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. dffdf

    Mr. Huckabee seems to be a very nice man, but he does have a fatal flaw: religion. And whenever religion is involved, people lose their minds and rant and rave like rabid dogs. The best example is the Middle East where in the name of religion, they blow each other to smithereens. We're not that crazy yet, but the potenetial for great violence is still there. It would not take much to turn these so-called peace loving individuals into raving maniacs. History teaches us that religion destroys everything and everyone it touches. One would think we would have learned our lesson by now, but as long as the finality of death scares the crap out of us mammals, we will just go on believing in this ludicrous fairytale of a divine (huh?) entity and its promise of paradise. It amazes and scares me that intelligent people can believe such utter nonsense.
    If this gets published, I can just imagine the reaction from the religious fruitcakes out there. Actually, their reaction speaks volumes about what I just wrote.

    January 12, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  2. Mrs. America

    If pastors do endorse a candidate, their church loses tax-exempt status. Huckabee must know this. I smell ulterior motives by his even bringing it up.

    January 12, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  3. Jake, Brussels, BELGIUM

    I'm a Republican church-goer, but this is another very sad example of how quickly the blurring of church and state has gotten out of hand over the last seven years. I generally support President Bush, but the faith-based initiatives that he introduced are clearly unconstitutional. The federal government should not be making payments to any church for any purpose, other than MAYBE FEMA disaster rebuilding, but even that is questionable. Charity should be based on self-sacrifice; government funding only corrupts otherwise good causes.

    However, Huckabee is exploiting faith at a whole other level. These widespread illegal pulpit endorsements will have their price and who knows how they will be repaid? I know the Democrats do it all the time too, but that doesn't make it right. Vote for common sense and separation of church and state: vote Romney.

    January 12, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  4. Dan Cramer

    Mike Huckabee is the only true conservative in the race. He is a social conservative, supporting life, marriage and the family. He is a fiscal conservative vowing to raise no new taxes, plus he and at least two dozen house representatives endorse the first comprehensive tax reform bill in my lifetime - the Fair Tax that taxes consumption rather than income.

    Mike Huckabee is the only authentic, consistent, conservative in the race. Vote for Mike Huckabee.

    January 12, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  5. Mrs. America

    Paul Thompson–Those who try to demean groups of people because of their beliefs are bigots. I believe you just grouped "anti-Christians." I hope you ask His forgiveness before you go to sleep tonight. Think, then speak.

    January 12, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  6. Ryan

    All you folks that are calling us liberal and anti-christian because we don't support Huckabee are helping up make our point. The others on this particular story's blog with probably a few exceptions are convservative Christians too. We are not voting for Huckabee because he is a Christian but because he has nothing to offer our country except for the same funny quips he uses in his sermons. I don't need my pastor running the country. When it comes down to it, I wouldn't have the Huckster for my pastor because he's a lying slimeball.

    Back to this story, he's asking the Michigan pastors to do something illegal. Bottom line.

    Romney attacks his record. He responds by calling him dishonest a billion times instead a answering the charges made. Why, because he's the one that is dishonest.

    A dishonest Baptist Pastor? How's that you say? He says he thinks Mormons are a religion not a cult. What do Baptist believe? They are cult. I hear 4-5 sermons a year to this effect. Where at? My Baptist Church. Where did the Huckster go give the keynote speech a few years back? The Southern Baptist Convention in SaltLake City. To be a Baptist preacher and to have gone to Theological Seminary and to say that he believes Mormons to be a religion is what? A BIG LIE!!!

    So to those of your that are calling us liberal non-Christians because we don't support Mike Huckabee, it's pretty ironic because that's what he is.


    January 12, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  7. Ron Nebraska

    Why are you liberals so resistant to God and good Christian people? I will never understand your hate.

    Maybe because you good Christian people were taken in by the likes of hypocrites like Bush Cheney Rove Robertson and Falwell and helped saddle ourcountry with the worst administration in our history.

    January 12, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  8. Vote08

    A vote for Huckabee, is a vote for leading America "to the gates of Hell." Huckabee is a bigot, a thief, and a liar. Just look at his record in Arkansas, at least he wasn't able to shred that, unlike the computer hard drives he had destroyed before leaving office. Seeing the number of voters supporting Huckabee makes me realize that our educational system is truly failing in this country.

    January 12, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  9. TruthaboutHuckabee

    Huckabee is incapable of marshaling support beyond the evangelical base. You know this because every explicit plea for votes not made on a live debate is to ministers who are told to solicit votes from the pulpit without soliciting votes from the pulpit. Before you think I made a typo think about how ludicrous it sounds and then compare it to what he is saying.

    He uses alliteration and internal rhyme in a folksy manner and avoids difficult questions in debates. He has no experience besides being a Governor who grew the government.

