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. JH

    "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." Um. Stereotype much, Huck?? What about all the single moms who are single because they are divorced? I sorta liked this guy last go-round, but it seems like he's finally found his true vicious voice.

    March 4, 2011 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  2. Shayne from NH

    I happen to really like Natalie Portman. Her movies are excellent but she is also well known as being a down-to-Earth individual. Her choice of being pregnant and not married is her own choice. Huckabee has NO RIGHT telling others what Portman or others what we should do. CHRISTIANS have NO RIGHT telling us what we should do. Huckabee, at least for a while, sparked my interest as a possible candidate for the GOP. I wouldn't even consider him now after this last week of goofball comments from Obama being anti-American, from Kenya, educated in a Madrassa, complimenting Romney on his healthcare which is essentially the same as Obamacare while at the same time criticizing Obamacare...and now Portman. Get a life Huckabee. You are trying to make a presence and differentiate yourself but you are going about it the WRONG WAY.

    March 4, 2011 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  3. Jtizzle

    My mom is a single mother, and we know single mothers. Most aren't poor yet, but with today's economy his statement is becoming more and more true. Plus considering whats going on in the world, i think our good lord will for give the nice pregnant lady of not being married at this specific moment.

    March 4, 2011 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  4. JJ

    Oh brother. Shut your piehold, Huckabee. You have no moral standing to criticize anyone. Why would anyone listen to a fool who thinks the anti-choice movement is more important than the economy, jobs and education, among many other things?

    March 4, 2011 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  5. Pam

    Why do the "right" continue to say they do not want govt. involved in our lives...too much govt, they say. Then in the same breath they want to be involved and have a voice with what happens in someone's personal life. Two examples , not getting married and being gay. The "right' is all over those and wish the govt to make changes, however...breath...they say, go away govt, you are to big, your are to involved in our life. How does that square up? Just saying!

    March 4, 2011 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  6. fidiot

    Kind of off the GOP message isn't he.
    cut planned parent hood
    cut education
    cut union negotiations
    pro business
    how can any republican be against single pregnant women popping out low income uneducated future labor with no imigration hassles. portman should be their poster child.

    March 4, 2011 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  7. CoolguyMcSly

    This isn't so much a slam on Natalie Portman as it is a statement on the reality of what it's like to be a single mother. All he's saying is that Natalie Portman, being rich and famous, is not an accurate reflection of most single mothers, who struggle to raise their kids. Seems like this article was written to spur on some controversy and failed.

    March 4, 2011 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  8. Former Republican - Now Independent

    This would carry a lot more weight if Huckabee also went after Newt Gingrich for adultery.

    But I guess it's safer for Mighty Mike to pummel Portman than to nuke Newt.

    March 4, 2011 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  9. JH

    And kudos to CNN for showing how she's a positive role model for young women (i.e. working to a fantastic college education). She's also politically engaged, open about her Jewish faith and ancestry, modest, doesn't get caught partying or doing drugs, intelligent, and well-spoken. Oh, and, Huck... what about that ring on her finger?

    March 4, 2011 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  10. Janicket

    Well, we already know that Huck's kinda shaky on geography - was it Kenya or Indonesia you meant to say? And now his grasp of history isn't looking too good, either. Have you forgotten, Mikey boy? Dan Quayle went after Murphy Brown for having a child out of wedlock, and how'd that work out for him?

    March 4, 2011 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  11. whattha?

    So, who hijacked Mike Huckabee?

    March 4, 2011 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  12. Bob(Illinois)

    With every passing day Huckabee sounds more and more like Palin.

    March 4, 2011 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  13. EddyL

    What an idiot.... SHUT UP, HUCKABEE

    March 4, 2011 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  14. Diana

    Oh not this again. Congratulations Natalie, you very well did deserve the Oscar, and congrats on the baby, and fiance.

    March 4, 2011 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  15. Emma

    OMG Huck your an idiot. So your slob friend New't can be married several times and that's okay and he wants to be President???? You make me sick!

    March 4, 2011 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  16. Carmichael

    Mike Huckabee? Are you kidding me? We each as Americans have a choice to raise a family as we wish and should not be held to certain "obligations" to be role models for other's conservative plans! Love is what makes a family. Whether it be from one mom, one dad, two moms, two dads or one of each. I was raised by a single mother who raised five children who all went to college. She worked full time and still had time to spend with us giving us happy memories. So if Natalie Portman isn't working for you, let me know. I know someone who IS a great role model for single mothers.

    Ps. You're not going to get any votes if you keep telling voters that their lifestyles are not appropriate.

    March 4, 2011 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  17. Hairball

    So what are you going to do about Mikey? Make her get an abortion?

    March 4, 2011 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  18. Lynda/Minnesota

    "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."

    When certain VP candidates children have children without being married, they, too, set a bad example for the rest of America. Where was your condemnation in 2008, Huckster? But I'm not supposed to discuss this particular person, now am I?

    "I think it gives a distorted image that not everybody hires nannies and caretakers and nurses."

    Yep. Not everybody can become stars, either. Or appear in People Magazine publicity photo ops, or strut their stuff while Dancing With The Stars. Well, attempt to strut their stuff anyway.

    Mike Huckabee is SO not running for president.

    March 4, 2011 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  19. JMcP

    Really? Does no one remember the Dan Quayl attack on "Murphy Brown"? That didn't go well then. I really doubt that it's a good idea to portray a popular child-actor-turned-golden-girl as a bad example. She completed a serious degree from Harvard, which in combination with her body of acting work is indicative of an amazing work ethic. Given the volume of work she has done the last few years, is it surprising she hasn't taken the time out to plan a wedding?

    I wouldn't be concerned in the slightest if my children wanted to be like Natalie Portman.

    March 4, 2011 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  20. Scott

    Hey Huck! Do you have any idea of the number of "non-conventional" families that you just slammed with your ignorant remarks? Think before you speak, and do your research – Obama did not grow up in Kenya! These incendiary statements only serve to illustrate the vitriol in the GOP, but then again, as a former Baptist minister, you must already be aware of that.

    March 4, 2011 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  21. Greg Gilbert

    CNN is on their mission now. With several years of his show they are going to start parading everything that is the most extreme from him. I guess its fine if they did the same thing to the other side. I guess go to CNN to get the moderate Republican bashing news and then head over to the Google News to get the least unbiased of the left wing news wire.

    March 4, 2011 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  22. jay zee

    not everyone in america is christian either... does that mean you have to be married to have kids? no. huckabee can kiss it!

    March 4, 2011 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  23. Bob Dog

    Perhaps Mr. Huckabee has studied in the "Dan Quayle School of Being Unbelievably Naive and Stupid." (I'm guessing he graduated with honors.)

    Criticizing Natalie Portman, an extremely talented, magnificent, wealthy, and brilliant jewish woman is a marvelous way to destroy any remaining crediblity he may have had. Wow, what a dufus.

    Speaking of Natalie; congratulations on your well-deserved Academy Award! I wish for you and your family good health. If your baby contributes 10% of what her/his mother has contributed to the world, he/she will be a very worthy addition to the human tribe.

    March 4, 2011 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  24. Emerson

    Hey Huckahick, how come you are looking and sounding more and more like Gomer Pyle? Shazam, that there Hollywood Jewish lady ain't even married and she is with child. What are we goin' to do when the kids in Mayberry find out?

    March 4, 2011 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  25. WOW!

    "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." Excuse me? This a bit stereotypical, don't you think?

    March 4, 2011 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
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