January 18th, 2008
10:05 AM ET
5 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. bdc, phila, pa

    A lot of people writing here that the flag is tradition and states rights would never let people with mexican heritage fly the mexican flag in America. Its the same thing, except the confederacy doesn't exist any more.

    It isn't like wearing a Tshirt or flipping through your (immoral) scrapbook. A flag is a symbol of sovereignty, it carries more weight. If its that important you, why don't you try to secede again. Otherwise, if you're an AMERICAN, why don't you realize that's the flag of your enemy, and you beat him over 150 years ago.

    January 18, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  2. M.

    Southerners are proud of their slave owning heritage? Wow, thats something I'd be ashamed of!

    January 18, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  3. Lynn

    The republican presidentialcanidates are all just like plain white bread. Boring! A woman or anyone for any ethnic group has to settle for running for a city/county council seat, rep. or senate(which they don't win). Poor folks

    January 18, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  4. ne,pa

    I find it hard to believe that America would elect crusty old war-mongering nasty McCain who's soft on immigration as president. He has anger issues probably from those years as a POW. He's not mentally sound enough....God help us!

    January 18, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  5. Terry, El Paso, TX

    "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." So writes Jeremiah of Arizona.

    The Republicans controlled Congress from 1994 until 2006. What did they do about illegal immigration? Zip. The Republicans controlled the White House and Congress from 2000 until 2006. What did they do about illegal immigration? Nada. Why? Because it would cause wages to rise if they did. To the corporate money men who control the Party, that is not desirable. Why pay you a decent wage when they can pay an illegal below minimum wage and keep the withholding and the Social Security portion for themselves?

    The Republican compromise on this issue was to lie: they pretended to be concerned about immigration to get your votes (you suckers) but they somehow never managed to quite figure out how they might possibly pass a little bill that might have some impact on the problem. You voted for secure borders and you got NAFTA. You voted for a ban on gay marriages and you got lower wages. You voted for manger scenes in the town square and you got environmental regulations written by oil company lobbyists. How many times do you have to be hornswaggled before you figure it out?

    An even though Conservatives controlled every branch of government for six years, they did nothing – except blame Liberals in government for blocking them somehow. When are you rank-and-file conservatives going to realize that you have been sold down the river over and over and over and over? Your leaders do not care what you think. You are not important to them.

    January 18, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  6. Jenny, Paxton, MA

    Baxter, the ignoramus of Austin TX writes:

    "I am southern and proud. Very proud of that flag. The flag stands for heritage not hatred."

    you heritage IS hatred and savegery. can't connect two dots, huh?

    January 18, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  7. RCD WA

    I can't believe it. Almost 150 years after the end of the Civil War and this is still an issue. THE SOUTH LOST!!! Live with it! If the Confederate flag is a symbol of Southern heritage then the South has a heritage of racism and treason. States' rights? That's a load of crap. The South had no rights being violated, they seceded because the U.S. elected a president who was opposed to the brutal enslavement of human beings. In fact, in the beginning, Lincoln had no plans of abolishing slavery, he wanted to prevent its spread into new states. The South brought abolition upon itself by starting the war and giving Lincoln reason for issuing the Emancipation Proclaimation and paving the way for the Thirteenth Amendment.
    I also don't get why so many people who call liberals traitors to America carry around the flag of the rebellion that cost the most American lives and threatened the future of this nation.

    January 18, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  8. Shawn Smith, Kansas City, MO

    Oh Wow, quite a brigade of followers you have to be proud of Mr. Huckabee. Probably among the most educated of Americans. NOT

    I would be ashamed that if my 'message' that won me the state of Iowa would spark the 'Confederate Vote'.

    January 18, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  9. sluggo

    I'm a Southerner. I'm ready for part 2 of the war for States Rights.

    January 18, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  10. David - Oregon City

    pam Eugene OR:

    I am looking forward to voting for Gov. Huckabee here in Oregon just to "X" out your vote!

    January 18, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  11. Proud Independant Free Tejano

    Too cute. MITT ROMNEY,...like ABRAHAM LINCOLN is a REAL REPUBLICAN...not trailer trash like these Boss Hog-like fat cat good 'ol boys of cross-burning fame ...you know...those Deep South Democrat Party Leaders/Clansmen from back in the 50's/60/s...fom before the civil rights era was begun by Martin Luther King Jr. with MITT ROMNEY'S FATHER fighting and marching alongside another American hero,Mr. King.

    Lincoln//King/Romney Sr./Romney Jr. ....REAL AMERICAN REPUBLICAN/CONSERVATIVES...for FREEDOM and EQUALITYfor ALL AMERICANS..and FAMILY VALUES!!!!

    GO ROMNEY!!! GO OBAMA!!! :) WOOOOO HOOO!!!!

    January 18, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  12. semipatz

    "The flag stands for heritage not hatred."

    Sorry to say this, baxter, but the South's heritage IS hateful.

    January 18, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  13. Roger from MA

    Of all the regions of the country, the South is by far the poorest. Vast swaths of it resemble a third world country. Southern cities (St. Louis, Atlanta, Miami) are the most violent, ethnic/racial tensions boil under the surface, and the more rural areas are controlled by religious extremists so zealous that the Taliban would be impressed.

