January 12th, 2008
01:51 PM ET
7 years ago

Huckabee mobilizes Michigan ministers

 Huckabee campaigned in Michigan Saturday.

Huckabee campaigned in Michigan Saturday.

GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan (CNN) - Mike Huckabee urged more than 100 pastors in Western Michigan to "take a stand" and organize evangelicals to vote in next week's Republican primary here.

The ordained Baptist minister told the pastors Saturday to "mobilize in every way possible every single friend you know" in advance of next Tuesday's vote.

"I am not going to ask for you to endorse from the pulpit," he said at a campaign breakfast. But he implored the faith leaders to work their personal mailing lists and phone directories of "like-minded folks" in their spare time.

Roughly one in three Republican primary voters in Michigan is a self-identified evangelical.

Huckabee, as he often does, declared that he will not run from his faith if he is elected president.

"This country needs to regain its soul," he said. "For a long time, those of us are people of faith were asked to support candidates who would come and talk to us. But rarely has there been one who has come from us."

Huckabee, who spent a good portion of his remarks criticizing abortion and same-sex marriage, also repeated his pledge he would never attempt to impose his own religious beliefs on the country if elected president.

- CNN Political Producer Peter Hamby

Filed under: Michigan • Mike Huckabee
soundoff (124 Responses)
  1. Tim T.

    "I am not going to ask for you to endorse from the pulpit," said Huck. Yeh, sure! So much for separation of church and state. If you like theocracies (Iran, Saudi Arabia,
    etc.) you'll love Huckabee as Prez. Beware.

    January 12, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  2. Connie, Louisville, Tn.

    When are ever going to get religion OUT of politics?? If churches are going to campaign, they should pay taxes like all other business.

    January 12, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  3. Swint

    This is why Huckabee just can't win. PLEASE DON"T VOTE FOR HUCK MICHIGAN!

    If Huck wins the nomination, it will seal the GOP's fate to that of the Religious Right.

    As a religious person, not of evangelical persuasion, that scares me. I want a representive that is not beholden to Religious political activists yet is morally sound, that is the best on economics, and great on National Security. Mitt Romney is the only GOP candidate to be strong on all fronts.

    January 12, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  4. Patty D.

    Great! That's just what our country needs. A bunch of Christian leaders running policy. That is the twisted logic of Bush and Co. And look at the great job they did! I think if Huckabee gets the nomination, the Republican Party is dust.

    January 12, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  5. David - Oregon City

    This story tells me that Mike Huckabee must be over the target taking flack, due to the weak mined elite media trying to express itself forcefully again.

    Go Huckabee!

    January 12, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  6. Val Davydov

    I am tired of this guy – please remove him from the picture as soon as possible. He is harping on evangelicals once again and then says that he is not running on his faith. Who are we to believe? Hypocrite. I also think because of his hypocrisy Huckabee is mocking our God's name, his religion, and Christianity as whole – this is very bad for the believers.

    January 12, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  7. Casey

    I'm a Christian and I absolutely hate how Huckabee is using the his Christian beliefs to get votes. It makes my stomach turn! Even when he speaks he talks of a "good old fashion tent revivial" or "the gates of Hell."

    Under Huckabee's (un)FairTax, those unemployeed folks in Michigan will by 23% sales tax on goods/services...how? They're not working...let's get real...if he is elected, Michigan will suffer even more!

    South Carolina, please don't let this guy fool you...if you're a Christian look at the other Republicans. Just becasue he's a Baptist preacher, doesn't make him the right person for President.

    January 12, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  8. David

    This strategy is immoral and unpatriotic IMO. I am a Romney supporter, and if it were suggested to Mitt that he urge Mormon leaders to actively mobilize for his support, he would be insulted by the suggestion. In any case, if any viable Mormon candidate tried a stunt like this, the Mormon leadership in Salt Lake City, Utah would officially reprimand the attempt for being out of line with policy. Churches should not be actively involved in politics. It may be that Mormons in large support Romney, but if they do so, it will not be because they have been coerced or persuaded by their clergy. It is not right.

    January 12, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  9. Chris, Kalamazoo MI

    There seems to be no lack of Sectist people on these boards. So the man isn't an Atheist, or very libreal in his Theology. Quit trying to force people of different faiths than yourself from getting into office. This is America, there is a seperation of church and state, which means the government does not have the right to force a particular sect of religion on people. So you can't say it is wrong by our constitution for this man to run for office, or call it a bad thing. If you have a problem with him, you need to appeal to somthing else, such as your own religious beliefs. But be honest about that, don't hide behind twisting the laws of this country, or poor logic.

    This man is free to run for office. His strongly held beliefs means that things will happen. It may be for good or for bad, we won't know unless he gets into office. But those w/o strong beliefs generally don't get anything done period. I'd rather have someone who knows where he stands on things in office, even if I didn't agree with everything he said.

    January 12, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  10. RM Stones

    This man is scary. He uses a religious, belief-based set of codes to entice the "fundy" voters but in the same breath promises that he will never impose his beliefs on the American public. If that is the case then why does he need to recruit fundamentalist voters?

    Oh yeah it worked for baby Bush.

    January 12, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  11. Nick, Eden Praire MN

    I'm a christian, and cant' stand him. He tries to pretend to be this upright moral person, but had 14 ETHIC COMPLAINS FOR TAKING EXPENSIVE 'GIFTS' FROM PEOPLE THAT LATER WOULD BENEFIT FROM HIM BEING GOVERNOR. Wake up people! He's more Pharisee then true disciple – we're supposed to be on the lookout for people who say Jesus's name a lot but love to be in places of honor. If you're really this morally upright candidate shouldn't the ethics committee have nothing but glowing praise of you?

