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. Jay Bee, USA

    This is just a bunch of nit picking on both sides. Huckabee does deserve criticism, how can Huckabee have any credibility as a conservative leader when he was picked as the 6th person on the "Top 10 Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians" by JudicialWatch.org. They guy has ethics violations galore.

    January 1, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  2. George

    The Republican agenda will be thoroughly rejected in 2008. A Democrat will be elected President and we will focus on getting the country back on track.

    Say no to the religious right.

    January 1, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  3. Christa, Houston, TX

    Come on, what's the big deal here? It's not like he's been hiding he's a Christian, duh! I am so tired of all this dumb stuff, clearly the media has nothing else to do, oh wait perhaps Britney Spears' sister is having triplets, let's go and spend 3 hours a day on that!

    January 1, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  4. Tony

    America was founded as an equal opportunity refuge for those seeking to escape the tyranny of European rule. A large number were Christians, including the Pilgrims. Some of the founding fathers were Christian and some were not. I ask you though, if we are not a Christian nation then why are Thanksgiving and Christmas still national holidays? Why are there references to God all over our government buildings and currency but no references to Buddha, Allah, or anyone else?

    America has changed from a nation of like-minded, persecuted masses seeking a common purpose to a self-segregated, entitlement-minded nation that is intent on destroying the fabric of what once made our nation great. How twisted our perception of "freedom" has become!

    January 1, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  5. Dr. Kibble

    Did Huckabee just make a death threat against Ron Paul? Just kidding...he is probably referring to the old Paul McCartney hoax. Now if Ron Paul gets offed, Huckabee's got some 'splainin to do.

    January 1, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  6. Cammie, Baltimore, MD

    If trying to get the vote of a group is "pandering", all politicians do it. They pander to labor unions; they pander to black people; they pander to farmers; they pander to gays; they pander to hispanics, they pander to environmentalists, they pander to business, etc.

    Governor Huckabee's ad was an out-take from a speech given to a Christian group. The background had a fish. I've seen lots of ads from candidates that are out-takes from speeches and quite often see the name of the labor union, black organization, environmental group, etc. in the background. It's an attempt to make it look like the labor union or whatever approves of the candidate. They all try to project a subliminal message to the voters.

    What's in the backgound doesn't matter.

    January 1, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  7. NH '08

    Bod, David in Oregon City...or are you the same person. So, you think that Huckabee is up to 2 to1 on Romney in Iowa? That's a bunch of bunk. Also, you think that Huckabee has integrity? How can you explain the 6 unethical investigations while he was Governor. How can you explain that Huckabee paid himself (using campaign money) as a media consultant for his Governorship campaign? And, how can you explain that Huckabee took nearly $50K worth of material when he left office form the Governor's mansion?

    Huckabee is dirty. His antics yesterday to get a free ad in the public by pulling an anti Romney ad and then saying, "i'll show it to you anyway" are all we need to see.

    January 1, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  8. ZB

    You know, this Fair Tax idea Huckabee keeps touting really needs more attention.
    Apparently, we will be paying 23% sales tax on everything we buy.
    Apparently, the government would also make cash payments to the poor so they could pay the tax...I'm not making this up (follow the link).


    If you hate the IRS, but then pay sales tax...guess what, you are still paying taxes.

    January 1, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  9. Ron R., Summerville, SC

    If America elects another fundamentalist, it deserves what it gets. Believing the world is coming to an end has a tremedous influence on a person that holds the power to actually make it happen. Just look at how "far" we've come in the last seven years toward that goal.

    I don't know that Huckabee will lead/rule like a theocrat but the more he plays to this angle, the more fearful I become. I used to like the man although I disagreed with some of his beliefs and politics. Now, I'm starting to loathe the man as just another "holy-roller" that continuously pushes their beliefs regardless of how many times you tell them POLITELY that you aren't interested.

    (insert diety here) help us!!!

    January 1, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  10. Fred, Gilbert AZ

    Why doesn't Huckabee mentioned he was named one of the 10 most corrupt politicians by Judicial Watch which is not a liberal site, In fact Huck joined Nancy Peolosi, Harry Reed and other democrats. A true Christian wouldn't work for a living and not beg other people for money. A true Christian would also not attack a Catholic or a Mormon on purely religious bigoted grounds. if this guy wins the nomination which I truly pray won't happen the democrats will have real attack ads that show what an unethical ignorant man this guy really is.

    January 1, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  11. Chelsea, C Falls, MT

    I'm a very Christian Conservative, and I DO NOT like someone who pardoned a MURDERER.

    January 1, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  12. Jim Samples

    "Another Huckabee ad, another Christian symbol"

    You keep bringing up a "Christian Connection" with Huckabee as though it were the sign of a demon. Is it your intent to make this Presidential run a Religious issue? To be honest I'm all for it. This country was founded on Christian principles and the majority of this nation happens to be Christian (even your Democratic Blacks and Hispanic happen to be Christian). So, if this is what you want, a division and contest between Secular and Religion, instead of a contest between Democrat and Republican, then by all means let the games begin...

