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. John G, New York, NY

    MTN –

    Actually, you are poorly informed about the marriage debate. While you are correct that states have jurisdiction over civil law (including marriage), the "good faith and credit" clause of the Constitution mandates that certain components of civil law (including marriage) that apply to one state, also apply to any other state. This core component of the Constitution is essential. For example, if you buy a car in Florida, and drive it up to Georgia, the Constitition protects your ownership of the car in Georgia as well.

    Marriage works the same way. If you get married in Texas, but you and your spouse move to New Mexico, New Mexico is obliged under "full faith and credit" to recognize your marriage even though it was issued in Texas.

    This is why opponents of gay marriage argue for a constitutional amendment to prevent gay marriage. Otherwise, regardless how how much opposition there is to gay marriage in North Carolina, they may very well be forced to recognize a gay marriage that was licenced by the state of Massachusetts.

    This is one example of why the Ron Paul "federalist" approach simply doesn't work. 1) Full faith and credit is essential for us to operate as a nation, 2) Nullification (the right for states to veto federal law that they don't like) was struck down in the 18th century and...well....3) we fought (and won) a Civil War to demonstrate that the union is more important than the individual states.

    January 17, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  2. Robert

    First of all, it's hypocrite not the other hundred spelling you idiots are using. The Confederate flag should not be labeled as slavery because there were many more issues involved. It is simply uneducated to reduce the Civil War to just an issue on slavery. It is not the national government's job to make sure no one in the whole country gets offended. If you think that homosexuality is natural, I challenge you to conceive a child. You are asking for the same freedom to do whatever you want as Huckabee is talking about here. Just because you want something does not mean that you are right.

    January 17, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    How many women did Slicky Billy, willy had that hilary can take with this unforgivable sin??????

    January 17, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  4. Jessie

    I agree with everything he is says. People wouldn't like it if someone came into our homes and told us what to wear or how to eat...they have their own homes to make those decisions in. Just like with this flag. And people need to quit crying and grow up...if you don't like it close your eyes and turn your head. Be the bigger person!

    January 17, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  5. william walsh columbus ohio

    david ,,lol i like that very funny!

    January 17, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  6. Mario

    You know we need the south to help the republican president get to that office, but Hickupbee and his comment to tell someone what to do with a flag pole is sickening!

    To fly the confederate flag or not an issue for the office of the president, so why is Hickupbee making this an issue! If the people of one state want to fly that flag, let them if people in another one don't want to, that is their business, so what is Hickupbee trying to do?

    That is something that the southern states need to deal with, it was part of there history like it or not! This country did have a civil war, north or south, it was a historical issue, leave it alone, if it offends certain people, then they need to go about it to be removed if that is what needs to be done, the government doesn't need to be involved like Hickupbee suggest it might, I think he's just trying to be one of the southern boys and try to fit in becasue that is the only way he can be Gomer Pyle, a made up charector, the southern states will seee how silly Hickupbee is.

    Go Mitt!

    January 17, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  7. Mrs. Huckabee

    The best part of Huckabee ran down his mama's leg.

    January 17, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  8. myron

    America for Americans–those rebels lost the war
    Now we are all Slaves to the credit card, gas pump and fuel oil
    but we are only Rentals disposable workers disposable jobs disposable people disposable families, children and frineds owned by Corporations of foreign investors

    January 17, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  9. Boston

    Romney is the only viable GOP candidate...

    Huckleberry is a joke, McCain just moved out of Fred and Wilma's house, Fred T. barely registers a pulse, and Guliani is a democrat.

    Smart Southern voters will see Mitt is their only option...

    January 17, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  10. Joanne O'Kelley

    I'm very disappointed in his statement. He should be sensitive enough to know some residents of South Carolina find the flag offensive, and rightly so. It should not be displayed atop a government building. John McClain is the true statesman and apologized for using the same argument in the last election.

