January 17th, 2008
06:15 PM ET
6 years ago

Huckabee: Outsiders not welcome in Confederate flag decisions

Huckabee told South Carolina voters they were the only ones who should make decisions on the flag.
Huckabee told South Carolina voters they were the only ones who should make decisions on the flag.

MYRTLE BEACH, South Carolina (CNN) – Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee told South Carolina voters Thursday that the government had no business making decisions over the Confederate flag.

"You don't like people from outside the state coming in and telling you what to do with your flag," Huckabee said at a Myrtle Beach campaign event. "In fact, if somebody came to Arkansas and told us what to do with our flag, we'd tell them what to do with the pole, that's what we'd do."

Later, in Florence, he repeated the remarks. "I know what would happen if somebody comes to my state in Arkansas and tells us what to do, it doesn't matter what it is, tell us how to run our schools, tell us how to raise our kids, tell us what to do with our flag - you want to come tell us what to do with the flag, we'd tell them what to do with the pole."

The Confederate flag has long been the third rail of South Carolina presidential politics - offensive to some, a symbol of Southern heritage to others. The flag is currently displayed on state capitol grounds.

Huckabee is currently barnstorming South Carolina with former Gov. David Beasley, who has called for the flag’s removal.

–CNN Senior Producer Eric Fiegel


Filed under: Mike Huckabee • South Carolina
soundoff (374 Responses)
  1. Eric

    Oh boy...Huckabee, if elected, would take this country back a century or two. I we ready for this? His words and actions are a detriment to Equality.

    January 18, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  2. baxter, austin, tx

    xavier from dc, you really know nothing of history if you believe what you just wrote. The civil war was for states rights not to keep the slaves. slavery would have been abolished peacefully here like it was in brazil in 1886. we also wouldnt have all the racial hatred we have today had Lincoln not tried to make that an issue. Go back and study this for yourself, dont just listen to what people tell you. I am Southern and I am proud of it. If that offends someone, I could really care less. Also, I speak three languages, so dont try to call me racist. I am a southern white american and proud of it. Family on both sides fought for Dixie.

    January 18, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  3. Ebonyprince

    To Laura....... I feel sorry for your kids because you don't have a clue. All you have to do is watch an old civil rights film with Dr. King marching and you will see that flag everywhere and they weren't showing it because of there pride. My God help us all.

    January 18, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  4. DLS

    Having just gone online to check the news, I followed thru to see what the comments were on Mike Huckabee's remark. Just for the record, I am from South Carolina, proud of it, and resent the remarks being made about my state. There were many derogatory remarks made. We , the people of S.C. are not simple minded and ignorant. We will know how to vote on Saturday, based on our knowledge ( not what someone from another part of the country with different political views thinks) of what the important issues are and we are as update on these issues as anyone else. Thank you Laura, John of SC, and Lance. Yours and few others were the only ones out of 164 comments that were worth the time I spent reading. All of the others were filled words of hate, stupidity, ignorance and blubbering nonsense. I'm so glad I have a choice of not having to live along side of some of these people...They sound so unhappy and angry!!! As for the flag pole and flag of SC..what impact will they have in the infinite scheme of things!!

    January 18, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  5. Heather Bott

    And which flag was it that American soldiers died for, and that the United States citizens sacrificed for in World War I and World War II? The flag of the Confederacy? I think that Huckaby's comments and rudeness concerning the flag and the pole should disqualify him from being a candidate. How can a Christian, no matter how conservative, vote for this man, now? Christians, we need to look for a different, higher, better, more godly candidate than one who will speak, not to mention think, so violently, and with such disregard to the veterans who served our country with courage, distinction, nobility, valor, and success.

    January 18, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  6. LuLu

    I'm embarrassed for the Republican party! I can't believe this man is one of the top choices we have for president...God help us!!

    January 18, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  7. saul, austin tx

    The polarization of our nation continues and the bulk of Republicans seem only too glad to endorse it. Cut the BS: We all know that all of the GOP candidates might as well be from the Angy White Men Society of American and by the looks of it, this is the way the bulk of Republicans want it right now. Screw multiculturalism, this is a nation for "God fearing white folks", right? - and that's what the Confederate flag stands for, whether people like it or not. Do you folks think this will ever hold without destroying the Republic in the process? Is that what you really want?

