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. Patty, Atlanta GA


    January 12, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  2. Steve

    In essence, Jesus prefers Mike Huckabee as president. You are not a Christian if you don't vote for Mike Huckabee. Mobilizing ministers...the business of Church, what a joke?

    January 12, 2008 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  3. Rita V

    Anyone that knows anything about the founding of the United States understands that our country was founded by brave, strong people with solid Christian principals. They came to and founded this country lookinh for the freedom and right to practice all types of religion. It's about time we get back to our roots of our founding fathers. Go Huckabee in Michigan!

    January 12, 2008 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  4. Aaron

    WOW!!! These comments are interesting. So Huckabee cannot seek the support of Christians??? Hmm, that means it is wrong for Obama to seek the support of African Americans, it's wrong for Hillary Clinton to seek the support of women, it's wrong for McCain to seek the support of military and ex-military servicemen, it's wrong for Ron Paul to seek the support of doctors, and it's wrong for Giuliani to seek the support of his NY common folk. Heck, maybe it's wrong for Republicans to seek the support of Republicans!!! Give me a break. And get educated! Separation of Church and State prevents the government from interferring with religious groups internal affairs and from enforcing a religion on citizens. A Christian is FREE to seek the support of anyone he desires, INCLUDING other Christians. Obama as President doesn't mean he'll force us all to be African American, Hillary for president doesn't mean we'll all be forced to wear skirts, and Huckabee for president doesn't mean he'll force us all to be Christians. Get real!!! And feel free to stop viewing things with the rationalization of a 3rd grader. Thanks!

    P.S. I implore you to watch the responses to this, they'll probably resemble a 3rd graders shallow perspectives.

    January 12, 2008 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  5. Nate

    Ryan, religious leaders asking for others to support a certain candidate is no more against the law than you or I asking someone to support a candidate, simple as that. Preachers are people too, don't try to take away their rights to say what they want about who they want just because of their job, THAT would be against the constitution. Per your request for response to the attacks it would be incorrect to state Huckabee doesn't have answers I will provide links to his response to attacks made against him.

    Club growth tax attack: http://www.mikehuckabee.com/?FuseAction=TruthSquad.ClubGrow
    In short Huckabee inherited a hurting school system, desroyed roads, and a budget shortfall when he took office as a Lt Gov replaing a Gov that was on his way to jail. Since Arkansas is a state where deficits cannot exist and the budget must be balanced taxation was not exactly a choice to avoid. Huckabee manaed to fix the problems, maintain a balanced budget, and cut costs in other areas to create a surplus that could be returned to the voters. He cut 94 taxes. The taxes he did instate had support from the republican members of the legislature. Every tax was for a specific beneficial purpose rather than pork spending like the club for growth likes to have vi their earmarks and lobbying.

    Fred's immigration attacks:
    In short he didn't give in sate tuition to illegals. There is a scholarship program in Arkansas that rewards students who have been in the Arkansas school systems and excelled. Huckabee had this also cover kids that were children of illegal immigrants ONLY if they were in the process of becoming a citizen and met all of the requirements of the scholarship. Being that these kids were on the path to becoming citizens and they have proven they have the intelligence and drive to be successful isn't it better they can become successful productive members of society? Would you rather turn them out to the street. Look illegal immigration needs to be stopped, but it was the parents in this case that violated the law (and they should be punished), but we have never in this country punished children for their parent's wrongdoings. Why is this situation any different?

    The Wayne Dumond case:
    In short he was paroled not pardoned. Parole bords parole people not Govs. The arole board that paroled Dumond was not appointed by Huckabee. Dumond was not even commuted to the parole board by Huckabee, he was commuted by Jim Guy Tucker. Huckabee denied the commutation for pardon. The parole board members that now claim Huckabee pressured them to release him only took that stance 6 years after the fact during an eection year and after they had lost their $75,000 a year jobs due to Huckabee appointing new parole board members.

    This has been just a sampling of the responses to attacks, for the rest please go to http://www.mikehuckabee.com/?FuseAction=TruthSquad.Home. As you can see Huckabee has responded to all of these issues. Fred recently took advantage of spewing these attacks in a debate knowing there was not suffician time to explain the ludicrous of it all. He also took advantage of the fact that people won't go look to verify these accusations, and will simply believe they are true because "he didn't defend every attack in his 30 second rebuttal." Don't let yourself be taken advantage of.

    January 12, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  6. Jeremiah Grant, Phoenix, AZ

    Shmuckster, you make me sick!!! It's no wonder you were investigated twelve times for ethics violations. This is just one more example of how slick you really are and how you'll do anything for your own political gain and personal aggrandizement.

