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. Surrealist, Fort Myers, FL

    I'm a southerner...

    I do not pledge allegiance to the confederate flag...but I do honor the memory of the "states rights' issues, and dark period in our nations history it represents–and the thousands of good men who gave their lives fighting for the rights they believed in.

    That said–this is not an issue for any Presidential candidate.
    States, like S.C. who use the confederate flag as a symbol of their state, don't necessary pledge allegiance to that fact–but to the honor and history of their state, and the pride of S.C. sons and daughters.

    That said–the people of S.C. should decide whether to fly this flag among their own constituents–free from Federal involvement.

    January 18, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  2. CJ07

    This cuckoo nutbag will never make it.

    January 18, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  3. Gumbercules

    What a bunch of rednecks. Many people died for this nation to be united under ONE flag. Don't like it? Want to wave another flag? Great. GET OUT. Go to some other country and wave whatever you want. In the US, there's only one flag.

    I know I know, the Southerners say "Heritage, not Hate". And to that I say "well I hate your heritage".

    I am not from the South, but unfortunately have to live here. Let me tell you, these people talk like there really is going to be some sort of Southern uprising coming down the pike. They cling to their redneck heritage so tightly, as if the South will rise again. Well I got news for these dorks – rise up. We'll stomp a hole into your chest...again.

    Sure, there's a lot of Southerners up North............buried, just outside of Gettysburg.

    January 18, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  4. bill

    I agree w/huckabee flag is states right

    January 18, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  5. Mark

    I continue to struggle to understand how this issue stays around. I am not from the South, but have lived there and still spend time there, and it comes down to a pretty simple analysis to me:

    If a symbol, in this case a flag, represents two conflicting historical situations–neither of which exist anymore–to two different groups of people, how does the group who want to get rid of it not have the better argument? Why does white South Carolinians' pride in the symbol of the Confederacy trump black South Carolinians' shame that is symbolizes slavery? They're both relics of the past–isn't it time the flag got left in the past too?

    January 18, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  6. Greg, NY

    Everyone grab your shovels and farm equipment. Looks like we're going back to the Middle Ages.

    Oh, and don't trip over the rolling heads of the heretics.

    January 18, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  7. Brenda

    The flag exists because southern states refused to abide by the laws of the land that disallowed slavery. What is there to be pround of? I am a southern whose grandfather fought for the right to own slaves but the sight of a rebel flag only brings me shame.

    January 18, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  8. Bob, Seattle

    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.

    Go Huck.

    January 18, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  9. John

    I doubt that Romney will win the nomination and here's why: He needs to remember Nixon's "Southern Strategy." The South is pivotal for the Republicans and if the Republicans do not receive support there, then they will lose. I bet that the Republicans will lose anyway but Romney must tout southern issues or at least not counteract southern issues no matter how trivial they seem to him. McCain can not win on seeking the support of independents and those who enjoy how truthful he is to them. The American people honestly do not want to hear the truth but a bunch of good lies that appeal to emotions. That is why I believe Guliani has a strong chance of winning. He has the 9/11 connection. And Huckabee, believe it or not, would be a stronger choice than the so-called frontrunners, Romney and McCain. He looks like a preacher to evengelicals. That is one reason why he appeals to me to be quite honest, though I do not support his candidacy because he will not take my country in the place where I want it to go.

    January 18, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  10. Daniel

    What a middle-schoolish comment, Huckabee. Maybe try acting and speaking presidential for a change. I don't want to vote for a middle schooler.

    January 18, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  11. Lynn

    I grew up in SC, moved away first to attend college and then to work. I moved back here 13 years ago. The confederate flag issue that still surfaces from time to time just demonstrates why SC ranks at the bottom for education, healthcare, wages, etc. And why it ranks at the top for domestic violence. It is full of some very un and under educated backward people.They are just plain and simply dumb! Mike Huckabee is counting on their dumbness. The man in this article more than likely never graduated from High School.

