January 18th, 2008
10:05 AM ET
6 years ago

Pro-Confederate flag ads praise Huckabee, bash Romney, McCain

(CNN) – An independent group that supports the public display of the Confederate flag is running ads in South Carolina through Saturday’s Republican primary that praise Mike Huckabee for his stand on the issue and attack his main rivals in the state, John McCain and Mitt Romney.

“Gov. Huckabee understands that all the average guy with a Confederate flag on his pickup truck is saying is, he’s proud to be a Southerner,” says the announcer in one of the one-minute spots, paid for by Americans for the Preservation of American Culture.

“Mike Huckabee understands we value our heritage, and why. He says it’s up to us to decide how. Sen. McCain may have decided that his ancestors, as he puts it, ‘were on the wrong side of history when they wore gray.’ But in South Carolina, we’re proud to be Southerners.”

The Arizona senator’s stand on the Confederate flag helped derail his 2000 presidential bid in South Carolina, and he has criticized it as a "racist symbol." McCain has said on the trail this week that he is "proud" of South Carolinians for removing the flag from atop the State House.

Another one-minute spot takes aim at Romney. “Waving a Confederate battle flag in front of Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney turns out to be like waving a red flag in front of a bull. He charges,” says the announcer, citing Romney’s remarks during the CNN/YouTube debate criticizing public display of the flag.

“Gov. Huckabee’s a Southerner, who understands why Southerners value our heritage. That honoring the flag is part of honoring our heritage. And he says it’s our issue. It should be up to us to decide. We’ve got a message for Mitt Romney: in South Carolina, we’re proud to be Southerners."

Romney spokesman Kevin Madden told CNN that “Gov. Romney believes that the issue was settled by the people of South Carolina with the compromise in 2000.”

The one-minute ads will be running on South Carolina conservative talk radio stations in Charleston, Columbia, Florence, and Greenville.

On Thursday, Huckabee told voters at a Myrtle Beach campaign event that “You don’t like people from outside the state coming in and telling you what to do with your flag. 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.”

The Huckabee campaign has not yet responded to a CNN request for comment.

–CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand

soundoff (209 Responses)
  1. Matt

    “Gov. Huckabee understands that all the average guy with a Confederate flag on his pickup truck is saying is, he’s proud to be a Southerner."

    This should read: The average guy with a Confederate flag on his pickup truck is a hick.

    January 18, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  2. Bill

    I can't believe Huckabee would make such a racist statement and the news media would let it slide. If Hillary had made the comments it would have been plastered everywhere.

    His comments just go to show that you can dress him up but deep down inside he still full of garbage.

    Is this what Obama have to look forward to if he gets the nomination? I found Huckabee's comments insensitive and synonymous with the racist Republican Party.

    January 18, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  3. Jeremiah Grant, Phoenix, AZ

    WAKE UP REPUBLICANS! – McAmnesty IS NO CONSERVATIVE. Just look at the exit polls. He can't win conservative voters. How on earth is that supposed to excite the base in November?

    I find it laughable that John says "I know how to fix borders. I'm from a border state." Huh? If you know how to fix them, why haven't you done anything about them? More illegals cross into the US in AZ than any other state in the nation.

    He flipped his finger to the 1st Amendment with that garbage McCain-Feingold legislation he wrote with the Left

    He co-authored the biggest amnesty bill ever with that drunk from the left.....but now wants to flip-flop on that and play word games.

    He voted against the federal ban on gay marriage.

    He voted against the Bush tax cuts twice...but now wants to flip-flop on that issue as well.

    He cost the GOP control of the Senate with that despicable Gang of 14 crap. He wants to tell you how he'll put conservative judges in place and yet he was the ring leader of the very undoing of Bush's attempts to put conservative judges in place.

    Again I say, McAmnesty is no true conservative. The GOP can't trust him.

    January 18, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  4. Patty Atlanta, GA

    I have been a huge supporter of Gov. Huckabee, but as a black woman in the South this is beyond offensive! If that flag were just a symbol of the South everyone would embrace it but it is used by racist Southerners to express thier feeling about us without using words and cloaking it in Southern Pride! I have known MANY Black who are PROUD to be from the (myself included) and none of them have ever displayed a confederate flag. Utter nonsense. Are there any good Christians candidates who don't support this lunacy??? PLease help me. Who do I support?

    January 18, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  5. Laureen Thompson

    Hi,

    My name is Laureen Thompson from Sugar Land, Texas. I am asking you to support and vote for Mitt Romney. He is a beautiful man who will be a blessing to South Carolina and America as President of the United States. Romney is intelligent, responsible, and professional. I believe he patterns his life by God’s direction. Mr. Romney has reached a level of quality that many candidates have not achieved. You will see the power of God blessing your state, when you love and support Mitt Romney.