    Quite a heritage to be proud of!

    January 18, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  14. Chris, Jacksonville

    The Confederacy was a terroist organization.

    Celebrating those sick human beings (and thier "battle flag" ) who believed it was right to own, buy and sell other human beings is just disgusting. They attacked and tried to tear apart our country....and some folks want to celibrate that?!?!?!

    Hey Southerners, your heritage is hate.

    Shame Sherman did such a half-hearted job........

    January 18, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  15. Teka

    All of the angst about the Confederate Flag and Huckabee's remarks that John McCain should keep his yapper shut about it.

    Now the Spanish aired Nevada poltical ad which has been played on several Major TV stations, which exhorts 'the community' to not vote for Clinton because she does not respect the 'community' and does not wish to see them vote.................nobody is sqawking about South American Intimidation Poltical Warfare operating in Full Steam..in Spanish yet..on USA Radios and TVs.

    Now whom would they mean when they say "community?" Not Americans? So they openly plan to having Non American citizens vote...and the media has their underpants in a knott over a flag that lost any meaning over 150 years ago?

    Whose side is this so called Mainstream Media on? I would say NOT our side.

    January 18, 2008 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  16. Sean, Santa Barbara, CA

    well the Confederate flag was a symbol of their racism during the civil war, if we get rid of the flag what can those racist use as their symbol now?

    For those "flag is my heritage" folks, your proud of being losers? What about your American heritage? What about the heritage of the African Americans that saw that as symbol of hate for their ancestors, do they not matter, still?

    I sincerely dobt that is even a heritage for many there anyways, considering that South Carolina had a huge influx of immigrants from Europe during the World Wars, your heritage more likely then none started long after the South had already lost and your just using it as asymbol to try and fit in with the other white folks.

    There is probably only a handful of families n South Carolina that can trace their heritage back to the Civil War in South Carolina, those handful of families should not represent the entire State.

    January 18, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  17. Teka

    I must say that it is ironic that The Hispanic Vote is giving the Clintons fits. Bill and Hillary Clinton flew to Los Angeles in 1999 to present the founder of the Chicano Nation (his words) the President's Medals. It was a troubling act at the time, because the gentleman in question had called for "racial cleansing" of California and had been quoted as saying "California is a Hispanic state and if you don't like it, get out."

    The Clinton Administration had many Chicano Activists serving there with Sen. Clinton's campaign manager being one of them. Janet Murguia, the present President of LaRaza served in the Clinton White House. On MayDay 2006, when illegal aliens and their advocates took to our streets by the millions, Sen. Clinton greeted them in NYC as conqueroring heros and spoke to them in Spanish.

    And now to see the Clintons in a rage about the Open Borders. Amnesty Lobby moving on to someone even more radical than they are...in poltics I think it is called "Watching one's Chicano chickens fly home to roost."

    January 18, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  18. alan

    On the critical second day of the battle of Gettysburg a gap was inadvertently left open in the center of the Union Lines. Realizing the danger, the commander cried out "My God! Is this all the men we have here? Reinforcements were quickly called up, but the attacking rebels had already seized upon the opportunity. The 1st Minnesota, a unit of about 200 men was, ordered to plug the hole and stop the Confederates by charging alone into the gap against 1700 of the enemy. The 1st Minnesota suffered 90% casualties in a heroic stand that saved the Union center until the reinforcements arrived.

    I wouldn't even shine my shoes with a Confederate Flag. Its a disgrace you morons in South Carolina call that nonsense "Heritage". Its a symbol of treason and dishonor.

    January 18, 2008 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  19. The Observer

    Well, talk about a sequence of random posts. I thought this was about Governor Huckabee's comments on the South Carolina flag.

    Governor Huckabee seems to have just been asserting the long honored States' Rights imperative upon which this country was founded. He did not intimate that he supported the Confederacy, slavery, the Civil War, or anything else.

    He simply said it should be up to South Carolina what flag they should be able to fly over their own State House. I assure you, all states feel the same about their flags. We cannot change history. It was what it was. The flag commemorates the soldiers from South Carolina who gave their lives during the Civil War. It does not mean that the good people of South Carolina embrace slavery any more than the flag of Texas denotes a seceded state with its Lone Star. The Texas flag simply reflects its proud heritage.

    This is some election year- worse than 1968! People are ready to distort, misread, misquote, and over react to the least significant comment made by a candidate.

    Quite frankly, I agree with Governor Huckabee's reference about the flag pole. In fact, it was surprising, humorous, and honest.

    I think we all need to relax a tad, think more, and quit taking hip shots. We need to avoid the Fire, Aim, Ready blogger mentality and should all take the time to read what people actually say, and think first.

    As to the South's heritage, it is as proud as any state's. It is not hateful, but simply a reflection of the state of this country at the time. All wars are economic in nature. The Civil War was based on economics. The Northern states have an equally as trying a history as their Southern counterparts, so let's cease the internecine eye-poking contest.

