January 17th, 2008
06:15 PM ET
14 years ago

Huckabee: Outsiders not welcome in Confederate flag decisions

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/01/17/art.huckabee0117.ap.jpg caption="Huckabee told South Carolina voters they were the only ones who should make decisions on the flag."]
MYRTLE BEACH, South Carolina (CNN) - Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee told South Carolina voters Thursday that the government had no business making decisions over the Confederate flag.

"You don't like people from outside the state coming in and telling you what to do with your flag," Huckabee said at a Myrtle Beach campaign event. "In fact, if somebody came to Arkansas and told us what to do with our flag, we'd tell them what to do with the pole, that's what we'd do."

Later, in Florence, he repeated the remarks. "I know what would happen if somebody comes to my state in Arkansas and tells us what to do, it doesn't matter what it is, tell us how to run our schools, tell us how to raise our kids, tell us what to do with our flag - you want to come tell us what to do with the flag, we'd tell them what to do with the pole."

The Confederate flag has long been the third rail of South Carolina presidential politics - offensive to some, a symbol of Southern heritage to others. The flag is currently displayed on state capitol grounds.

Huckabee is currently barnstorming South Carolina with former Gov. David Beasley, who has called for the flag’s removal.

–CNN Senior Producer Eric Fiegel


Filed under: Mike Huckabee • South Carolina
soundoff (374 Responses)
  1. Mk

    I find so very interesting that Mike Hucabee doesn't want anyone telling HIS state what to do .
    He is certainly not having any problem telling women what to do when it comes to the right to choose.

    Another hypocrit from the depths.

    January 17, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  2. Mary, Michigan

    Is he saying that he supports the Confederate flag? I don't think he should go there...

    January 17, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  3. Al in Wpg

    here we go again

    January 17, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  4. Xavier, Washington, DC

    Huck, what would Jesus do? Seriously, what would Jesus do? Would he condone the sanctioning of a symbol of treason and racial bigotry? I think not.

    January 17, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  5. Steve, Lyons, CO

    What a creep.

    Mr. Theocracy now says that Confederate States oughta be able to fly a symbol of hatred, treason and bigotry without comment from other Americans. What a right to stand up for! Thanks Mike!

    Tell you what, Mikey: would you have said the same thing to those that integrated your schools in the '50s? Whaddya say? Same brainless reasoning?

    This is a dangerous man, one who would continue subverting the Constitution as George Bush has done, a man committed to modifying the Constitution so that it reflects the medieval views of an intolerant religious movement, far-right in politics and social views.

    I'll bet this jerk has lawn jockeys in his front yard.

    January 17, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  6. Linwood Haynes

    I guess some people will go to any extreme to get votes. Huckabee is playing that same ole card the all Republicans use when trying to get votes in the south. Bring up the flag and be pro-confederate you can get votes.

    January 17, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  7. Ron Paul Supporter

    Real nice talk coming from a Christian...

    January 17, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  8. Tina, Arizona

    I'm a southerner by birth and by culture. My ancestors fought for the south and I don't disagree with any individual's right to fly the Confederate flag. However, any government building that flies the Confederate flag needs to be gently reminded that the South did lose the war and they need to take it down. Unless, of course, they wish to secede once again.

    Please America, do not elect yet another idiot southern Christ freak for president. PLEASE!

    January 17, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  9. denise

    Way to go, Mike!!!!

    from an unreconstructed Rebel.

    January 17, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  10. :;

    Democrats may win everything in 2008.

    The TV networks have successfully boosted the goofy Baptist Pastor Mike Huckabee to a win in Iowa.

    Having a weak candidate in the general election will depress the Republican turn out. This will lead to a possible 60-vote majority for the Democrats in the Senate. That is a filibuster proof majority.

    January 17, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  11. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    "You don't like people from outside the state coming in and telling you what to do with your flag," Huckabee said at a Myrtle Beach campaign event. "In fact, if somebody came to Arkansas and told us what to do with our flag, we'd tell them what to do with the pole, that's what we'd do."

    Absolutely! But the incongruity is that Huckabee and most of the other Republicans don't seem to get it that the Iraqis and the rest of the mid-East (and the rest of the world for that matter) feel the same way about incessant American intervention into their affairs.

