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. Raja

    How can one equate killing "pheasants and small varmints" to being a normal guy? And just how can one justify killing in any manner at all? I hope the sensible people of this great country will make tproper decisions, and vote such bumpkins off the list! God save America!

    December 26, 2007 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  2. Adam Smith, somewhere in time

    This really wasnt a hunting trip it was actually a practice session to prepare themselves for the upcoming war on corporate interests. This is no joke if elected Huckabee and his gun toting redneck followers are planning on a massive attack on greedy outsourcing and un American companies. I recomend you vote for him and get your shot gun ready its the only way to save America from being destroyed by greedy multinationals.

    December 26, 2007 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  3. Lee Carter, San Francisco, CA

    Ok.. Romney and Huckabee lost my vote when religion became an issue.. Remember this country has separation of church and state. However, we seem to be the only democratic nation where political issues are also religious issues.

    Besides,,, I don't believe in killing animals for sport, only for survival if necessary.

    December 26, 2007 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    He is a disgusting loser. Go home and take care of your son!

    December 26, 2007 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  5. GL, NY, NY

    If this hillbilly gets the GOP nomination I will lose all hope for this once great nation.

    December 26, 2007 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  6. John Phillips, Lake Forest, CA

    Did he actually say what is quoted here: "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 is actually threatening us with murder if we do not vote for him? Even as a joke, it is bizarre. If I were to say such a thing about the current administration if they didn't pass some legislation or were to veto a bill, what would happen to me? Gitmo, or worse?

    Once again, CNN and the MSM are AWOL with anything other than pandering blather.

    st john

    December 26, 2007 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  7. Terry, El Paso, TX

    Cheap Shot Awards:
    First Prize
    "I suppose it is a little more humane that his usual family tradition of hanging and torturing a dog, and then covering it up." Scott, Toledo OH

    Second Prize
    "Did he hang and stone the dog that brought it back to him , too?" Angel, Los Angeles of Anaheim

    December 26, 2007 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  8. Brad, from the great state of Texas

    Oh my God, who cares? I seriously can't believe people are making a fuss over this, although the pacifistic PETA loons never cease to amaze me. By the way, I'm not a hunter by any means, but I do support hunting within the law.

    December 26, 2007 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  9. G


    December 26, 2007 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  10. Brian, Syracuse NY

    I'm sorry, I thought your article said he shot a peasant, not a pheasant. Carry on.

    December 26, 2007 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  11. Nan Bozarth, Wilmington, NC

    So, Mr. "ProLife" has to kill an innocent bird to prove he is a man?? What, they don't provide bird "meat" in Arkansas groceries??

    This is the most ridiculous "stunt" yet to try to prove oneself "manly" enough for the White House. Sweet Jesus Governor Huckster... Eeewww!!!

    December 26, 2007 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  12. David, NC

    Just because he was out "hunting for votes" doesn't make him a bad canidate! ALL canidates do photo ops for votes, especially the democratic party. He is a very good canidate with good moral values. Aswell as he supports a Fair Tax! The answer to all our economic problems!

    December 26, 2007 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  13. Tim, Lexington, KY

    How disgusting. You lost any chance of a vote from me.

    December 26, 2007 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  14. John, Boston, MA

    "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."

    Is this the man you would want running your country? That is the kind of attitude that is going to get this country into trouble. The only decent and honest man running for the Republican nomination is Ron Paul.

    December 26, 2007 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  15. Independent in IA

    Suspicion confirmed: Huckaburp was God's experiment in artificial stupidity.

    In fact, this is an individual who fell out of the 'stupid' tree and hit every branch on the way down.

    December 26, 2007 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  16. Daniel, NY

    A new general election poll from North Carolina shows that Huckabee would be the strongest Republican against Hillary Clinton, who would be surprisingly competitive in this usually reliably red state. Link to poll.

    December 26, 2007 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  17. Tim, Lexington, KY

    The fifth commandment is "Honor thy Father and Mother". Six is "Thou shall not kill."

    December 26, 2007 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  18. Susie, Newark, Oh

    Nice. What a sicko. Kills the birds then compares them to voters – if you don't vote for him – you're dead.

    While I have a great sense of humor – I don't get his "joke". It's not funny.

    Good enough reason for me not to vote for Huckabee. His mind seems pretty distorted.

    Too, he apparently cannot distinguish between a game bird and a "varmint".

    December 26, 2007 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  19. Joann, Cranston, RI

    The minute I saw that Awful commercial insinuating he killed birds in "cold blood" I made a phone call. I can't believe he thinks this is going to help him. People don't want to see animals (no matter what the species) getting killed for sport, especially in this day and age. I now hate him and will not vote for Huckaby! That commercial is Awful and I hope more people find it repulsive.

    December 26, 2007 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  20. Terry, Winslow, AZ

    "Cleaned and eaten ..." Yeah, right! They went into the trash immediately and he won't see them again. But, as the Good Christian he is, he doesn't respect any life except human. Hey Huckabee, an omelet is simply a collection of chicken abortions. Get it?

    December 26, 2007 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  21. Jay, Redlands, CA

    This is the hypothetical argument I made during the whole Michael Vick fiasco...and now I have a realistic situation to use. In no way will I defend the actions of Michael Vick for dogfighting, but I find it very ironic that many people who condemned Mike Vick, see nothing wrong with Mike Huckabee killing an animal for entertainment...This country is so devoid of common sense that it is pathetic. I'm sure this issue will not be raised in the media, either.

    December 26, 2007 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  22. marty albq. nm

    I know this comment wont get posted i know out of desperation you will only post negative comments about this man.why? because he is progun a hunter he has said what he kills he puts on the table and eats there is nothing wrong with that.

    December 26, 2007 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  23. Jason, Cola, SC

    I used to think that hunting solely for sport was one of the lowest things that a man in the 21st century could possibly do. Now, I know that it is actually "hunting for a political photo op".

    Every single day I find something new about Huckabee that absolutely disgusts me.

    December 26, 2007 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  24. Schitfer Brain Mobile, AL

    Did he shoot any of his mates in the face? That's what I'm looking for in a president.

    Dick Cheney '08.

    December 26, 2007 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  25. Christian, Tampa FL

    He killed a peasant? How do you expect to win the peasant vote if you kill one?!

    Oh, wait... Sorry.

    December 26, 2007 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
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