‘View’ Co-Hosts Clash Over Herman Cain’s Immigration Plan

by | October 18, 2011 at 2:31 PM | Daytime TV, The View

Sherri Shepherd and Elisabeth Hasselbeck have both been lightning rods for controversy on “The View,” but today’s discussion took the hosts’ passion for heated political discussion to a new level.

Hasselbeck, an outspoken conservative, butted heads with her co-hosts when she came out in support of presidential hopeful Herman Cain’s controversial statements on immigration.

At a GOP rally in Tennessee on Saturday, Cain told supporters of his plan to use an electric fence to secure the U.S./Mexico borders, “It’s going to be 20 feet high. It’s going to have barbed wire on the top. It’s going to be electrified. And there’s going to be a sign on the other side saying, ‘It will kill you.’”

While Cain has since dismissed the remarks as a joke, “View” hosts Shepherd, Barbara Walters and Whoopi Goldberg questioned the insensitive nature of his comments, but staunch Republican Elisabeth Hasselbeck was not so quick to dismiss Cain’s remarks.

“Don’t get mad ’cause we’re not laughing at a joke that you’re making about killing a certain race of people,” said Shepherd.

“It will kill you – the fence – not ‘we will kill you,’” said Hasselbeck, in defense of Cain’s plan.

Goldberg pointed out the implied racism in Cain’s plan, saying “If a white candidate had made this joke, we’d be up his behind like white on rice.”

When Shepherd asked Hasselbeck what the inherent value in electrocuting people who were just trying to make a better life for themselves in the United States, Hasselbeck replied, “We have them on prisons.”

“Are you comparing immigrants to prisoners?” asked Shepherd.

Hasselbeck responded by dismissing the accusation that she had compared immigrants to prisoners, although she found some similarities in in the two groups. Regarding people who might cross through Cain’s hypothetical fence, Hasselbeck posed, “Is it legal?” Hasselbeck went on to say that while she was not in favor of killing immigrants for crossing into the U.S., she would not oppose a sign informing them that the proposed fence would kill them if they attempted to cross it.

Walters, who has often diffused arguments between her co-hosts, stood her ground against Hasselbeck, saying, “He’s talking about killing illegal immigrants if they come over the border. This is not funny… What he says are terrible things.”

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