Topics” segment of the ABC daytime program. Whoopi Goldberg, who moderated the segment, introduced the controversy behind this choice: “...[A] lot of folks are opposed to this gentleman: gay -- because he opposes gay marriage, he's anti-abortion -- he's got a lot of different stances. There's a lot of people saying he's a bad choice.”

Elisabeth Hasselbeck was the first co-host to come to Warren's defense: “I think he's a great choice. He held the forum -- remember when he did the forum between McCain and Obama during the election? He sat them down and had the faith forum, which I found was great during our times right now. And I think that he'll -- I think he'll do a great job. He's got an incredible following, he's a strong speaker.”

Behar responded by immediately bringing up Warren's support for Proposition 8 in California: “But he's spoken out against gay marriage.” Hasselbeck countered by trying to read Obama's intention in choosing the pastor: “...I think maybe what President-elect Obama's hoping to do is maybe diminish the sort of -- I don't know, negative cast that's on Christian evangelicals.”

Sherri Shepherd then stepped in to defend Obama's decision as Behar continued to question the decision, since she emphasized how “Christian evangelicals did not put Obama in the White House.” When both Shepherd and Hasselbeck both pointed out how many Christians voted for the Democrat, Behar made her “Cheney in charge of gun control” line.

Hasselbeck, as you might expect brought up Obama's former pastor: “Who would you rather have -- Reverend Wright?” Goldberg reentered the debate at this point: “...[B]ecause he is using this gentleman to do the invocation does not mean that he stands with them -- all of the man's positions. It's the same argument we tried to explain to people about Reverend Wright. Because you're with somebody, it doesn't mean that just because you're friends, or you spend a lot of time with him, that you feel as they do.”

Later, as the five co-hosts continued to debate the Warren pick, Behar asked, “Why not put a rabbi in there?” Shepherd didn't see the point of this suggestion, but Behar shot back, “Why not? This country is not just a Christian nation.” Shepherd replied, “The thing about it is Obama is going to, as president -- he's going to do things that -- you can't please everybody. He's going to do things that you don't like, that I don't like...”

Goldberg and Barbara Walters closed out the discussion by defending Obama's decision:

GOLDBERG: Here's the -- here's the bottom line: we didn't -- we did not put him into office to pick a preacher. We put him into office to get our act together in the country and that's his personal pick --

WALTERS: And this is his personal choice.                                                                             

GOLDBERG: And I'm going to go with it, and I know that he doesn't believe all that stuff --

Matthew Balan is a news analyst at the Media Research Center.