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. Jon Peirce

    Actually, I would love to see Huckabee get the nomination. He could be another Goldwater and bring in the kind of enforced housecleaning of Republicans that the U.S. seriously needs. However, I don't think even the Republicans would be that stupid.

    If I were the President of the U.S. and heard about any state flying the Confederate flag at its state house, I would phone the governor of that state and give him or her 24 hours to lower the flag. If the flag were still flying 24 hours later, I would dispatch a large band of Marines with chainsaws to cut it down. Almost certainly it should be unconstitutional to fly such a thing on public property.

    January 18, 2008 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  2. RM

    This is directed at the moderator.

    You refused to post my comment...

    "Wow, the anti-Christian bigots are out tonight."

    Yet, there are comments that condemn the South, condemn South Carolina, hatefully use the term "bigots," mock Bible believers, and etc. Perhaps you can reasonably explain why my general comment was not posted while truly offensive comments were posted.

    And, yes, the anti-Christian bigots were out last night on this comment thread – and still are. Are you one of them?

    January 18, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  3. a vote for jesus is a vote for huckabee

    Glad he's addressing the real issues here that are important to the progress of our country. Jebus bless you Huckatwit.

    January 18, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  4. arfisher, Midlothian, VA

    I live in the South among gracious and smart people. I can't believe that they will fall for this: squirrel frying in popcorn poppers, hunting, snowball fighting, Chuck Norris, bigotry, bad guitar playing. I think they want more presidential material to represent us in the world. Stick to the issues don't waste time telling folks to let air out of folks tires and lock them in their dorm rooms so they won't vote against him. Stick with the desperate condition of the nation and its issues.

    January 18, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  5. John G, New York, NY

    Kevin –

    Your understanding of the Defense of Marriage Act is ill-informed.

    The Defense of Marriage Act, which allows for states to refuse to recognize the marriages of other states carries the weight of law....but does not carry the weight of the Constitution. The Supreme Court has yet to rule whether DoMA complies with the "full faith and credit" clause of the Constitution.

    Therefore, just as the Supreme Court has not yet ruled on any cases from same-sex couple who have married and subsequently were denied marital status in another state under "full faith and credit", they have also not had a solid test case to determine whether DoMA is, in fact, constitutional.

    January 18, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  6. KLB

    Can someone tell Mike that the Confederate flag is not the flag of South Carolina. Last time I checked SC's flag was blue with a crescent moon and a palmetto tree.

    January 18, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  7. Lance

    I am a huge supporter of the idea of having Mike Huckabee as our Republican nominee. However, this confederate flag stuff has to stop. MOVE ON FOLKS. I don't blame Huck as he is just trying to get his base fired up and out to the polls. It's the correct political strategy. McCain did the same thing in 2000.
    But this flag crap has to stop. Every election year, the flag issue is talked about by many people in my state, Georgia, and every time people decide who they will vote for because of it. If you base your decision on who you will vote for only because a particular candidate supports the display of a Confederate flag, then don't vote at all. There are many more important issues at stake.
    Look, I've got a lot of roots in southern heritage. My great(x6) grandfather was the sheriff in Appomatox and owned the house where Lee and Grant met to sign the peace treaty. Many of my distant relatives fought in the Civil War on the Confederate side. I am proud that they stood up for their ideas and beliefs. However, that was in 1865. Today is 2008. Move on. Be proud of your ancestor's actions and sacrifices but move the heck on. This is a very important election, start treating it like one.

    January 18, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  8. Cherise

    Wow. Huckabee – so what do we make of this UNSOLICITED obvious support to their interest in waving the confederate symbol that speaks volumes of interest toward racism & holding on to rifts in already divided America? He just VOLUNTEERED his strong support for that kind of stinkin thinkin.

    I agree with Tina from Arizona – I live in the South & I love Christ but not everyone who says "Lord, lord" is really following Christ some of them just love the way His name sounds on their campaign trail – Bush & Huckabee DO NOT represent all southerners & they certainly don't represent all "Christians" no matter how much they try to "act" like they do

    Tina's closing phrase:
    "Please America, do not elect yet another idiot southern Christ freak for president. PLEASE!"

    January 18, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  9. gf

    You all have the spelling wrong. Its – hypochristian

    January 18, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  10. roger, conway sc

    This man if elected he will be a religious extremest.....his campaign speeches are like he is preaching from the pulpit.

