Huckabee clarifies Portman criticism
March 4th, 2011
08:25 AM ET
4 years ago

Huckabee clarifies Portman criticism

(CNN) - Mike Huckabee is explaining comments he made earlier this week criticizing Oscar winner Natalie Portman for being pregnant and unmarried.

"In a recent media interview about my new book, A Simple Government, I discussed the first chapter, 'The Most Important Form of Government Is a Father, Mother, and Children,'" Huckabee said in a statement obtained by CNN. "I was asked about Oscar-winner Natalie Portman's out-of-wedlock pregnancy. Natalie is an extraordinary actor, very deserving of her recent Oscar trophy and I am glad she will marry her baby's father. However, contrary to what the Hollywood media reported, I did not "slam" or "attack" Natalie Portman, nor did I criticize the hardworking single mothers in our country."

The former Arkansas governor and possible Republican presidential candidate criticized the actress Monday on a conservative radio show for being pregnant and unmarried.

"One of the most troubling things is that people see a Natalie Portman or some other Hollywood starlet that boasts of, hey look, we're having children, we're not married, but we're having children and they're doing just fine," Huckabee told host Mike Medved on his radio program.

Portman, who won the best actress Oscar on Sunday for her role in "Black Swan," is engaged to choreographer Benjamin Millepied, who also worked on the film.

Huckabee, a Baptist minister who ran for the 2008 GOP presidential nomination, said when wealthy actresses have children without being married, they set a bad example for the rest of America.

"There aren't really a lot of single moms out there that are making millions of dollars each year by being in a movie," Huckabee said. "I think it gives a distorted image that not everybody hires nannies and caretakers and nurses. Most single moms are very poor, uneducated, can't get a job, and if it weren't for government assistance, their kids would be starving to death and would not get healthcare."

In addition to her work in films, Portman attended Harvard University and graduated with a degree in psychology.

Portman has yet to respond to Huckabee's criticism.


Filed under: Mike Huckabee
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. bud in NC

    Hey Huck– You just told lies about where the President grew up. You have no credibility. Mind you own business about who are having children. Go back to your hole at Fox-made-up news.

    March 4, 2011 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  2. Kevin

    Judge not lest ye be judged...........

    March 4, 2011 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  3. Reggie Malone

    what is up with huckabee? First Obama and now Natalie. Whos next? He needs to get off his holier than thou attitude and mind his own damn business. it is one republican after another. It seem like they are losing their minds.

    March 4, 2011 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  4. David S.

    the man is an idiot;
    for President??? G-d save us!

    March 4, 2011 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  5. Keith

    Why am I reminded of Dan Quayle and Murphy Brown? Oh right.

    March 4, 2011 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  6. Jerry

    Wow. So it's not important that the "children are doing just fine", it's important that people follow your rules on morality?

    Portman isn't a single Mom, Mr Huckabee. She has a partner helping her to raise her children. Whether they are married or not is relevant only to your puritanical world view.

    March 4, 2011 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  7. Luke Brown

    Huck is right! She should have an abortion, get married then get pregnant again.

    March 4, 2011 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  8. WhoIsHuckabee

    And don't even get me started about health care.... yup, that too figures into this. How about families being financially ruined by sicknesses, losing their jobs due to job-related injuries, etc. Guess what, that's all right by our politicians too. Guys like Huckabee just looove to make sure that our corporations don't have to cover for their own employees healthcare. After all, won't that interfere with their bottom-line (reelection funds)?? Shame, shame, shame.

    March 4, 2011 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  9. Janet in California

    Aren't there more important things for you to discuss, like possibly the economy or solving the budget stalemate, among other topics! Move into the 21st Century!

    March 4, 2011 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  10. MR AMERICA

    Keep talking Huck! Tell us all about YOUR values and how shameful the rest of us are...

    March 4, 2011 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  11. MD

    Never heard of the lady, but I would like to know if Huckerbee can see her from his window? Can he see Obama's Kenya from his window? Sounds to me he is becoming another Alaskan Barbie. So he WAS this man of God. If so, he should be truthful (liars are kept out of God's kingdom). He's running this advert for petitions against the health bill. He says the bill has been determined by courts as unconstitutional. The truth is that it has been determined by SOME COURTS as unconstitutional, and by OTHER COURTS as constitutional. Tell the truth, preacher man! Or stop your preaching and acknowledge that you have forsaken the truth of Scripture for temporal renown. Clergy in politics has never turned out positive. Stay out.

