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. Robert


    Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth In witness whereof We have hereunto subscribed our Names,

    What Lord is that? What Lord has a calendar based on his birth that they referred too? Is it Lord Krishna maybe?Why was this Lord addressed as" Our Lord" if America has no Lord?Were the signers mixing Church and State by writing this in the constitution? Does this phrase in the constitution make the constitution unconstitutional?

    January 1, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  2. Steve Blaine Washington

    Let's see Huckabee define even one doctrine of the early Christians other than the fish symbol.

    January 1, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  3. Jeff, Huntington Beach, CA

    We Christians need to remember the bumper sticker, "What would Jesus do?"
    He would not deviate from the truth for political or financial gain as so many of our "public servants" (public serpents) do.


    January 1, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  4. Evan, Roseburg OR

    "Huckabee ad appeals to Christian conservatives"

    Did anyone here not know this before reading the headline? How is this news? If his ad included, I don't know, Jesus, this might be worth writing down. But do you really need a whole article, at this point in the race, telling us that Huckabee wants christian votes?

    January 1, 2008 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  5. Rob

    I am a Christian conservative and it does not appeal to me. Huckabee is a liberal. He should run as a democrat because he is a loser too.

    January 1, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  6. Rob

    As a life-long GOP supporter, I am now on the fence. Unless Thompson or Romney wins, I will not vote Republican in November. Maybe Bloomberg will run. If not and its Clinton, I just wont vote.

    As a weekly church-attending Christian, Huckabee scares the living hell out of me – I think he would seriously damage the image of the 80% of normal and quietly respectful Christians in the US of A.

    McCain looks like he is going to kill someone everytime he talks about something – no thanks.

    Guliani = Bill Clinton – no thanks

    I wish Thompson were doing better, but I like Mitt. He changed his position on abortion and maybe a couple other small things. But I see him as I guy who can actually get stuff done especially with regards to the economy.

    Problem is – I think there are just too many Bigots out there – you have my vote Mitt, but sadly, I dont know if this party is good enough for you. But hey, you have a great family and 400 mil still left in the bank – life could be a lot worse. Good luck on Thursday!!

    January 1, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  7. Tom


    Point out where it says "Jesus Christ" in the Declaration or Constitution.


    People who understand "Lord" is not synonymous with "Christianity."

    January 1, 2008 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  8. Nick in Atlanta

    Cammie, Baltimore, MD – Could you point out the politician who panders to gays? Romney and Huckabee and most of their followers say we're an abomonation of God. That if we're born this way, it's still our choice how to behave, so therefore God made us as a test and we'll be burning in the fiery pits of hell in no time. The only Presidential hopeful who even came close to giving hope to gays has backtracked. Isn't life difficult enough, in the 21st century, without teaching hatred and ammeding the Constitution to be discriminatory?

    I know it'll blow some people's minds, but I'm both Christian AND gay. To be Christian means you follow Christ's teachings. NOWHERE did Christ teach that it was our duty to judge ANYONE else on earth. He specifically forbode it. Even when a prostitute was about to be stoned to death, he stood and said "let he who is not guilty cast the first stone". Christ's teachings are about tolerance and love, about believing in God and honoring him. The Bible didn't even have anything about homosexuals in it for centuries.

    So, if a candidate finds it impossible to separate his religious values from his ability to run the country, maybe he should at least follow the TRUE teachings of Christ and not just the one's he/she wants to follow! We consider ourselves a secular nation, yet we have leaders who say their religious belief tells them homosexuality is immoral. Our leaders are preaching hatred against our own citizens from the White House they want to convert into a pulpit.

    I believe Christ also said it is for no man to judge another, that the responsibility of judgement of a person lays with the Creator. If a leader must run on their Christian values, at least let them display Christian values...so that he/she may be a fair representation of Christianity to the world. In these times of Muslim fundamentalists, throwing another Christian fundamentalist into the house can only lead to more pain and embarrassment for our country.

    So I leave you with Christ's words, "Let he among us without sin cast the first stone..."

    January 1, 2008 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  9. John Hancock

    Ask not what the lord can do for you but what can you do for the lord?

