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.


Filed under: Mike Huckabee • Popular Posts
soundoff (221 Responses)
  1. OBAMA BACKER

    This statement is true because the GOP looks like a bunch of lost puppies that cat beat the big dog so the pick on his wife. Where oh Where are the substantive debates on policy and vision from the GOP. Answer they don't exist because they are on the worng sid eof every issue. They are left with Baby Mama comments and stuff that really makes them look like a joke.

    June 18, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  2. Shotta Nic

    Hey Matt,

    By "childish games", do you mean something like attacking/demonizing your opponent's wife, or are we talking about a different type of childish games?

    June 18, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  3. Jo_M

    Talk is cheap. Ulterior motive is obvious. Everybody wants to live forever. Politicians care less about our state of affairs than I care about traffic jams in lower Manhattan.

    The myth of immortality is among us.

    June 18, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  4. Texas Trail Dog

    NOT ONE OF US HILLARY SUPPORTERS BROUGHT RACE INTO THE PICTURE. IT WAS OBAMA SUPPORTERS AND CCN ALSO THE REST OF THE MEDIA WHEN THEY TWISTED BILL'S WORDS OF DEFENDING HIS WIFE INTO RACISM. THEN IT'S BEEN RACISM EVERY SINE BY THE OBAMA PEOPLE. IF THAT WHAT THEY WANT THEN LE T THEM HAVE IT. I SPENT 28-YEARS IN THE ARMY AND NO ONE EVER CALLED ME A RACIST. MY NOT WANTING OBAMA IS SIMPLY BECAUSE I THINK HE IS A CORRUPT INDIVIDUAL WITH NO REGARDS TO THE WELFARE OF AMERICA. I'LL TAKE HILLARY OVER EITHER OF THE TWO THATS RUNNING RIGHT NOW. I CAN'T TUNTIL SHE DECIDES TO LEAVE THE SCUMBAG DEMOCRAT PARTY THAT IT HAS BECOME AND RUN AS AN INDEPENDENT. HILLARY 08

    June 18, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  5. nicholas

    yes u are right. It would be demonizing but debating issues wouldnt be in favour of the republicans either because the wind of change is blowing all arround America.

    Nicholas From Nigeria

    June 18, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  6. Karen

    So true!! AND the republicans are starting their "scare tackticks" again but this time its NOT going to work. Most of America is tired of being "scared"!!! We want positive change and very positive foreign policy!!! Yes we can!!!! Go Obama!!

    June 18, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  7. GB

    Obama will demonize himself.

    June 18, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  8. Marshall

    A wise man. Too bad McCain is the republican's man. Huckabee was a far better choice!

    June 18, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  9. How Does Brian from Knoxville get on EVERY BLOG

    What is Huckabee doing in Japan? Looking for Godzilla?

    June 18, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  10. Independent-woman-4-Obama

    LET ME REMIND PEOPLE OF WHAT A VOTE FOR MCCAIN MEANS:

    MORE WAR WITH IRAQ, AND POSSIBLY IRAN

    MORE TROOPS DEAD, MORE MAIMED MORE COMMITTING SUICIDE

    MORE NATIONAL DEBT.......SINCE WE ALREADY (THANKS TO BUSH) OWE OVER $10 TRILLION MOSTLY TO THE ARABS AND CHINA

    MORE FAILED FOREIGN POLICY

    MORE OF OUR ENVIRONMENT RUINED...... PEOPLE WOULD RATHER HAVE $2 OIL THAN TAKE CARE OF OUR EARTH......HOPE THAT YOU CAN EXPLAIN TO YOUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN THAT DRIVING YOUR BIG FORD TRUCKS AND SUV'S WAS MORE IMPORTANT THAN TAKING CARE OF GOD'S GIFT......... THE EARTH!

    SO GO AHEAD AND VOTE MCCAIN, JUST DON'T COMPLAIN.

    June 18, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  11. Chris from San Antonio

    Unfortunately for the GOP, demonizing the opponent is all they know how to do. I haven't seen one political ad that stresses McCain's economic policy.

    June 18, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  12. jim - phila.

    The man is a Marxist. WAKE UP before it is too late.

    June 18, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  13. Tired of W, OH

    Matt said:
    Republicans are above 'demonizing' dirty politics.