    For the record, this will never happen for Romney because the LDS church puts out a statement during every single major election that (1) the church does not endorse any particular candidate or party and (2) that meeting houses and member directories are not to be used in any way for political purposes. No candidate or party is ever discussed from the pulpit. Sure, you may find a couple of people here and there talking in between meetings, but discussing politics at a church meeting is practically taboo.

    Huck knows his record is extremely liberal and full of poor judgment so he goes back to his tried and true methods of pandering to religious folk to vote for him simply because he's religious. Weak, very weak. I can only pray that Michigan can see past this garbage and truly vote for the candidate with the best record, the candidate most capable of really solving some of the larger problems facing this country. Based on records, there is without question no better candidate than Mitt Romney to take on and actually solve the major problems facing this country–strengthening the economy, addressing the falling dollar, balancing the budget, addressing the trade imbalance, providing access to affordable health insurance, and improving education.

    Michigan, please, vote the issues not who is most likeable. This isn't a race for senior class president. It's also not a time to payback McCain for his service to his country. We tried that once already with Bob Dole and it got us Bill Clinton. Remember? McCain has served his country. Yes, but when the man can only point to one or two accomplishments in 24 years, 24 years!!!, that's far too little. Mitt accomplished far more in 4 years as governor of MA that McCain has ever done in 24 years.

    Let's elect a *proven* leader with a real resume of results. VOTE ROMNEY

    January 12, 2008 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  7. Fuzzy Bear

    Huck has no depth or credibility, so he has to plead for guilt votes from the pulpit. Geriatric McCain only appeals to the Democrats because he's such a liberal. They both will die a short death if they come up against Obama or Hillary. Any true conservative talk show host or journalist is so completely disgusted with both of them.

    The only candidates with the smarts and capacity to take this country in the right direction are

    Romney/Thompson '08 !!! Unbeatable!!

    January 12, 2008 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  8. Paul Thompson

    Why doesn't this Anti-Christian contingency work to ban the Constitution?
    It does refer to Our Creator as the source of our rights?

    Until you folks repeal that...I'd say Huckabee is within our God-Given rights!

    January 12, 2008 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  9. Marti San Diego, CA


    The Real McCain Record
    Obstacles in the way of conservative support.

    By Mark R. Levin (National Review)

    There’s a reason some of John McCain's conservative supporters avoid discussing his record. They want to talk about his personal story, his position on the surge, his supposed electability. But whenever the rest of his career comes up, the knee-jerk reply is to characterize the inquiries as attacks.

    The McCain domestic record is a disaster. To say he fought spending, most particularly earmarks, is to nibble around the edges and miss the heart of the matter. For starters, consider:

    McCain-Feingold — the most brazen frontal assault on political speech since Buckley v. Valeo.

    McCain-Kennedy — the most far-reaching amnesty program in American history.

    McCain-Lieberman — the most onerous and intrusive attack on American industry — through reporting, regulating, and taxing authority of greenhouse gases — in American history.

    McCain-Kennedy-Edwards — the biggest boon to the trial bar since the tobacco settlement, under the rubric of a patients’ bill of rights.

    McCain-Reimportantion of Drugs — a significant blow to pharmaceutical research and development, not to mention consumer safety (hey Rudy, pay attention, see link).

    And McCain’s stated opposition to the Bush 2001 and 2003 tax cuts was largely based on socialist, class-warfare rhetoric — tax cuts for the rich, not for the middle class. The public record is full of these statements. Today, he recalls only his insistence on accompanying spending cuts.

    As chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, McCain was consistently hostile to American enterprise, from media and pharmaceutical companies to technology and energy companies.

    McCain also led the Gang of 14, which prevented the Republican leadership in the Senate from mounting a rule change that would have ended the systematic use (actual and threatened) of the filibuster to prevent majority approval of judicial nominees.

    January 12, 2008 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  10. Dan

    Hey Nate, I agree. In fact if Romney used his business contacts and influence to speak to groups of CEO's, Presidents and owners of businesses, I think it would be fine for him to give Huckaburp's wink wink nudge nudge request to "speak to their friends", when they know he means talk to their employees and basically tell them to vote Romney.


    I mean, all he's doing is reaching out to business leaders.


    January 12, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  11. David, Oregon City

    Well said, Aaron

    January 12, 2008 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  12. Holly

    If Mike Huckabee had made racial comments about a leading black candidate or sexist comments about a leading female candidate, he would have been castigated by the media. How he was able to launch his surge with religious bigotry is dumbfounding to me. It seems that everyone is oblivious to the obvious.

