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. Apalled

    Robert – "If you think that homosexuality is natural, I challenge you to conceive a child."

    I wasn't aware that conceiving children was a requisite part of marriage. Does that mean the millions of couples who choose not to have children are not actually married? Interesting interpretation of the word, but sadly ignorant and incorrect.

    While the right to fly this flag is present, its distasteful and a disgrace. The Civil War was admittedly about much, much more than slavery. However, its undeniable that the flag represents the brutality and oppression of slavery as well as a country that SUPPORTED the horrible institution. If nothing else, it represents a period of extreme disunity within the country, which is not something that should necessarily be displayed with pride.

    and the comment by Huckabee of what to do with the flag pole is extremely classy. Thats exactly the type of thing we as a nation would want to be reflected upon Americans. Bush didn't do enough to embarrass US citizens and make us out as ignorant fools. Elect Huckabee and expect more of the same stupidity.

    January 18, 2008 01:28 am at 1:28 am |
  2. Robert

    Huckabee is a good man with great new ideas who cares about the average
    American. And he has more Integrity then anyone in both parties.

    January 18, 2008 01:30 am at 1:30 am |
  3. Tom, NY

    This guy is something else. You talk about working a crowd. If anybody buys what this phony is selling, give me a call, I got some knock-off handbags to sell you.

    January 18, 2008 02:00 am at 2:00 am |
  4. Tom, NY

    The illegal Mexican community just notified us , they will hang their flag anywhere they want and shove the U.S. pole up you know what!

    Let's see how this goes over. 🙂

    January 18, 2008 02:04 am at 2:04 am |
  5. Tony

    The scary thing is there is a certain amount of people that agree whole heartedly with him. Maybe that next Civil War will actually happen if a knot head like Huckaboo

    January 18, 2008 02:22 am at 2:22 am |
  6. Tony

    The scary thing is there is a certain amount of people that agree whole heartedly with him. Maybe that next Civil War will actually happen if a knot head like Huckaboo gets elected.
    I think the south has to finally realize that YOU LOST THE CIVIL WAR and throw Huckaboo out of every state he travels too but his own (arkansas deserves him)

    January 18, 2008 02:30 am at 2:30 am |
  7. Laura

    I am a Christian Conservative and I have voted in every election since I turned 18. Mike Huckabee is MY VERY FAVORITE CANDIDATE EVER!! GO HUCK GO!!
    * We need a president who is real....not a talking political bobble head.
    * I want a president who will tell someone "where to stick it"
    * There is nothing anti Christian about that. Its what I want him to say to Bin Laden. (and HIllary)
    * I dont give a CARE if anyone in this country flys any flag that stemmed from AMERICA's HERITAGE. Did you ever consider the fact that the confederate flags meaning has changed over the years? That is stands for Southern Pride instead of Bigotry? People are too :offended!!! Get over it.
    *The Southern People have a right to preserve there heritage. This is a problem?
    Maybe you should come over to So. California, because unfortunately NO DEMOCRATS seem to care they are FLYING MEXICAN FLAGS ALL OVER THIS PLACE in all neighborhoods..but I dont get to be OFFENDED about that, otherwise I will be racist ...
    *This country was founded in GOD WE TRUST. The same god that huckabee worships. Why should we change that now? and we are the best country in the world.. so I guess it is working..? well it was until everyone starting the crusade on RELIGION.
    *WOMEN SHOULD OBEY, LOVE, RESPECT their husbands.
    This does not mean men should walk around and order women around. It means as a wife, we should respect, listen, care for, and LET THE MAN be a man.
    It means we should raise our OWN children, let out husband be our providers.
    It means we should be good mothers and do what we can to keep our children out of daycare, out of social programs. Men are supposed to be our protectors, our providers, we as women should also be respected by our husbands and treated good, but all the women out there working, dropping kids off at daycare for 12 hours a day, making men be stay at home dads (unless they really really want to maybe) is negatively effecting the generation of children they/we are producing.
    Women need to be at HOME to care for, counsel, teach, learn from and ENJOY their CHILDREN.

