December 27th, 2007
06:30 AM ET
14 years ago

Huckabee goes hunting

Watch scenes from Huckabee's hunting outing Wednesday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - It's become a campaign staple for all presidential candidates: perform an activity that demonstrates 'regular-guy' status.

Republican Mike Huckabee took his turn Wednesday, going on a pheasant hunt in Osceola, Iowa during which the Arkansas governor made it clear he is no stranger to the great outdoors.

"Maybe it will show that I certainly understand the culture of being outdoors," he said of the expedition. "It's not something we had to go out and get a primer in. It's very much ordinary to me."

Huckabee's team brought back three pheasants - one of which the candidate claimed he personally shot - and promised they'd be "cleaned and eaten."

Huckabee, who polls show continues to hold onto his lead in Iowa eight days before the state¹s caucuses - also joked the trip could serve as a metaphorical campaign message.

"Don't get in my way," he said while pointing to the three dead birds.

"This is what happens…You vote for me, you live. You don't…there you go."

Huckabee said he was as a lifelong hunter, a statement that harkened back to rival Mitt Romney's similar claim earlier this year. The former Massachusetts governor later backtracked from that statement, saying he had only hunted "small varmints" occasionally.

Huckabee's rise is fueled in part by his "normal guy" appeal, and the governor took the opportunity to reinforce his heartland roots.

“People in Middle America feel like folks will come and campaign in Iowa, and then they get elected and they forget that people out here in flyover land still exist," he said. “Some of us grew up in the middle of the country and still live here."

- CNN's Alexander Mooney and Dana Bash

Filed under: Iowa • Mike Huckabee • Mitt Romney
soundoff (344 Responses)
  1. Joe, Philadelpha, PA

    I think hunter try to look manly because they are insecure about something. Huckabee is so small, the bee says is it in?

    December 27, 2007 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  2. Anonymous, Upstate, NY

    "The culture of being outdoors" that I know and love has nothing to do with dressing in day-glo orange and killing things. He couldn't contain his glee, too, that HE SHOT IT. I wonder what Jesus Christ would have thought about killing for sport? Pathetic hypocrite.

    December 27, 2007 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  3. Carole Huebotter, Charlevoix, Michigan

    Why is it that some men have to prove their manhood by killing defenseless animals?

    December 27, 2007 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  4. Ian

    Michael Dukakis looked completely dopey in that tank PR picture years ago, but Michael Huckabee looks positively maniacal in this hunting PR photo.

    December 27, 2007 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  5. MD, Madison, WI

    I thought that picture looked like someone else, and I could not place it right away. Then it came to me, oh my God! It looks just like a real life Elmer Fudd from the Looney Tunes! Why sure, and he has done shot him a pesky pheasant! Is this apropos or what?

    December 27, 2007 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  6. Craig K., Middletown, DE

    I liked Huckabee until this silly stunt. You killed an animal needlessly for votes, which is reckless and shows me that this idiot does not belong in the Whitehouse. As a result, I just eliminated you from my list!

    December 27, 2007 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  7. Karen Houston TX

    Another media stunt for the Super-Panderer Huck! "Be vewy vewy qwiet...I'm hunting voters."

    December 27, 2007 01:20 am at 1:20 am |
  8. Allen, Seattle, WA

    22 comments and not one (till this) with any logic or intelligence. Way to go CNN. Can't you people say anything but "oh my gosh, he's such a hick; as a matter of fact anyone who hunts is a unintelligent hick that probably isn't even potty trained" Grow up. Thank gosh not everyone has to play the "I'm so much more sophisticated and intellectual than you" routine.

    December 27, 2007 01:28 am at 1:28 am |
  9. Sukie, Medford, OR

    I have only one belief about gun ownership. As long as the person who gets shot is related to the shooter and not me, I don't really care who they shoot.

    As for myself, I just bought a taser.

    December 27, 2007 01:31 am at 1:31 am |
  10. Lynn Metcalf; Waldron, AR

    First of all, Huckabee is NOT our governor any longer. In fact, many people were counting down the days until he was no longer our governor. Mr. Huckabee is using all the stops to make people of America believe he a "good ol religious boy" fact he is none of those. He uses whatever he can to gain votes. In Arkansas, he used the eduation system to gain the trust of Arkansas teachers and obtain their vote..and for some it worked. It only took a short time to see it was all an act. He did more to worsen the education system, teacher morale, and teacher pay than anyone before him! Each day in the classroom we still see the effects of his actions.
    When he left office, he suspicously cleared computers, and drained monies that were to be used by the next governor, Mike Bebe. The American people do not need to trust this man...he is the poster child for "dirty politicians."

