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. Joe, Florida

    Guys, don't worry, we won't have to stand this guy that much longer; his beliefs are too extreme to be accepted by the Mainstream America, which is moderate to liberal.

    By the way, sucking up to South Carolina will piss off the rest of the country, especially when you get to talk about the flag. The flag should be removed by the way; it just shows how divided this country once was.

    January 17, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  2. Eric

    I can honestly say that this is the only issue I agree with the Huckster on. The display of the Confederate flag in the former Confederate States of America is a symbol of Southern pride and heritage. No state has the right to tell another state what to do. The flag doesn't stand for slavery. No slaves were brought to this country under the Confederate flag; it was Old Glory which flew over those terrible slave ships. And as to the assertion that the flag stands for treason, if fighting for independence is considered treason, then I am proud to call myself a traitorous, unreconstructed rebel. The Yanks might have taken our country away, but they will never destroy our spirit.

    Deo Vindice. Long Live the South

    January 17, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  3. curtis

    Is there any hate group he won't pander to? What's next advocating puppy mills because they create jobs?

    January 17, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  4. Angie

    I owned a custom shirt and car decal shop in North Carolina. Whenever people came in to purchase a confederate flag decal, I would tell them that we do not make them unless they know the years of the Civil War. In the year I owned that store (before I sold it) not one person who asked for the flag could recite the years of the Civil War. If your 'heritage' is so important, then know the basic facts about it.

    January 17, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  5. Jennifer

    Ok people....BIG difference between wanting to ban abortion and talking about a flag! Mike isn't telling women what to do with their bodies....they can do whatever they want. He's saying you don't have the right to kill another human being which I strongly agree with. A fetus is NOT part of your body, it is a seperate human being and nobody has the right to take another life regardless of who's uterus it's growing in.

    I have read a bunch of things on here that are simply ridiculous. Do your homework before getting into discussions. A lot of what is said here is not factual. Taking one or two lines out of an entire speech and leaving out the rest isn't right. Huckabee didn't say woman must obey their husbands and then leave it at that. He said that marriage is not 50/50 but 100/100 and that BOTH husband and wife are committed to each other equally. It's so funny to me the way people will take what they want out of a speech/conversation and simply turn it around to say what they want it to.

    I have nothing against gay people at all and what they do behind closed doors is none of my business but to allow them to marry like a man/woman is getting a little out of control. Marriage is between man and woman, always has been, always will be. People of the same sex can't make children TOGETHER because they weren't meant to.

    Huckabee has good values and I think it scares a lot of people. When I watch and hear him I believe what he says. With every single other candidate I feel simply like they're trying to sell me something.....and.....I'm not buying it! GO HUCKABEE!

    January 17, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  6. Bayousara

    The Confederate flag is a symbol of only one thing:

    Treatment of a people, Africans (at the time) that ranks with the Holocaust in Germany.

    Where they get it being a "symbol of Southern heritage" is beyond my comprehension. Southern insanity, maybe, but not "heritage."

    The slavery of hundreds of thousands of innocent black people, men, women, and children, is the darkest stain on America's history.

    And what is appalling the most to me is that it wasn't that long ago! My great-grandparents were still living at the time of emancipation!

    January 17, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  7. A question or two...

    Robert, you are exactly right. I am from the south and although I do not fly the confederate flag, a lot of my ancestors died fighting under that flag. Maybe some had no choice, maybe some that didn't even own slaves were fighting to keep the north from taking all they had, their homes and lands. Not every southern family owned slaves, my ancestors sure didn't...they were working the fields beside the slaves. I want someone to tell me why the southern people that want to fly their confederate flags (in good taste) are labeled bigots and racists and rednecks but any american citizen who is "offended" by the flag or heritage of another country is supposed to keep their mouths shut and not say a word. Why can we ostracize our own citizens, telling them they cannot display their heritage, but God forbid we say anything to someone from another country? Where is the logic in this?

    January 17, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  8. linda

    Mccain has been the nastiest of all candidates on the GOP side, and Huckabee ranked second. Huck is a minister that gets paid to preach, he earns a living from it. Huck is so good at condemming everyone but himself. He has lost my vote when he played the religious card against Romney, I believe in religious freedom, I think for Huck to put down another candidate's religion is wrong. Now we can all see the real face of Huck. Just a paid minister with a smooth tongue and a nasty mind as well.

    Romney is the one,

    January 17, 2008 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  9. LR in TX

    Beautifully said, Robert. Some will never understand because they twist the meaning of the Confederate flag to only apply to slavery and by doing so breed more contempt and hatred. Gov. Mike is right. Southern states should make their own decisions on whether to fly the flag. All this politicial correctness is rediculous. The Civil War didn't happen in any of our litetimes. Those it did happen to are dead and don't care anymore. Sheeesh. Either get a thicker skin or just get over it.

    January 17, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  10. Ross

    im still im thinkin he played "Goober" on the Andy Griffith show!

    January 17, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  11. Dr. X

    How disgraceful! That flag is the flag of the enemy. Obviously, Huckabee's loyalty is to the confederacy. Those hillbilly traitors killed American soldiers. Huckabee is unfit to serve as Commander in Chief of the United States armed forces.