    In the event that Mitt Romney does not win the nomination, then history will show that Mike Huckabee pulled off the political crime of the century. It was Mike Huckabee that raised religious issues among Iowa evangelicals by comments toward Romney's religion. As Huckabee's tactics started to show in the Iowa polls, Mitt responded with his "Faith in America" speech. Romney was then forced to work on damage control. Romney's efforts in Iowa paid off and he continued to rise back in the polls but the damage gave him a second in a state he held firmly until Huckabee's misuse of the public forum.

    McCain saw his window and concentrated on New Hampshire while Romney was being unduly "occupied" in Iowa. Romney was forced to aggressively address things detracting from what his positive messaging had been and did so famously. Romney then relied on comparison ads to contrast differences. These ads were constantly referred to as "attack ads" by Huckabee, who continually portrayed him as "desperate", and "attacking". Now Huckabee is able to capitalize on such tactics. Because of his use of the majority evangelical state of Iowa and with the ignorance/bias of the mainstream media toward the Mormon religion, he flew under the radar of a nation that has worked since Lincoln to erase such bigotry.

    A majority of the nation now sees only that Mike Huckabee won the Iowa caucus and that John McCain won New Hampshire but knows little of this back story. I think it is important to present it. Observe for yourself and pass these perspectives along. We need a TRUE man for change and a proven record of turning things around in the oval office.

    Mike Huckabee is truly tearing the Reagan coalition apart. Please endorse Mitt Romney.

    January 12, 2008 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  13. Mcain - WAR MONGER

    Huckabee attack on other religions was discgracefull, we all prey to the GOD

    January 12, 2008 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  14. Ike


    Good job proving your ignorance. Mitt didn't inherit his dad's money. His dad worked his way to the top of American motors. Mitt went to college and his dad helped him out. That never happens in america. What a silver spoon? He graduated in the top of his class. When he went to grad school, he didn't have any financial support from his parents. He graduated in the top of both Harvard business and Harvard Law. After grad school he moved on to Bain & Company, which is one of the most prestigeous consulting businesses in the US. He left Bain & Company and started Bain Capital, still no help from dad. Bain Capital was an enourmously successful venture capital group. Then, Bain & Company was doing poorly and asked him back so he turned it around and it became a great company again. So his dad gave hime a few thousand for school and then he made hundreds of millions on his own. Yep sounds to me it all happened because his dad set it up and he did nothing. Good think you support Huckabee who has what PROFESSIONAL expertice?

    January 12, 2008 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  15. Ab Stein

    This man is 'crossing' the line, and jumping over it. OMG. How can anyone vote for such a huge bigot that emposes his believes on others, he's done this over and over already and he is not our president. Keep your spritiual views to yourself Hucke, we the people of all faiths don't want or need you to tell us to 'find our soul' as you have stated on record. That is not your job. Mind your own busiess and life, and keep out of ours. You are another preacher natzi and want us to follow your orders. NO THANK YOU!!

    January 12, 2008 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  16. Ike


    Wow, that was painfully one of the least informed statements ever. Look up a scripture in the Bible if you are going to use it. I don't mind Huckabee using it, because it is a perfectly acceptable statement if one understands it. It doesn't tell men to submit to their wives, at least not in those words. It states that women should sumbit to their husbands AS(great big conditional) husbands submit themselves to the Lord.

    That aside, his wasn't a case of Huckabee talking to his friends who happened to be pastors. This was a case of Huckabee talking to ministers in order to get them to use their influence as ministers over their congregations to vote for him. That is the issue.


    You are partially right. If anyone thinks that a President has the power to enforce his or her religion on the populous then they don't understand what powers the President does and doesn't have.
    As for your comments about seeking the Christian vote, ALL of the candidates are Christian. And yes, people would be up in arms if Obama met with many prominent African Americans and asked them to use all of their influence to get votes for Obama because he was BLACK. Hillary has never said, though she might believe, I don't know, that women should vote for her because she is a woman. Obama has never done the same because he is African-American. The usually say vote for me because blah, blah, blah. Huckabee is different. He is asking ministers to tell their congegrations to vote for him because he is "one who has come from us". If he said vote for someone who is pro-life and anti-gay marriage (I substituted anti-gay marriage for anti-gay, because i hope people on the blog really don't Hate gay people) and I hope the person YOU personally choose is me, that would have been fine.

    January 12, 2008 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  17. Read a book

    It's so interesting to read that people get their morals from Christianity. As if people wouldn't steal or kill each other without the bible telling them not to do that. I'd say one would be a very rotten person if the only reason one doesn't kill or steal is because they are afraid of what will happen to them in the "after life".

    I have no problem with people who want to gather in churches and profess their faith in a god.....much like I have no problem with people talking about vampires or leprechauns or unicorns. However, I do have a problem when those people leave the churches and begin to push their beliefs onto other people and attempt to include their beliefs in the laws and policies of my country.

