December 19th, 2007
08:30 AM ET
12 years ago

Huckabee denies subliminal Christmas message

Is the bookshelf behind Huckabee in his Christmas ad a subliminal message?

(CNN) - Republican Mike Huckabee poked fun at critics who said a bookshelf in his new Christmas-themed ad that appeared to highlight the shape of a cross was meant to send a subliminal message.

“Actually I will confess this, if you play this spot backwards it says ‘Paul is Dead, Paul is Dead, Paul is Dead,’” the presidential candidate joked to reporters in Houston Tuesday. “So the next thing you know, someone will be playing it backwards to find out the subliminal messages that are really there.” (Watch Huckabee's comments)

The ad is intended for the early-voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

The former Arkansas governor said the spot was last-minute and ad-libbed: “They had a bookshelf behind me, a bookshelf. So now I have these people saying, ‘ahhh there was a subtle message there,’” said Huckabee. “….I never cease to be amazed at the manner in which people will try to dissect the simplest messages, can't even say ‘Merry Christmas’ anymore without somebody getting all upset about it.”

The former Baptist minister also shot back at some who said the spot should have been more inclusive, and that he should have wished voters “Happy Holidays.”

“I don’t know what else to call Christmas, last time I checked that is what we celebrate. If somebody can give me a way to get around that and do it honestly, then perhaps that’s what Christmas is,” said Huckabee.

“The very word Christmas comes from the contraction of 'Christ Mass' - the worship of Christ – again, change the word if we don't want to talk about it, but that’s what it symbolizes and represents.”

–CNN’s Rebecca Sinderbrand and Steve Brusk

Filed under: Mike Huckabee
soundoff (505 Responses)
  1. Peter Camper, Walden, CO

    I want the 14 seconds of my life back. You know, the time I spent reading what passes for news here. . .

    December 21, 2007 04:50 am at 4:50 am |
  2. kansas city, mo

    what a joke. it was a christmas spot. one thing's clear – huckabee was the first to do it and everyone followed suit. his response to criticism seems genuine confirmed by his laughter and astonishment (check out the youtube videos) and his comments that making a politically correct mole-hill into a mountain demonstrates the a type of societal immaturity that even school children would never know how to participate in. come on, let's talk about stuff that actually effects peoples lives, 'merry christmas' or mentioning the birth of the most influential person the world has seen to date (regardless what you think about him) is simply that – mentioning his birth. goodness we're a petty people.

    December 21, 2007 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  3. Mark, Elizabethtown, Kentucky

    Using this obvious illusion of a cross to build and distort Huckabee's character is unethical. If Huckabee is a genuine ordained Baptist minister, then why is he a member of the CFR, whose goal is a New World Order? The NWO is the arm that will usher in the anti-christ.

    Joe Carter, Huckabee's research director, stated Huckabee doesn't have a theology degree. (
    During the YouTube debate Huckabee said, “I think I’m stronger than most people because I truly understand the nature of the war that we are in with Islamo fascism. These are people that want to kill us. It’s a theocratic war. And I don’t know if anybody fully understands that. I’m the only guy on that stage with a theology degree. I think I understand it really well.”

    This information alone should raise the doubts of Christian supporters. You can't serve two gods. Isn't this a double standard? We've been fooled long enough by establishment-picked wolf candidates wearing sheep clothing.

    December 25, 2007 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  4. Dan Crozier Melbourne Victoria Australia

    the book shelf looks like a plus sign perhaps he is a secret numerologist...... or maybe it is just a book shelf... from an Australian perspective you guys need to relax.


    December 25, 2007 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  5. Melanie, Maryland

    I find it truly amazing how easily people can be led to believe lies and I have to agree with Mike from New York that it's sad when people cannot wish each other Merry Christmas any more without others suspecting them of a hidden agenda.

    We need to start thinking for ourselves and stop letting the media lead us around by the noses. Let's make our own choices so then if anyone deserves to be blamed, we can stand up and say, "I made a mistake and now I have to live with the consequences."

    Common sense has truly died.

    January 16, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
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