    January 17, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  12. RM

    Wow, the anti-Christian bigots are out tonight!

    January 17, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  13. Disturbed

    I am disturbed that Huckupyours would use such a filthy parable not just once but twice in public or private. I bought his book "Kids Who Kill" to see how this man thinks. Realizing that his son was torturing a dog the same summer that the book was published gives me dark insight. This man is not well. He thinks in terms of sadomasochistic torture just like his son did with that poor dog.

    I think it is clear that he has distanced himself from a huge majority of Republicans (and other humans) with this radical spew.

    Go to jail. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200.

    Goodbye Mr. Huckabee. Sorry I listened to you for so long. I wish I could get a refund for the book and your preaching for money.

    I am not for Thompson but I hope he beats Huckabee to restore some honor to South Carolina. Romney picks up most of the fallout, perhaps even enough to pass McCain and get another win.

    January 17, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  14. CC

    Sick man...he just wrote his own political obituary with this one.

    Whether you plan on voting Dem. or Rep. (or something else) in November, let's make sure we vote for an *American* – not a fanatical nut. Our kids are counting on us.

    – a Pennsylvanian

    January 17, 2008 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  15. Val Davydov, MA


    You are a HYPOCRITE and a PANDERER. You are not only mocking your own faith and your own beliefs, you are mocking our God's Holy Name and entire Christianity as whole. SHAME ON YOU.

    South Carolina – I hope you are smarter than that. Huckabee is NOT fit to be the Republican nominee (forget about being president of the United States – he will never get there).

    January 17, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  16. Teacher

    If we stop the fighting amongst ourselves and take a good look around you might see that someone is trying to make slaves of us all.The Mult-National Corporations are planning to make us all slaves.Its all about cheap labor!Using China for it or bringing them in,we are all guilty by complicity when we buy the product.Nothing has changed since the Civil War,just the wording.

    January 17, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  17. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    "f they want a to be a racist state let them. Just cut off all the federal funding to the state until the move out of the 1920's and into the 21st century."

    Certainly, cut off all Federal funding. Of course, that, in propriety, involves cutting off all Federal taxation of the state. While we're at it, lets cut off all Federal "benefits" and, concomitantly, all Federal obligations.

    Which is exactly what the people of the south wanted a hundred and fifty years ago.

    January 17, 2008 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  18. Allan Cohen

    Huckabee if anyone like you get elected to be president of this country than anybody that votes for you must have been isolated and does pay any attention to what is being said by you. I feel very sad that the minority of a religious group was allowed to take control of a major political party who had such great people as Teddy Roosevelt, Abe Lincoln and Ike Eisenhower in it. These people would think that the regular members should rebel against this group and retake the party for the great party it was in the past history of this country.

    January 17, 2008 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  19. Val Davydov, MA


    Regarding your comment: that's exactly why Huckabee cannot and must not be a President of the United States. Being a pastor or a preacher is one thing and being a president of the country is totally different.

    January 17, 2008 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  20. E

    Robert, you are living in the past.

    January 17, 2008 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  21. t-mack

    Funny... I don't see the word "confederate" mentioned anywhere before in his quotes. Hmm, just perhaps... the media spins things as the media does. Two tid-bit sentences aren't enough to say the who story. Sorry.

    January 17, 2008 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  22. Phil

    That flag is a symbol bigotry and treason. Some may say that the confederate flag is a symbol of their heritage; that heritage is one of hate and ignorance. Clearly, this is yet another reason for voters to look away from Huckabee as a candidate for the presidency. His stance demonstrates an ignorance that should have died with the end of slavery.

    January 17, 2008 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  23. Mark D.

    It's astounding that, at a time war, a GOP candidate for President is defending the use of a flag that was flown by traitors to this country as they took up arms against the United States and sought to bring it down.

    The history of the Confederacy is the history of treason and traitors, and the flag represents treason and traitors.

    Anyone who supports traitors and treason is unfit to hold the US Presidency.

    January 17, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  24. Marcelo

    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."

    Anyone else find it funny that he doesn't like to be told what to do with the confederate flag by an outsider but he has no qualms about creating legislation limiting the rights of gays, lesbians and transgendered folks and limiting the choices of women?

    Well, Mr. Huckabee, I know you think you're the best candidate for our president, but please kindly take a good look at yourself in the mirror and tell me if America needs another self-righteous bigot in our white house. We need someone who looks out for the whole country, is the president for all americans, who doesn't play the partisanship game or pander to a single religious group. We need someone is honest, intelligent, accountable and thoughtful leader, who is above the polical games of washington, who knows that the rights of one person cannot be trampled upon by another's beliefs. We are better than this and so are you.

    God Bless America. Obama '08

    January 17, 2008 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  25. ji_john

    What a Dizzy Day! Obama, a Democrat, decides to say that Ronald Reagan was right for his time, and Mike Huckabee defends the flying of the Confederate Flag. Wow! Change your water. There's something wrong with it.

    January 17, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
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