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. Jeremy

    Translation: "Don't be like Mike Huckabee...don't make a joke about aiming a gun at Barack Obama at an NRA meeting...a "fatal" mistake." Mike Huckabee is proof that evolution is in doubt.

    June 18, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  2. V. from Virginia

    Good job Huckabee. You've always been known to take the high road in the GOP and throughout the primaries. Even though I couldn't disagree more with you on the issues, you've earned my respect for your integrity and refusal to go negative and with this.

    If only more Republicans were like good 'ol Huck.

    Obama/Edwards 08

    June 18, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  3. James

    I am in the complete opposite of the spectrum when it comes to policies with Huckabee, but he seems like a gracious and reasonable politician.

    You just know he would not be a "puppet" if he was president. McCain is the epitome of the "puppet president"... next to Bush that is...

    June 18, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  4. zolesh

    Somethimg interesting is happening and i want to mention it.The other day the Obama campaign came under intense scrutiny for supposedly using coded terms to make inferences about John McCain's age when all they did was to point at the contradictions in senator McCain's positions on issues.

    Yesterday Senator McCain's camp came out using words like Senator Obama being Delusional,dengaerous and among others things being Naive and everybody including the press seems to think it is fare game.

    Am i the only person here who seems to see things differently that there is some kind of ganging up on Obama going on.

    Senator McCain claims he is the authority on foriegn policy issues particularly on Irag and yet he continues to confuse issues on troop levels and even suggested the other day it is not important when the troops can come home and when it is pointed out that he is confusing the issues it is sadly considered an attack on Senator McCain's age.

    My question is where lies the fairness in the process?

    June 18, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  5. Dave

    Littered00...you might want to study how polls work. Of course if you are a republican supporter, you probably don't believe in science anyways.
    Huckabee has always been a nice guy. I respect him for that. Reminds me of McCain back in 2000. Too bad McCain has been tainted by Bush, otherwise he might have been a decent candidate.

    June 18, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  6. Cynthia

    I agree with Mike Huckabee. The Republicans are really desperate.

    June 18, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  7. bill in Oklahoma

    Huckabee is a breath of fresh air within the republican party. I like his positive populist message. Other republicans should try to be fro something and not against something.

    June 18, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  8. ken

    Huckabee was the first person to demonize obama. Now he is backtracking his comment. This is a moron and doesn't watchout his words!

    June 18, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  9. caribbean

    When it comes to Obama ,What is Demonizing ?

    It seems there is two meanings and that is the problem America have created.

    You say the worst things I ever heard said to a Lady (Mrs.Clinton) and every one laugh. But you say hands off Mrs.Obama. this is Demozising

    The first time in English History we are trying new meaning to words so that we do not offend Mr. Obama. Black is Black – double standard is Double standard and imposter is imposter like one who is chosen to keep alive the Kennedy Legacy. "Be careful what you wish for"

    June 18, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  10. arc, Lugano CH

    It is ironic that Hillary Clinton and her supporters chose the opposite path…and continue to do so at every turn…If the opportunity for so many needed improvements in the United States is quashed by a renewal of Bush/Cheney policies; the blame will lie solely on Hillary Clinton and her supporters. I hope that history regards this as her true legacy in public service.

    June 18, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  11. Russ S.

    I don't buy it.

    Huckabee is saying this for a reason. He knows that demonising opponents works quite well and it is is never a fatal mistake. He also knows it may be the only thing that can stop Obama. Even if he believes what he says, and I have no doubt he does, the reason he's coming out now is to make a good impression on the independents and to soften up the Obama supporters. And it works. Just look at all the comments.

    Candidates (pres and VP) always publicly reject swiftboating, while privately looking a blind eye to those that do it.

    Democrats, you better arm yourselves. Get people registered, get a lot of them. You know what they will do to Obama, and you know it will work for a good 5-10% per state. The only way we are going to pull this off is by outnumbering them.

    June 18, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  12. MD

    Anothey silly joke. When will this man learn that he is not funny?

    Football captain? Buying the outfit? I wonder what goes through his "brain" when he makes these types of remarks?

    As for demonizing Obama, oh well, as a Republican, he should know that is the Republican way. McCane and his gang of hudlums won't stop, and it's a good thing too. The more they throw that kind of dirt at Obama, the cleaner he will come out of this race.

    June 18, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  13. What if?