    January 1, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  13. Cory, San Diego, CA

    Huckabee is clueless on foreign policy and liberal on illegal imigration, crime and punishment, and fiscal policy. His attempted trick of the media yesterday also ads most unethical candidate to his resume. Are people in Iowa really so clueless as to cast their vote for this guy?

    January 1, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  14. Tom, California

    David in Oregon City:
    What polls are you talking about? Generally when somebody makes a claim like that (and it's not made up) they provide a link to back up what they're saying.

    Care to indulge us?

    January 1, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  15. Dr. Kibble

    Matthew 6:1
    Beware of practicing your piety before me in order to be seen by them; for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.

    Matthew 6:5
    "And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites (Huckabees); for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

    January 1, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  16. Chris S - Gerald, MO

    I am Christian, therefore I am. There are a whole lot of Christians in this nation, but it does not mean they will all vote for him. Let us not forget that the swastika was a widely used Christian symbol prior to its use in the Reich.

    January 1, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  17. jim

    Huckabee lost me when he said that Mormons believe that Jesus and Satan are brothers.

    While I think that many religious doctrines are good, I am tired of Politicians using them in their quest for office. Like others have stated: I do not want the United States to be turned into a Theocracy.

    Religion belongs in a house of worship not the government.

    January 1, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  18. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    "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,"

    Things that truly matter? For some reason, I don't include the superstitious drivel of Mike Huckabee's religion in the list of "things that truly matter."

    And "America moving forward?' Come on, Mike! Your religiously skewed notion of "moving forward" is a giant step backward into Medieval religious tyranny.

    January 1, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  19. Chris in Jacksonville

    I have no faith in this man at all.

    I am so tired of the "religious" right and their lame tactics.

    I genuinely believe that the United States would be 1000% better off if all "liberals" and "conservatives" moved away (or fell off the face of the earth)......just leaving behind the regular folks who have common sense and would actually like to get some things done.

    January 1, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  20. Elaine, Va Beach

    For some unexplainable reason, I tortured myself by watching the Planet of the Apes marathon on New Year's Eve. And then it hit me..... remember that Alpha Ape who was no only the Head Judge, the Senior Policy maker, he was also Prime Keeper of the Faith? And he spouted off all kinds of 'reasons' about how the superior species (Ape) could not have 'evolved' from an inferior species (man) because the tenets of the faith didn't support that?

    Gosh, it sounded so ridiculous to hear that with Roddy MacDowell making twitchyfaces behind an ape mask, but here, almost forty years later, we're listening to the same thing. It was bad science fiction then, but it's really scary now.

    Will we never learn?

    January 1, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  21. Don

    My goodness, if it had been a speech at the VFW or the UAW we might have had a symbol for the VFW or the UAW in his ad. Really, this is a non-story. Somehow though whenever a Christian symbol is allowed to see the light of day or a Christian speaks about their faith we have some nitwit on the east coast who is immediately offended. Why exactly does CNN think it is inappropriate for a religious symbol (no matter how incidental to the action) to appear in a commercial? Does CNN believe that Christian symbols should be censored?

    January 1, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  22. Sukie, Rogue River, OR

    I didn't get far into the posts until my stomach started feeling queasy and my fists began to clench.

    NOTHING, even death, scares me more than the Christian right. All of them, whatever they call themselves, whoever they are aligned with politically.

    We need an INTELLIGENT, unbiased, ethical human being with little baggage to go to the White House and SAVE our nation from its soon-to-be status as a has-been supreme power in the world.

    I don't give a dang about this person's religious affiliation or none at all. You don't have to be a Christian to be a decent human being.

    I haven't set foot inside a church in decades, not even for family weddings. It gives me a really creepy feeling to be in the midst of so many hypocrites.

    January 1, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  23. Sukie, Rogue River, OR

    Jim and others:

    How about "Theo-crazy"

    January 1, 2008 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  24. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I would like to know how Huckabee plans to seperate his religious convictions from what needs to get done as president. As I wished someone would have asked Alito, how have you made a decision that went against your religious convictions? Would your belief that evolution is wrong effect your science education policy? Would your religious stance that human life begins at conception effect how you are willing to fund AIDS prevention programs and stem cell research? These are important questions. Could Huckabee and others tell the different between a group of cells that could be a human embryo and an other primate embryo.

    January 1, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  25. Ajay Jain, Garland, TX

    Congratulations CNN TV!!!

    By running the I-Report segment 10 times in a weekend and New Year day. You have shown me the light of the day.

    I have discovered my options in FOX NEWS, MSNBC, CNBC, NBC, ABC News, and CBS News.

    Bye bye CNN I have been watching you and reading CNN.com for the past decade since you were the TURNER machine.

    People, pollsters, pundits give undue importance to the IOWA caucus anyway. Isn’t it time to break the back of this myth of IOWA’s importance? They haven’t picked a winner since 1976. Iwill wait for Super mTuesday on FOX NEWS though I know they are not FAIR & BALANCED!

    Go Hillary44 08! http://hillaryis44.org/

    January 1, 2008 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
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