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. Ben MacGowen

    Huckabee has the courage take a position on an actual question without checking with his financial backers first.

    For all the unsaved on this board, I challenge you to actually read the Word of God.

    January 17, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  2. I - Texas

    So let's see – A racial flag, and do what with a pole? I wonder how many votes he's going to lose nationwide for this. As for me, I'll vote for the other guy.

    January 17, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  3. Reuben Goldenstein

    A state's flag is part of the heritage of the people from that state and they should decide for themselves what best represents them. Outsiders who try to force the decision on them or make judgements about what the flag means need to mind their own business.

    January 17, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  4. Ben MacGowen

    The Law does not say "Thou Shall not Kill" the law says "Thou Shall not Murder"

    Read the Bible before you to cite The Word.

    January 17, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  5. Karen TX

    What if because of Louisiana's heritage the people of that state decided to fly a
    French Flag or Better yet Let Florida Fly a Spanish Flag may be California and Texas Can Fly a Spanish Flag. If this is just about heritage any number of states can fly the Flag of foreign country. This deep down is not about heritage ,their is a under line meaning of Rebellon,and Racism. I am originally from Greenville Mississippi I group in the 70's and 80's and the Mississippi State Flag is a Confederate Flag. As a child my high school was in a neighborhood that was 97% white. My father would tell me to be carefull walking home by myself and stay away from the homes where the Confederate Flage hung. I was terrified to walk by myself through that all white neighborhood and this was in the late 80's and early 90's. Rather my parents fear was real or just overreation I don't know . Because know one every did any thing to me personally but I did her stories of older white people putting the dogs on people and evenone incident of a little white girl playing the yard called my sister's friend the N word. This shape my life as a Young High School Student and lift me with a bitter taste in my mother andno matter what people says or does THAT FLAGS MEANS THE OLD SOUTH AND HAPPY NEGAS SINING IN THE FIELDS .

    January 17, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  6. AP

    OMG! I just flashed on the Confederate South. Isn't that the same reasoning the Confederates used to support slavery??? "Ain't know Yankee gonna come down here tellin' us what to do with our slaves!" Wow! Disgusting!!

    January 17, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  7. Craig, Vista, Ca

    I have been a strong supporter of anti-republican procreation. I believe it is on the ballot here in California. Prop. 69

    January 17, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  8. AP

    Xavier from DC, you're hilarious! And I agree, Jesus wouldn't like the Confederate flag. Shame on Huck!

    January 17, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  9. Zoltan Grossman

    It is interesting how he called it "our" flag. The Confederates killed more Americans than the Nazis, Japanese and Al Qaeda combined.

    January 17, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  10. Kevin

    Stephen – "Governor Huckabee isn't telling women what to do–GOD is telling women what to do! The Bible says thou shalt not kill, so that's something that we have to all be held accountable to. Mike Huckabee is just doing his part as a good Christian to try and follow God's commandments."

    Huck can follow god's commandments all he wants to, but he has no right to force them on others! You people have your priorites all wrong; you preach the sacredness of life, but treat actual, live people like garbage and have no regard for them or anyone else who have differing views than you. I know Mr. Bush just worships a clump of cells but has no problem killing innocent iraqis and american soldiers. You forget that that clump of cells that you call life is growing in a fully grown human being. where's your regard for her? somehow the woman, the actual person who is most affected, is left out of your equation and what do you think gives you the right to tell someone else what to do with their body? you care more about the potential for life than you do the real life in front of you – the woman's situtation, her feelings, her life, her right to own her own body. you have no real regard or sympathy for people or life, just your own ideology.

    huckabee thinks that he can say the most ridiculous things under the guise of humor; he uses humor not only as a way of seeming likeable, but also as a way to say things that would normally be uncouth and most politicians would be criticized or looked on unfavorably for saying. sorry huck, your humor isn't going to get you far.

    January 17, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  11. John

    "christine conservative" = radical christian psychopath

    January 17, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  12. Holy Crap Huck

    Was Huck doing stand up or stumping? He usually campaigns from the pulpit...how did the congregation react to the line about the pole? Did the guy at the drum set do a 'ba dump bump' after Huck delivered the punch line?

    Let's hope God's army isn't marching off now to take this nation back for Christ armed with flagpoles...yikes! Them is some strange ethics down there in the evangelical south.

    I bet Huckabee does a killer impersonation of Gomer Pile. Seriously. He could throw the Gomer impersonation into his normal routine. The guitar thing is getting a little bland...he needs to punch up the act. The Huckabee crowd would eat it up. Gomer would remind them of the guy they work with, not the guy that was smart enough to lay them off.

    January 17, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  13. Kirsten, F'burg, Virginia

    Wow, you guys. Huckabee is not condoning racism or anything like that, he's talking about STATES' RIGHTS. What he means is that states should be able to make their own decisions on issues like these without the government acting like Big Brother.

    I certainly sdon't condone racism, I also say that states DO, in fact, have the right to decide what flag they want to fly. If the constituents in that state disagree with their state government than that is between them and their government, not between the federal government and the state. The Constitution is clearly in favor of states rights and Huckabee is just supporting it.