    Southerners have exactly the same concerns as the rest of the country- the pursuit of life, liberty, freedom, and happiness. We are all Americans first, then we are from various states. The people of South Carolina are Americans, not Confederates. Then they are proud South Carolinians.

    I trust the rest of the country will cut through all the media hype, whether pro or con, and elect the candidate that best reflects their values. Telling a person why you will not vote for a candidate is a waste of time. Tell me why you will vote for a particular candidate, and I will listen most intently to you. Denigrating another candidate to extoll your choice is not a winning strategy, and quite frankly is boresome. If you cannot promulgate your candidate logically, then I believe you really don't know why your are voting for your candidate.

    I am an American, a Texan, a republican, and I will vote for Governor Huckabee because his values reflect my values. I do not agree with everything he proposes, but he is closest to what I believe needs to be done in this country. My view only. I will not try to impose it upon anyone, and I will respect your choice as well. Freedom of choice is one of the great benefits of living in this country.

    God bless America, the home of the brave and the land of the free!

    January 18, 2008 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  20. The Observer

    Well, talk about a sequence of random posts. I thought this was about Governor Huckabee's comments on the South Carolina flag.

    Governor Huckabee seems to have just been asserting the long honored States' Rights imperative upon which this country was founded. He did not intimate that he supported the Confederacy, slavery, the Civil War, or anything else.

    He simply said it should be up to South Carolina what flag they should be able to fly over their own State House. I assure you, all states feel the same about their flags. We cannot change history. It was what it was. The flag commemorates the soldiers from South Carolina who gave their lives during the Civil War. It does not mean that the good people of South Carolina embrace slavery any more than the flag of Texas denotes a seceded state with its Lone Star. The Texas flag simply reflects its proud heritage.

    This is some election year- worse than 1968! People are ready to distort, misread, misquote, and over react to the least significant comment made by a candidate.

    Quite frankly, I agree with Governor Huckabee's reference about the flag pole. In fact, it was surprising, humorous, and honest.

    I think we all need to relax a tad, think more, and quit taking hip shots. We need to avoid the Fire, Aim, Ready blogger mentality and should all take the time to read what people actually say, and think first.

    As to the South's heritage, it is as proud as any state's. It is not hateful, but simply a reflection of the state of this country at the time. All wars are economic in nature. The Civil War was based on economics. The Northern states have an equally as trying a history as their Southern counterparts, so let's cease the internecine eye-poking contest.

    Southerners have exactly the same concerns as the rest of the country- the pursuit of life, liberty, freedom, and happiness. We are all Americans first, then we are from various states. The people of South Carolina are Americans, not Confederates. Then they are proud South Carolinians.

    I trust the rest of the country will cut through all the media hype, whether pro or con, and elect the candidate that best reflects their values. Telling a person why you will not vote for a candidate is a waste of time. Tell me why you will vote for a particular candidate, and I will listen most intently to you. Denigrating another candidate to extol your choice is not a winning strategy, and quite frankly is boresome. If you cannot promulgate your candidate logically, then I believe you really don't know why your are voting for your candidate.

    I am an American, a Texan, a republican, and I will vote for Governor Huckabee because his values reflect my values. I do not agree with everything he proposes, but he is closest to what I believe needs to be done in this country. My view only. I will not try to impose it upon anyone, and I will respect your choice as well. Freedom of choice is one of the great benefits of living in this country.

    God bless America, the home of the brave and the land of the free!

    January 18, 2008 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  21. bdc, phila, pa

    anyone who thinks this guy will win the general election is out of your mind.

    January 18, 2008 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  22. Jared C.- in Korea

    Mitt is the man! He has the experience, leadership, and morals needed to lead our country. Romney will get the job done. We support you overseas. Go Romney!
    Romney/Thompson 2008

    January 19, 2008 05:42 am at 5:42 am |
  23. John S. Maine

    I watched Rev. Huckabee on Fox News Hannity and Colmes and he tried to dodge and weave the question. He left the show with never answering them. He claimed its a States issue and has no place in the presidential campaign.

    In another statement on the show Mike Huckabee used the world "prophetic again". Its amazing that a man who is recieving daily revelations from God cant even take a moral stand on the Confederate Flag.

    I belive Mike Huckabee is the weakest candidate in the Republican field. I like Ron Paul more than I do Huckabee.

    January 19, 2008 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  24. RH Potfry

    Your state flag is your heritage, you ninnies. The Confederate flag is a symbol of a time that you seceded from the country because you wanted to keep slaves picking your cotton, then got dragged back kicking and screaming.

    It's an embarrassing symbol, for you and the country.

    January 19, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  25. Jed in Texas

    Im sorry as an American first, an a Texan second,that we couldnt have sent a truely great American Uniter to the White House,the late Anne Richards.She new the horse thieves from the true patriots.Thanks to Carl Roves mud slinging lies against her you now have the horse thieves.Im a proud Independent.I vote for the man or woman best able to lead and bring prosperity to ALL AMERICANS,not just to myself,or party or the chosen few with the silver spoon or silver foot in their mouth.

    January 19, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
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