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. Kate, Aurora CO

    America already voted for the "awww shucks" guy next door and look at the state of the country. I hope and pray my fellow Americans are not as ignorant and won't fall for the same line. Here's an idea, instead of a photo op shooting animals how about feeding the homeless or taking a tour of New Orleans that is still in ruins? Wake up people.

    December 27, 2007 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  2. Walt, Belton, TX

    Of course, CNN checked and verified that the Huckster had bought and had on his non-resident hunting license with pheasant stamp! Any life-long hunter wouldn't hunt without one, right?

    December 27, 2007 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  3. Willy, Chesapeake,VA

    At least Huckabee hunts unlike that John Kerry fool who still had the store bought tags on his clothing during the photo op.
    This guy just scares you liberals, don't he?

    December 27, 2007 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  4. Ron

    Huckabee just threatened to kill Romney, or anyone else who did not vote for him. That is terroristic threatening, and it's a crime. America, Please do NOT vote for this crimminal. Huckabee was always unelectable, today he became immoral.

    December 27, 2007 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  5. roger, conway sc

    Well here we go again this shows you the mentality of the republican party especially the right wing christian conservatives, we think the extremest in other countries are bad we need to step back and look at some of our own here in the U.S. This is just a sample of what we are in for if the GOP wins the presidency. VOTE DEMOCRATIC 08

    December 27, 2007 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  6. Anonymous

    It is good to see so many uninformed raging anti's speaking their mind. If you took the bird comment seriously you obivously have a problem distinguishing the difference between humor and reality. With that kind of dicision making capability you should all stay home on election day.

    For all the anti-hunters did Jesus not provide fish to feed thousands? Why would Jesus kill an animal, why do animals kill eat! Don't forget we are all animals. Take your self righteous attitudes and go back what makes you feel good and leave the conservation to the people who use it.....SPORTSMEN, campers, hikers, boaters, and any other outdoor activities. They save more animals per year than PETA and HSUS together. Remember the Robertson-Pittman act??? Remember any of the state run conservation branchs,(DNR)those dollars come from the people who pay to use the outdoors.
    Just investigate and quit taking stuff so serious...

    December 27, 2007 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  7. Jenny Robinson Aransas Pass Texas

    So, the big man killed pheasants with a big gun. If he thinks that will endear him to the people, he is nuts. After that little stunt I'd rather vote for Hillary (whom I can't stand)than for this idiot.


    December 27, 2007 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  8. Charles

    Tom A said "I knew it would be this right wing candidate. No one else would do anything this risky to just court their base…" Hmmm.... Ever heard of a man by the name of Senator John Kerry?

    December 27, 2007 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  9. Steve, an American

    All of you people busting his chops for killing a poor innocent animal, etc. are crazy. I hate to break it to you, but your burger comes from sweet ole bessie. And for you vegetarians, hey, those carrots are alive... perhaps not sentient, but living none the less. We all kill, deal with it.

    December 27, 2007 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  10. Dianna Elia South Salem, NY

    What a disgusting, inhumane threat to make, "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."

    He definetely lost the vote myself and any other animal lover and I will make sure I spread the word!

    December 27, 2007 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  11. Aaron Smithsburg, Maryland

    If it wasn't for hunters the ring neck pheasant would probably be extinct. Captive breeding sustained the population while pollution and pesticides decimated their population in the wild during the seventies and eighties. I hope he donated the meat or personally kept his kill for meat. I can't stand people that kill for sport. That's called a wasteful idiot. If you kill game you need to eat it or give it away to somebody who will.

    December 27, 2007 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  12. Tom Purdom, Ocala, FLorida

    So if we don't line up for Huckabee he's kill us? He's promoting irresponsiblity with guns as a political positive? Does he know of that Commandment, thou shalt not kill?

    December 27, 2007 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  13. Joe, Indianapolis,IN





    December 27, 2007 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  14. L, Florida

    I'm not suprised, the jerk thinks with what's between his thighs and would rather kill small animals and release murderers and rapists from prison then be a decent human being.

    Good to know he can show off and shoot a pheasant down. He is such a tool. It baffles me how someone this stupid can almost be president, but then again, W made it to office.

    Cananda is looking so good right now.

