November 28th, 2007
10:12 PM ET
10 years ago

Huckabee: Jesus was too smart to run for public office

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee was a pastor before holding public office.

(CNN) - Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee tied together his stance on abortion with his views on the death penalty Wednesday night, two subjects he takes quite seriously, when asked by a viewer if Jesus would support the death penalty.

"There are those that say how can you be pro-life and believe in the death penalty?" Huckabee said. The fundamental difference is "a person is deemed guilty after a thorough process and put to opposed to an individual making a decision to terminate a life that has never been deemed guilty because the life was never even given a chance to exist"

When reminded by CNN's Anderson Cooper, "the question is what would Jesus do?" Huckabee tried to bring light to the subject joking that, "Jesus was too smart to ever run for public office."

- CNN's Emily Sherman

Filed under: Mike Huckabee
soundoff (98 Responses)

    So I guess it's safe to assume that you gotta be a christan republican in order to know Jesus? Now we know why Bush won other than stealing the votes.

    November 28, 2007 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  2. Martin Kautz, Obrigheim, Germany

    Jesus was a very public figure and he got killed being in public... That was not very smart by the Roman leaders and put Christianity later as the official religion.

    November 28, 2007 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  3. Brad, Philadelphia, PA

    Kudos, to Monica from the great city of Pittsburgh. Finally someone calling the might on the right for what it really is; an exclusive club that rarely practices what it preaches and scorns those that do.
    For conservatives to envoke the name of God/Jesus then condemn anyone is the real sin.

    November 28, 2007 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  4. Jessica, Cincinnati Ohio

    What an awesomely loaded question! I wonder if there may be some US citizen named Jesus whose parents are from Guanajuato who may wish to run for president some day...what will his choices be?

    Huckabee's responses seemed canned, and a bit planned, possible that he spent the past week on youtube? Wonder what else he saw there?

    November 28, 2007 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  5. number9, pasadena, ca

    mr. huckabee is a wolf in sheep's clothing

    November 28, 2007 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  6. Eric Murphy/ Ayden, NC

    Jesus would be neither a Democrat or a Republican. I am sure he would be against the US political system of maintaining the status quo and keeping the wealthy safe from the poor. American xstians don't know Jesus because the Nicene council picked books to include that didn't give us the truth about Jesus. "Paul" Saul of Tarsus tricked people. Paul's letters are the greatest hoax perpetrated on the xstian faith. Paul's letters ARE the xstian faith. Not only would Jesus not run for office he would be a man that would lead a revolution against it, just as he did in Jerusalem.

    November 28, 2007 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  7. Chris, Kalamazoo MI

    If you're going to seperate Jesus from the rest of the Bible, then you have already weakened much of what he had to say. The Whole Bible is supposed to be devinely inspired. If you want to inform yourself as to what the Bible has to say about the death penalty check out Romans chapter 13, and I Peter chapter 2.

    November 28, 2007 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  8. Beckster

    Mike Huckabee has been rising in the polls rapidly, and after tonight he will gain even more support. He is genuine, relaxed, and doesn't act like a politician. He quite possibly will win Iowa and after that who knows. Both Romney and Giluiani looked like idiots and Thompson looks like a troll.

    November 28, 2007 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  9. Charissa, Eureka, IL

    Mr. Huckabee definately has my vote. Is he perfect? No. Is he a savior? No. But he is real. He is refreshing and I believe he has the compassion, the strength, the desire, the patriotism and the leadership needed to guide our country. I think he is one of the only candidates that could beat Mrs. Clinton. He has class and character and I appreacite his ability to take a strong stand on his core convictions, and at the same time show the ability to listen to and work with others who may not agree with him. I think the office of President is more than just foreign policy, or taxes, or running the educational system. I think it's an office that should be served with honor and decency. An office to be treasured and cherished. I think Mr. Huckabee has shown the way he runs state and local governments fit this bill perfectly. I'm honored to get the opportunity to support Mr. Huckabee in the primarys.

    November 28, 2007 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  10. Mike B New Jersey

    Honestly the question was dropped by Huck. Jesus being God has infinite knowledge and power over life and death. He knows all the facts about the past present and future of the case, and any execution he can undo. Unlike the governor. I'm surprised that Huck did not quote the render unto Caesar passage and several others.

    November 28, 2007 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  11. John

    Jesus would not support the death penalty nor would he attack our neighbors.

    Maybe you should try to act like a pastor, and not proclaim to be one.

    How you are pro-life bewilders me.

    November 28, 2007 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  12. Richard, West Palm Beach, FL

    But to see how God wants a government to set up it's laws, all you have to do is look at the laws he gave to the Jewish people in the Old Testament. There are clearly laws there for punishment and law enforcement. There is border security and penalties for crime, including death.

    Posted By Dan, San Jose, CA : November 28, 2007 10:59 pm


    Is this serious or not? Those laws include how we are to treat slaves and about the inferiority of women. They include the penalty for anyone who works on a Sunday which is death. We should stone any children who don't obey their parents. As far as border security goes: – Exodus 22:21 “You shall not wrong or oppress an alien in your midst for you were aliens in the land of Egypt”

    It still amazes me that Christians have such little knowledge of the Bible, as evidenced by some of the comments here.

    November 29, 2007 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  13. chris, san antonio, tx

    So why is minister Huckabee running?