    The people who support Huckabee are the same who support the teaching of creation science and intelligent design in schools. They are the same who want to overturn Rowe Vs. Wade, who want to prevent our children from learning about safe sex, who think homosexuality is a sin and who fear anything outside of their narrow realm of understanding.

    I cannot in good conscience allow this country to be further degredated by such and anachronistic and unreasonable way of thinking. The evangelical populous is truly behind the times and as intolerant as they come. Furthermore, they do nothing to abolish their ignorance and continue to revel in the indoctrination they have received. Is it any wonder that this way of thinking has the highest occurances in the poor and undereducated communities?

    Huckabee is a step backwards. His supporters will watch this country march on without them. They can only resist truth and reason for so long before the very fire feeding their myths is extinguished forever.

    January 12, 2008 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  18. Ab Stein

    The completely narrow minded view of Huckebee shows me he truly is NOT an itelligent man. This is america, and there are many faiths! So why do I have to hear so much about this as a politican? Shouldn't he only be speaking about the issues, not his ideas of morals for us as people?. The last time I checked, people with a lot of skeltons in their closets should not be judging other people's lives and personal views. Huckebee's closet is overflowing with issues, two happen to be bigotry and hypocite items. I am not a liberal either.

    January 13, 2008 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  19. Brent, Colorado

    Mark, Great comments about Romney. Are you sure your name isn't Mike? Huckabee? These are the exact type of comments from Huckabee, making up lies and not facing up to the facts. Romney may have come from a family with money, but to try to imply his father's connections had anything to do with the following successes is hopefully just ignorant:
    – One of the most successful businessmen of our day helping improve hundreds of American businesses
    – He turned around the 2002 Olympics
    – Put an incredible system for health care in Massachussetts among many other impressive achievements as a Republican Governor working in a Democratic state.
    That's what Romney did with his relatively privileged background. Perhaps if Romney didn't have such a privileged background, he may have stole furniture from his Governer's mansion, like Huckabee did, but who's to judge? Fortunately, Christ is our judge, not me (or any of you). We are trying to identify the best candidate that will lead our nation in the right direction and Huckabee doesn't stack up to Romney, Giuliani or McCain. Huckabee is incredibly likeable but I don't want him as President.

    Using church lists to contact people for polictical reasons is unethical. Talking to church members in other social settings about politics is not and being appreciative of the support of good Christians is not.

    January 13, 2008 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  20. PF

    hmmm I think Obama seeking the support of African Americans is different than Huckabee urging ministers *as a group* to rally the forces. I appreciate the point, but it's not quite strong enough. Unions are more tied to economics/business–appropriate for politics. Likewise for the military. These issues belong in a discussion about politics and political views. Religion doesn't, though it may form the basis for a certain view.

    Where are the political issues being discussed when it comes to Huckabee, as I think Ike pointed out?

    However, if Huckabee were to address a large group of people that included ministers who were not there in their "minister" capacity, then I think it's a different story. He can seek the support of anyone, as Aaron points out.

    So I'll repeat my point. Get religion out of politics.

    I'm with Bob, though. Women should be worried about this guy–and Romney too.
    I think John Irving's "Cider House Rules" should be required reading for everyone.

    January 13, 2008 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  21. Tim, Minnesota

    Hey Aaron.

    Huckabee should be seeking support from people that want him to follow the constitution. See how you've been duped into the class/group mindset. Race, religion,creed or sex need not be addressed at all. See?

    Pay attention now, lest you get completely brainwashed.

    January 13, 2008 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  22. Dale Davis, Glendora, California

    I am a Mormon. And believe me, if Mitt Romney would have pulled this stunt in a Mormon (LDS) church, the whole U.S. government would have swooped down on the church, along with the media and taxed the church into bankruptcy. What a sickening Protestant double standard in this country. I just want to puke.
    I have Evangelical friends who tell me they are extremely embarassed by this two-faced anti-Mormon bigot. Thank God, not all Evangelicals are not like this worm.

    January 13, 2008 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  23. PF

    I may have to take back my statement. If Huckabee wasn't in the pulpit, I don't think my point is valid. That's where it's problematic. Outside, though, he can do whatever he wants, just like everyone else.......

    January 13, 2008 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  24. Tacitus

    lol this guy is talking out of both sides of his mouth. just like every other politician. what else is new? color me not surprised.

    January 13, 2008 01:20 am at 1:20 am |
  25. Terry

    President Bush has it where Churches can recieve Federal funds for their work.
    I would hope that it is asked during one of their debates which Republican would sign to have this continued.
    Talk about business putting people out of work, the federal government put the lowest paid group of individuals with a master degress out on the street.

    January 13, 2008 01:52 am at 1:52 am |
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