January 28th, 2008
09:01 AM ET
10 years ago

Huckabee challenges Romney over fried chicken

 Romney stopped in at a KFC over the weekend.

Romney stopped in at a KFC over the weekend.

PENSACOLA, Florida (CNN) - Mitt Romney's failure to eat fried chicken with the skin on is nothing short of blasphemy here in the South, according to GOP rival Mike Huckabee.

Romney, of Massachusetts, dug into a piece fried chicken at KFC while campaigning in Lutz, Florida on Saturday, but not before peeling off what most would consider the best part - the crispy skin.

Admittedly, KFC's chicken doesn't exactly stack up against the delectable kind that comes out of deep fryers in kitchens around the South, and Romney said he was looking for the healthiest option available to him for lunch.

Huckabee, looking ahead to a flotilla of southern states up for grabs on Super Tuesday, was told about the move by a reporter here in the Florida panhandle.

"I can tell you this," he said, "any Southerner knows if you don’t eat the skin don’t bother calling it fried chicken."

"So that's good. I'm glad that he did that, because that means I'm going to win Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma ... all these great Southern states that understand the best part of fried chicken is the skin, if you're going to eat it that way."

Huckabee admitted that he hasn't eaten fried chicken in a while because of his weight loss program, preferring it broiled or baked instead.

And speaking of possible gaffes, a good Southerner might also dispute one of Huckabee's claims: since when is Oklahoma "a great southern state"?

- CNN Political Producer Peter Hamby

Filed under: Mike Huckabee • Mitt Romney
soundoff (226 Responses)
  1. Rick, Tampa, FL

    Huckabee loves fried chicken and is fat and dumpy looking. Romney doesn't eat the skin and looks healthier than them all. Go figure.

    Huckabee and McAmnesty are neck and neck for the dumbest candidate of either party.

    Huckabee is done after Florida.

    January 28, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  2. RichardL

    They forgot the most important thing, first, you have to shoot the thing. Then fry it.

    January 28, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  3. BE

    I was born in VA and I don't know about the rest from the South, but I'm offended that he believes I'll base my vote on chicken skin. Is that what he thinks of our ability to make educated decisions?

    January 28, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  4. Your Kidding

    After the fiasco of nearly eight years of a republican president, the hot topic of the campaign is chicken parts? Give me a break!!!!

    January 28, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  5. Jason

    This is political news? The news media is making a mockery of this presidential race.

    January 28, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  6. Ba Gua

    Hahahahaha... Worse yet, maybe Mitt's a vegan!

    January 28, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    I believe is was Abraham Lincoln who once said,"It is better to sit and appear a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt."

    January 28, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  8. Quintus

    It was either bravery or foolishness that he ate at KFC, every time I have eaten there I pray for death.

    January 28, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  9. LR in TX

    Congratulations, Mae. At least one other person in this blog understands the concept of humor. It is the media, however, that feels the need to report on this because they know the humorless pc group will go balistic – which they apparently have.

    January 28, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  10. Robby

    I live in Oklahoma and have never considered myself as living in the South. Most people around here would say that we live in the Mid-West.

    January 28, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  11. Mark O'Conner

    This is why politics in this country are a joke. The democrats do stuff like this too... where do we place our votes? I'm going to keep my vote stored away until someone actually deserves it.

    January 28, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  12. Helen Smith

    I thought it odd that Romney was trying to act like a "regular Joe" and eat at KFC; he doesn't have the first clue how to operate in the environment of most Americans. He has been talking about how to buy stocks in this cheap market , as he lays off people and sends jobs overseas- he needs to get real and realize that people twho eat at KFC are typically not loading up on cheap stocks. They are trying to make ends meet. This just represents his consistent positions and his continual efforts to try and be everything to everyone. He is a Bigtime FAKE!

    January 28, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  13. John from CT

    The disadvantage of reading these articles and people's responses is you can't be sure what kind of tone is being used. Everyone - the media, the campaigners, even the american people - enjoy taking quotes out of context just to stir up some controversy. A candidate will take an opponent's quote out of context but he or she doesn't think it is FAIR if their quote is taken out of context.
    So with all this petty back and forth between the candidates it is very refreshing to hear a candidate with a sense of humor. Thank you Governor Huckabee..

    January 28, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  14. Adam

    everyone who is getting angry at Hucakbee over this has clearly bought into the MSM's viewpoint on this election. Why is no one asking why CNN would even RUN this off hand comment as a "news worthy story". It's unbelievably stupid, the whole thing, regardless of who you support. Huckabee didn't order a freaking press conference to talk about this, he was asked the question by a reporter and he made a joke. Anyone who thinks this is news is pathetic. Absolutely downright perfectly pathetic. Huckabee has had his 'image' created by clever editors at all the major TV news channels. Grow up and read some real news people.

    January 28, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  15. Anti Clintons

    Give me a break!!! the media is coving an issue as stupid as this? So what Romney doesn't eat chicken skin! that is his business! not Hickupbee to tell him has to! Good heavens sounds like the story where people go to war becasue they don't like the way someone likes to eat eggs!!

    This Hickupbee is sure hard up for votes if that is the best way he can do in the elections, he is scrapping the bottom of the barrel isn't he!

    He will be done after this vote tomorrow anyway. People of FL, do what is right, vote for Romney.

    Romney 08!

    January 28, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  16. Bri H.

    I was born and raised in Oklahoma, and I've never considered it Southern. Does anyone in OK really want to be lumped in with Texans? Perish the thought. Although, I wouldn't call it Midwestern either. It's sort of its own animal.

    January 28, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  17. Patriot,NY

    Perhaps he'll win regardless of your spin

    January 28, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  18. David.....Nevada

    Don't eat the fat Mitt.. Let Huck gain that 110 lbs back if he likes. Next time he won't be able to lose it. Plus he'll have to be saddled with meds for the rest of his life to control his cholesterol. McAmnesty, well he looks like skin period wonder how much he has devoured?

    January 28, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  19. Mark D.

    Schmuckabee is more a used Car Salesman, than anything else. We here in Arkansas have learned this through enduring his attempt to destroy the GOP. Let him run for president of Mexico (With McCain)...they are his target constituancy, not Americans.

    January 28, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  20. cathie

    Well if Southern people are that small minded (which I don't think they are Mr. Huckleberry) let them vote for you, it won't help, you will not win the nomination. Hopefully Mtt Romney will, he is the smartest man for the job. Just because he wants to be healthy Huckleberry blasts him for that, what a numb skull. Romney for President.....

    January 28, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  21. SK

    Wow Adam you must consider it "news worthy" yourself to choose the story and then take the time to read it. Since you’ve take it upon yourself to call people pathetic for having an opinion on the situation, then I think you qualify for that title as well. The fact is Huckabee is running for the President of the United States so everything he says is under potential scrutiny. The reason why CNN always reports Huckabee's stupid comments is because he does such a fantastic job of continuously spewing them.

    January 28, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  22. Tim

    This exactly the perfect topic for these two empty suits to argue over. Hucklebee should be running fired chicken inspector. Romney should get out of his way. The position would suit them to the level of their own expertise. Think about it.

    January 28, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  23. Henry

    I'm from South Carolina and I don't eat fried chicken skin........Can't these people find some real issues such as Health Care and affordable housing!

    January 28, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  24. BJ

    Sound like a comment in jester you would make to a friend or coleague. Everyone want to make a mountain out of a mole hill about every little comment. Get a grip, he's the only one that is letting you see who he really is.

    January 28, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  25. Uh Clem

    This is a joke, right? It's got to be from the Onion.

    January 28, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
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