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. John Gustafson

    I will not vote for any presidential candidate posing as a NRA poster wanabee. Huck was not hunting for sport but for only votes.

    December 26, 2007 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  2. Blayze Kohime, Columbus OH

    Why would I want someone to be President if they were only a normal guy? Shouldn't a President be above average, even extraordinary?

    December 26, 2007 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  3. Shawnie - Grants Pass OR

    So now Huck-a-bigot is the "real" hunter? Please! Romney just picked up a huge endorsement in NH – The Republican house Leader...that outdoes a pheasant any day.

    December 26, 2007 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  4. Mike O

    When Fred Thompson goes hunting, he doesn't need the shotgun. He just glares at the bird and it falls from the sky, dressed and cooked.

    OK, people a little humor is in order for the silliness of campaigning. It is, after all, 'silly season'.

    December 26, 2007 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  5. JB post falls id

    Good for him. This is a lame story but pheasants are tasty.

    December 26, 2007 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  6. Adam, Bedminster, NJ

    You never know when one's skill as a marksman might come in handy when you are President

    December 26, 2007 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    Huckabee has pulled the same hunting crap as many others, and believes that it'll cement his position and earn the pro-gun vote. Hunting is an entirely different subject and can't be linked to gun ownership.

    December 26, 2007 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  8. Tommy, New Port Richey FL

    I can not believe he said that I am a life long Republican and I wasn't planning on voting for Huckabee and now I hope others won't. To even jokingly say if you don't vote for me this will happen refering to dead animals is ridiculous! I hate to see my party being hijacked by the over-zealous religious right!

    December 26, 2007 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  9. David Johnson Kansas City

    Are we supposed to be impressed? Or are we supposed to laugh?

    December 26, 2007 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  10. D. Carlisle

    This guy is a pathetic joke. America, please don't this man's Christian lip serive and NRA appeal fool you. Do your not vote for Huckabee.

    December 26, 2007 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  11. Chris, Jacksonville, FL

    I more I see Huckabee the more I really, really dis-like this guy.

    What a creep.

    And I am a Republican.

    December 26, 2007 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  12. FV, Tampa, FL

    Thou shalt not KILL there Preacher man..

    thou WILL however come off like an bucktoothed redneck to secure that highly coveted Inbred Iowan vote!

    December 26, 2007 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  13. Scott, Winston-Salem, NC

    Here we go again; yet another wimpy, cowardly MURDERER who can't get his rocks off any other way except by killing an innocent, inoffensive living being. This moron piece of walking human garbage calls himself Christian? You will NEVER see my vote, Mr. Huk-a-moron. And I WILL get in your way; every chance I get. Care to turn your weapons against ME, you cowardly piece of trash?

    December 26, 2007 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  14. Surrealist, Fort Myers, FL

    What a Kook!!

    I cannot believe anyone takes this "snake oil salesman" seriously.

    FYI–Gun dude–while many Americans do own guns–the number that use them for hunting is much smaller than the total guns out there.

    Sport shooting, home defense–makes up the majority of owners that I know. Most Americans know they can get all the "game" they need from the supermarket!! There's no need to go out an shoot birds flushed out by "flunkies" or dogs.

    What does anybody see in this Repulo-Crat.

    December 26, 2007 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  15. mike kaplanh

    We just had 8 years of a president who was elected (twice!) largely because of the idea that the more religious candidate will be better for the country, and also because he did a better job of pretending to be a "regular guy", or a "guy you'd like to have a beer with".

    And look what that got us. I sincerely hope that at least some of us learned some lessons, and won't get fooled again.

    I don't want to hear any more about a candidate's religious beliefs- we already know more than we need to know. And please spare me the nonsense about what a "regular guy" he is. The presidency requires much more than a "regular guy"- the last 8 years have proven that.

    December 26, 2007 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  16. jay morse Butte, MT

    What a stooge! Even Hillary would have no problem beating this guy in a general election. If you think we have a president now who thinks it is his duty to the nation in a modern day Crusade, just imagine what you would get with Huckabee. I don't think the U.S. could withstand 4 more years of this.

    December 26, 2007 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  17. Craig Finnegan

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

    -Mike Huckabee, to a bunch of (American) pheasants.

    December 26, 2007 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  18. Bukky Balt MD

    Why is it that you never see a Democrat shooting defensless animals. It is Not OK to kill things for fun. People wonder why IDIOTS go "hunting" in malls. Stop shooting animals for the shear fun of it and maybe kids will stop shoot people for the fun of it...

    December 26, 2007 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  19. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    This is the worst photo opportunity Huckabee could have taken. Our soldiers in Iraq are using weapons to stay alive and Huckabee is sporting his weapon for pleasure. Huckabee is a fraud and an idiot. GWB has more sense than Huckabee on Christmas day.

    December 26, 2007 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  20. Jay Howard, Atlanta, Georgia

    Sorry, Mr. "Hickabee," but the vast majority of American males don't feel the need to kill small animals to prove their manhood. If you want to be the fundamentalist redneck moron candidate, have at it, but don't claim to be a "regular guy." That's an insult to the rest of us.

    December 26, 2007 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  21. Jack Barnes

    "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.

    December 26, 2007 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  22. Sammy, Bloomfield NJ

    Wow.. Where is PETA (aka Idiots) on this issue.. If it was Mike Vick.. it would have been uproar..

    December 26, 2007 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  23. Pixie, Murfreesboro, TN

    OMG look at Huckabee playing the gender car by pandering to white men! What a calculating opportunist!!! Does his cold ambition know no bounds???


    December 26, 2007 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  24. Hansen, Boise, Idaho

    He just lost my vote thanks to his contrived "media moment." Hunting will be a sport when the animals are equipped with guns, ammo, spotlights, telescopes, SUVs and a dog. Until then, it's just killing.

    December 26, 2007 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  25. Mindy, NY, NY

    Isn't this guy pro-life? Isn't this a bit contradictory? I'm not saying whether I'm pro-life or pro-choice...but just pointing out the irony.

    December 26, 2007 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
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