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. Phil Memphis, TN

    OMG, he finally did it to himself. he is who i thought he was, and is now starting to prove it. Phew, for a while there i thought he might have had an outside chance. Glad to see he has taken the last few days as an opportunity to self-destruct.

    January 17, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  2. Ryan

    to Mk. Are you seriously equating abortion with a flag? Last time I checked, abortion had 3 lives involved, the mother, the father, and the child. Get real.

    January 17, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  3. Kevin

    "you want to come tell us what to do with the flag, we'd tell them what to do with the pole"


    just proves how much of a moron this guy is.

    January 17, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  4. Casey

    I'm a Southern in Atlanta and a Christian...and NOT a Huckabee supporter...he's not only using Jesus to gain votes, now he's trying to get "Confederate" votes. Oh my goodness, will you smart Republican's in South Carolina put a stop to this guy. What's next a Huckabee rally supported by the KKK?

    Stop the madness...a Huckabee nomination will put an end to the Republican party...I'm switching to the Democratic party...they may not all agree but they are somewhat united for the better of the country.

    January 17, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  5. Tom, Boston MA

    Let Him Show his True Color!!! it will only help humanity.

    January 17, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  6. Jawinka Smith

    Ah. The true Huckabee comes out.

    I am far from an Obama supporter, but at least he is doing his best to run the positive campaign he said he would.

    Huckabee is starting to come across as two-faced, and this concerns me. His appeal was that he was rising above the fray. Now he – oh excuse me... his campaign manager – is starting to get down in the mud.

    January 17, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  7. Ken, Suitland MD

    Hey Stephen (6:47pm), maybe you should go down to the white house and show 'dubya' where it says "thou shall not kill" in the bible. Afterall we should ALL be held accountable to it, right? You reek of hypocrisy.

    I'm going to start an effort to add a new law in some of the states (states rights, after all!): republicans should not be allowed to reproduce. In a couple of generations the IQ of the general population will have risen to the point that the law will no longer be needed.

    January 17, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  8. PW Va

    Perhaps Huckabee should consider teaming up wtih Team Clinton since they appear to have some common ground (ie: race, from the same state, etc.)

    January 17, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  9. Mary Newlon

    Listen to the people of Arkansas who lived there while he was governor...there are many who say the same thing.And his rhetoric is very unChristian about the flag. It's bordering on vulgar.This from Minister of the Gospel? I think he is not......

    January 17, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  10. Nate

    You have a kid too young to understand the pole comment reading cnn's political ticker, really? Come on people, everyone is just looking for reasons to get worked up here. It's been pretty obvious the left leaning media has done everything they can to only grab lines from Huckabee that will get all of you in a tizzy. "oh oh use that one he mentioned God, just leave out what he was talking about though so people get even more worked up." "oh oh he said SC has the right to make a decision on the confederate flag for itself, let's play it up and get everyone in a tizzy about them evil southern people." Well I covered the states right bit in my earlier comment, and for God and the constitution he was talking about protecting human life. MLK (a minister) gave many speeches where he spoke of the need for all of God's children needing to be equal and how the government needed to align the law with how God intended his children to treat each other. Would anyone call MLK a crazy religious zealot? A white guy from the south says we should protect human life as God intended though, oh boy, watch out he must be some crazy religious zealot, oh oh and a bigot too because he's from the south right? It's pretty obvious to me who in this situation is showing prejudice, and it is not Mike Huckabee.

    January 17, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    This is one of the main reason that as a black woman I can't be a republican.
    I believe in a republican economic platform
    I believe that we should have a strong military
    I am pro- life
    I don't believe in gay marriage
    I am christain
    You would think that I would make a great republican
    but Thanks Mike for the reminder
    Because If the My home state of mississippi had its way I would be
    back in the cotton fields

    January 17, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  12. Tom, Boston MA

    Jessie gibberishes:

    "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!"

    no, you are NOT allowed to do a whole host of things, let alone engage bigotry, even if it is right in the middle of your own home. and for good reasons, considering the obviousutter lack of human decency inyour comment.

    on the other hand, i like the idea of ridding my country of you and your ilk....

    January 17, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  13. Darth Vadik, CA

    I have changed my mind,

    SOUTH you can secede,

    and good ridance

    January 17, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  14. Patrick Oliver

    Huckabee is truly dangerous. It's really unfortunate that Iowa voted first. Otherwise, he would have been buried at the bottom of the heap already. God help the USA if someone who doesn't even believe in evolution is ever elected President. We'd be the laughing stock of the world and his presidency would be a disaster of epic proportions.