    January 12, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  10. Nate

    If Obama asked African American leader's to call their friends and talk to them about him, that would be fine. If Hillary reached out to women leaders, that would be fine. If John Edwards reaches out to union leaders, that's fine. If Huckabee reaches out to religious leaders, he's evil? I don't get it. I've seen shallow attacks against Huckabee online recently that hold no water. After checking into each one I've found them all to be false. What I've also found is that they come either from people who are anti-religion or supporting one of his opponents. For those who aren't religious, if that's your life choice that's fine, but don't attack someone just because they made a different life choice. This countries protection of religious freedoms means you shouldn't be penalized for not having a religion or for having a religion. It seems a lot of people want to penalize Huckabee for having religion thereby violating the very freedom they claim to be standing up for while attacking Huckabee. As for those who support one of Huckabee's competitor, why can't we keep it clean. If the republican rips itself apart by being too negative in the primary process we are going to be hurting when it comes general election time. Huckabee has kept it clean, McCain has kept it clean as well. It appears general the supporters for both have followed suit and kept it clean. Mitt and Fred have been down right nasty at times, and their followers have taken on the same tactics. I hope Mitt and Fred smarten up for the sake of the party and I hope others do as well.

    January 12, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  11. Bryan

    Hey Anonymous, many of us here are Christians too, and we saying, "enough is enough". The tactics Huckabee is using is borderline unethical and illegal. It's an embarrassment to the Republican party to stoop this low and basically use church email lists to solicit votes. And yes, that is what he's asking them to do...under the table type of tactics. If someone confronts Huckabee on this issue, he'll kindly disagree that he's doing something illegal, and will insist that he's playing by the rules, but in reality, he's using his wink-wink nudge-nudge manners to skirt the issue so he saves face. This country, and especially, these Republicans, are smarter than that, and would appreciate Huckabee not giving the Republican party, nor Christians in this country such a bad image. And that's what it is...a bad image...Huckabee is giving the appearance of evil although he's saying it's no evil.

    January 12, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  12. Ike

    To Paul and Tyler:

    An answer to you comments. Huckabee is using his religion for political gain. I don't mind any politician discussing their views in any forum, chuch, sports arena, or expo center. That isn't my beef. My beef is Huckabee setting aside 100 ministers to use their connections to get him votes. If my minister told me to vote for a guy I would have to look at the guys record and his views. Huckabee isn't asking to be able to talk to the people or congragation, he is using the fact that he was a baptist minister to get other ministers to tell their congragations who to vote for. I don't care who you are, that is wrong.
    As for Christians having their say. Please do. Just make it an educated say. What political issue is it that makes you like Mike Huckabee. All of the candidates who are running, democrat or republican, are Christians, or at least claim to be. If you are voting for someone because he or she is Christian then are you voting for everyone. I am a Christian. I want my voice heard. I want the best person in the white house. There are unfortunately only 2 Christians in the republican race that haven't been divorced, and only one of them doesn't have an ethics violation. There is only one who vetoed 4 abortion bills. There is only one who wrote to EVERY SINGLE member of congress asking them to pass the sanctity of marriage act. Which McCain voted against.
    Tell me Huckabee's solutions to a problem. I have yet to hear a plan that he has other than the fair tax which I think is completely bogus. What will he do to help Michigan out of their economic woes? Why should anyone in the congregations of the 100 ministers vote for this man because of his superbly outlined plan for Michigan? Exactly my point. He has nothing other than asking ministers to get their congegations to vote for him. THAT IS USING RELIGION FOR POLITICAL GAIN, or did you not read tha article above.

    January 12, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  13. Ryan

    Nate, to ask religous leaders to get their church members to vote for certain person is against the law. Simple as that. What might I ask have you looked into and found false? I would like for you to come out and point out the falsehoods since Huckabee won't. Huckabee not nasty? Whatever. "Here's the negative ad that I'm not going to run but let me show you any way." How many time has he called Mitt Romney dishonest without saying and proving that he was dishonest when all he has done is point out the Huckster's record as governor? How about "I was for the surge before you were" when video evidence shows differently and I sure hope you saw him trying to defend himself on that. Sorry Nate, I love religion and religious people, in which I strongly include myself, but Huckabee is a lying hypocrite to the 3rd degree. What's sad is that is what is going to take down the Republicans, not Mitt's attack on Huck's record. It will be people voting for Huck just because he's Baptist minister and nothing more.

    January 12, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  14. Mark

    Romney is a joke who inherited his dad's money and business connections.

    I admire how Huckabee raised himself out of poverty and became a success.

    I'm voting for Huckabee..

    January 12, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  15. Tyler

    Nate, well said, i agree!

    January 12, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  16. Bob

    I think Huckabee should have to give a speech for Americans concerned about his Southern Baptist beliefs. After all, women are subjected to men, fundamentalists control their convention, and the only reason there are "southern" Baptists is because Baptists never united after the Civil War.

    The same group today which pushes for pro-life, pro-guns, anti-gay issues because "the Bible tells us so" looks like the same as the group who defended slavery and segregation because "the Bible tells us so." Compare a north-south map to the red & blue today- not a lot of difference.

    Women especially should be very worried about this guy.