    I used to be a Republican until this murderous administration and until this divisive and ugly BS possessed the bulk of my fellow Republicans. That at this stage in our history such notions rule in the GOP is a disgrace. Want to talk about small-government, an intelligent and affordable foreign policy, about respect for the Constitution? Then I am all ears. You folks are doing the Republic a disservice by indulging in this divisive garbage. Not that the Democrats a lot better, but how many minorities do you ever see at GOP candidate events? I suppose this is just coincidence or a well orchestrated public-relations trick by Democrats, or the "liberal media", right? Consider for a moment that it is not, is this the way the GOP wants it right now. My very uncomfortable suspicion is that the answer is Yes.

    January 18, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  8. Dan, New Jersey

    There's too much liberal paranoia in this forum. Come back with a real argument instead of spewing such lame claptrap such as "Huckabee is an evangelical nut" and is going to "destroy America". If I want a President who will divide America even more than it is now then I'd look for a far-left winger like Barack Obama.

    Say YEAH if you're selling your vote to Obama!

    Get back to reality next time!

    January 18, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  9. Landon

    To all you yankees that think you know what the Confederate flag stands for, you need a history lesson. It doesnt stand for racism or slavery, it stands for our Southern heritage. So next time time you decide to run your mouth, why dont you make sure you know what your talking about first. HUCKABEE for 08!!!!

    January 18, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  10. alex

    Three hundred thousand yankees lie in Southern dust, We got three hundred thousand before they conquered us. They died of Southern fever, of Southern steel and shot. I wish we'd got three millin instead of what we got. HUCKABEE 2008

    January 18, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  11. Yankeereb1948

    As a Florida voter, I’ve been fluctuating between voting for Mitt Romney or Mike Huckabee. When I read what Mitt Romney said about the Confederate flag, I was sickened. Then, I heard Mike Huckabee say how Arkansans would tell outsiders (carpetbaggers) what to do with the flag pole if they came to take down their flag. Hallelujah! I love him. He won my vote on that comment alone. I get to vote for a real, authentic Southerner who understands states’ rights. Yes!

    January 18, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  12. Bowman

    treason?

    against the Constitution?

    The state's joined the union by the choice of the individual state's. It wasn't something done at the will of the national government. At the time the constitution was adopted, it was commonly accepted by both the north and south states that the 10th amendment gave the states the right to leave the union. None of the states were willing to tie themselves to a union which might not be successful. The bill of rights was the list of guarantees which states insisted upon in order to be willing to join the union. At the time of the civil war, it was still commonly accepted that states could leave the union.

    After the states exercised their constitutional right to leave the union, President Buchanan then Lincoln had US troops continue to occupy military bases in the new country. Eventually, enough conflicts erupted over these occupations to trigger a general war.

    After the war was over and Jefferson Davis was captured, he wasn't tried for treason...in great part because the US government wasn't sure they'd win the case in court.

    So can we PLEASE quit re-fighting the civil war and get back to bashing Huckabee for being an idiot?

    January 19, 2008 01:58 am at 1:58 am |
  13. Luanne

    Classy comment, Mr. Huckabee. I do not want a president with no filter on his mouth!!!

    He is obviously PANDERING to those who base their vote on this issue.

    There are many MORE IMPORTANT ISSUES to base one's decision on to to vote for to lead our nation . Sickening!

    January 19, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  14. USC Trojans

    Huckabee has told South Carolina voters that he supports the confederate flag and supports South Carolina flying the confederate flag. Does that mean that he supports slavery, racism, and the southern United States suceeding from the northern United States. How does he get away with saying these things. He has so many radical beliefs. He has supports a quarantine of people with AIDS (reguardless of how they contracted it or if they are little kids), criticizes people for their religious beliefs, claims to be the new Christian leader, wants to ammend the constitution to what he thinks God's will is, and now supports the confederate flag. I don't know how he is still one of the main contenders for the republican presidential primary. I just hope people see him for who he really is. A minister running for President with radical beliefs.