    January 18, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  11. Dan-o

    It appears that all of the comments left here (mostly from Yankees) have been brainwashed into the fact that the rebel flag somehow stands for slavery. This is also how the media portrays it. The fact is that we don't (as Southerners) defend the flag as a slavery symbol but as a symbol that our forefathers fought and died for and to honor their memory that the cause in which they fought for (States Rights NOT Slavery) will be remembered and honored. IF some of you would try and read the TRUE history of what happened instead of believing everything you were told and heard you would concur. We all believe the same way on the slavery issue, it is a mute point. John C. Calhoun saw the conflict coming 30 years before it happened by the Federal Government strong arming the South and tried to warn of the impeding conflict to no avail. I can say this for Huckabee, he's not AFRIAD to tell you where he stands and WHAT he believes in. For that HE WILL get my vote and my prayers.

    January 18, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  12. Mark

    Mike Huckabee is advocating sexually deviant behavior with such comments. As a Chistian Conservative voter, I am certainly asking myself what the level of integrity expressed by Mr. Huckabee is. This is a red flag for sure.

    January 18, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  13. 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 18, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  14. GS

    Get a clue!!!!!!

    Huckabee is a good choice for president.

    Most of you in this blog sound like idiots. Talking the way you do.

    Do this country and yourself I good service and think before you open your mouth.

    January 18, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  15. Jon Peirce

    We shouldn't perhaps be wasting as much energy over Huckabee as some of us have been (yours truly included). After all, the guy wasn't running for the Presidency. He's just using this as a springboard for a choice part on "Law and Order" after viewers say they've had enough of Fred Thompson.


    January 18, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  16. Frank

    The media needs to start calling the flag what it really is, THE TREASON FLAG. It represents, among other things, an act of treason against The United States of America, Say it with me, "The TREASON FLAG,

    January 18, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  17. Gerald C, Madison, WI

    As an Independent, I was fairly excited about Huckabee's candidacy. He speaks like an honest man with true convictions. But his oafish parading of political heavyweights such as wrestler Rick Flare and actor/popular joke punchline Chuck Norris has made him into a joke that is getting increasingly tired (much like the aforementioned Norris). And now, with this, perhaps we are getting a true glimpse into Mr. Huckabee. It has been said that there are two distinct America's–one red, one blue. Mr. Huckabee is a reminder that this may be true. To defend the Confederate flag, and in the manner in which he did so–suggesting that a offender should have the flag pole inserted into his or her rear end–does not speak to Christian conduct, and suggests an extreme that America should work strongly to avoid.

    January 18, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  18. CJ07

    I used to think that anyone would be better than Bush.


    January 18, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  19. Arkie NOT 4 Huckabee

    Please dont subject us Arkansans to 4 or 8 more years of Huckabee! What a lunatic!

    January 18, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  20. Mike

    If he's going to go the federalism route and say it's a state decision, which clearly it is, then he should go the federalism route on abortion, gay marriage, etc.

    January 18, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  21. Rev. Gov

    That's priceless - because Arkansas has such a great record on race relations and government intervention in the schools. Little Rock Nine, anyone?

    January 18, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  22. John

    Greetings from South Carolina. The great thing about living down here is not having to deal with Yankee ignorance on the War Between the States. To all those to whom the foregoing applies, kindly allow me to regale you with a winter song, "Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!" Oh well, take solace in the fact that at least the flagpole will be warm!

    January 18, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  23. Carolina Carl

    Obviously, You have all missed the point in Mr. Huckabees remarks. He is talking about states rights, one of many great things that our founding fathers were behind when this country was first created. Everyone is SO ready to be offended and usually do not HAVE a clue in the first place about what they are tlking about.

    January 18, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  24. Carolina Carl

    Obviously, You have all missed the point in Mr. Huckabees remarks. He is talking about states rights, one of many great things that our founding fathers were behind when this country was first created. Everyone is SO ready to be offended and usually do not HAVE a clue in the first place about what they are talking about.

    January 18, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  25. Stephanie

    I'm appalled!!! His comment "If somebody came to Arkansas and told us what to do with our flag-we'd tell them what to do with the pole" was totally unprofessional and unchristian.

    At a minimum, he should immediately apologize. I called his headquarters and left a comment. The phone # is 501-324-2008 if anyone else feels so inclined.

    January 18, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
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