    January 1, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    Secular Progressives must be foaming at the mouth over Huckabee. Huckabee has done so well in the polls and hasn't nearly the multi-millions that Clinton or Obama pandered out of people on their own "popularity."

    Huckabee is an upright man that any ballot box anywhere in America would never let down because people don't want to be let down.

    The real America wants a candidate that would never pander to radical "students" or disgraceful "protesters" or even those that advocate such socialist thinking.

    Have a Happy New Year !

    January 1, 2008 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  11. LC

    Secular Progressives must be foaming at the mouth over Huckabee. Huckabee has done so well in the polls and hasn't nearly the multi-millions that Clinton or Obama pandered out of people on their own "popularity."

    Huckabee is an upright man that any ballot box anywhere in America would never let down because people don't want to be let down.

    The real America wants a candidate that would never pander to radical "students" or disgraceful "protesters" or even those that advocate such socialist thinking.

    Have a Happy New Year !

    January 1, 2008 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  12. Dale Davis, Glendora, California

    If Romney were to make speeches in front of primarily Mormon groups, with a big picture of the Salt Lake Temple in the background he would be crucified by both the anti-Mormon bigots and the left wingers. What a lop-sided double standard.

    January 1, 2008 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  13. Terry

    So what CNN, go back to sleep. I bet CNN with there lame stories are starting to lose readers and viewers. Years ago they used to be pretty good. People should check out this pie chart that shows the breakdown of all the fluff CNN has:

    January 1, 2008 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  14. Darren

    Huckabee needs to keep his leadership contained to Arkansas! His mistakes and misquotes can't hurt us there!

    Most of Huckabee's life experience has been leading churches for profit....do you think he would lead our nation any other way??!

    Romney 2008

    January 1, 2008 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  15. Robert, Clayton, NC

    I am proud to be a Christian but I'm not voting for Huckabee just because he is also a Christian. I'm voting for him because he is the only one who has been giving straight answers. IMO, Mitt romney has really hurt himself by attacking Huckabee rather than staying on point. My mother used to say when you are watching a movie, you can always tell who is going to lose a fight by who throws the first chair. If you have a contrast to make, that's fair game it but make it with out throwing a chairs. Throwing chairs is not presidential. It make him look like a spoiled rich kid that didn't get his way so he is deciding to pout.

    January 1, 2008 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  16. Jen Cedar Falls, IA

    Huckabee is running solely on his Christianity due to the fact that he has no great policy ideas to run on, knows very little about the International issues (Pakistan) and feels guilty about the messes he made in Arkansas. In my view I don't think he even WANTS to win, he's been sabatoging his campaign for the last week. Can't you all see that? Free Huck from this unsuspected nightmare!

    January 2, 2008 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  17. Aubrey

    So Mr. Huckaby is addressing a gathering of Iowa Christian Association in their building, on their turf and what do you expect to see on the wall in this building? some symbol of anti Christ, or a picture of Satan? Wrong, this is America, founded upon Christin principal by our founding Fathers, with " In God we
    Trust on our money, and "Under God" in our pledge. So does a small unobtrusive symbol offend some of the 13% who choose not to believe in a God,"Their priviledge",? Well the other 86% of americans choose to believe and and or worship, freely without the minority trying to dictate or persecute them for it. So Let the liberal press fine somethig useful to report without all the "anti God spin. Or maybe go find work in some redical islamic country where their god is cruel and demands human sacrifices, to self detonate, or strap bombs on their children to kill "Christians
    Come on, give us a break. This has got to be the most insane thing ever to happen to this once great country. President Bush, with human faults, did not stoop to this level during his run for the office, rather took the high road, hardly ever trying to defend himself. I don't agree with some of his policies, but He is my president, and I will support and respect him as long as he is in office. God bless our troops who defend our right to say all this and may they all come home as soon as we have victory won and peace secured, Both over seas and at home.

    January 2, 2008 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  18. Pippen, Arlington VA

    It's only a matter of time before CNN catches Huckabee shaking hands with some guy who has long hair and a beard:


    January 2, 2008 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  19. Jon Sanderson


    Using one's religious identity as a qualification for office is both abusive to the faith and offensive to non-Christians AND Christians.



