WASHINGTON (CNN) - The case of a convicted rapist paroled in 1999 has come back to haunt Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, with the mother of a woman the convict later murdered pledging to campaign against the former Arkansas governor.
In an interview with CNN Wednesday, Huckabee said it was "heartbreaking" that the murders had become politicized.
"There are families who are truly, understandably and reasonably, grief stricken," Huckabee said. "And for people to now politicize these deaths and to try to make a political case out of it rather than to simply understand that a system failed and that we ought to extend our grief and heartfelt sorrow to these families, I just regret politics is reduced to that."
Huckabee said he had considered granting DuMond clemency, but he dropped the idea in response to public outcry.
Huckabee also said he did not grant clemency because he wanted to ensure DuMond was supervised when he was released from prison.
"Had I granted his commutation, then there would have been no supervision at all," Huckabee said, "I wasn't comfortable with that."
CNNPolitics.com: Huckabee's role in rapist's parole comes under fresh scrutiny