    January 18, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  12. dan

    i warn you america people,first if you fall for this joke that the politicans are pushing called a stimulus pkg. you're more of a judas-goat than i thought. tax relief for who,and who will it benefit. the have and have mores thats what is behind this so-called stimlus mess.the establishment are drooling for that tax break for the profits, they have made off oil, stocks, the war, the saudi backdoor money, etc: and all joe public would get is a 300 to 800 dollar rebate check. what a joke. if the america people fall for this you will fall for anything. DON'T LET THEM FOOL YOU. you will get crumbs while the have and have mores will laugh all the way to the bank w/ millions. come on american people ronnie milshap can see though this you're not that stupid. oh the confederate flag wavers YOU'RE NEEDED IN IRAQ. i bet you won't go over there w/ your white hoods and skirts.no i think not you terrorist are more at home terrorizing in the USA. go over ther where the real enemy is.

    January 18, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  13. Cardinal Oswald

    Congratulations Mike. Three out of every four illiterate southern red-necks support your candidacy.

    January 18, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  14. Tom - Dedham, Mass

    Is there something about politicians from Arkansas that deem it necessary to divide people based on race, gender or regionality?

    This type of crap plays into the "dumb hick mentality" that people have which demeans all of the non-hick smart folks who can see through this stupidity.

    I wouldn't vote for this loser for dog catcher and if the Republicans are dumb enough to make him the nominee, I would gladly vote for Obama to actually change the divide and conquer thought process.

    January 18, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  15. Neil

    The longer Huckabee is in the race,
    the better chance the Democrats have
    of winning the presendential election.

    January 18, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  16. Tom, Iowa

    The Civil War is over. The South lost. It's time to catch up with the rest of the country. It's funny to me that these are the same people that scream about a national language when they can't unite under something as simple as a flag. The confederate flag was a flag of insurgents against the Union. How would you feel if Iraq terrorists ran around with their flag when/if Iraq ever reconciles? If you feel so desperate to belong to something, try joining a country club or a fight club or eat a club sandwich.

    January 18, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  17. Big L

    Telling someone what to do with the pole is real Christian-like! The fact he invoked suh a racially sensitive issue in a campaign shows you this guy is a phony snake oil salesman! His comments about flags, gays and the constitution makes his a psycho!!

    I hope conservatives see through this liar!

    January 18, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  18. Matt

    To the neo-Confederates of America: Your side lost the Civil War!

    It may be a symbol of Southern pride and represent the glorious war against the Union but you folks lost. As a result the flag should not be flying above state buildings. If you want to fly in on your own property, that is fine. But it is revisionist history to pretend the Confederacy was victorious.

    January 18, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  19. Steph

    I'm sorry. But what Mike Huckabee said at the end was WICKED FUNNY.

    January 18, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  20. ajf124

    I thought Huckabee had some good things to say although I'm a Democrat. However if he associates and agrees with people who most of America view as racists, then I'm done with him. If he truly made those comments, that was very ill advised. He needs to distance himself from these red necks ASAP. Proud Southerners do not still need display the confederate flag publically. (If you want to put a large one up in your living room feel free). Most would agree it is a symbol of a divided past and our country moved on a long time ago. A decision was made, get over it.

    January 18, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  21. Bob

    LOL Carson. That's what I said.

    To be fair, the Bible DOES specifically proscribe man lying with man, but it doesn't say anything about sticking a flagpole where the sun don't shine. So if you're taking a strict-constructionist view of the Bible, his comments aren't totally inconsistent.

    January 18, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  22. Richard

    Republicans will lose in the fall big time.. Maybee then they can change their ways by supporting the American people instead of big business.

    January 18, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  23. Cat, Costa Mesa, CA

    I agree witha comment made yesterday:

    We'll keep the federal government away from your flag if you keep your flag away from our federal government!

    January 18, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  24. David - Oregon City

    OK, Carson, it looks like you are the one with the sickmind!
    Get your mind out of the sewer! You have control over what you think! Huckabee never said what you claim that he implied. Secondly, just because someone has a perception of the flag does not make it reality. The flag is simply a battle flag of the war between the states, nothing else. Please stop reading something else into it’s meaning or remove all battle flags!

    January 18, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  25. Dean W

    Someone should explain to Huckabee that "Conservative" does not mean he has to be from the dark ages!

    Yes, this guy does need to get out more….but I don't think he should leave Arkansas just yet.

    January 18, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
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