    January 17, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  12. David Snider

    Huck, I kinda like you as a Democrat. But as a man of God, you shouldnt say things like that! Respect America is larger than just one state and has suffered more as a Country as well! We have a voice!

    Obama 08

    January 17, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  13. Concerned

    If south carolina has such a huge african american population (50%) why do they not protest against the confederate flag being on state capitol grounds?

    Sometimes I wonder what's wrong with my people. It seems sometimes we have too many clarence thomas's and not enough barack obama's.

    And what's up with supporting h.clinton! Pathetic!!!

    Grow some my people and stop acting like slave bots!!!!

    January 17, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  14. Stopwatchinghardball, Rochester, NY

    "I know slavery is legal in your state. We shouldn't come in and tell you to stop slavery. Just like I wouldn't want them coming in my state telling me to end slavery. " -Mike Huckabee if he was living in 1860

    January 17, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  15. Teacher

    Huck is that the Walmart flag you fly in Arkansas?

    January 17, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  16. Joy Greer SC

    I can't wait to see if this guy brings Granny, Elly Mae and Jethro if (heaven forbid) he becomes Pres. I thought Clinton was a hillbilly, but Huckster has him beat!

    January 17, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  17. Nando, Florida

    are they making this a race issue?

    January 17, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  18. CA

    But it's OK to tell us who we can marry?

    January 17, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  19. Matt; Columbia, SC

    So Huckabee has no problem with the Federal government legislating morality on folks and likes 'No Child Left Behind'; but he doesn't think outsiders should have an opinion on the confederate flag nor tell states how to educate their kids.

    What?

    This is obviously last-minute pandering to get the "Bubba-vote".

    January 17, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  20. David

    In this conservative age where racism is celebrated and encouraged it is no wonder a Christian rightist would stand on the issue and flex his muscles in defense of the slave flag for a few votes. Good job Huck. Now if only we could really kill "Political Correctness" and have the freedom once again to spit epithets at minorities again we just might make Jesus Really proud.

    January 17, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  21. Wufpakmom, Illinois

    "We'd tell them what to do with the pole".

    Wow. How presidential is that?

    Give it up Huck. The South lost the war. Or, in your attempt to reinvent the Constitution to fit God's Plan (after all, He made the son of Noah black to punish him for laughing at his father's drunkeness) are you planning to rescind the 13th Amendment?

    January 17, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  22. John Driscoll

    "we'd tell them what to do with the pole"

    -how Christian!

    January 17, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  23. Pat Huntington NY

    The issue of whether any candidate supports SC flying the Rebel Flag of the Confederacy on top of the state house, is a non-issue, a mere distraction from discussion of the real issues.

    That being said....

    The Rebel Flag is just that, a symbol of a group of peopel who took arms against the United State of America. It is no different than the flags and symbols of terrorist groups seeking to destroy this country. Therefore, it should not be flown anywhere, at any time. It is a symbol of slavery, a symbol of racism, a symbol of a failed attempt of some states trying to make their own country.

    And, it is the symbol of the side that lost.

    January 17, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  24. Bil TGH, Streamwood, IL

    Mike Hackabee's pandering to South Carolina voters is getting desperate, and a little on the questionable, if not treason-ish side. The former governor of Arkansas needs to pull his head out of that dark place it is in and start reading U.S. history.

    The Confederate flag is not the flag of South Carolina, it is the flag of another nation ... a nation that was defeated by the United States Union Army and no longer exists. The flying of that flag is an insult to the memory of every United States soldier who fought in the Civil War. Apparently Mike Huckabee is willing to belittle their sacrifice for votes.

    It is no more proper to fly the Condeferate flag over any state capitol or government institution in this country than it is to fly the Mexican, Polish, Spanish, Italian or Russian flags.

    January 17, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  25. Bo Hagen

    Although i think Huckabee is correct, i think using the confederate flag as an example won't bode well for him throughout the rest of his run. He should have stopped when he suggested emphasizing the commandments in the constitution, but apparently his handlers are just as out there as he is.

    What's worse is, with the clinton machine single-handedly destroying the democrats and the GOP up in the air, he may be our next president.

    Ow-chee-momma!

    January 17, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
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