January 1st, 2008
11:58 PM ET
9 years ago

New Huckabee ad appeals to Christian conservatives

A Christian symbol makes an appearance in a new Huckabee ad.

A Christian symbol makes an appearance in a new Huckabee ad.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - For the second time in the past two weeks, presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee has aired a commercial in which a Christian symbol appears in the background.

In the campaign ad, Huckabee is addressing members of the Iowa Christian Alliance, an organization whose symbol is the ichthys which appears on a banner that is shown prominently at the open and close of the 30 second spot. The ICA is an influential social conservative organization in Iowa, and Huckabee can be seen speaking about his opposition to abortion before the group.

The ichthys, which resembles a fish, is well-known in evangelical circles as the symbol used by early Christians to secretly identify one another without attracting persecution.

The Huckabee campaign unveiled this ad as well as another on its campaign Web site Monday afternoon, hours after the former Arkansas governor reversed course and decided against airing a negative campaign commercial targeting rival Mitt Romney.“Our Values” is currently airing in Iowa, while "Tax Cuts Matter" is airing in New Hampshire, according to a campaign spokeswoman.

"The purpose of these ads is to highlight the things that truly matter – while underscoring my conservative record of leadership and my vision for America moving forward," Huckabee said in a news release Tuesday announcing the ads. "As we enter the closing days of the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses, there are a lot of things being said on television and sent to mailboxes across the Hawkeye state. I urge Iowans to look beyond the rhetoric and seek the truth about my record and optimistic plans for our nation's future.”

Iowa will host the first presidential nominating contest Thursday, and evangelical conservatives are an important voting bloc in the caucuses. Fiscal conservatives play an influential role in the Republican primary in New Hampshire, which will take place next week.

“The pro-life position was the one espoused by our Founding Fathers when they said that all of us are created equal, endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights,” Huckabee says in the ad. “The first one they listed was life. Nobody has a greater level of intrinsic worth or value than another person. Being unborn doesn’t make you less valuable.

“Maybe instead of having our values trampled all over every single day and night, we would express to America what those values are: Family, life, freedom. Those things matter to us - always have, always will.”

A Huckabee spokesperson could not be reached for comment.

In late December, Huckabee dismissed suggestions that he was trying to send a subliminal message to Christian voters in a campaign commercial that appeared to show a cross floating behind him. The cross was an outline of a shelf.

“Actually I will confess this, if you play this spot backwards it says ‘Paul is Dead, Paul is Dead, Paul is Dead,’” the presidential candidate joked to reporters. “So the next thing you know, someone will be playing it backwards to find out the subliminal messages that are really there.”

–CNN's Rebecca Sinderbrand

Filed under: Iowa • Mike Huckabee
soundoff (128 Responses)
  1. David, Oregon City

    Iowa poll numbers are starting to emerge with Mike Huckabee 2 to 1 over Mitt Romney. It appears in the final moments before the polls, Iowa voters are looking for a candidate with integrity rather than money.

    January 1, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  2. mike kaplan

    You know, Huckabee is free to advertise his religious faith if he thinks that's going to get him elected.

    But this is probably a tactical mistake that just won't work today. Besides Jews, Hindus, Muslims, atheists, and agnostics, this country is also home to many millions of citizens who are are Christians but who understand that this is a secular nation, based on a Constitution that does not ONCE mention God, gods, or Jesus......and who will reject someone who seems to think that the fact that he is a Christian constitutes a good reason to elect him.

    All of you fools who will be commenting on this board how this is a "Christian Nation" really need to learn something about our history and about what is and is not in the Constitution.

    January 1, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  3. MT

    Can we please drop the harping on the Christian symbol thing?? So what? This guy is a self professed Christian – he touts Christian values, says that his Christian values shape his political opinions – so why the heck can't he have Christian symbols in his ads??? He is targeting a demographic that he feels he identifies with just like all the other candidates. Why is this wrong but it is okay for John Edwards to target bue collar workers and go on about his working class roots? I am not supporting Huckabee but this is just annoying.

    January 1, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  4. childetx

    I'm not surprised that Time magazine rated him "One of America's best governors". Time is one of the most liberal magazines in this country, so of course they would single out a liberal Republican governor.

    January 1, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  5. Nicholas in Atlanta

    If Huckabee wants to save money and attract the religious conservatives, he could make one commercial saying "I despise homosexuals and support ammending the Constitution to remove them from the United States" and they'd all fall in line. Thank God he'll never be President!

    January 1, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  6. Arron, NYC NY

    To ALL followers of Jesus. We must elect an President with a Biblical viewpoint on life. This nation is already on the road to judgment. We need to STOP voting for candidate that are Christian in title only...

    Vote Huckabee for 2008 !