    December 27, 2007 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
  11. Steve Blaine Washington

    Huckabee should address the issue of Civil Rights for Black people in the South especially Arkansas instead of running for President. They deserve the same rights in the Southern States as in the Northern and Western States.
    After all the Civil War has been over for 147 years.

    December 27, 2007 01:38 am at 1:38 am |
  12. Mark, Elizabethtown, Kentucky

    Could there be a connection between Huckabee and Dick Cheney?

    December 27, 2007 01:44 am at 1:44 am |
  13. Sandra TN

    Now, I know for sure, I won't vote for him. He's a complete moron. Why would anyone in their right mind, want this guy running our country?

    December 27, 2007 01:59 am at 1:59 am |
  14. Tony T Coldwater Michigan


    Elmer Fudd for President!!!

    December 27, 2007 02:07 am at 2:07 am |
  15. Joe Shea, Bradenton, Fla.

    There go the birdwatchers – and many others who might have voted for this birdbrain.

    December 27, 2007 02:10 am at 2:10 am |
  16. Dario Brooklyn, NY

    I think everyone's comments pretty much sums it up. The guy is appealing to his base. It's definitely sad that a minister thinks that's Christian behavior.

    December 27, 2007 02:19 am at 2:19 am |
  17. Pam Holt Los Angeles, CA

    Like Father, Like Son.

    They both enjoy killing animals.

    December 27, 2007 02:20 am at 2:20 am |
  18. Lynne Bloom

    I hope the people of Iowa recognize what a miserable piece of slime this man is and use him for target practice.

    December 27, 2007 02:38 am at 2:38 am |
  19. Ernest Worrell, Nevada

    Yeah, he's a real man. Hope he doesn't kill dogs like his idiot son. And then you have Mitt who goes on vacation with his pet dog tied to the roof of his station wagon. What a group.

    December 27, 2007 02:48 am at 2:48 am |
  20. Ed - Memphis, Tn

    I severely dislike this man. However, what I hate even more is people like one above me who said that it's wrong to kill an animal for sport... but then he said he likes to have a barbecue. And just what is the difference? Death is death. You don't need meat– I declare you a hypocrite.

    Vegan. Always. Try it and you'll see why. Until then, you can't say it's not for you. I've been a meat-eater and I've become a vegan. I've tried both worlds and I know which one I'll always be. Give it a try.

    December 27, 2007 02:48 am at 2:48 am |
  21. Darrel Dickson, Enumclaw, Washington

    CCN is promoting the HUCKSTER! MIKE HUCKSTER, The so called "Christian Leader" just got paid $10k for preaching the Word of God. Last time I read the new testament it said you should not preach "for filthy lucre". I believe that churches are private operating foundations, and by law are prohibited from endorsing canidates. Now he is going out and killing for his own gain? STOP THE WOLF IN SHEEPS CLOTHING.

    December 27, 2007 02:58 am at 2:58 am |
  22. Anonymous

    kill an animal- lose a vote. good job.

    December 27, 2007 03:07 am at 3:07 am |
  23. Steven, Los Angeles Ca.

    Ron Paul would never stage such a cheap, obvious ploy for NRA votes. The fact that Huckabees comments about shooting and killing politcal opponents have not been picked up in the media is a testament to the fact that he is the new selected by the establishment Republican topgun. What a sham!

    Ron Paul is the only REAL human being running for President. He would never disgrace himself like this. Huckabee should never be allowed to forget this pathetic display and his words today. If he can speak so cavalierly about life and killing, what kind of Commander in Chief will he make?

    December 27, 2007 03:29 am at 3:29 am |
  24. Sam IA

    This looks more like a skeet shoot than hunting. Do you in the media really think someone leading in the polls would be presented with a shot that he might miss?
    Where did the bird go. In the trash? As a lifelong hunter this display of senseless killing for a few points with Bubba and the NRA stinks.
    Growing up in rural Iowa i also hunted and the food was consumed by my family but if we didn't need it i would just leave my rifle or shotgun at home and set in the timber and watch the deer, sqirrels, pheasant, and the rest of God's creatures. That was always my greatest afternoon.
    But then again as a democrat who understands that the NRA is nothing more than a rightwing trojan horse I suppose this point would be moot to a hate radio addict.

    December 27, 2007 03:48 am at 3:48 am |
  25. Paul C, Palmetto Bay, FL

    If you vote for this jerk because he can shoot a defenseless bird then we are seriously in trouble.
    Where's the VP when we need him?

    December 27, 2007 03:52 am at 3:52 am |
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