    January 19, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  15. LIBERAL HI-JACKING

    Really.... it seems to me that the only ones OFFENDED by the confederate flag are LIBERALS. The LIBERALS have hijacked the flag because of their hatred of the conservative SOUTH. To most in the SOUTH the CONFEDERATE flag is simply the flag of the south and actually, the average southern "BUBBA" has more black friends than you LIBERALS. Academic history is far different than our sick popular history and the cause of the civil war is complex........ do any of you libs know what the Morrell Tarriff was? Funny thing.... the north ended slavery not because of their compassion for the slaves but because they did not want blacks in their states anymore. They sold their slaves to the South. Also, the slave traders and slave ship owners were from the NORTH. How do you think Ben Franklin got rich?

    January 19, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  16. Rich

    The issue to me is not whether the flag should be flown or not. The issue is about being tolerant of other people's ideas. I am disappointed that a man of Rev. Huckabee's character would talk about what should be done with a pole (flag pole) to people who have differing ideas. To me, his comments are offensive and out of character for a man of God or the President of the United States. He must have thought he was being clever, because he repeated the same comment later. They may be funny to some, but they are certainly not civil or dignified. We need to do away with bigotry and intolerance of any kind. Mike won't apologize for this statement but he should. I'm sure he is tired of apologizing for stupid comments.

    January 20, 2008 03:43 am at 3:43 am |
  17. danielle

    WHY IN THE WORLD CAN'T PEOPLE OPEN THEIR EYES AND SEE WE LIVE IN A NEW SOCIETY. WHO DOES HE THINK HE IS TELLING PEOPLE WHO THEY CAN MARRY. I GUESS I MISUNDERSTAND WHAT MARRIAGE IS. I THOUGHT IT WAS WHEN YOU LOVE SOMEONE SO MUCH YOU WANT TO SPEND THE REST OF YOUR LIFE WITH THEM, AND A PERSON YOUR HEART CAN NOT LIVE WITHOUT. WHO CARES IF IT'S MAN & WOMEN OR MAN & MAN OR WOMEN & WOMEN. LOVE IS LOVE IT SHOULDN'T MATTER. THE PEOPLE WHO SAY WE NEED TO PROTECT THE MEANING OF MARRIAGE JUST TO MAN AND WOMEN. HAVE YOU LOOKED AT THE DIVORCE RATES LATELY.

    SO HUCK DO US ALL A FAVOR AND OPEN YOUR EYES. WE ARE AMERICANS AND WE WILL MAKE OUR OWN CHOICES. IT'S CALLED FREEDOM IF YOU DIDN'T KNOW.

    January 20, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  18. mimi

    You know, the flag isn't so much a symbol of slavery (which it is) and racism (again, it is) as it is a symbol of treason against the United States. Those who flew the flag were those who seceded from and made war against this country. i find it interesting that no one has brought that up.

    January 20, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  19. bubba

    So where did the christian man say he tell someone to put the pole? He is a genius isn't he.

    January 20, 2008 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  20. j reynolds

    why did huckabee even mention dr martin luther king today 1/21/08 in one of his vainless speeches about equality when he clearly supports segregation. The confederate flag is a dagger in the heart of blacks all over the u.s. I am black and had considered voting for him if obama does not get the nomination; so had some other blacks that I have spoken to. However, we will turn our heads elsewhere now if brother obama does not get the nomination.

    Thank you Mr. Huckabee for showing your true COLORS!!!

    January 21, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  21. JT - Louisiana

    Every Capital building in the South should fly the STARS AND BARS.

    January 24, 2008 02:37 am at 2:37 am |
  22. HK Mississippi

    The watered down version still flies in Mississippi, and it always will! It's a southern thing!

    January 24, 2008 02:41 am at 2:41 am |
  23. TC Texas

    The Confederate Flag, is a mark of history. HISTORY! Keep the flag up!

    January 24, 2008 02:54 am at 2:54 am |
  24. ray v

    everyone else flies thiers ........ill fly mine..... fly it high fly it proud.....Heritage not hate....You people need to do your homework....read up on some history......

    January 25, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
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