    LESS Christians, MORE Disciples Needed

    January 1, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  7. Tyrone

    Mitt Romney passion for America will carry him through.
    The Huckabee and Wanna be (MCain) just aren't Presidential Material. I love God and I am a good christian and I like Romney better. I like Huckabee religous beliefs more than Romney's but we are picking a President not which church to attend on Sunday,

    January 1, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  8. Chris, Middletown, CT

    A country....described as a "melting pot" – needs a moderate at the helm....not one that panders to either the left or the right wing of either party.....

    A moderate is what the country needs....a social liberal and fiscal conservative – only one running...Giuliani – now...if the Republicans want to fall back to their old ways...and nominate anyone else – I will vote for Obama (along with many Republicans.....while I don't agree with his left wing policies...I do find his honesty refreshing..) – Giuliani is the moderate we need now....ties both parties together...and represents 70% of the country who describe themselves as "moderate"

    January 1, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  9. Fred

    Typical for the slimy and lying Mr. Huckabee....and timed perfectly, considering that the Iowa Christian Alliance endorsed Romney last week, too. He's playing on people's ignorance, just like he did in Arkansas. Sadly, many of my fellow Christians will be absorbed by his charm and lies. Worse still is the fact that the ICA even back Romney in the first place! Good grief, what a shambles is left of the faith that built nations.

    January 1, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  10. Lorenz, Queens, NY

    Just Say No to THEOCRACIES

    January 1, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  11. Patty D.

    Why, Oh Why do these canidates forever pander to these people? These are the people who brought us Bush. And we know what a fine job he did. I know it will be a long time before I ever vote for a Republican again. if ever.

    January 1, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  12. Brent

    Supposedly in the ad with the bookshelves that "happen" to form a lighted cross was just coincidence. Now are we to believe this after this blatant religious ad? Was he not proud of the ad and his religious leanings then, but now is? Can you say....using God and religion for the wrong reason.

    January 1, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  13. Chetan

    Oh my god - next will be the American Inquisition.

    January 1, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  14. Tejano Tater

    If only the Maniacal Huckabeast could refrain from it's bigoted attacks on OTHER people's religous beliefs/faith systems (like Jews/Mormons/Catholics/Protestants, etcetera) which are different from it's own specific version of a religion. Then he would be a true American with an understanding of RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE/FREEDOM OF REIGION...you know...like our founding fathers so lovingly placed in our CONSTITUTION...yeah...try it Mr. HuckaBeast...or are you running for grand Wizard of the Month now??? Perhaps??? Uh, huh...

    January 1, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  15. Jeff Burke

    There are also Christian symbols in the US Congress, the Whitehouse, The Supreme Court, and almost every courtroom of every level in every state.

    January 1, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  16. George W. Scherf

    This guy is nothing more than a 2008 Nazi and a continuation of the Fascist Bush Regime.

    Kill PNAC.

    Restore this Country and Constitution:


    We're waging war against these Homegrown Nazis and they're sh**ing their pants.

    Good Luck.

    January 1, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  17. John, NC

    Way to go Huck

    January 1, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  18. Mark

    Oh no!!! Now what?!?!? He might pray when he goes home too. How awful.

    What a joke this whole thing has become. First a BOOKSHELF isn't a Christian symbol. Nope, just a mere object that holds books. Oh no, but his might have a Bible on it. The humanity!!!!

    January 1, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  19. s

    glad he had the courage...and your right...even today it's a symbol we Christians know about and still use

    January 1, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  20. Judy

    The "Our Values" ad is an out take of his speech to the Iowa Christian Alliance so it is their backdrop that appears in the ad. So, yes the fish, a Christian symbol appears. What do you expect? He was giving a speech to a Christian organization.

    Time to stop playing gotcha. The "cross" in the "What Matters Most" ad was a book shelf.

    January 1, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  21. Robert Haas, Kansas City, Mp

    Yes, "Icthys" means Fish in Greek. There is something very , very fishy about the whole shebang. Religion is a matter of belief and not of FACT.
    Also, can the world at large accept a "President Huckabee?"

    January 1, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  22. Kimberly

    Would anyone even notice if it weren't "Christian"? Relax, folks.

    January 1, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  23. TrueChristian, MN

    As a Christian I am sick to death of politicians trying to pander to me saying they represent Christ. I know who Christ is Mike and you aren't him. I want someone who will represent the PEOPLE they were elected to represent. This is getting ridiculous. If he wants to run on a Christ platform, go back to preaching. Or was $25,000 a sermon not enough for you?

    January 1, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  24. John, Hudson, Ohio

    I would rather see a Christian symbol in the background than Bill Clinton.

    January 1, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  25. ZB

    Does Mike Huckabee think he's God? Or that he is the only person who can do so? This guy is arrogant.

    January 1, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
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