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. Lou

    in the other hand yesterday he wanted to change the constitution to tell women what to do with their bodies.....

    January 17, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  2. montana

    just lost my vote

    January 17, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  3. Steve, Huntington Beach CA

    whatever Hick-abee

    January 17, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  4. Chris

    Huckabee is showing HIS true colors...First, the Southern Baptist Conference endorsing the mantra that wives "obey their husbands"...then the outrageous comment regarding holding the Constitution to "God's Standard"...to the 25% sales tax that ALL economists know is regressive and HURTS the poor and middle class to finally the Confederate Flag and telling people where to "put the pole". We do NOT want Huckabee as president.

    January 17, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  5. RuthieM

    welp that wipes him out for me.

    January 17, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  6. J

    WHAT IF A STATE ADOPTED A NAZI FLAG? WHAT WOULD YOU DO THEN, MR.

    RELIGIOUS BOY?

    January 17, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  7. Craig, Vista, Ca

    If 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.

    January 17, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  8. Jufus, Milwaukee, WI

    I think Huckabot thinks South Carolina is NOT in the UNITED STATES!

    To even think of flying the confederate flag and all the divisiveness it stands for and creates is, well, typical Southern Baptist CHRISTIANITY!

    The POLE should go in you!

    January 17, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  9. Bob

    You do what you gotta do to get the nomination. That is what Huck is doing.

    January 17, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  10. aware

    Give it up Huck. Your SBC affiliation, especially your view of women as stated in the SBC 2000 Faith and Message creed, will defeat you, and any other issue you stump for is minor in comparison.

    January 17, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  11. Greg, NY

    CA January 17, 2008 3:35 pm ET

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

    And it's ok for them to tell women how to make decisions on their bodies too.

    See, Republicans are pro-life because they want you to have your babies so as soon as they turn 18 the Republicans can send off your children to fight their wars.

    See how that works?

    January 17, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  12. Steve, Pennsylvania

    What an idiot. I wonder if he'll choose the zombie of Jefferson Davis as his running mate, since their rhetoric seems to have a lot in common.

    January 17, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  13. P from NH

    His comment about the pole is not very Christian-like... WWJD?

    January 17, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  14. Susan

    Pleassssee..........Huckabee....What are you thinking anyway...first you are going to amend the constitution to ...what did you say?...to make it more fitting towards God's Plan? Whose God are you talking about? Yours???? and Yours only????
    and now you want to allow states to fly the Confederate Flag? What you suggest is unfitting of our next president of the United States ...You really are a religious nut case.....Do you really believe this crap?.....Go Home Huckabee Give it Up.....

    January 17, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  15. lc

    And he is a "true Christian"?

    I bet his Huckabites are not sending this around in mass emails as they are the lies about Obama and his religious beliefs.

    January 17, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  16. Chris

    What a wimpy cop-out! Is any republican brave enough to speak up for african americans in SC who might see the flag as a lingering symbol of slavery?

    January 17, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  17. Oklahoma_Pol

    It saddens me that Gov Huckabee is attempting to gain votes in South Carolina on "Confederate Flag " issue.

    I am sure he feels pressured by Thompson on Right to Life and gun issue, by John McCain on military, national security and experience issues and by Romney on who is actually the more religious right candidate.

    Making the confederate flag is an issue is wrong! I thought South Carolina voters and citizens made that decision.

    This is the first thing that makes me reasess my opinion of Gov Huckabee

    January 17, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  18. Ken

    Segregation was brought to end by outsiders. Local people–no matter where or when–are often so bound up by local prejudices and biases, and also local structures of power and coercion, that they need independent observers to point out to them what is often painfully obvious.

    As for "States' Rights" arguments, they are arguments of convenience. Huck supports them on the flag issue, but on gay marriage he would want an amendment to the Constitution.

    Flippity flop flop.

    January 17, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  19. SecondSage

    Huckabee is mortgaging the Farm on South Carolina. As an African American I should be appauled. But the flag is not a concern to me. The war has to end and the rich getting richer has to stop. This is what all of america needs. I only see one republican stepping to the plate, that's RON PAUL.

    January 17, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  20. Joe from NC

    As a white southern male whose great great great grandfather died fighting for the south in the civil war, I cannot understand why South Carolina has a right to fly that flag (which isn't even the real confederate flag). Individuals who do have every right to do so, but a state government flying an enemy flag only serves to weaken our country's unity.

    January 17, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  21. David, Oregon City

    The weak don’t get it! The battle flag was used in the “War Between the States” to defend all state’s rights as granted in the U. S. Constitution. Now some use the flag as an excuse of convenience to repress history.

    For sure Huckabee has out classed all the other candidates!

    January 17, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  22. Cat, Costa Mesa, CA

    This is the most important fight southerners have? A stupid flag? Why is Huckabee placing his entire campaign ona flag? I guess the south doesn't have such pressing matters like unemployment, inflation and illegal immigration.

    January 17, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  23. Ben

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

    January 17, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  24. John

    I like the idea of federalism. Unfortunately for the neocon, cynical Bush administration and friends, federalism is forgotten. They can dictate where our national guards fight, eavesdrop on us at any moment without permission, take away Terri Shiavo's right to die even if that is not conservative, but their friends will inform you how that federalism exists only in Louisiana so FEMA was not obviously at fault for screwing over 1,000 dead and several more poor. Obviously New Orleans should have fixed its own problem (note sarcasm to anybody who, sadly, can't tell) but if there is a comatose woman who has not "clearly" signed away her right to die, Congress and the President must step in to act as her parents.

    Actually, neocons do often try to meddle in the whole gay marriage issue at the federal level but I am satisfied that it is mostly a state issue as no marriage amendment has been signed but many bans and civil union / marriage laws have become law.

    January 17, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  25. Jonathan, UT

    If McCain takes SC, he'll also take Florida and then it will be all over. I NEVER thought I'd be rooting for the Huckster.

    January 17, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
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