    We have always had different religions that taught us more about our God. The Catholics taught us that not just a man, but also a woman could perform miracles through the power of God. The Mormons taught us that Christians could become saints of God by living Holy lives in the image of God. I admire Mitt Romney because he has raised five young men who are married and taking care of their families. He shows leadership in every area of his life. Most people are concerned about the economy today, but they do not realize that social responsibility prevents the downfall of our economy, as well. Children are not in the streets, when we encourage traditional marriages. We need a leader who will encourage traditional family values.

    Please say yes to a responsible and peaceful Government in 2008. Mike Huckabee will destroy your economy and America by raising taxes.

    God Bless You,

    Laureen Ann Thompson

    January 18, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  6. Nathan Hydes

    Any political candidate that is criticized by a guy wearing a confederate flag for a jacket has my support.

    January 18, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  7. MC

    We The People. Could you honestly handle 'We The Christians'
    What a hateful, evil man. Republicans! Send him to the closet!

    January 18, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  8. Nando, Florida

    Here is were Sucession Started and BY GOD THIS is WHERE IT WILL END!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    GEN SHERMAN
    AS HE BURNED SOUTH CAROLINA

    January 18, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  9. whatsitToyou

    Missourian,
    I am with you, if this is a huge issue to South Carolinians maybe we should have let them form their own country, it might have died out by now! I really hope this isn't as big an issue to them as it is beginning to seem!

    January 18, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  10. MJV

    FI January 12, 2008 3:48 pm ET

    Does anybody remember McCain last year in the following:

    Illegal Aliens do the jobs Americans won't do. McCain had the nerve to challenge the American people that he would pay $50 an hour to anyone who would come to his ranch and work the fields the way the Illegal Aliens do.

    Remember the phrase "JOBS AMERICANS WON'T DO?"

    HE'S NOT TALKING ABOUT ILLEGALS BUT HE STILL WANTS TO DO IT. IF HE IS ELECTED, HE WILL WORK WITH KENNEDY AND THE REST OF THE CROWD TO MAKE IT HAPPEN. REMEMBER LINDSEY GRAHAM ALSO SUPPORTED THE AMNESTY BILL, FOLKS.

    CAN SOMEBODY PLEASE PUT McCAIN ON THE SPOT AND MAKE HIM TAKE A STAND ON ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION? THE AMERICAN PEOPLE DESERVE TO KNOW JUST WHERE THAT MAN STANDS.

    I THOUGHT MITT ROMNEY WAS GOING TO DO IT BUT HE IS NOT TAKING THE FIGHT TO McCAIN. AND FRED THOMPSON IS ONLY INTERESTED IN THUMPING HUCKABEE BECAUSE McCAIN IS HIS FRIEND.

    THIS NEEDS TO BE BROUGHT OUT BEFORE THE SOUTH CAROLILNA PRIMARY. IF YOU WANT AMNESTY FOR ILLEGALS, McCAIN IS YOUR GUY.

    January 18, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  11. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Let them fly their confederate flags in South Carolina. The symbol of the American flag is worn on the uniforms of our brave soldiers fighting in the Mideast, the American Flag flies in the green zone of Iraq, and sadly to say the American flag covers our fallen soldiers that have died for all of us. So if the Southerners feel the confederate flag is in honor of their heritage, so be it.

    January 18, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  12. MJV

    rachel lanore January 11, 2008 10:15 pm ET

    What does all this say about McCain's character? These blurbs are from goggling his wives…. Carol, Cindy… wow…

    According to the newspaper, McCain returned to Jacksonville in 1973 after more than five years as a prisoner of war to find that his wife was a different person. Carol McCain, once a model, had been badly injured in a car wreck in 1969. The article recounts that her injuries "left her 4 inches shorter and on crutches, and she gained a good deal of weight."
    By 1979, McCain was concerned that his Naval career was not advancing and pondering his future. He met Cindy Hensley, an attractive 25-year-old woman from a wealthy Arizona family. McCain courted her and married her in May 1980 — a month after getting a divorce.
    Carol McCain waited for the return of her husband from his Vietnamese captivity for five and a half long years; as McCain idolator David Grann put it in the New Republic, she was "a kind of modern-day Penelope to McCain's Odysseus." She carried her burden with nobility, and resolve, staying faithful to the man she refused to believe she had lost – even in the face of her own tragedy. It was Christmas Eve, 1969, while driving along a snowbound street, that she went crashing into a telephone pole: the impact hurled her through the windshield. She lost her left leg, ruptured her spleen, and went through a long series of agonizingly painful operations. Before the accident, she had been a statuesque beauty who worked as a model; she came out of it with four inches subtracted from her height, broken in body – but not in spirit. Her love for her war hero husband forbade her from letting him know anything of her condition: he knew nothing of the accident, and she refused to write him about it since it would only make his burden heavier.

    From Justin's website;
    THE RETURN OF THE INGRATE
    Any man would be lucky to have such a fierce, unbending love: she stuck by him, agitating for his release, and living for the day of his return. Her devotion was repaid with rejection. He learned of her accident on the plane home, and wasted no time in getting rid of her. He was soon back to his old tricks of playing the field – "just as he had at the Naval Academy," says Grann – and soon sought a divorce. He openly acknowledges that his behavior was solely responsible for the break-up of his marriage, and seems to glory in the macho role while simultaneously professing at least some sense of remorse: "I think she has reason to be bitter," McCain told one interviewer.

