January 18th, 2008
10:05 AM ET
13 years ago

Pro-Confederate flag ads praise Huckabee, bash Romney, McCain

(CNN) - An independent group that supports the public display of the Confederate flag is running ads in South Carolina through Saturday’s Republican primary that praise Mike Huckabee for his stand on the issue and attack his main rivals in the state, John McCain and Mitt Romney.

“Gov. Huckabee understands that all the average guy with a Confederate flag on his pickup truck is saying is, he’s proud to be a Southerner,” says the announcer in one of the one-minute spots, paid for by Americans for the Preservation of American Culture.

“Mike Huckabee understands we value our heritage, and why. He says it’s up to us to decide how. Sen. McCain may have decided that his ancestors, as he puts it, ‘were on the wrong side of history when they wore gray.’ But in South Carolina, we’re proud to be Southerners.”

The Arizona senator’s stand on the Confederate flag helped derail his 2000 presidential bid in South Carolina, and he has criticized it as a "racist symbol." McCain has said on the trail this week that he is "proud" of South Carolinians for removing the flag from atop the State House.

Another one-minute spot takes aim at Romney. “Waving a Confederate battle flag in front of Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney turns out to be like waving a red flag in front of a bull. He charges,” says the announcer, citing Romney’s remarks during the CNN/YouTube debate criticizing public display of the flag.

“Gov. Huckabee’s a Southerner, who understands why Southerners value our heritage. That honoring the flag is part of honoring our heritage. And he says it’s our issue. It should be up to us to decide. We’ve got a message for Mitt Romney: in South Carolina, we’re proud to be Southerners."

Romney spokesman Kevin Madden told CNN that “Gov. Romney believes that the issue was settled by the people of South Carolina with the compromise in 2000.”

The one-minute ads will be running on South Carolina conservative talk radio stations in Charleston, Columbia, Florence, and Greenville.

On Thursday, Huckabee told voters at a Myrtle Beach campaign event that “You don’t like people from outside the state coming in and telling you what to do with your flag. 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.”

The Huckabee campaign has not yet responded to a CNN request for comment.

–CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand

soundoff (209 Responses)
  1. Mike, Milwaukee, WI

    This is why the Republian Party will get trounced in November. They want to continue to be the party of the South, and play to the ear of racist, white, male voters. So Sad. I pray that Huck is the nominee so either Hill or Obama can smoke him!

    January 19, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  2. Duncan, Richmond, VA

    Having read most of the comments here.. it is obviously that either History is badly taught in our schools, or most people are totally ignorant. Considering most of you will vote for one of the big government candidates, then it is obviously the latter.

    January 19, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  3. Christopher, Madison, WI

    Bob, Seattle January 18, 2008 12:33 pm ET

    Atta boy Huck. And I'm a northerner. But I DO believe in States rights. State government should reflect the views of the folks of that particular State. That is why those people live in that State and they want their gov't to reflect their views. What is foreign about that? Anybody promoting BIG BROTHER here to take care of all our problems? Less government. More money in the folks' wallet.

    Good points Bob! So while you're at it why not leave the gay issues and abortion off the national agenda as well...or do you cherry pick as well?

    January 19, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  4. USC Trojans

    Huckabee has told South Carolina voters that he supports the confederate flag and supports South Carolina flying the confederate flag. Does that mean that he supports slavery, racism, and the southern United States suceeding from the northern United States. How does he get away with saying these things. He has so many radical beliefs. He has supports a quarantine of people with AIDS (reguardless of how they contracted it or if they are little kids), criticizes people for their religious beliefs, claims to be the new Christian leader, wants to ammend the constitution to what he thinks God's will is, and now supports the confederate flag. I don't know how he is still one of the main contenders for the republican presidential primary. I just hope people see him for who he really is. A minister running for President with radical beliefs.

    January 19, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  5. sairefgm

    well that should tell you someting about the vote count. shouldn't it????????

    Honorable discharged veteran

    January 20, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  6. AirCav

    The public school education has miserably failed the the many so called enlightened posters on here. The truth is not very hard to discover, just ignored by the majority. The Confederate flag is a symbol of resolve, courage, and fierce independence. That was in the days before Jesse Jackson and his ilk managed to promote their campaign of hate and racism across the country blackmailing quite a few states and corporations along the way. Hate groups like the KKK and Neo Nazis have also done considerable damage to perception held by the uneducated in the USA. However, the flag is not a symbol of racism and never has been. Do a little research on Lincoln's thoughts on secession, or perhaps on the New York riots where many blacks were killed in protest over the draft. How about the tens of thousands of blacks that fought for the Confederacy. Approximately 90% percent of the soldiers enlisted in the Confederate Army were not slave owners. Why then would an intelligent person assume all of these men would take up arms to defend and die for an institution that in no way affected their lives? It is all fact and readily available to read. Just because your sixth grade social studies book did not mention it does not mean it did not happen.

    For those of you crying treason......Get a life. I served my country honorably and would gladly die in her defense. Southerners have always more than proportionally represented the ranks of the US Armed Forces. The South is probably the most hard core Patriotic and Pro American region in this country. We proudly wave the American Flag. We also honor our history and the sacrifice made by our fore fathers fighting and dying against overwhelming odds for what they believed in. We always have and always will. And for those who wish to destroy my heritage our take my flag. It is not going to happen. For those who try I will be much obliged to help them answer that age old question....Is there life after death?

    Have a DIXIE day!!!!

    January 20, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  7. rentamob

    Did anyone ask HillBillary what they thought of the Flag?
    The South Shell Rise Again, Never forget the Holocus, Get Over Slavery

    America The Beautiful , God Bless Her With Her Silly Ways.

    The National Association For The Advancement of Colored And Caucasian People
    South Carolina Walk 4 Change, I wish I was in Dixie

    January 21, 2008 02:14 am at 2:14 am |
  8. Sean, Santa Barbara, CA

    "I served my country honorably and would gladly die in her defense. Southerners have always more than proportionally represented the ranks of the US Armed Forces."

    Really now I also served my country hornorably and you might be kind of off when you say southerners serve more proportionally (your southern pride and your surronding yourself in southerns when in the military might of blinded you) it is actually the midwest that serves the most or corn country as I like to call it, close to the south, but not there then mid north with the highest states being michigan and ohio. States with less jobs equal more member of the armed forces. The only two states that have a strong showing in the south are Alabama and Georgia, but then again California beats them (representative of the larger population and that is included in proportionally). You can look at an military demographic and that pops out fairly easily. The Army is proportionally more from the south, but then again you exclude the Navy, Marine Corp, Coast Guard, Air Force (Air power) when talking in the context if the entire US ARMED FORCES.

    As someone stationed in Biloxi, Mississippi for a year I can tell you that even though you are from the South and would proudly die for your country you are not a representative of the south. Keesler AFB was the the only military base that I have ever been too where everyone upon arriving is told that you cannot go anywhere 10 miles north because they don't like the US military and Non white folks or even white folks not from the south. Although they don't mention "white folks" or "don't like US military" it is actually a written policy for Keesler AFB. Why?

    Oh and serving ones country does not mean that you can use that as a means to an end as if that experiance gives you the final opinion and trumps every one elses opinion who did not serve. From MY experiance the military gives you blinders to what the rest of the country and world thinks.

    January 21, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  9. the real cmf

    "Southerners have always more than proportionally represented the ranks of the US Armed Forces"

    I guess thats why the South lags behind the North in intellect then. Maybe they should have gone to college instead of boot camp.

    February 5, 2008 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
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