June 18th, 2008
12:00 PM ET
12 years ago

Huckabee: Demonizing Obama is a ‘fatal mistake’

Mike Huckabee delivers a speech at Foreign Correspondents' Club in Tokyo.

Mike Huckabee delivers a speech at Foreign Correspondents' Club in Tokyo.

(CNN) – Former GOP presidential contender Mike Huckabee called Barack Obama's candidacy "a landmark achievement" Tuesday, and warned fellow Republicans not to demonize Obama.

"Republicans will make a fundamental if not fatal mistake if they seek to win the election by demonizing Barack Obama," Huckabee told reporters in Tokyo, according to a report by Agence France-Presse.

Huckabee praised the country for getting "to a point where we did not see his color but we truly saw his charisma, his message and what he brought to the campaign trail."

"When people are really hurting - and they are right now - they're not looking at a person's race," he added.

Huckabee said he hopes John McCain beats Obama, but that Republicans should focus on policy differences, not race.

Huckabee suggested questions about whether he might join McCain on the ticket were premature. "You can't accept an invitation to the prom until the football captain asks you. So I'm not going to go out and buy the outfit just yet," said Huckabee, according to AFP.

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soundoff (221 Responses)
  1. Dominique- MD

    I always liked Huckabee. I bet he secretly has an Obama button on the inside of his suit jacket.

    OBAMA 08!!!

    June 18, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  2. sensi johnson

    Ooohm!!!!! Huckabee making a statement about Obama from Japan?? Is this the country that paid a lot more attention to the US elections then the US itself ?? Is this the country that have a city called Obama??? Is this the same guy who made the dumb gun joke??Please! Huckabee please! stop playing to the audience and say what's on your mind. I think you are good person overall and would have really love to see you rather than the "flip flopper" Mccain on the GOP ticket, but I'll suggest at this time you keep quiet and let the chips fall where they may.

    June 18, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  3. Kim, Charlotte, NC

    I am glad you said this instead of stating things like guns pointing at Mr. Obama.

    June 18, 2008 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  4. carlo

    I'm a full trottle supporter of Obama, but Huckabee was really the Republican's best chance of winning. He could have energized the Bush base and won Independents over perhaps with his humility and appeal. Unfortunately, the Repubs chose McCain. I'm kind of glad about that actually. Makes it easier for Obama, but I still like Huckabee a lot. Don't agree with some of his policies, but like him just the same.

    June 18, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  5. Satan

    It is amazing how wise Huckabee becomes when he agrees with Obama supporters.

    June 18, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  6. rose

    Thanks Huckabee, this is the testimony of the spirit of God in you. You are actually a man of God. Thank you Holy spirit for this Testimony, I hope other people would have the same testimony. Thank you My Precious Lord Jesus AMEN

    June 18, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  7. Marv...

    Wow!!!!!!! Was not expecting that from a Republican. Let's move forward to a better America. Remember, this election is not about Obama, Clinton or McCain. It's about America returning and exceeding it previous position in this world. We the people are better than the last eight years of incorrect policies and ideas. Foreign and domestic.

    June 18, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  8. New Day

    now I want McCain to ask him just to see Huckabee in a prom dress. 😀

    June 18, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  9. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    Obama brings out the best in me.

    June 18, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  10. Kerri

    You know, I really don't agree with Mike Huckabee's political views, but he really does seem like a good, decent person. You have to respect that.

    June 18, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  11. Charlotte

    This is the first election that the VP will most likely determine the outcome of the election. I, however will still write Hillary on my ballot in November. I do like Mike, but he may not help McCain. SurveyUSA shows Hucklebee as a plus for McCain, depending on who Obama selects. Until we know the running mates, it's anybodies game.

    June 18, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  12. Mike the Huckster

    Must.... stay.... in.... the.... spotlight............ need..... attention......

    June 18, 2008 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  13. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Huckabee is correct that the GOP will have problems if the continue to demonize Obama. The sad fact for the GOP is that they are not listening to Huckabee. They will continue the politics of fear and mistrust for some time. Even if Huckabee does become the VP nominee, I don't think that he can change enough people and stop them from demonizing Obama.

    As for waiting for the nomination/prom date question, would he go in drag? I think Giuliani might do that if he was asked to the prom... I mean asked to be VP.

    June 18, 2008 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  14. Michael Lorton, Virginia

    The GOP should rexamine their strategy of camaigning banging...and if they are usure or willing to gamble with the results......well ask Hillary....it surely didn't work for her nor add to her popularity. Continually doing the same thing and expecting different results is what we call "insanity."

    June 18, 2008 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  15. Lisa

    Where ever the wind blows you'll find Huckabee!

    June 18, 2008 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  16. Randy S.

    Good grief folks, all this love for Huckabee all of a sudden. the man outright repudiates the entire Theory of Evolution. I mean, how "wise" can he be?

    June 18, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  17. R.I.F.

    Huckabee's "gun" joke really made me dislike him but he has stepped out of the traditional fear-mongering role of the republicans several times to truly be a "maverick" in terms of fighing for the nomination with respect and on issues as opposed to just trying to scare people into not voting for Obama.

    June 18, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  18. Rahila

    Is he trying to Make up for the very stupid and dangerous joke he made infront of the NRA , the new KKK?

    Go sit somewhere.

    June 18, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  19. Kathy

    It was a better comment than the "joke" he made at the NRA... I guess they told him to think before he speaks.

    June 18, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  20. A CANUCK

    Wow......a really decent Republican........good for you Huckabee !!!

    June 18, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  21. rob

    He is absolutly right. This should be about the issues only, let them debate it all out in the open. However, neither one can controll all of their supporters and unfortunately we will see some disgusting things from both sides.

    June 18, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  22. Brenda from AZ

    This makes up for some of what he said last month at the NRA.

    June 18, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  23. Brian near Charlotte NC

    Republicans have to "demonize" Barack Obama because their so-called "solutions" to this country's problems cannot compare to Obama's platform, especially in regards to the economy and foreign policy.

    As an Independent voter, I am saddened by the fact that there are no third-party contenders that unite the basic social platforms of the Democrats with the moral stance of the Republicans. Though I like Obama, I could never vote for him because of his stance on Abortion.

    June 18, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  24. sidney nyc



    June 18, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  25. Isaac

    The opposite of Lieberman. this guy just got a psychological beating. reps in retreat.Kitchen too hot.

    June 18, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
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