    I believe in MARRIAGE for childrens sakes. I believe that we are not hear to judge others, but we also have a responsibility to teach Children what is right and wrong. I believe in educating yourself to be better for you, your family, your children, your country and your God. I believe in freedom that our soldiers are fighting for in IRAQ. SO that MY 10 YEAR OLD SON DOES NOT HAVE TO FIGHT THESE TERRORISTS IN OUR COUNTRY WHEN HE IS 20.

    As far as the fair tax. .... we lost our home in foreclosure, after 3 job layoffs where we live. The economy in So Cal is failing, (due to illegal immigrants using our education systems, hospitals, medi-cal, welfare, grants, not to mention taking our jobs.) I mean when was the last time you saw the local neighborhood kid learning how to be a hard worker by mowing lawns in the neighborhood?
    Oh.... wait... the illegals will do it for $10 cheaper than the neighbor boy.. so little Johnny wont get to learn the valueable lesson of work ethic, hard work, money management, but he will be a loser especially if his MOM AND DAD work all day and there is no mother around after school to guide and supervise these kids.

    I HEART HUCKABEE..........
    Save this country from all the evil doers!! In the world and in the USA!!
    I do NOT want my taxes to pay for mexico's children. I want them to pay for my countrys children.
    If I want to help Mexicos children, I will go on a mission with my church.

    January 18, 2008 02:44 am at 2:44 am |
  8. cornio

    Wow If I vote for a Hill billy now its going to be Ron Paul, I like him because he's crazy as hell...

    And I don't think Jesus cares because he's black and more concerned about the inner city, trailer parks, people on jerry spinger and morry than a stupid Flag..

    January 18, 2008 03:14 am at 3:14 am |
  9. Angela

    What a spectacularly STUPID thing to say.
    He is completely unhinged.
    I can see him using those kind of words with world leaders – OMG.
    Thankfully he stands a snowballs chance in hell of getting the nomination.

    January 18, 2008 03:20 am at 3:20 am |
  10. Sidney

    Great idea coming from someone who wants to lead a nation. I say let them fly their flag all they want as long as they are willing to never take a dime or help from the federal government. No wonder Mitt left the state to campaign elsewhere. If you have to stoop to these kinds of stupid speeches to get a few votes welcome to them Huck. Sorry folks out there but this doesn't reflect well on your good state. If I lived there I'd get out and let people know that you aren't all red neck flag waving confederates who have never moved on past the civil war.

    January 18, 2008 03:44 am at 3:44 am |
  11. Sidney

    You know Mark some how I'm not very worried.

    January 18, 2008 03:58 am at 3:58 am |
  12. Dave

    This is one of the top 10 candidates in the country for President? Give me strength...

    January 18, 2008 04:04 am at 4:04 am |
  13. Tom

    As always people take something and assume that they associate a certain meaning with the symbol that it is the only one that matters. People need to consider the fact that the confederate flag is just as much a matter of personal pride in the fact that the South practically beat an army backed by a much larger population and with much more financial backing. If you actually think that the majority of Southerners look at the Confederate flag and visions of slave ownership and racism dance in their head your just reinforcing the fact that your as much a bigot and as ignorant as the people who you without any factual backing broadly paint as racists.

    The Germans have erradicated the use of the swastika but racism still exists today. Even if the confederate flag solely stood for what the loons on the left try to label it ass getting rid of symbols doesn't eliminate racism. It will continue to exist with or without the symbols associated with it.

    January 18, 2008 04:42 am at 4:42 am |
  14. where's the beef

    You consider the Civil War "a loss, not a win"? "Nothing in the Constitution implies that individual states are committed to association with the UNITED STATES?" "Only 4% of Confederate forces owned slaves?" (When have the wealthy ever fought their own wars?) And the sour grapes kicker: "If the South had available the same amount of financial resources as the north, the stars and bars would be flying over all your heads today"?

    What if Al Quaeda had the same amount of financial resources as the United States?

    Wow. I always thought "traitor" was mostly just a partisan buzz-word used to curry favor with self-righteous "patriots", but perhaps the threat is more real than I knew.

