'Hot Topics' Gets Heated On 'The View'

Things got a bit heated on “The View” yesterday, when a discussion about the Mormon religion and polygamy turned political…and personal.

Barbara Walters told Access Hollywood this week that she expects “The View” to return to lively, friendly debates this season, but she herself had a little outburst during yesterday’s “Hot Topics.”

The tense situation stemmed from a discussion about Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his Mormon religion. Though polygamy is outlawed, some small sects of Mormons still adhere to the practice of having more than one wife, and Walters wondered if that may have an effect on public perception of Romney, a Mormon.

Though Romney has publicly condemned the practice, the women made jokes about Romney one day announcing he had another wife — prompting Elisabeth Hasselbeck to bring up Monica Lewinsky, “the other woman” who “popped up” when President Bill Clinton was in office.

At the mention of Lewinsky, Whoopi Goldberg, a public supporter (and friend) of the Clintons, immediately turned on Elisabeth. “I’m asking you to do me a favor because there’s no reason for it today,” Goldberg said. “This has nothing to do with Bill Clinton.”

When the conservative Hasselbeck defended “making the jump” from polygamy to Lewinsky (whom she’s brought up before), Walters herself became visibly angered.

“This is a good woman who has gotten a masters degree at the London School of Economics!” snapped Walters, her finger pointed in Hasselbeck’s face. After taking a calming breath, Walters continued, “She’s doing her best to have a life. Enough with Monica, everybody can move on.”

Romney himself is no stranger to jokes about his religion and polygamy. While he’s stated in the past that he found the practice “bizarre” and that his church excommunicates those who engage in it, both he and his wife have joked about it.

Fox News quotes him as having joked at events, “marriage is between a man and a woman … and a woman and a woman.”

His wife, Ann, once took a playful jab at Romney’s Republican competitors, Sen. John McCain (married twice), and Rudy Giuliani (married three times), saying the biggest difference between her husband and them is that “he’s had only one wife.”

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