    December 27, 2007 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  15. Hughes

    – I don't care what religious background you come from – a religious person, whether a Rhabbi, a Priest, a Buddhist Monk, or an ordained minister like Huckabee (who should not be running precisely because he IS an ordained minister) should be an example of non-violence. That's why you have priests in war, at the bedside of a condemmed criminal. They aren't pulling the trigger, they are offering spiritual guidance. If Huckabee, like Vick, had killed an animal we all love and consider a pet, like a dog, cat, snake, or lizard – he would have been forced off the ticket. But who cares for a pheasant? They don't hurt. They don't feel pain. They are strictly here on this earth to serve us and to be fodder for our jokes. It's disgraceful.

    December 27, 2007 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  16. john

    c'mere you wascally wabbit, mitt womney! i'm gonna shoot you cuz i wanna be pwesident, huhuhuhu hu!

    doesn't anyone else notice the overwhelming resemblence to elmer fudd in this picture? 🙂

    December 27, 2007 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  17. Liza, Columbus, OH

    First he wants to quarantine people with AIDS. Then he wants me to "graciously submit to the servant leadership of my husband." Then he claims that my sole purpose on earth is to marry and procreate. Now he brags about the unneccesary killing of God's beautiful creatures and threatens that if we don't vote for him, we'll suffer the same fate. And he calls himself a Christian and wants to reclaim the United States for Christ? This guy is unbelievable. I'd rather not regress any further toward the dark ages than the Bush administration has already taken us. As an intelligent, financially independent, well educated woman who believes in the constitutional right to separation of church and state, I am ready for a president who represents ME. I'm sick of 60-something conservative white men trying to tell me how to live my live. Bring on Hillary or Barack and let one of them lead this country back to the twenty-first century.

    December 27, 2007 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  18. Jon, Plantation, FL

    Oh, how offended we all are... really... now let's get back to something, eating chicken and beef and ham and turkey and lobster, none of which involve killing any of God's creatures.

    Personally, I'm not into hunting... but let's be honest, people... the food comes from somewhere.

    December 27, 2007 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  19. jw, canadian,ok

    Well at least the Huckster knows what to shoot, when 'Dubya' was running for Gov of Texas he shot a bird on the endangered species list and was given a ticket by the Game Warden on duty.

    December 27, 2007 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  20. Katy Hill Prescott Az.

    America doesn't need a bible thumping, gun toting,male chauvanist pig to represent us. We already have enough of those in government. I can't believe there are still people who would actually vote for Huckaboom after 7 years of the Bush/Cheney fiasco.

    December 27, 2007 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  21. Heath, Bronx, NY

    Can somebody please give me clarity. Why is it when Michael Vick kills a dog in sport, he is put in jail and when Mike Huckabee kills a pheasant in sport he is considered macho and angling for votes??? Are you telling me, if Michael Vick would have eaten the dogs he could justify the kill and run for president? Is it no wonder that black people still feel there is a double standard in this country.

    December 27, 2007 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  22. Rich

    "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."

    I bet he has the same message for non-christian's too! If that statement doesn't say it all – I don't know what does.

    December 27, 2007 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  23. Michelle, AL

    For those of you talking about Huckabee killing for sport, especially the comment from "Seattle, Washington" that he killed for no reason other than sport, did you people read the whole story? It said his team killed 3 birds which would be cleaned and eaten. He didn't just shoot them for fun.

    And as far as the Bible saying Thou shalt not kill.. try reading the whole story there too. That is talking about killing humans. Go back to Genesis where God tells Adam that he has dominion over the animals, or when God says He has given us animals for food. If people never learned to hunt, none of us would be here. How do you think people in ancient civilizations survived? Or even frontiersmen who settled this country? Geez.. not everyone gets their food at the grocery store.

    I'm from Alabama, and I find it funny that people keep calling him a redneck, and talk about Southerners being so ignorant, yet they take so everything out of context and can't read anything they don't agree with without nitpicking and misinterpreting.

    December 27, 2007 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  24. Dianna Barrella Irvington NY

    Perhaps Huckabee should be a real man and go to Iraq and kill some terrorist not innocent creatures, and he claims to be a religious person.
    He is not religious nor a man to me!

    December 27, 2007 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  25. gilliganscorner

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

    Wow. Couple this with his comment about his opponents committing suicide with razor blades, and you really begin to wonder exactly what is wrong with him.
    Posted By Jack Barnes : December 26, 2007 5:09 pm

    Good Post Jack. Thought I would add the video so people could see what you are saying is factually correct:

    Click here: Huckabee Suggests Opponents Commit Suicide

    December 27, 2007 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
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