    March 4, 2011 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  12. Mike Quayle?

    Remember when Dan Quayle said the same sort of thing about Murphy Brown? No? Okay, there used to be this Vice President named Dan Quayle, and he decided to talk smack about the fact that Murphy Brown - a popular television character at the time - was pregnant out of wedlock, calling it a "poverty of morality." It was silly then, and it's silly now. If you want to start a conversation about single-parenthood, it might be a good idea not to alienate those people about whom you're having the discussion.

    March 4, 2011 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  13. Anna1228

    She's not a single mom, she's engaged to be married and therefore in a relationship. Apples and oranges.

    March 4, 2011 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  14. Publius13

    I don't like Huckabee and wouldn't vote for him. But if you put enough monkeys in a big enough room with typewriters and an unlimited amount of time, one of them eventually is going to type "Gone with the Wind" just by chance. Likewise, given enough time and media exposure, even the Rev. Huckabee comes up with a truth now and then.

    March 4, 2011 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  15. WildGordo

    Thanks Mike for taking yourself out of the race!

    March 4, 2011 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  16. HAHAHAHA500

    Yes, Mike, everyone in America should live their lives like you see fit.

    March 4, 2011 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  17. Art

    Nothing wrong with a single mom raising a child. It should be pointed out that not all single mom's are poor and rely on the government for assistance. Should also be noted that not all single mom's start out that way, some are the result of a failed marriage and a dead-beat dad. It's interesting that Republicans seek to defund Planned Parenthood, an organization that promotes safe sex/birth control, etc. If their goal is to reduce the number of single mom's, maybe this is an organization they should seek to increase funding for. And don't even get me started on that abstinance only education BS. That's about the dumbest program ever and completely out of touch with reality.

    Republicans continually preach limited government. Well, the one area I think I would like limited government is in my personal life. Don't preach to me about family values, morals, religion, gay marriage, or any of the rest of the BS you use to get people riled up for votes. The government has absolutely no business in people's personal lives, so stay out!!

    March 4, 2011 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  18. Jason

    Two things. Firstly, they are engaged. They have started a family. It just does not follow the path set out by a baptist minister. So, this whole thing is a mute point. Life happens and they are making the best of it.

    Secondly, is Huckabee arguing for government assistance of the poor to prevent the starvation of children or is he just saying it as a fact? If he is arguing for, good for the practicing christian to promote charity and community. If you is deploring unwed mothers for this, there is nothing new. Once again, mute point.

    March 4, 2011 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  19. eric

    I think the point Natalie should make is that she is in a position to have a child and, maybe – just maybe, "poor, uneducated, can't get a job, and if it weren't for government assistance, their kids would be starving to death and would not get healthcare" women shouldn't...

    March 4, 2011 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  20. Tom

    Don't Worry Mike, if your party gets its way, these people won't be getting any assistance. You want to illustrate questionable moral behavior? Just look at Newt who is hardly a pillar of virtue.

    March 4, 2011 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  21. Joe

    Uh oh.. Speaking the truth...Be prepared for lots of angry Liberals.

    March 4, 2011 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  22. LouAz

    No, Huckster, everyone is not a movie star. What is your point ? It is better to be thought a fool and remain silent than to speak and remove all doubt.

    March 4, 2011 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  23. Louisville

    Add judgemental to the reasons he will not be elected President.

    March 4, 2011 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  24. Sara

    Wow! Pretty judgmental for a Baptist MINISTER!

    March 4, 2011 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  25. Robert Cloosdoosch

    "Most single moms are very poor, uneducated, can't get a job, and if it weren't for government assistance, their kids would be starving to death and would not get healthcare"

    What a slap in the face to the millions of women that are out there every day, working hard, and taking care of their families.
    The symbol of degraded American values is slime ball politicians like Huckabee that are out there on a daily basis telling lies and stirring up hate to further themselves,

    March 4, 2011 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
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