    HUCKABEE, WHAT A FLIP FLOP...........................“We’re going to have to fight the ideal that this is a historic opportunity to elect Barack Obama ” said Huckabee. “I salute how far he’s gone, but as far as I’m concerned, because of his views and what he would do —-he’s gone far enough for me this year”.

    Senator Dole said this “Democrats had to choose between one candidate who said she’d obliterate Iran and another candidate who said he wants to invite Iranian leaders over for dinner and then maybe a chat after dinner with a good cigar—Cuban. I’d imagine. I DON’T want EITHER of those TWO answering the White House telephone AT 3 o’clock in the morning

    June 18, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  14. Mike in NYC

    (Not that I think I'm special, but do you think you could let me out of moderation already? I don't always expect to get through, but you've let through people who posted an hour after me.)

    June 18, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  15. Kiah

    Too late REPUGS! Not only have they tried to AGGRESSIVELY demonize Obama but they are ALSO making sure to do so with his wife.

    Republican Party's new motto should be "Home of Nation's most influential and powerful White Supremacist"

    June 18, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  16. Wolf

    There are so many other issues that the messiah Obama is deficient on that demonizing him would just be for play.

    He is terrible in foreign affairs and will have our military near non-existent if up to him; he has no clue on the homefront economics and will throw our entire country into a depression if his policies are implemented; and he certainly shows no loyalty to his Church, Reverend, friends and acquaintances of 20+ years.

    This is what the Dems have served up for the Republicans to just take a canoe and sink!!!!!!!!!! Patience GOP – Huckabee is right – just let Obama open mouth and insert foot!

    June 18, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  17. CranialRectalLoopback

    Some may have thought Huckabee a fool but he actually represented a Christian who basically behaved like a Christian. He's not stoopid, either.

    June 18, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  18. Loretta from California

    @ Travis

    It makes very little difference to me that Republicans have hand picked a few blacks to serve as their cabinet members....what really matters is how much work they put into eliminating poverty in the inner cities. (and back to you ) You republicans are so ignorant when it comes to the needs of the Poor and down-trodden.

    June 18, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  19. Denise Groves

    Cold not agree with the Huck. It will backfire. All it will do is anger African-Americans and they will vote in droves for Obama. This will hurt the GOP, which is GR88888888888888888TTTTTTTTTTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 18, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  20. boered1

    A single comment that the rnc should keep this campaign about issues and to demonize your opponent is a bad idea and people fall all over themselves to say this is a great man. You are a bunch of sheep!
    It is simply another ploy to make out that sall the unfounded attacks on the next president (Obama) by the RNC are not really supported by the RNC but just rouges within the party, a feeble attmept to convince America that the RNC is really a bunch of nice guys and the DNC is terrible, after all they did not annoint hillary as their leader and the RNC had gone to so much trouble planning their attacks on her!

    June 18, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |

    i like this man,only truth will set you free

    June 18, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  22. Really?

    Wise man.

    June 18, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  23. Adam

    Wow, he just earned a few respect points from me. Wasn't expecting that either.

    Truth of the matter is that there is no way I'm going to let something as pathetic as the amount of pigment, PIGMENT people!, in someones skin change how I see them. Senator Obama has been consistent and he honestly believes in his message. We desperately need what he says he will do. I believe he will do it. Though he will make mistakes because he is no more or less human than any one of us, but he will try and he will try his hardest. That is what counts. History remembers the ones who gave it their all to change the status quo.

    America finally has someone who has stepped up as a rallying point... a leader who wants to change things and I believe that transcends any sort of party line. It goes deeper than that. First and foremost, before political, gender, religious differences, we are all Americans. I have never been prouder of this country than watching a Jr. Senator with so little political experience do what he has done and bring people together and excite them the way that he has.

    God Bless America

    June 18, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  24. RJ, CA

    Let's see, it's either morning or the middle of the day right now for you. Wonder where you're commenting from - no doubt from work, on company time. And since most of you are pro-Obama, that tells me plenty about your sense of "entitlement" (something for nothing, living off others).

    Me, I'm retired. Worked hard and smart for 40 years. Saved my money. Paid my own way. Raised two kids and put them through college. Proud to see them as responsible adults, also willing to pay their own way. Voting for John McCain, the responsible (not "something for nothing") candidate.

    June 18, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  25. Tommy

    Wow! Sense and sensibility from a republican? Amazing.

    June 18, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
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