    January 17, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  15. Dave, Atlanta, GA

    Personally I am shocked. Shocked I say, to hear such language from a preacher. He's gonna tell them what to do with the flagpole?

    January 17, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  16. JSP

    Robert - I'm an infertile woman in a heterosexual marriage. I can't conceive a child either. Am I "unnatural?" Thanks for the support, man.

    January 17, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  17. Tom, Boston MA

    Ken of MD says:

    "republicans should not be allowed to reproduce"

    that's about the only thing the repugs could do for humanity.

    January 17, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  18. Kevin

    John from NY- " 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 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."

    Actually, YOU are poorly informed. States DO NOT have to recognize other states marriages. The Defense of Marriage Act that was passed by president clinton nullified this so that states didn't have to recognize other state's gay marriages. (hello, otherwise we would have gay marriage already in all states). So there is no excuse for a constitutional amendment other than bigotry and to try and reverse the rights that gays have gotten in some states. Think of it as analogous to a Jim Crow law. Denying gays the right to marry is unconstitutional and goes against the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment. The Defense of Marriage Act is also unconstitutional in my opinion.

    Robert – "If you think that homosexuality is natural, I challenge you to conceive a child." Blah, blah...is that all you people have? Actually, homosexuality is natural or else it wouldn't exist; it has existed for thousands of years and used to not be that big of a deal. Gay people can still conceive children, they just have to do it with someone of the opposite sex. Love is not the same as sex, in case you didn't know that.

    Huckabee just keeps getting scarier everyday. First, it's "women must obey their husbands," then declaring that he wants christian law (kind of like islamic law), now hypocritically calling for state's rights. Does anyone really go for this stuff? Is that how people are going to vote with all of the REAL problems we're faced with? Talk about divisive. We're all just people; we should all be able to do whatever we want to do as long as we don't hurt anyone else. Maybe if people weren't so ignorant and filled with basleless hatred and would stop forcing their beliefs on others and trying to control other's lives, we could better work together toward common goals – the real goals, the real problems.

    I loved Huckabee's beautiful speech the other day about personal liberty and freedom; deeply touching though i'm sure it was only in reference to straight white men. Just another example of the blatant hypocrisy of these people; they have to be hypocrites because that's the the only way their messages can exist – they can't exist in reality because they defy reality and common sense.

    These christian radicals are the real terrorists; how else can you justify murdering doctors (under the pretense that life is sacred), lobbying against and denying equal rights for gays, women, blacks, all in the name of religion and the "word of god?" Real christians, and non-christians alike, are ashamed of you people.

    January 17, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  19. Van Buren

    Such nice words, coming from supposedly such a devoted religious man.

    January 17, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  20. Sandy, St. Paul, MN

    "Father-husband is right! We need to protec our sivil liberties and the right to marry famly members and keep the flag our redneck fourfathers held deer pinned prowdly in the backs of our garages. Yee Haw!"

    That seems to be the attitude from Huckabee here. Just my two cents....

    January 17, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  21. Keith FLA

    I think everyone should be reminded that a flag at a state capital building is not the same thing as killing babbies and the last time I checked that flag was in South Carolina and if you are not a registerd voter in South Carolina you dont have a right to say what they can or can not do.

    January 17, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  22. Jake

    Why does everyone get so worked up about flags??

    What is actually disgusting is the flagpole analogy forwarded by a gay bashing "conservative" who opposes abortion and wants to change the constitution to suit his views. Perhaps he would like the flagpole used for disciplining the unbelievers who choose evolution over his [stated] views.

    January 17, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  23. Walt, Belton, TX

    That makes two whole issues I agree with Huckabee on.

    January 17, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  24. Steffen

    Hey I'm German and my ancestors fought in the war. Let's fly the Swastica again, so I can get some warm fuzzys about my heritage.

    January 17, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  25. doogs

    The flag, in my humble opinion, does not represent slavery. It is a piece of southern heritage. I am southern man but also a Jew, so I would be the last person to endorse slavery or oppression. I am also a Texan, and the Texas flag follows from when Texas was it's own republic. Go tell a Texan that you want to remove the flag because it represents the fighting between Texas and Mexico. Same thing with SC. Let them decide. I don't agree with Huckabee's poitics, but I think here he is correct. Stupid comment for a presedential candidate, but I agree.

    January 17, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
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