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. Ed, NC

    Amen to David, Oregon City.

    January 1, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  2. George

    Why is there a failure to mention Huckabee's flip-flopping on abortion and his liberal spending habits as governor to balance out the article?

    January 1, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  3. Wayne

    As a Rebulican, I will vote for this guy in the primaries, only to make sure that this Taliban Christian, or who ever he is, does not have a chance in the genreal election. I will be voting for Hillary for sure. This guy is bronze age stupid....doesnt even believe in evolution....please...this guy to be president of the US....NO WAY.

    January 1, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  4. Independent in IA

    Theocratic secularism....ya gotta love it.

    January 1, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  5. ZB

    Meant to write "think he's the only person who can talk to God." That's very dangerous in a democracy.
    Why should he listen to anyone?
    This is one of the oldest tricks in the book.
    Agreed with the comments that this is a losing strategy in today's America.

    January 1, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  6. ZB

    Must have drank a lot of coffee to post so much.
    To supporters of Huckabee: if you like his message of economic populism, why are you supporting the Republican Party? Hello, it is the party of the wealthy, NOT you. It hated you Middle America, always did. Nothing will change, even with Huckabee.
    Where ya been? We'd love to have you over....

    January 1, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  7. Jacque Bauer, Los Angeles, CA

    I have nothing against the Huckabee as a person, or of his faith. I do have a big problem with him wearing it on his sleeve to try and make polical points. If he saw Romney politicking his Mormon religion (which he has not and will not) anywhere as blatantly as this, then the Huckabee would be throwing a holy fit (as he has before).

    No more wimpy liberal moralists, please! We are all still suffering from the dark Jimmy Carter days, which were easily the worst of the past fifty years.

    January 1, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  8. Dave Stowell

    Huckabee's latest Christian symbol to appear in one of his ads is frightening; the last thing we need is to elect an ayatollah to the White House.

    January 1, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  9. stan fisch

    huck is a CHRISTIAN!
    thank [name diety] that cnn is on the ball and smoked that one out!
    next thing you know obama will be moslem
    or romney a lds whatever
    how about the chinese flag on hil's contributions?

    January 1, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  10. uigi

    huckabee romney forget these clown vote ron paul the only candidate that is not sponsored by the corporations; and his iq is like 220

    January 1, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  11. Linda Reid-Teele

    Accurate article. Sometimes, I think Huckabee is often misunderstood, not because he is unclear, but rather, his message is consistent with his faith bases which comes from such a different perspective that media being so unfamiliar with this type of politician, stumble in their understanding of parts of his message.
    Persons in the political arena are unfamiliar with one steeped in faith so much so that Huckabee can say: "Faith doesn't just influence me; it really defines me." (from News Week article 12/17/07 by Jon Meacham) This article from News Week helps one to understand Huckabee because Jon Meacham is himself a man steeped in faith and educated in theology himself. It takes one to know one, in other words. Few, really if any, of late, have been this committed in lived faith, and a studied faith, that media and Washington really are baffled by him. It shows their lack of depth of knowledge and what it means to have faith define who they are in their decisions and all behaviors. Persons who are not regularly guided by the Divine Spirit within, which takes listening in a deserning manner, could not possibly understand his comment: "If I win, it will be a miracle." I have heard people laugh at his comments like this, it shows their lack of following God in their own life. Huckabee is so refreshing for persons who live dedicated, trying to follow God's direction. Sometimes medical miracles are understood, why not in every aspect of our lives? I think if he puts his best effort out there and God is pleased, God may in reality pave the way for him. It may even have a "saving" aspect for our troubled world.

    January 1, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  12. Brett

    Our Founding Fathers believed that the moral authority for our bill of rights came from the character of a "Creator" who had given us, and all of humanity, certain inalienable rights. Their theology is the foundation of our modern understanding of human rights! Christian or not, they clearly borrowed their understanding of humanities worth and dignity from the Judeo-Christian tradition.

    Benjamin Franklin:

    “ God governs in the affairs of man. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured in the Sacred Writings that except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. I firmly believe this. I also believe that, without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel” –Constitutional Convention of 1787 | original manuscript of this speech

    Maybe we should take his picture off the $100 for being a THEOCRAT in what the founding fathers obviously intended to be a secular nation.

