December 18th, 2007
03:10 PM ET
11 years ago

Huckabee says son did not mistreat dog

Huckabee spoke on CNN's Larry King Live Tuesday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Republican Mike Huckabee sharply denied reports Monday he used his influence as Arkansas governor to scuttle a police investigation into allegations his son tortured a dog while a counselor at a boy scout camp.

"Let me categorically say that is absolutely not true," the presidential candidate said on CNN's Larry King Live. "I never used my influence. In fact, if anything, I said treat it like you would anything else. I don't want special treatment for him or against him."

Huckabee was responding to a report in the current issue of Newsweek, in which former Arkansas State Police Director John Bailey says he was fired by Huckabee in part because he wanted to investigate an allegation that the then-governor's son David tortured and hung a stray dog.

The incident allegedly occurred at a Boy Scout camp in 1998. David Huckabee, then a counselor there, was later expelled for not being "consistent with the Boy Scout mission" of being "kind," according to a letter from the camp's director obtained by the magazine. Shortly after the younger Huckabee was expelled, allegations surfaced that he was involved in the cruel treatment of the dog.

"There was a dog that came in. It was mangy. It looked like it was going to attack," Mike Huckabee said Monday on CNN's Larry King Live. "He was a staffer at the camp. They put the dog down. They didn't do a good job of talking to the leaders. The way it was handled was not ideal, but there was no criminal activity."

The Arkansas Republican also noted his son went on to become an Eagle Scout, and suggested Bailey had an "an axe to grind" because he had been fired.

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Mike Huckabee
soundoff (100 Responses)
  1. Dan (Columbia, MD)

    I'm not voting for him but he's still better then any of the weak Socialist-Taxocrats that are running.

    December 19, 2007 07:27 am at 7:27 am |
  2. Tom S. Eyota, MN

    He tortured and murdered the dog. Stop spinning, Mike. Your son is a monster.

    December 19, 2007 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  3. Robert Rochester, MN

    "Did his son kill squirrels and doves too? Who gives a GGD." – Pete, NYC

    A lot of people do, Pete, and all people should. Torturing and killing an innocent animal is indicitive of a sick, twisted mind and a black heart, and any effort on his father's part to use his influence to cover it up is an abuse of power.

    December 19, 2007 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  4. Brian. Maryland

    I guess I am just not as familiar with this story since I havent see anything about the dog being hung by its feet and eviscerated and I didnt see anything in either article (Newsweek or this one on CNN) about this being done in front of children.
    Nevertheless, thats not the point. How the dog died is irrelevant, this is about Huck's cover-up and, unless someone can be found who can confirm the cover-up, there is no story. Innocent until PROVEN guilty. Furthermore, people who do abuse animals in the ways you folks are saying don't just do it once and then stop. If his son did it, there will be other incidents.

    December 19, 2007 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  5. John, OH

    As a Democrat I’m PRAYING this guy gets the nomination.

    December 19, 2007 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  6. Alexander, Washington, DC

    Huckabee is categorical liar. What an embarrassment. This guy is full of scandal. He will never get the GOP nomination.

    December 19, 2007 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  7. AJ; Montpelier, VT

    "There was a dog that came in. It was mangy. It looked like it was going to attack," Mike Huckabee said Monday on CNN's Larry King Live. "He was a staffer at the camp. They put the dog down. They didn't do a good job of talking to the leaders. The way it was handled was not ideal, but there was no criminal activity"

    So in order to put the dog down they hung it? Maybe that's the way they do thing in Arkansas, but civilized people dont do things like that.
    As for not using his influence, did I see his nose grow?
    Huckabee is a bigot and a bit of a liar. Havent we had enough of that lately?

    December 19, 2007 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  8. K Wilkinson MG TX

    "Putting a dog down" and hanging it from a tree, beating it, and slitting it's throat is not quite the same thing Governor Huckabee, but I think you know that.

    I don't think Huckabee should be held completely responsible for his son's cruel treatment to this animal. Although it does makes me question his family values, and how he raised this child.

    But, he should be held completely responsible for LYING now to cover his own butt!!! He should also be held responsible for interfering with an investigation! He seems to be above the law. Just like his manipulation of the parole board.

    This is not the first time Huckabee has lied to cover an unattractive truth in his campaign. 1998 is the same year that Huckabee was the key note speaker at an anti-Mormon rally in SLC. Perhaps his time would have been better served parenting his son, instead of participating in a rally meant to spread hate and intollerance.
    I guess the apple really does not fall far from the tree.

    Why do the Huckabee supporters want this man? He has shown over and over that he lacks integrity, morals, and experience. What is the draw? Is it truly his supposed Christianity? I am a Christian, and I believe that as a Christian one must always tell the truth.

    Huckabee has not been truthful on several issues. VERY SAD.

    December 19, 2007 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  9. Jr., California

    I actually heard that the dog had just escaped torture from Michael Vick's house and just wanted shelter and food.

