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)

    Is it only me or does this guy look like ELMER FUDD?

    December 26, 2007 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  2. Tammy Greensboro, NC

    I think I will vote for a Presdent that makes a threat to get my vote. Just what we need, a REDNECK in the White House! Let's all go out and kill something fer supper thing you know he'll be putting a cement pond in at the White House!

    December 26, 2007 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  3. Garry Berman, Westampton, NJ

    I'm not very big on people who throw around the word "sin" in everyday conversation. But I will use it myself here. Huckabee, who continues to thrive on preaching his brand of evangelical Christianity in his hope to win the votes of his fellow right-wing extremists, also seems to delight in committing a sin against nature. He kills animals for sheer enjoyment, and doesn't consider that his God might have a problem with that. Well, I do. It's bad enough that this despicable man, whom everyone is calling such a swell guy because of his easygoing attitude,would re-write half of the Constitution if he could, adding an amendment banning all abortions, and another banning gay marriage. He is an ignorant, intolerant backwoods hypocrite who is all too eager to say and do anything, including killing animals, to win the love of people with whom I wouldn't want to be stuck in the same room.
    I don't care what kind of a jovial or "regular" guy he supposedly is.
    I find him to be an absolutely awful human being.

    December 26, 2007 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  4. Mark,Hot Springs Arkansas

    Get Over It,hunting is a sport down South.

    December 26, 2007 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  5. David, Vancouver, Canada

    He takes the press out to watch him snuff the life out of three happily living creatures to appeal to voters. I'm only the only one who thinks that's insane?

    December 26, 2007 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  6. Lisa Williams, Bloomington. IN

    Despite my vegetarianism, I have respect, for example, for my friend who hunts but does so for food and first purifies himself at a sweat lodge and offers prayers for the spirits of the animals he kills. It is not a sport, and it certainly isn't a freaking photo op designed to promote some idiotic image. Huckabee revolts me with this.

    December 26, 2007 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  7. EB Rideout, Georgia

    YeeHaw! Good shootin' if I do say so.

    That dang 'ol Hukkybee boy shores gonna git my vote! Them thar fesunts put up one heck of a fight, they do.

    Now ifin this feller can learn to chew tobakky and walk at the same time he'll carry the whole south, in spite of his full set of teeth.

    December 26, 2007 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  8. David, Vancouver, Canada

    He takes the press out to watch him snuff the life out of three happily living creatures to appeal to voters. Am I the only one who thinks that's insane?

    December 26, 2007 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  9. N.

    Think you shot yourself with that one.

    December 26, 2007 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  10. Chris,Columbus, Ohio

    Wow, what a Loser !

    Can't we get any educated dguys to run for the Presiden't office anymore ?

    December 26, 2007 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  11. Jen Cedar Falls, IA

    This picture and Huck's doofus comment about voting for him as opposed to NOT voting for him are the sinking blocks to his candidacy. Just like Kerry's picture of his "fake hunt" and his doofus comment. I agree, this man wasn't hunting for game, for supper or for fun. He was hunting for VOTES! Boo!

    December 26, 2007 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  12. Ticker Shock, Richmond,VA

    That is just sick. I will not watch the video though. What a coward he must be.

    December 26, 2007 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  13. John, Oklahoma City, OK

    Lucky guy. I haven't been able to go out this season...

    December 26, 2007 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  14. A thinking woman

    Good for Huckabee; he's not afraid to hunt pheasants regardless of what the animal rights' groupies will say about him. I wonder if all animal rights' supporters are vegetarians and if they ever wear leather. Do they support the rights of ALL animals such as bugs and worms, ticks and leeches? I'm glad Huckabee is man enough to use a gun, hunt for food (as was mentioned in the article) and not wimp out. Men should be men and I'm glad some of them still know how to hunt AND go to war to protect our nation. Those who call this redneck mentality have been brainwashed by the wimps who don't know how to load a gun. Whatcha gonna do if/when the terrorists come?

    December 26, 2007 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |

    Seems CNN just wants to give us a slanted point of view.

    Why don't they tell us the whole story? It's not like it costs anymore to put a few more words here.

    This article paints Huck as a gun-crazed nut. But he is a hunter, just as millions of Americans are.

    December 26, 2007 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  16. Trang, Fremont, CA

    Killing an animal for entertainment? Thank you for informing me about this. Now, he's off my list.

    December 26, 2007 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |

    CNN calls itself the "Best Political Team"?

    I'm starting to read what is on and a lot more now, thanks to!

    December 26, 2007 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  18. That's Reality


    Huckabee is a normal guy, above average and exceptional, and that's why he's doing so well without the huge amount of $$ the other candidates have at their disposal.

    December 26, 2007 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  19. Mike Abraham, Roxbury, CT

    Just another panderer.

    December 26, 2007 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  20. Cody, Houston, Texas

    Way to liberally categorically frame an article CNN. Just had to hone in on quotes because heaven forbid the world know you don't want Mike Huckabee to be the next President of the United States.

    I knew from the moment I saw the headline that you were going to frame Huckabee in a negative light. Just knew it. For once give me objective news, please.

    Merry Christmas,

    December 26, 2007 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  21. Don't let their subliminal tactics fool you

    Why is the hyperlink for this story "Ticker: Huckabee kills a pheasant on camera" when he did not kill a pheasant on camera? How many people are going to browse the headlines and see this garbage without reading the story to find out that he did not kill a pheasant "on camera".

    What a great way for the typical liberal CNN to steer the thoughts of the unwitting American people.

    December 26, 2007 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  22. Linda, Spring, Texas

    This sickens me. He was my favorite, until now. How sad it is when people kill animals. He will get what he deserves.

    December 26, 2007 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  23. Mrs. America

    Does this guy have a death thing? To say if people don't vote for him . . . This is the same guy that said something about losing candidates in a warm bath with razor blades.

    If anyone wonders where his dog-murdering son learned how to treat God's creatures, you're looking at him, there with the birds.

    December 26, 2007 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  24. Dan, Battle Creek Michigan

    "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."

    So when I don't vote for Mike, he intends to show up at my door and shoot me ... nice. Mike, that's not funny at all. Even if it was a joke, you still just threatened the American public. So are you a terrorist?

    December 26, 2007 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  25. james, newport, KY

    All of the people posting these anti-hunting comments better not be so hypocritical. I'm sure most of you eat beef, pork, or chicken. Just because it came in a plastic package from the grocery store doesn't mean it wasn't killed.
    The article said they would clean and eat the birds. Nothing wrong with that.

    And if you are too stupid to pick up on Huckabee's sarcasm, then maybe you should vote for a Democrat.

    December 26, 2007 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
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