    November 29, 2007 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  14. Christine, Hamilton Massachusetts

    Governor Huckabee was given about the least time of anyone on the stage, but needed only a few brief minutes to show his wonderful spirit. He has no big campaign money, either, but he has gone farther than anyone else on such a small purse. There is a biblical precedent for this. God can take just a little bit and do an awful a lot. I have a growing sense that Mike Huckabee getting a boost from somewhere higher up than Mars!

    November 29, 2007 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  15. Karen Houston,TX

    To Rachael of Baltimore,
    I appreciate that you found Huckabees obvious good humor and personality to be entertaining, but it takes more than "being hillarious and a good speaker" to be President of the United States. Are you aware of HIS REAL position on illegal immigration? He wants to take your tax dollars and shower the children of illegal immigrants with it so that they can get their college educations. Meanwhile, us US citizens have to work our butts off to pay our taxes in order to pay for those illegals and our own children. That's not so hillarious is it? Hmmm... Maybe he is not that funny after all. Are you voting for a President, or someone who will entertain you?

    November 29, 2007 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  16. Bruce Barnes, Conroe, Texas

    With all this talk about Jesus, didn’t anyone notice that Governor Mike Huckabee supports a tax increase of about 28.5 % on people? In FY 2006, corporation income tax was 13.8 % of the federal budget and corporate employment taxes were 14.7 %. Under the “Fairtax plan,” businesses do not pay taxes.

    November 29, 2007 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  17. Glen, Paranaque, Merville

    Since both Huckabee and Guiliani believe in the Bible, then they should know that they cannot serve two masters at the same time. It is either they serve Jesus or they serve Pontius Pilate, and I believe that Jesus is against capital punishment.

    If they made electric chairs, then let them be used for themselves.

    November 29, 2007 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  18. James C. Harmer, DeKalb Jct., NY

    Guys, if Jesus opposed the death penalty he wouldn't have let the Government kill him. He was against people making that descision(the woman caught in the act of adultery... by the way, where was the man?) but he allowed the Government to put him to death. Again I repeat, how could Jesus be opposed to the death penalty if he allowed the Government to put him to death?

    Huckabee may not have given a direct answer, but many of the candidates(Dems and Reps) have been dodging questions, and that is a tough question. I had to think about it for a minute, and it's a strange one to have at a political debate.

    His clarification on the difference between abortion and the death penalty was good, and common sense... although I'm sure it won't end the debate, it'd be nice if people were that reasonable wouldn't it?

    I personally have mixed feelings about the death penalty... I am still making up my mind, but I think that was a good answer.


    November 29, 2007 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  19. Bob, Tampa, Florida

    I'm a Barack Obama supporter BUT I am well impressed with this man from Hope Arkansas!! Huckabee was the clear winner in what I believe has been the best debate of either party!

    November 29, 2007 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
  20. Angela, Troy, MI

    What a glib and flip answer from a Baptist flim flam man. The man's a joke.

    November 29, 2007 01:44 am at 1:44 am |
  21. Bill Bloomington Illinois

    Huckabee is an outstanding debater. He made the other candidates look like fools. He said more in the few seconds of time he got than Rudy/Mitt said in their tortured mudslinging match. He's the ONLY repub that can beat Hillary and the Dems are afraid of him. He's got my vote.

    November 29, 2007 02:02 am at 2:02 am |
  22. Tom

    Apparently Huckabee WASN'T "Smart" Enough tho.

    November 29, 2007 02:21 am at 2:21 am |
  23. Christian, Fort Mill, SC

    During the relatively few times Huckabee was allowed to speak tonight (so much for treating the candidates equally!) he was brilliant as always.
    Huckabee, of all people, knows better than to put words in Jesus' mouth.
    Of course, considering Jesus didn't condemn HIS OWN death penalty, or that of the others on the cross, I would feel safe to say it probably wasn't considered a sinful negative. I mean, come on, old testament God was smiting people left and right.
    Personally, I oppose the death penalty because I don't trust the government with the power to take american lives. I still Like Mike!

    November 29, 2007 03:04 am at 3:04 am |
  24. Kevin, Des Moines

    OK – I am somewhat new to Christianity (I was a proud atheist for 30+ years)- but having studied the Bible over the past few years here is how I see it.

    Jesus represents truth and light in our world. He uses His light to stamp out darkness. He sacrificed and never sought political gain during His Earthly reign. He actually worked as much as possible in the background in his ministry.

    There are certain 'grey area' moral issues that we as humans simply cannot wrap our brains around. Jesus knows what is right – we do not always – and he wants us to search for answers through Him. And they don't always come easily. Jesus was also challenged with questions of right and wrong by his inquisitors during his time on Earth and oftentimes 'didn't answer the question directly' but responded with a thought that made the questioner 'think about the question'(check out the red words in the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). I see that as wisdom. So – I believe Mike is correct in saying 'Thats what Jesus would do!'. 1) He wouldn't hold a worldly office – and – faced with the hypothetical – he would speak to a truth or teaching that put the question in new light (oftentimes using what are called parables). Here too – Mike was teaching – speaking to a truth – not dodging – and he is quite brilliant at it.

    Now – on abortion. Children are innocent and pure and without sin (in fact recent studies prove that children < age 6 months can determine right (light) from wrong (darkness)) and will choose things that are good over things that are bad.

    Just my thoughts on the matter.

    November 29, 2007 03:53 am at 3:53 am |
  25. Chuckleberry

    If Jesus were running for president he would have gotten treated like Ron Paul and then crucified.

    November 29, 2007 04:33 am at 4:33 am |
1 2 3 4