    January 12, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  12. Daniel

    I think one thing is clear, if Huckabee wins the Republican nomination we will have a Democratic president next year. The American people don't want someone who, like Bush, will be viewed as a Christian Crusader. Strategies like this make people who aren't (and many who are) born again Christians nervous.

    January 12, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  13. Carl Bantau

    I see a lot of boo-hoo-hoo, and wah, wah, wah why? Because people are excited about somebody who relates to them and carries himself with the highest integrity, is upbeat even when he is downtrodden, and has fun doing it. Huckabee pokes fun at himself but he's as serious as a heart attack about lifting up those who've been torn down. He's even taking on his own party for their weaknesses and failures in dealing with middle class and poverty America. I blind man can see the truth in Huck, but a liberal will always be a liberal.

    January 12, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  14. Bob

    Huckabee is just trying to get the support of people who share his values. Is there a candidate who doesn't do that? The only people who object to what Huckabee is doing support his opponents anyway...

    Just like the other candidates, he is a person of faith and is informed by it. He has never pushed his religion on others,

    The real objection is to his conservative values. It bothers liberals that he is so articulate in taking the same moral positions that have won most the of the Presidential elections over the last 30 years. Get used to it!

    January 12, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  15. Tim, Minnesota

    A complete election violation. The churches that these ministers preach in should lose their tax-exempt status.

    January 12, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  16. Gundy

    This is an un-American ploy to get votes – If only his christian brothers and sisters knew about his tax record, immigration record, lack of foreign policy record, and his record weak punishments for killers and drug users. This man needs some credentials!!!

    January 12, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  17. Ryan

    I am a church going individual but does nobody else see this as illiegal? Churches are not taxed and as part of that cannot promote a political candidate. That's why the old dirty baptist past-ard says "I'm not asking you to endorse me from the pulpit", so he can say he said not to endorse, but of course they will do it anyway. Alot like "I'm not going to run the add but let me show it to you any way." I hope people In Michigan aren't as stupid as the idiots in Iowa who voted for Suckabee just because he was Baptist. The guy is a slimeball who can't defend anything about his own record other than to call someone dishonest. No Mike, it is you who is dishonest. Anybody but Huckabee or Clinton in 2008!

    January 12, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  18. Ryan

    Bob, I have no problems with his values. That is the one redeeming quality about the guy. I am conservative through and through. I want vote for him because he is a BIG OLD FASHION LIAR! Sorry to the state of Arkansas but everything they have put forward for president is crap.

    January 12, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  19. Paul Thompson

    It's funny....protect us from what...there is and has always been a Christian church on every corner of this country. If you don't like that there are people who respect Christian values and are the ones who are tolerant of those who don't...well...vote your conscience...or leave!

    What really, really scares me are Anti-Christian bigots!

    Keep those prayers going UP!!!

    Go Huck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 12, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  20. DJ Ross

    What concerns me is the fact that he is encouraging church leaders to use their church registries and member lists to actively campaign to vote. He is skating thin ice regarding encouraging churches to risk losing their tax exempt status.

    Sure it is one thing to place flyers on car windows in a church parking lot, but another totally different to "wink wink. Nudge Nudge" Ministers to basically violate their tax exempt status by endorsing a candidate and using their position in the church to solicit the votes of the other members using church assets.

    Using registries/member lists to actively campaign is a clear violation. Those lists are not be used for political purposes.

    January 12, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  21. Tyler

    Why the heck has everyone became anti-religion or anti-America all of a sudden?? All these liberals on this board try to post comments about how they want a person without beliefs??? thats freaking ridiculous. morals are ESSENTIAL for running and a country, and CHRISTIANITY shows people morals. I know its hard for some people to grasp that.

    This guy wants THE GOVERNMENT to be OUT of PEOPLES personal LIVES.

    because this is HOW AMERICA WORKS, and has been for hundreds of years! America doesn't have a big government! its the federal government should be extremely limited. If you want laws involving personal things, go to the state government. THIS ISN'T COMMUNISM.

    if you dont like america right now then LEAVE THE COUNTRY. this is the SAFEST its been in a LONG time.

    January 12, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  22. Ryan

    Paul Thompson, Baptist are the biggest bigots in the world. Try not being one in the south and you'll know what I mean. Baptist calling a person a bigot is epitome of the pot calling the kettle black. By the way Paul, do you even know how the SOUTHERN Baptist Church got started? Anti-Christian bigots indeed?

    Sorry Paul but your boy Huckabee is Bill Clinton Jr.

    January 12, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  23. Amazed

    "Mobilize in every way possible every single friend you know" but oh no, not from the pulpit. Wow. Not running on his religious beliefs, eh? Wow.
    What a joke. The troubling thing is that too many people don't see the irony. How does he get away with this?

    January 12, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  24. Tyler

    Also, Bush has done a good job as president. I like how he continues to stand up for what he believes in even after all this hate everyone gives him.

    January 12, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  25. David

    I'm not going to say anything negative about this. But if I were going to say anything negative, this is what I would say:

    "This is low-class politics, getting as close to the edge of illegality [in the separation of church and state, and in the tax-exempt status of these churches] as possible."

    January 12, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
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