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. Dustin Jones

    I respect a lot of Mike Huckabee's positions, but I'm sad to see he's trying to align hmself with racist rednecks, not to mention a cowardly Confederacy that murdered more Americans than Osama bin Ladin.

    January 17, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  2. Yow

    ^^ haha....game over.

    January 17, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  3. Jon Peirce

    As a postscript to my last: It's too bad Gov. Huckabee wasn't 50 years older. By the sound of it, he'd have been an ideal running mate for Sen. Strom Thurmond in his 1948 presidential bid.

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


    January 17, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  5. John G, New York, NY

    AMEN CA...

    AND, apparently its also OK for the government to....

    ...Tell women what they can do with their bodies....

    ...AND listen into our private phone calls without a warrent...

    ...AND (ironically) tell us that we CAN put a racist symbol on the flag...but we can't burn it once we do....

    AND...if that pesky Supreme Court gets in the way...he'd call for the constitution to be re-written to comply with HIS interpretation of the Bible. That way...at the end of the process....the government can tell us to do anything HE wants.

    ....But heaven help us if we "outsiders" (we're called US citizens) DARE to tell South Carolina to take a racist symbol that commemorates treason off their state flag.

    January 17, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  6. shannon, la jolla, ca.

    I agree with Mike Huckabee. A government can't tell us we can't fly a flag other than the red-white and blue. This is a free country isn't it?Some businesses in San Diego have the flag of Mexico at equal height hung next to the US flag.

    January 17, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  7. TJS

    Quite a difference in flags and marriage.

    January 17, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  8. Jay

    Uh, OK what about that pole?

    January 17, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  9. Elana, Melbourne Florida

    CA- BRILLIANT. And might I add- its okay to tell women what to do with their bodies and their health?

    January 17, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  10. David

    Thats kind of a racist comment.... although am I surprised? Doesn't he eat squirrel out of his popcorn maker too?

    January 17, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  11. Scott, Cincinnati OH

    It's not OK for Americans to complain when one of their states adopts a racist flag as a symbol of their (ignorance), but it is OK for Americans to tell other cultures and lands how to live. Sounds like a typical right wing neocon double standard. I guess he's just saying whatever he's got to in order to get the power.

    January 17, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  12. peggy cacioppo

    Moderator, my comment is awaiting moderation, please abbreviate my name (peggy cacioppo) pc. thanks

    January 17, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  13. MTN


    Huck isn't making a judgment over whether displaying the Confederate flag is right or wrong. He's responding to whether it's right or wrong for the federal government to get involved in a state-level decision. To your point, the marriage issue is worthy of discussion (i.e. do we need a Constitutional amendment or can the states handle it on their own?). As a Huck supporter, this is one issue where I diverge from my candidate. I believe the same-sex marriage issue is a state's rights debate and shouldn't be addressed at the Constitutional level. My point is that what you're presenting in your comment is not an apples to apples comparison to what Huck said.

    January 17, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  14. Susan

    Oh geez, people please let us attempt not to read into what "HE MIGHT HAVE MET" . I mean goodness look what unfolded when he made the statement about the constitution...lets see people who wrote the constitution the document with the oldest written national framework of government at which time it was written by a secular group of men without any heated declaration of Christian peity..Yet so full of moral values.... In my opinion,what is so wrong with moral values

    January 17, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  15. Connie

    Maybe he will pick up all the redneck vote this way.

    January 17, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  16. Bryan Kesterson

    It seems like a while back the federal government did tell them how to run the schools in Little Rock. Is Huckabee saying that they should have retained segragation as the law in Arkansas? It sounds like it to me.

    January 17, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  17. geocr

    I really hope he continues to make these comical statements; I hope it shows American's how ignorant he is.

    January 17, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  18. N. Wisconsin

    How can this man claim to be a baptist preacher when talking like that? What a bad example to our children. I don't want to go to his church or elect him to be President. He seems to say what his audience wants to hear at the time. Scary man!

    January 17, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  19. Ray

    But its ok to tell us who we can marry??

    January 17, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  20. Vicky

    Amen Brother!

    January 17, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  21. C A Shipman

    Say what you think they want to hear, bet he thinks SC voters are dumb asses also might as well say it.

    January 17, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  22. AJ, Iowa City, IA

    Yes everyone, fascism is here and Mike Huckabee carries it's flag. Watch out African Americans he's a comin.

    January 17, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  23. A Yankee

    Unless its your state flag or The Good Ol' American Flag it has no business on government property. Remember the people who are offended of the confederate flag pay taxes too.

    January 17, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  24. West Palm Beach

    X – Seriously look up the Scriptures. Jesus would tell you the Truth about racism, hate and bigotry (story of the Samaritain woman, for example) and say that it's not about the well, it's about the water. It's not about the flag, it's about knowing how to live life in Truth and Love and let THAT be your banner. It's not about past symbolism, it's about present comments, thoughts, attitudes, judgements, etc. that we express in our everyday lives – MUCH more than about what flies over my capital – that represents me. Look it up for yourself, don't let some preacher or politician tell you. Ask Jesus yourself. He'll answser.

    January 17, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  25. PW Va

    Congratulations, Mr. Huckabee. You have guaranteed yourself the vote of every Klansman, skinhead, and every other fringe hatred group in America.

    As a Christian...you've done yourself proud!!!!

    January 17, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
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