    January 12, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  17. Paul

    No David the reason our Country has moved in the direction it has is because the American people have elected officials that have no respect for the Constitution and no respect for the American people. We have allowed our government to step all over the rule of law and to seemingly bankrupt this country. I don't live in a mobile home but being an Ohio State Buckeye fan i have taken some heat on my favorite football team....

    January 12, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  18. PF

    Why do values have to be Christian values? Though I was brought up Presbyterian, I am offended that the word Christian is so predominant. Other religions have sound moral values as well. I have met many people who do not espouse one particular religion or another, but who have been brought up to be (and are) kind, compassionate, honest, generous, and all the other characteristics that accompany sound values. We need to get religion out of politics, and vote for people based on their past behavior and actions, and their experience and capabilities to get the job done!!

    January 12, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  19. Tim, Minnesota

    Didn't he want to cast all people with AIDS into the sea?

    January 12, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  20. Walt, TX

    I hope Romney beats him to the "I had a vision" speech that seem to come up at convenient times for these kinds of bozos or is it bozoes....

    January 12, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  21. Nate

    Bob, nobody made Romney give a speech about Mormonism, he choose to do that himself. Suggesting that someone should be "made" to give a speech about their religion is absolutely against the idea of freedom of religion that everyone is clamoring about. Also, you're analysis of the view of women is absurd. The line of scripture goes something like women shall submit to their husband and in turn men shall submit to their wives (I don't know the exact wording off the top of my head). It is not derogatory to women, it is a statement that in marriage you should devote yourself fully to your spouse. It is the basis of a strong marriage. It is also not limited to baptists, it's a line in the bible. I'm Catholic and it was read at my wedding. Women have no reason to be worried about Mike Huckabee. Please if you want to support a different candidate do so, but it is unnecessary to lie about other candidates.

    Can anyone really explain to me how a pastor talking to his friend and parishioners outside of the church any different than a union leader talking to his members about a presidential candidate? Everyone is getting hung up just because it involves religion, which is foolish. In this instance we are talking about a group of people who have the same concerns, just like a union is a group of people with the same concerns. The only thing that would be of any issue is if they campaigned from the pulpit. The only reason that would even be an issue in the first place is because of our screwy tax code. Because of our current tax code of lobbying exemptions and incentives preachers have to be careful what they say to who, where, and when because they have to fear tax implications. It is not exactly separation of church and state if the churches are controlled via the tax code now is it?

    January 12, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  22. Mary, Michigan

    Nate, the difference is that Barack Obama hasn't run his campaign as an African American, asking for the Black vote. He hasn't stooped that low.

    January 12, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  23. Mary, Michigan

    Oh, one more thing. This morning I received a push-poll call from the Huckabee camp. Not very ethical.

    January 12, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  24. David

    Huckabee is emerging as the distilled essence of a theocratic politician. He spent last Sunday at The Crossing, a church in Windham, NH set up by YouthStorm, exhorting the 350 there to enlist as "soldiers for Christ". A few months ago, Huckabee met with YouthStorm at their "Prayer Furnace" to discuss his candidacy. YouthStorm is not a primarily religious movement, despite all outward appearances, and it is not benign love-thy-neighbor stuff. It is overtly political, with a laser focus on spiritual battle with satanic forces by combating the evils of secularism, abortion, and sexuality of any kind, except within heterosexual marriage. Its end goal is to change the United States into a Christian theocratic state. Huckabee is the first major presidential candidate to so openly embrace this sort of militaristic evangelism and hobnob with the extreme foot soldiers of the evangelical right. I am not surprised that Huckabee refuses to discuss his ten years of ministry and all texts of his sermons seem to have vanished. I suspect his past ministry might indicate why he is emerging as a Soldier for Christ rather than a candidate for President of the secular United States. Electing him would, in my opinion, be the short route to the Republic of Gilead.

    January 12, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  25. Ginette

    OK America,

    Imagine if Mitt Romney approached the leadership of the LDS church and asked them to "mobilize in every way possible every single friend you know". This would be huge news and guaranteed the media would use it in a negative manner towards Romney. Mitt doesn't have the liberty of gathering 100 of the leadership of his church to get them to help him win the election. Why? Because as is claimed on the official LDS website (LDS.org) "The Church’s mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, not to elect politicians." The LDS church is also very clear on policy with regards to separation of church and state.

    The LDS Church does not:

    ***Endorse, promote or oppose political parties, candidates or platforms.
    ***Allow its church buildings, membership lists or other resources to be used for partisan political purposes.
    ***Attempt to direct its members as to which candidate or party they should give their votes to. This policy applies whether or not a candidate for office is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
    ***Attempt to direct or dictate to a government leader.

    That's why I respect this Romney guy. He doesn't have his church trying to get him votes. And he doesn't have anyone famous endorsing him. I believe him to be a man of integrity, someone who can stand on his own merrits, and if given the chance will prove himself worthy as President of the United States.

    As for Huckabee, He can meet with 1000 pastors, it still will not get him elected.

    January 12, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
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