    Huckabee has a host of great policy positions that represent the kind of change that mainstream americans want. His theology tells us that he is in line with the founding fathers and whether your are a Christian or not, this should be of comfort to you. Now let's get over the religious bigotry, and historical revisionism, and focus on the issues.

    January 1, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  13. truthseeker

    Which countries would Jesus be bombing now? When Huckabee prays I assume Jesus will tell him to bomb Iran and Pakistan .

    Anybody who talks about his religion more than his policies is someone we should all fear .

    the press simply watches, asks him a few softball questions, and prays for him too I guess.

    January 1, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  14. Spidey

    Why has Huck decided to run on his religion rather than issues. He's already alienated millions with his in your face attitude about it. He's pro-life.Fine,I respect that but this country and world has a s-load of problems that can't be solved by a single issue candidate. The whole primary season has become a continous sideshow thanks to this clown. He's not in a hick state anymore,he's on the big stage. There's some things i don't like about Romney but at least he's well grounded and has a broad based plan for the country. Put Huck in charge of Health and Human Services or something.

    January 1, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  15. KB72

    Shall we change the name of CNN to the anti Huckabee channel? Big fat hairy deal, so he's a Christian. So is the majority of America. Get over it. Bill Clinton was a Christian too. It's a total crock that people expect this man (Huckabee) to hide his faith. Christians have a freedom of religion too. We also have the same freedom of speech as the other loud mouth non Christians. If you want an athiest in office then find one suitable for the job and put his/her butt on the campaign trail. See how quickly he/ she is elected! Not!

    January 1, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  16. bigol60

    Religious right is at it again, or, still. The sooner people realize there's nobody "looking down upon us", no one in charge. It's our job to look out for ourselves. We've had (almost) 2 terms of god in charge, talking to god, getting directions from god. How much more will it take before folks look around and see this superstitious form of "leadership" isn't working. Those of you who want to "put god back in gov, schools, politics should read a little about how well it's worked for other countries!!!!!!!!

    January 1, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  17. David, Oregon City

    Come away from the darkside!
    Support Gov. Huckabee for President!

    January 1, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  18. joel

    What has happened to the seperation of Church and State? I would like to know that the government is making and upholding laws that are for the good of the people and not due to a religious belief that is forced upon us. That was the whole reason for people leaving their home countries and bringing about the United States of America, wasn't it? I will no longer consider him a presidential candidate.

    January 1, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  19. Max, Dallas, TX

    I'm praying he doesn't win.

    January 1, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  20. mark

    The fundamentalists have hijacked the GOP, let's not turn this country into a theocracy run by a Christian Taliban.

    January 1, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  21. Lesbian Jewish American

    I am dissapointed that the candidates find it so important to "Push their religion" on us.... They worry about the gays, but the nation should worry about the christian crusaders in our country. When running for president it should be important that the candidate appeal to their audience... Choosing to alienate a group based on their beliefs or group identifications is the wrong move. To all of you "christian do gooders," please take another read at your own scripture. You are trying to play the role of g-d by choosing what sin to persecute against. That is right, most of you could care less about having sex other then to procreate by pointing the finger to the "true" sinners: women who should have the right to have an abortion or treating LGBT indivudals like second class citizens... Sounds like what this country did in the era of slavery right?? G-d help this country if these religious leaders take office.. Straight women fear for your rights!!!!

    January 1, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  22. Bob

    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.

    Good luck with that pipe dream.

    January 1, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  23. Ed,Ellenville,New York

    Hey,I've seen that symbol! That's the drunk driver warning sign to tell people to stay clear. That really helps to prevent accidents.

    January 1, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  24. Don

    Romney is critical of Huckabee because Huckabee tells it like it is...Romney himself slaps Bush in the face when he says in his television ads that we need a lot of change in Washington. If Bush is so perfect, why do we need change?

    January 1, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  25. Terry Gloege (Kansas)

    The use of religous symbols and rhetoric should not come as a surprise to anyone. The use, and misuse, of the same has helped keep the current president in office for the last 7 years.

    January 1, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
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