    You're joking, right? Republicans are the ones who perfected dirty politics. You probably think Karl Rove is a decent guy, don't you? It's so much simpler living with blinders. You don't have to bother with complicated things like reality.

    June 18, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  14. JackAth

    hahaha its hilarious that I actually really like Mike Huckabee even though he's politically insane on all the issues except economics. He should change his entire platform and be a true economic populist and fiscal conservative, leave out the whole "change the constitution to fit the bible" stuff, and he'd probly get elected.

    June 18, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  15. Agnostic Democrat

    Since when has demonization ever stopped the Repug slime machine? Meanwhile, Huckabee will be taking his "shots" at Obama in a more subtle fashion. Hypocrisy at its best.

    June 18, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  16. Tom Eyemdaman

    Huck would make a good VP for McCain. He adds much to the ticket without taking much away.

    I think Democrats will blame Republicans for demonizing Obama regardless of whether or not they do – it's just a game.

    If you get past the games and look at the issues, Obama is too liberal to represent the majority of the population. What issues has he crossed the isle on to get accomplished?

    If you look at the track records of both Senators, you'll see that McCain not only talks the talk, he walks the walk, unlike Obama.

    June 18, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  17. Hurley

    I'd never vote for Huckabee in a zillion years because of his record on economic matters and his theocratic leanings, but, aside from that, I like the guy. He's been pretty fair for a political candidate, and I respect that. Still wouldn't vote for him, but if I ever have a backyard barbeque or something, he's invited!

    June 18, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  18. A Liberian-Canadian in Toronto

    Don't be fooled by the Statement "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, is only being because Mike knows that he will not be on the Mcsame ticket. If Mike had won the GOP nod, he would be carrying the republican torch and bad mouthing Obama the same as Mcsame. The GOP have lot of tricks their kit bags and use it at any turn...

    June 18, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  19. Steve - Minneapolis

    Are we seeing a pattern here?

    Leaders unite and bring out the best people have to offer. In this case it includes Republicans. Don't forget, democratic folks, half of this country sees the issues from a Republican point of view. Obama understands this and has the self confidence to seek advice from those wise enough to offer it, regardless of party affiliation, race or social standing.

    I am betting that the Obama administration is going to include a lot of surprising individuals – some Republican. Obviously Barack sees the entire country as his constituency, not just the Democratic party. Given that, wouldn't you rather see Mike in a cabinet position instead of some of the democratic detractors from the primary?

    Think about it....

    June 18, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  20. After further review,Texas

    Is he saying he was asked to go to the prom by his football captain?

    June 18, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  21. Chris from San Antonio

    RE: Matt June 18th, 2008 9:39 am ET
    "Republicans are above 'demonizing' dirty politics."

    Bwaahahahahahaaa! I guess you were under a rock when the GOP attacked their own party in 2000 primaries, or when the GOP attacked Kerry's war record, or when they said Democrats will ban the bible....

    June 18, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  22. Latino1-Tx

    The Repubs are still gonna try to "Swift-Boat" Obama,
    cause that's all the strategy they have. They are scared to death of him including the millions of "Archie Bunkers" that are gonna vote for
    McCrazy..

    Obama/Powell '08

    June 18, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  23. Steve, Madison WI

    WOW – a much as I think many of Huckabee's positions (change the Constitution to align with the Bible) are looney, he actually makes sense here. This definitely disqualifies him to be McCain's VP!

    A Republican running on real issues vs. "wedge issues" and trumped-up personal attacks -never happen!!!!

    June 18, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  24. A Liberian-Canadian in Toronto

    Don't be fooled by the Statement "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, is only being said because Mike knows that he will not be on the Mcsame ticket. Second he's in Tokyo where the people love Obama more than Mcsame. If Mike had won the GOP nod, he would be carrying the republican torch and bad mouthing Obama the same as Mcsame. The GOP have lot of tricks their kit bags and use it at any turn...

    June 18, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  25. Didine - Maryland

    Very good analysis from Huckabee. He speaks the true and I like that.
    We should focus on policy differences, not race. He is sending a strong message to Mcain. He has been too negative lately, that is the raison why he is losing. Obama is ahead on the poll. Thank you for your advise Huckabee, I hope your party will listen to you. They are all losing their bearings!

    Obama '08

    June 18, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
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