    Fortunately these few voices are drowned out by a lot of smart, thoughtful and funny posts from BOTH Northern and Southern parts of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Let's hope those are the voices that determine the course of this election too. I'd love to see voters have some thoughtful debate about important issues instead of threatening to shove flag-poles up each others *****. Oh wait, that was a candidate.

    January 18, 2008 05:28 am at 5:28 am |
  15. alive&well

    o boy the "flag" issue,....
    anyone ever notice the state flag of HI ?
    seems there is a defeated nation on that flag too,.. check it & see

    no one complains about that

    and by the way why doesn't one single person EVER complain and ban our flag we have that flown over our country while slavery was was under it for what about 100 years before the Confederate flag flew

    talk about hypocrisy

    January 18, 2008 05:29 am at 5:29 am |
  16. Truethis

    Huck, lets see how many true Republican support you. Fox don't like you and now you pull this. Boy...........you sticking your foot farther in mouth and back into AK. Keep up the good work.

    January 18, 2008 07:19 am at 7:19 am |
  17. AJ; Montpelier, VT

    mark : You posted –
    "You commentars need to find God. You will be condemned in the end. If God wants him to be a President then it will happen."

    This post just reinforces the dim view many Americans have of "christians."
    Mark, do you think you can pray to God to increase your IQ by a substaintial amount? If so, start praying.......

    As for Huckabee's Confederate flag remarks, who is surprised? The man is a bigoted, racist, homophobic kook. Time for him to get out of politics and into the pulpit of hate where he can hang out with pigs just like him.

    January 18, 2008 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  18. plane

    If he's anything like plenty of other preachers, don't be surprised if he bends over after he hands you the pole and tells you to stick it!

    January 18, 2008 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  19. Leo, TX

    Way to pander to a group of your constituents who sees no problem with a symbol of the Old South, which, by the way, embraced slavery then segregation. Now we know a little more about who you are, Huckster.

    January 18, 2008 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  20. Steven

    Well Mike, you certainly just loss my vote. It is disappointing to know that you will say anything at the last second for a few votes. Obviously, you are not a man who will represent all citizens of this country, but will say or do whatever needs to be done for your best interest. As a Christian, I had high hopes for you but your blatant disregard for the pain the confederate flag represents to others shows that you are either racist or an opportunist who will go which ever way the wind blows. Whatever the case, we certainly don't need a divisive person like you in the White House.

    Go Obama!

    January 18, 2008 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  21. Jen Cedar Falls, IA

    A pathetic way to get the "Bubba" and "Get r done" vote.

    January 18, 2008 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  22. mark, furlong, PA

    Huckabee is mentally impaired. He needs treatment; not the Presidency.

    January 18, 2008 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  23. W.D.Russell, East Liverpool, Ohio

    Huck wants to tell women what to do with their own bodies.
    Huck wants to decide who can marry.
    Huck has no problem with telling peoples of other nations how to live in their own countries.
    Huck wants to change the Constitution to fit his own views.

    The Huckster will move mountains when it comes to supporting the white right.

    Huck you are worse than a fool, I might feel sorry for a fool.

    January 18, 2008 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  24. Tom, Boston MA

    ji john wrote:

    "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."

    It's becoming more and more clear that Obama is an empty suit that will unite the empty suit voters right in the middle between the elephants and the donkeys.

    He calls it change.

    That was done by Reagan and Bill Clinton: under their leadership, the groundwork for the new brash american imperialist adventures was laid.

    hope for what? more of the centrist garbage?

    Obama is either liar or idiot, based on what is known through his words so far.

    January 18, 2008 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  25. IJ baltimore, MD

    Anyone defending the Confederate flag is a treasonist and terrorist at heart if not in action. The confederate battle flag (it's not the real flag of the Confederate states) is a flag that was flown to inspire those who sought to kill U.S. soldiers during a war. Thousands upon thousands of our men in uniform gave the ultimate sacrifice to prevent that flag from flying and to free an enslaved people, as well as keep this great nation together. It is the flag of a stated enemy of the United States. It is the flag of a group that sought to keep the right to enslave humans. It is a flag of a group that sought to destroy the unity of the the greatest nation on earth. I rank anyone waving that flag with al quada, Hamas, and any other group that sought the destruction of the U.S. of A.

    January 18, 2008 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
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