    I think this is going to be a problem again for Him, plus the Keating Five.
    ___
    DON'T FORGET MCCAIN SAYING HE WOULD PAY ANY AMERICAN WHO WANTED TO WORK $50 AN HOUR IF THEY WOULD GO TO ARIZONA AND WORK ON HIS RANCH. HE SAID ILLEGAL ALIENS DO THE WORK AMERICANS WON'T DO.

    January 18, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  13. IJ baltimore, MD

    Anyone defending the Confederate flag is a treasonist and terrorist at heart if not in action. The confederate battle flag (it's not the real flag of the Confederate states) is a flag that was flown to inspire those who sought to kill U.S. soldiers during a war. Thousands upon thousands of our men in uniform gave the ultimate sacrifice to prevent that flag from flying and to free an enslaved people, as well as keep this great nation together. It is the flag of a stated enemy of the United States. It is the flag of a group that sought to keep the right to enslave humans. It is a flag of a group that sought to destroy the unity of the the greatest nation on earth. I rank anyone waving that flag with al quada, Hamas, and any other group that sought the destruction of the U.S. of A.

    January 18, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  14. yo

    Romney 2008 ~ Its the economy, stupid!

    January 18, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  15. Jason NYC

    Thank you Georgian. Very well put.

    The fact is Huck is burying himself across the nation while trying to get the good ol' boy vote in SC. He will be crushed on Super Tuesday. And, in the unlikely event he does get the Republican nomination, we will be making history by electing the first woman or black President.

    January 18, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  16. Rick

    The confederate flag symbolizes treason of the highest order. Open rebellion against the Federal Government and institutionalized slavery of an entire race of people should not be celebrated. That fact that some good men were indeed confederates does not change the fact that in this country displaying that flag is the equivalent of Berlin raising the Nazi Swastika over its city hall.

    January 18, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  17. esqueak

    I think that they should give it up! Keep the flag – it's southern tradition!
    ps. Go Romney!!!!

    January 18, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  18. Jonathan

    Confederate Flag does not represent hatred or racism...it represents State Rights...something that we should all remember now that our Federal government is huge and overbearing.

    P.S. – I'm not a southerner, just majored in History in College, so I can base my opinion on actual facts and history rather than the rhetoric spewed to me by the media, ACLU, the NAACP, or any other pundit.

    January 18, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  19. Ric

    An analogy would be Germans who display the swastika and then explain, "Ja, the hooked cross ist not a hate symbol, das is a symbol for a great road system." Huckabee should choose his battles more wisely.

    Ric

    January 18, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  20. Steve

    Just wanted to point out that those signs being held up obviously said something else before, then had "John McCain" pasted over them. Is playing the victim just another part of southern tradition?

    January 18, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  21. Dixie

    I am a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. I display about 25 different versions of Confederate Flags. I am the other side of your argument. I have some GGGrandparents I honor with the Confederate flags, just as I honor my Grandfather and Dad with a US Flag.

    January 18, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  22. Dan, NJ

    Dear Baxter,

    While I certainly understand being proud of your heritage and history, you must realize that flag has been used as a symbol of slavery, racism and hatred. That may not be what it stands for to every southerner, but it does represent that to a great many.

    The question then becomes, who has to give up in the compromise: the decendants (and at least some cases current) victums or the decendants (and at least some current) perpetrators of these atrocities. Obviously, the answer is the flag must go.

    But taking it one step further, other than my home state, the state I work in, and California (something about that bear) I couldn't identify any other state flag. And I'm sure that's true for most.

    January 18, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  23. Jim in Orlando, FL

    To the many dimwitted above. It ain't about the flag, and Huckabee did not argue the flag pro or can. He argued states rights, that being the right of each state to decide many issues itself and not be dictated to by the feds.

    January 18, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  24. Dan, NJ

    To clarify, as a matter of free speech, individuals should be able to possess and display it (although the treason aspect is interestig). Governments should not.

    January 18, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  25. Dixie

    No sir, it was not treason. It was the North’s treason against the Constitution and the Northern sectional government that was the primary catalyst for succession. Slavery was an immediate issue but must be weighed with historical context. The north was engaged with slavery but their industrialized industry found that paying slave wages was more economical. Hah! Even saying that, the North did not invalid the South to end slavery.

    No one was tried for treason after the War, as the best legal minds concluded that they would lose the case, and then the War would be shown for what it was, an invasion of another country, as the states’ did have a right to secede. As far as the latter three, the Stars and Stripes would fit that description much better, as slavery was legal under it for over eighty years, it flew over the masts of the New England slave ship masters who brought their prey to these shores after buying them from their brethren, and it also flew over the Buffalo Soldiers who, along with their Yankee counterparts, massacred our Indians using the expertise they leaned so well killing Southern women and children of all races during the WBTS.

    January 18, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
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