    December 19, 2007 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  10. Angel, Los Angeles of Anaheim

    Huckabee/Vick '08

    That is as soon as Huck can pardon Vick just like the rapist.

    They all deserve one another.

    December 19, 2007 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  11. T. Tim, Lodi, WI

    Torture is the Republican way!

    December 19, 2007 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  12. Jim Cleveland ohio

    Huck you are a liar. This guy is really scares me GOD has forgiven my Son THE END

    December 19, 2007 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  13. David, Harrison, ar.

    That was a pretty bad answer, unclear and open to interpatation.

    December 19, 2007 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  14. Ajay Jain

    Just as Obama has had his honeymoon with the press Hucabee has also enjoyed a certain honeymoon period of jubilation over his meterioc rise in polls. Greater scrutiny is required in both the democrtic camp for Obama and in the Republic camp for Hucabee.

    December 20, 2007 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  15. Todd, Indianapolis, IN

    Doesn't Huckabee look like the guy who played the president a couple seasons ago on 24? Scary!

    December 21, 2007 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  16. Pam Holt Los Angeles, CA

    This is completely horrifying. His son undoubtedly is disturbed and tortured and murdered a dog and people will be next. That is the proven pattern. Instead of getting his son the help he needed, he was probably only worried about his political aspirations and had it swept under the rug. And to blow it off like it was nothing means that maybe his son got some cruel blood from his dad.

    Both father (for cover-up) and son (for the act) are criminals, plain and simple.

    If you love animals, Dennis Kucinich is the only choice as a vegan, a co-sponsor of every animal-friendly bill and the single vote against AETA, the Animal Enterprise Terrorist Act, that protects those that profit from animal suffering and makes "terrorists" of those of us that speak for them by protesting, leafleting, whistle-blowing, boycotting, etc. Kucinich is one the few that actually read what he votes for and he knew this interfered with our civil liberties and that the animals need people to speak for them.

    Kucinich has compassion for all species on Earth. Can you imagine the possibilities of such a peaceful President?

    December 22, 2007 01:10 am at 1:10 am |
  17. Rob, Indianapolis, IN.

    First off, the real story is what, then Governor, Huckabee did to pressure state authorities to cover up the investigation into the event. To me this clearly shows a person willing to abuse his power to cover his own backside.

    Then again, be they dogs or detainees, torture seems to be a republican rite of passage. Perhaps young Huckabee was just trying to extract valuable information from the dog concerning the whereabouts of the family cat. All joking aside, this story is just creepy.

    December 22, 2007 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  18. Terry Callen

    I CARE what that Huckabee sired a psychopath.

    THIS is the kind of person who is going to tell the rest of us how to live OUR lives?

    I don't think so!

    December 27, 2007 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  19. Paul

    Let me get this straight. In 1998 Mike Huckabee was at an anit-mormon convention in Salt Lake City, Utah selling his book called "Kids Who Kill: Confronting Our Culture of Violence" that he wrote the same summer that his son was a Kid who Killed a dog at summer camp and got fired for it. Did Huckster use his son as a case study for the book or did he cover up for his son? Mike might be denying his culture of deceipt rather than confronting what makes him tick. He lies that he does not know much about Mormons and that he has a theology degree, when in fact he knows all sorts of lies about Mormons and has no theology degree at all. WHAT NEXT?

    December 29, 2007 03:45 am at 3:45 am |
  20. Daniel

    Can’t the good Governor admit that that his son was at least “unkind” to that poor dog? He needn’t publicly scold his son, but neither should he misrepresent the boy’s actions as merely “not ideal.”

    Speaking of public criticism…

    Once, in a Christmastime radio address on over-consumerism, an incredulous Huckabee volunteered the following:

    “Even our pets live better lives than many people in other countries. While staying at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, Britney Spears reportedly ordered a $180 steak for her pet Chihuahua. Paris Hilton’s dog wears a $300 cashmere sweater complete with pearls. And when George Clooney’s pot-bellied pig gained too much weight, it reportedly went on a strict diet and exercise program under the direction of a personal trainer.” - Dec. 17, 2005

    December 30, 2007 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  21. marc van dam

    Like father / like son

    December 31, 2007 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  22. d

    Hanged, CNN, hanged.

    January 3, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  23. Joe

    WOOF WOOF, another jesus preaching liar

    January 5, 2008 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  24. Mary A.

    No one is uncovering any facts of the case so far. It sounds like alot of accusations and hearsay. I want to know WHAT was done to the dog, whether it was fair to fire his son, and whether Huckabee did or did not try to cover it up.

    January 9, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  25. Sally

    This justice obstructing preacher makes me ashamed to be a Christian, and his behavior is what the terrorists see in Christian Americans – that it is okay to act in sick, twisted ways as long as it can be covered up by other irresponsible "Christians". Huck is no better than Osama Bin Ladin for covering up for his sick twisted son in the dog killing incident. In his "Christian" way he thinks he's helping the boy, when all he is helping is his own sick political ambitions. I have never seen a bigger hypocrite.

    February 12, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
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