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. Dale, Emlyn, Ky

    Thank you Mr. Huckabee!
    I would love to see the Republican's challange Sen. Obama on the issue's rather than trying to find fault in the man. Everyone has fault's, Sen. Obama has his own faults, just like Sen. McCain! Every single time I hear McCain speak, he try's to slam Sen. Obama INSTEAD of push his policies.

    June 18, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  2. Rob Johnson

    Huckabee seems like a decent guy. The sort of Christian who actually tries to be Christ-like.

    Good for him. It will be hard for Rush and his cronies to throw Obama in the mud with people like Huckabee calling them to account for it.

    Even though some people in BOTH parties won't like it, politics is headed for the high road in this country, whether the mudslingers like it or not.

    June 18, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  3. dena

    Forgiven Huckabee– after that bad joke.

    June 18, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  4. maca

    I am Hillary's supporter and I can't wait to vote for McCain , in November!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 18, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  5. Ron L

    I hope the rest of the Republican Party is dumb enough to ignore Gov. Huckabee's advice. MAYBE, JUST MAYBE, if they continue to attempt to demonize him and the people reject it by voting Obama into office by about a 10% margin it will cause the demise of such tactics.

    June 18, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  6. Nancy McKinney

    I just gained A LITTLE respect for this guy, especially after his really bad shooting joke against Obama

    I will never vote for him, but i appreciate him saying that

    ps: did the republicans ever think about the fact tha going negative can backfire? Imagine how many African Americans who never vote will come out in droves not just only to vote for Obama, but because they are so angry about the racist tactics fo the Repubs.....we shall see in November!

    June 18, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  7. Iowa Guy

    If McCain is smart to pick Huckabee as his running mate, it will be a really interesting race. If not, McCain is toast!

    June 18, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  8. Eleanor

    Huckabee is right on this
    Thats why the republicans are so hated now
    ppl are fed up with the rove style tactics

    June 18, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  9. Joe Six

    Wow. From all these posts, I never would have imagined that people were aware of the Hillary – Obama campaign. All personal attacks and almost no discussion of policy. After all, Obama and Hillary had the same policies, except on Iraq, health care, visiting leaders in Iran, N. Korea, Venezuela without precondition, gas tax holiday. We never heard of people like Wright and Pfleger discussing personal characteristics (like Hillary being entitled). We never heard of those bitter people.

    June 18, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  10. James Bender

    Stacy VA, race, as you may have heard, is a social construct not a biological one. Africans were not black until they were dragged kicking and screaming to the west. They were, though, their diverse and varied cultural, ethnic and individual human selves. WASPs were not white till the context of the "other" was introduced; they likewise were their individual selves. However, their is no biological genes dictating race and the physical differences are a manifestation of the same variance as occurs with blondes, lefties in any stock of people.

    Obama is "biolgically" white and black (which as indicated above is scientific nonsense); however, for all circumstances which we consider race relevant in our society – experience, treatment from others, traditions, cultural preferences – he is black. You will note that i did not include physical appearance because historically that has never been a determinant in the West nor is it a sensible one, because a mixed child can come out looking "black" or "white" even in the same family. And so a standard hinging mainly on physical appearance would not be instructive in any way as concerns race, i.e. you couldn't draw any conclusions based on race (as you may surmise when it is an identifier for cultural affinity).

    So his blackness in whole comes in the main from his biological "black" half and a cultural context, and from his appearance. These are the beliefs of one black man.

    June 18, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  11. Lloyd Bentson

    I Know real Republicans
    They are good freinds of mine
    and Mr. Huckabee, you are no republican !!!

    June 18, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  12. Naomi

    Whatever Huckabee!

    I just don't believe anything this guy says. He is so FAKE and loves to be in the spotlight.

    June 18, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  13. nt

    Huckabee is religious man, he has good heart, he is able to see through others point of view, and respects humanity, respects other's opinions.
    He is peace maker.
    All should do the same, Obama, his wife, McCain.
    And especially the nasty pro-Obama bloggers.

    June 18, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  14. LegalCat

    So, those buttons that have been showing up in Texas that say "If Obama wins, will we still call it the White House" are a bad idea? I think it's going to take some work to persuade the McCain faithful of this point; best of luck, though.

    June 18, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  15. Venus

    Many people in Japan is watching this election and they like Obama!

    As a matter of fact... there is a city in Japan named Obama so I am not surprise by this remark.

    Obama... don't trust Huck nor the GOP!

    June 18, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  16. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Interestting that a minister of the Baptist faith would be warning GOPers not to demonize a Black candidate when the Baptists are at the head of the pack of racist demonizers!!!

    June 18, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  17. tr

    While I don't agree with many of the policies Huckabee wants, I really like the guy. I appreciate what he is saying, but I think it's too late....FAUX NEWS, Limbaugh and the Republicians have already gone down this road and it isn't going to have a good ending for them.

    June 18, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  18. Peg

    Sorry Republicans, not this year, not this time.

    Obama 08/12

    June 18, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  19. RJII

    Impossible request.

    Republican Party has and always will harbor the bigots and racists of this country. They ve looked the other way when these bad people behave badly.

    I wouldn't except less from their members than a whole lot of race based insults against Obama the election.

    Proud backwards people are destroying this country's future.

    June 18, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  20. Freida, NYC

    I will NEVER vote for Obama. Americans, please wake up! Obama is a Socialist not a Democrat whose only agenda is to bring this country down.

    Say NO to Obama.

    McCain 2008/Hillary 2012

    June 18, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  21. proud american

    Love the Huckster...I know why the good people of Iowa caucused for him.

    June 18, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  22. Dave C - NJ

    Dear Bigots,

    Huck has the right attitude..judge someone individually.

    Also Obama is not "hiding" his middle name. The GOP goons were emphasising it sarcastically and THAT is what was deemed inappropriate. I don't care what his name is. I don't care what religion he is. Those that do are backward bigots who are being laughed at by the rest of us who have an education. Just like we look back and laugh at men who didn't want women voting some years back.

    And to bitter Hillary supporters: you never would have heard of her if not for Bill. Get over it. She lost the delagate count. Period.

    And to McCain supporters: this will be one of the biggest losses for the GOP in history.

    June 18, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  23. Ephra

    Mike Hukabee's got the point, we're done with tricks, smears,fear/war mongering,racism, and all around offensive language in the compaign trail. Lets find the president of our generation that will truly male history.
    Can you do it Mr. McCain n' company??

    June 18, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  24. Matt

    "My name is Mike Huckabee, and I'm running for Vice President of the United States of America"

    June 18, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  25. Lora B.

    This is the one time that I can actually say that he "got it right". Well said, Huckabee!

    June 18, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
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