    January 2, 2008 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  20. jo , columbia,ms

    Huckabee would not know conservative if it slaped him across the face and a tax cut would have to give him a black eye to get seen.
    In AR he raised taxes on items like the cost nursing home patients had to pay for a bed.....NOW THAT IS SAD. He raised taxes on smokers.,,,which is bias.

    Cato gave him an "F" on his fiscal report card.

    Club for growth is attacking him for tax hikes despite his pledge not to raise taxes in AR. Now of course he is running again as a fiscal conservative but I for one know if he ran in AR as a fiscal conservative but then governed as a liberal.....he will do the same in washington.

    He also lied about having a Theology degree....he dropped out after one yr.

    He did LOWER the meth sentences in AR to 50%. He actually wrote the bill so i dont see how he is getting away with this lie.

    On and on the lies go. clemency, bribes, ethics suits, AP reporters sued him,

    Basically the only things he is honest about is abortion and gay marriage.

    January 2, 2008 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  21. Jon Sanderson

    Interesting that the letters ICI inside of Huck's fish symbol stand for the Iowa Christian Alliance, the chairman of which has said he will VOTE FOR ROMNEY!


    Dumb old Huckeypie!



    January 2, 2008 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  22. David

    after seeing huckabee's ignorance on the Pakistan crisis im certain that hes not prepared to be our commander in chief.

    January 2, 2008 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  23. EveryKnee

    >January 1, 2008 6:44 pm ET
    >Just Say No to THEOCRACIES

    . . . for now. But sooner or later . . .

    January 2, 2008 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
  24. Sara

    TrueChristian in MN, Amen!!!

    I have seen true Christians, and Mr. Huckabee, you are not a true Christian.

    January 2, 2008 01:34 am at 1:34 am |
  25. Steve Blaine Washington

    See comments regarding fulfilling God's plan for Israel and the West
    according to Christian Right.? See huckabee's plans.
    December 21, 2007
    The Huckabee Stool
    It’s hard work building a right-wing coalition. Mike Huckabee has been
    hammering away at the religious-right base, making explicit appeals based on
    his faith and reminding them that he is one of them. He’s signed Grover
    Norquist’s tax pledge and embraced the “FairTax” to shore up support from
    the economic right. He’s even gotten an endorsement from the co-founder of
    the anti-immigrant vigilante group the Minutemen. But all that may not be
    enough when you have Pat Robertson come around telling your people to vote
    for Giuliani because terrorism is supposed to be the most important issue.

    It seems there’s one more faction Huckabee needs to pander to: the
    foreign-policy hardliners. That would explain Huckabee’s plans for this
    weekend: The former pastor will spend the Sunday before Christmas speaking
    at two services at the Cornerstone megachurch in San Antonio, home of
    Armageddon advocate John Hagee, who believes “that the United States must
    join Israel in a pre-emptive military strike against Iran to fulfill God's
    plan for both Israel and the West.”

    For a closer look at Hagee, check out Max Blumenthal’s report from the
    Christians United for Israel conference this past summer. Or, if you’re
    wondering what Huckabee might be expected to discuss at Cornerstone, watch
    this typical sermon, which aired Wednesday on TBN:

    Right now, the State Department is in Israel putting pressure on Israel to
    give concessions to the terrorist armies that are camped on her borders–to
    give up more land for peace. Joel 3:2 says, “Any nation that tries to get
    Israel to divide my land, I will bring it into judgment.”

    I want those of you in the State Department and in government in
    Washington to hear this: If America does not stop pressuring Israel to give
    up land, I believe that God will bring this nation into judgment, because I
    believe what this book says. And if God brings this nation into judgment, He
    will very likely release the terrorists that you've already let get here
    through the ridiculous immigration policy you refuse to stop, and this
    nation is going to go through a bloodbath that you have permitted because of
    what you have done. You have disobeyed the law of God, and now, we as a
    nation are going to pay a price for that.

    January 2, 2008 01:41 am at 1:41 am |
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