    January 17, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  11. Jay

    Hey, at least his dumb, awkward jokes are a lot sharper than Dubya's...

    January 17, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  12. Robert

    I just wanted to log in as a Christian who thinks this is disgusting. I apologize to everyone for having to listen to "Christian leaders" who espouse such appalling ideas. We DO all know what this flag means to 99% of people in our country, and I cannot believe someone who wears Christianity on their public sleeve would support something with such racist implications, even if they are desperate for votes.

    January 17, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  13. Jonathon

    He might win a couple of Southern states in the GOP race with this kind of talk, but it will cost his party the presidency if this clown actually wins. I wonder if would have won Iowa if he'd said some of these things prior to January.

    January 17, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  14. Independent in IA

    Don't ya just love the barnyard humor (fit only for swine) coming from a preacher?

    January 17, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  15. pam Eugene OR

    I really like Huck. He makes me laugh. You take pole and...Do you think God is listening to how you are speaking?
    As a democrat I would love to see him get his party's nomination.

    January 17, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  16. Val Davydov, MA


    You are a HIPOCRATE 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 being president of the United States – he will never get there).

    January 17, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  17. Teacher

    Huck,you just chewed off your foot like a muskrat.Good night

    January 17, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  18. Andrew, Columbia, MD

    When its clear that voters in both parties are looking for a change agent, a uniter, its interesting to see such a stark declaration of separation that hasnt been voiced in the public arena in quite a while. Its interesting to listen to a speech like Obama's "One America", and then have to read this crap.

    By the way, all the states were involved in the war, there are no outsiders. That flag, and what it truly represents, is the bloodshed of Americans at the hands of Americans in what is truly a blight on our proud history as a NATION. That flag, no matter what you think it represents, is one thing and one thing only. It is the flag of a mutinous coalition of states. It is the flag of traitors and marks a time of high treason. To fly that flag today represents a disconnect with history, it represents false pride, and a disloyalty to the UNION of ALL states. I certainly don't need Huckabee to teach me history, what a farce of a candidate. I might have listened to him back when the earth was flat, but in 2008, the fact that his opinions still garner votes represents a true need for the republican party to join the 21st century.

    January 17, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  19. Gerry

    Great comment by Huckabee – so refreshing to see a candidate tell it like it is.

    January 17, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  20. George

    You liberals are definitely accomplished at taking things out of context and blowing it out of proportion. It's very clear that he was simply advocating for state's rights, a Constitutional principle that is increasingly ignored.

    No one in their right mind (with any sort of care for political viability) would advocate for the Confederate flag in a national election. No matter what you think, no politician on this level is that mindless.

    This comment board is evidence of what he is advocating. There are extremely different opinions in different parts of the country. Our forefathers knew that; therefore, they advocated for those states rights. And, Huckabee is simply reflecting on that. To take it as anything else is ludicrous, despite what the liberal media shoves down your throat.

    January 17, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  21. Spencer

    This will help Huckabee lock up the bigot vote.

    January 17, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  22. Greg

    Proof positive that ignorance and bigotry live in the Republican Party. These people represent the worst of us, and make us the laughing stock of the world. Let's join together and make a clear statement:: "The great majority of us are way beyond the barbaric beliefs of our "Moral Majority". These are people that have no clue how to be morally upright, so they substitute religion for it instead. I say no..

    January 17, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  23. M. Winners, Mesa, AZ

    Finally, the ole' "Rev. Huck the Hick" has been "outed" for what he really is – and he did it himself! Where ya gonna stick the pole Huck baby? Isn't that a gay thing?
    Like my father told me and his father told him, "Never trust a politician who brings God or religion into the governmental dialogue – he'll stick it to you every time"...

    January 17, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  24. earl

    what flag do YOU fly mike...the AMERICAN FLAG?....or the flag of the kkk?

    January 17, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  25. David

    Mrs Huckabee! Please! I'm eating!

    January 17, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
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