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. Real Change

    He's exactly right about this. McCain and Obama are the nominees of the respective parties in large part because they are civil and respectfull. People are sick and tired of the swift boat style of politics.

    June 18, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  2. Concerned Citizen of America

    The job of the republicans is to spend billions getting elected on the platform that government is too big, too wasteful and too incompetent. Then they get elected to office and put people in charge " You're doing a heck of a job Brownie" to destroy the good works a 1st world civilized government is suppose to deliver just to prove that point. Go figure. I lost respect for Huckabee with his unfunny joke at the NRA meeting. I think Americans as a whole are losing respect for politics in general and are looking for a new direction.

    June 18, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  3. ted

    I totally agree Huckabee. Your Sagicity and humor made you one of the most interesting candidates.

    That said, Democrats ARE also making a fatal mistake by Calling McCain McSame/Bush's third term.

    Wake up and be smart. McCain is a smart intellgient and Maverick republican. If he was a go with the flow rebublican like Bush I'd say those comments are valid. But its nuts to call out Obama or Bush on anything but issues and substance. The reason is this campaign is going see more people defying their political party and voting for the other candidate. Also more independents like me will be voting than any other election. The name calling seems stupid and makes the party calling the name appear stupid. Right now Republicans are winning the sanity race – democrats appear like angry eleven year olds with their uneducated name calling. too bad, Obama would be a good guy if it wasnt for his fans.

    June 18, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |

    SPOTLIGHT>>>>>>>> If you want it just find HuckaCEE!!!!

    June 18, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  5. JOYCE

    he supports mcsain and that is enought for me to say mike
    just stay out of it and keep your good repertation

    June 18, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  6. Stacy VA

    Wouldn't it be great if presidential candidates physical selves weren't revealed until after we voted? That would force us to focus on their beliefs and where they stand on issues versus their race, weight, gender, etc.

    No one made race an issue more than Obama. And, pardon me, but isn't he as much white as he is black? The world has forgotten that he gestated inside of a white woman, so I don't even get this whole "first black President" thing. Further, at this point, aren't we all pretty much mutts anyway? I just want to hear some real, hardcore beliefs out of him instead of this Hope and Change B.S.

    June 18, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  7. Educated voter


    I completely agree. I'm an independent who leans democratic. I could never vote for Huckabee on policy issues but this guy is a straight shooter. He is very forward, honest and seems to be genuine. Too bad more people, democrat or republican, are not more like him on a personality level.

    June 18, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  8. Travis

    How many African-Americans served in the higher offices/cabinet positions during the FDR, Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Carter, Clinton years in office...i.e. all Democrats.
    It took a 21st century Republican to bring/boost all African-Americans. You democrats are so brain-washed...perhaps, just plain ignorant.

    June 18, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  9. TopDog

    Hillary found out the hard way.

    June 18, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  10. Ms. D

    The republicans won't take his advice because they are too low down and will say and do anything to win. I always liked Huckabee, but I disagree with him on some issues. I am a die hard Democrat but I always liked Huckabee. That joke he made about Obama did piss me off but he was man enough to apologize in public!!

    June 18, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |

    Good Call Huckabee,

    The problem is the fact that there are way too MANY IDIOT REDNECK REPUBLICANS that say things like "Barack Hussein Obama"...Thats the typical fear mongering that will destroy your party...if its not already too late.

    OBAMA ur the man

    June 18, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  12. Tx Dem

    the GOP can't win with policy differences... so rather than be positive, they "must" resort in tarnishing someone else – but we're smarter than that now and they end up tarnishing themselves.

    If they moved away from Bush, they might actually have a chance.

    Dem '08

    June 18, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  13. littlered00

    i have to post my comment on this article because they closed the one i waqnted to comment on and that article had just come on line. they can make the polls say what ever they want. they said they polled 1300 – 1500 people, i could poll 5 sets of 1300 people have different results for all 5 sets, if you poll 18 million people we might actually consider the results don't be fooled obama people polls lie. go mccain!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 18, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  14. Steve

    Correct as usual Governor Huckabee..........thanks for continuing to try to make America better for ALL of us.

    June 18, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  15. Time to move on

    Truth must be said,Obama is gonna restore American glory as a president.He is the real deal

    June 18, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  16. Anonymous


    June 18, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  17. Shotta Nic


    Ignorace is the belief that including a few special African Americans in an administration is doing more good than actually supporting and proposing policies that are not detrimental to the black communities and black families.

    Its funny how SO MANY African Amercans see this, but you are the only one who isnt ignorant.

    June 18, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  18. TESAP

    Okay............. so is he is the VP choice for Mcineedacane, will he stand by those words??????????


    BARACK THE VOTE PEOPLE..................... 🙂

    June 18, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  19. MLG

    McCain/Huckabee 08

    June 18, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  20. Von Bismark Vienna


    June 18, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  21. HTA, Chicago, IL

    If it wasn't for all the other crazy stuff he said, I might like him; not because he praised Obama, but because he is very down to Earth.

    June 18, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  22. charles

    Huckabee has just proven that as a republican he has one living brain cell, now he just has to admit that he knows Mcbush will lose.

    June 18, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  23. MD for Obama

    To Matt:

    What campaign are you watching? This morning on the news I see an Obama button (coming out of TX) with a monkey on it. There are T-shirts with this image also. I've also seen a picture of Michelle Obama about to be lynched published by a right-wing magazine and you have the nerve to say that the Republicans are above this? A party that includes the likes of Sean Hannity and Ann Coulter will certainly play the race card. GET REAL.

    June 18, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  24. Nick

    Huckabee is so cute

    June 18, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  25. Jonathan

    Mike, I really liked you. How you lost the Republican primary, is beyond me. I am voting Obama because I did not like McCain in 2000 and I do not like him now. You should have been it. I pray that you will keep public service as your career. You meant alot to people in Arkansas and most of us Christians in Florida. Unfortunately, I have to vote against our party this time around because I cannot stand a man who idolizes the oil companies and talks experience with nothing to back it up but votes against women's rights and for war and more government intrusions into people's lives.

    Years ago, our party stood for something. God, American values, security, life, less government, in fact, we changed racial divides and not the democrats, we were for imigrations because it meant more support for our party. We were for ex-cons to be rehabiliated and brought back into life for a second chance because we knew they would support our party.

    We somehow changed through the years to more government into people's private lives in the name of security, More southern members than northerners, more whites and less people of color, more men and less women in power, no more immigrants, evil and wars now means better security.

    How did we do this? I hope and pray that you will again run for president and change the course of this country. Until then, I have to vote Democrat.

    June 18, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
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