    Furthermore, no where in the Constitution does it say anything about "freedom of choice" so don'r act like its the same issue. A woman's right to do what she wants to her body includes ALL women, even the unborn ones.

    January 17, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  14. Grant Vaughn

    Didn't Sherman already come in and tell them what they could do with their flag?

    January 17, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  15. Steeler-Arizona

    It's funny that people are so eager to jump on someone that proclaims to be a Christian. Oh how horrifying he would make a comment like that. The man is human just like any of you. You guys need to lighten up and stick to the issues instead of majoring on the minor. Hey someone tell me what a Christian is and do you fit the bill.

    January 17, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  16. HT Springer

    Huckabee is a joke. What's his plan for tuning America around? Raise taxes, give amnesty to illegals, pardon criminals, and wave his Bible around?
    What's going to happen in S.C. is this: Either McCain or Huck will win. Romney will do well (second or third) and big Fred will come in forth. Then Fred will drop out and maybe even endorse Mitt. Then MItt will sail into Florida and get decisive win, prepping him for a massive victory on super Tuesday. Furthermore, the bad economic news that's coming out is going to assure that Mitt will be the next president. None of the other bozo's running have never managed anything. McCain is a tired, grumpy old "go-with-the-flow" Washington beaurocrat.

    January 17, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  17. Proud FREE Texan


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

    Good job Huckleberry, now my kid is asking me what that means. So much for your family values.


    Yup. HucKKKabee is a real gem isn't he?


    January 17, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  18. Diana d.

    This guy just scares me more and more every day.

    January 17, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    This country has always stood for religious pluralism and freedom to choose one's religion and keep it private. Government, schools, courthouses and any institution supported by the tax dollars of people of ALL faiths , represtenting not just a majority, but ALL citizens is a basic foundation of this country. This is a democracy. Not a THEOCRACY. We are not allowed by the Constitution to establish a national religion. This is exactly what Huckabee and his ilk consider appropriate. Can they not worship whenever they choose in their churches, and live their personal lives as they believe their religion instructs them ? Why must they insist on forcing their beliefs on everyone. My religion does not teach the hatred and condemnation of homosexuals, and it does not instruct a woman what she must do for her husband or with her body. My religion also does not instruct the forced conversions, intimidations, and mission to convert . My beliefs do not instruct me to insist they are right for everyone, that those who believe something different will burn in hell. The purpose of religion is give people, who choose, a guide for being a good, kind, tolerant, charitable person–in my opinion. Huckabee is a danger to the democracy of this country.

    January 17, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  20. guttor

    Maybe ol' Mike is a little too churchy for the common man, but at least he isn't a Mormon, an old man, a washed up TV hack or a twice married New Yorker. He is bright, articulate and seems to honestly care about what he is doing. I say we all give the guy a chance and see what happens.

    January 17, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  21. scott

    Funny how CNN only tries to pick out tiny wedge issues to damage people… Go Huckabee!

    ^^ in response to Ben's post..... it's called reporting... if you don't want to hear about it don't read the news.. DUH.

    January 17, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  22. Dan, New Jersey

    Mike Huckabee is not advocating the "voice" of the Confederate Flag. Did the article ever once say that Huckabee was "in support of the Confederate Flag"? NO. I wish liberals would call it quits with this ridiculous paranoia over Huckabee just because he expresses his Christian views. Again, it's not surprising that liberals in America tend to be "offended" by Christian Republicans. Do you left-wingers still believe that George W. Bush has "shoved" Christianity down your throats?

    Lighten up. Again, generalizing and stereotyping every Republican is not something I would call progressive or tolerant. Thanks for your time hypocrites!

    January 17, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  23. Robert

    As a South Carolinian, I do believe a compromise should be made. The battle flag, as many have pointed out, was not just about slavery. However due to its use since that time, many identify that flag with that issue. Why not remove THAT flag and put up the National Flag of the Confederacy or the SC Secession Flag? Those are not normally identified with racism/slavery and would do justice to history as well.

    Most outsiders really have no place to talk because they don't look at it from the point of view of others, although they claim to. I have seen some comments saying that it is disrespectful to the United States soldiers that died. Perhaps. But SC was not part of the U.S. at that time and they have a right to respect THEIR soldiers that died.

    January 17, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  24. F Thigpen

    It is a state issue, is his point. Chill out people.. And all of you that continue to support the 43million and counting killed babies, go and thank your mother because she was pro life.

    January 17, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  25. Roger from MA

    If South Carolina wants to fly their TREASON flag over their capitol building, fine, let them fly their treason flag over their capitol building.

    Since they want to fly the colors of a hostile foreign power, I say we pull ALL federal funding that we provide to them. It's not like they provide much tax revenue to Washington anyhow, as vast swaths of the state resemble a third world country, and a large chunk of its impoverished citizens make too little to pay federal income tax anyway. Who needs yankee tax money? I'm sure those roads and bridges will fix themselves, or maybe their savior will come down and save them.

    As for Huckabee – for a God-fearing Christian who stands so firmly against homosexuality and gay marriage, he seems to be strangly infatuated with people committing acts of sodomy with flagpoles.

    January 17, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
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