Huckabee praises & criticizes Obama
February 24th, 2011
01:18 PM ET
9 years ago

Huckabee praises & criticizes Obama

Washington (CNN) – If President Obama is looking for a conservative endorsement, he might find it from potential GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. At the same time, the former Akansas governor is also quite critical of the president.

During a speech at the National Press Club Thursday, Huckabee said it's time for some conservatives to quit questioning the president's Christian faith and added he thinks Obama is a role model for the "primacy of the American family."

"He has personally articulated, not once but numerous times, of his Christian faith. I take him at his word. I have no reason not to. For us to continue to dwell on that is missing the point. I have no disagreement with President Obama as a human being. In fact, I will go so far to say one of the things I respect very much is the role model that he has served as a husband and father," the conservative Republican said during the midday speech in Washington, DC.

"I think he has been an exemplary husband to his wife and an extraordinary father to his daughters," he continued. "Frankly, America needs a good role model like that and how can I on one hand argue for the primacy of the American family and not recognize that in his own personal life style he has given us an excellent example of a person who has his priorities straight in marking out time for his wife and raising his daughters in a disciplinary environment in which he recognizes that he the parent is responsible for the atmosphere in which they are raised. And I commend him and salute him for that."

Huckabee, who is mulling a second presidential bid and has said he will decide by the summer, added it was a cause for his own celebration when Obama was elected as the first African American president.

"It did, in fact, give me cause to celebrate that in my own lifetime I saw an African American elected to the presidency. I could have wished it to be a republican and now that we have been there and done that we can elect a Republican next year. But I genuinely felt a sense of great satisfaction of seeing in my life that moment come."

But Huckabee also critized the president over Obama's move Wednesday ordereding the Justice Department to stop defending the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage for federal purposes as only between a man and woman.

"I think the president made an incredibly amazing and inexplicable political error yesterday because he is out of touch with the voters in every state in which this has been on the ballot. Thirty three states have had this issue on the ballot, and in all 33 including very liberal states like California and Maine, the voters have affirmed the definition of marriage to be the traditional definition of marriage," said Huckabee.

Filed under: Mike Huckabee • President Obama
soundoff (53 Responses)
  1. whoa!

    excuse me while I pick myself up off the floor and get back in my chair. A right winger actually praising Obama? I liked how he defended Michelle's nutrition initiative that was blasted by the Wasilla Witch, as he struggled with his weight and clearly understands the importance of good nutrition. Thank you governor for some civility. Now about that "the earth was created 6000 years ago and there's no such thing as evolution" agenda that you seem so eager to promote.

    February 24, 2011 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  2. maine liberal

    the retraction will appear tomorrow with what he really meant to say

    February 24, 2011 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  3. Ted

    At last a GOPer that stands up for the president in the face of the horrible stuff coming from Palin and Limbaugh and Bachmann. People, can disagree with the president, but they should respect him and I see nothing respectful from Palin or Limbarf or Bachman, among others including Faux Noise.

    February 24, 2011 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  4. Justin

    Hmmm...Huckabee is sounding pretty moderate these days. But he know's it will be a tall mountain to clime to unseat the incumbent President. If I were him, I'd wait till 2016, and in the meantime make bunches of money on Faux, I mean Fox network.

    February 24, 2011 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  5. Western Conservative

    Very Classy Comments. We need more of the "I might disagree with the persons ideas, but I respect the person" attitude from our politicians!

    February 24, 2011 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  6. Namerevdaalkaholik

    Wow. After I leave the party last month. I see ppl are starting 2 act like grown ups

    February 24, 2011 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  7. GrogInOhio

    Just when one thinks that Mike Huckabee may be the least insane of the Republican contenders for 2012, he says something dimwitted like the below... regarding the Obama administration abandoning the DOMA:

    In an interview with CBS News political consultant John Dickerson, Huckabee said the decision could "destroy" President Obama, though not marriage itself. "It may destroy him [Obama], may destroy his credibility, may destroy his campaign and candidacy and ultimately his term in office," Huckabee said.

    February 24, 2011 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  8. Dave

    LOOK OUT!!! IT'S A TRAP!!! Lol but really, i wonder what his motive is.

    February 24, 2011 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  9. Jilli

    Regarding hucks considerations on running for president – his first issue is giving up his big fox salary. If that's the first thought when considering a run for the presidency, don't bother. Take the big paycheck and leave the presidency to those that consider serving their nation as the highest priority.

    February 24, 2011 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  10. Seam

    Wow, what a super honest, and genuine person Huckabee is. He is very respectful and thoughtful. That's all I ever ask of people is to just have some perspective.

    February 24, 2011 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  11. once upon a horse

    uh oh a Republican saying something NICE about President Obama? Thanks Rev. Huck but I BET you wouldn't say that on FoxNews in front of Hannity, Beck and Palin!!

    February 24, 2011 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    Was this before or after he lambasted Obama for refusing to continue defending DOMA and drew an incoherent, illogical and irrational connection between same sex marriage and the $300B or so that is outstanding from dead beat dads across the country? nutjob mental soup from this guy. He's just trying to make himself look more reasonable and palatable to independents because focus groups and polls show they're not terribly fond of the "birther" and "secret muslim" fabrications/conspiracy theories/demagoguery.

    February 24, 2011 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  13. Bruce

    Maybe someone on the Repug side realized that they cannot win without the African American vote!! There's a votes count!!!

    February 24, 2011 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  14. Inmyopinion

    Oh please CNN, Huckabee, drop it. We need to get our people out of Libya, gas prices are shooting up and those poor Libyans are getting killed and Wisconsin government employees are still not back at work with their senators hiding out and their kids are not in school plus other government workers across the states are losing their jobs because there is no money in the budgets to pay for all their high pensions, benefits, wages.

    February 24, 2011 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  15. Ryan

    What he says makes sense. America has freedom of religion, so why not the President as well? The article is a little misleading though. Huckabee isn't endorsing President Obama's political decisions or beliefs, simply the President's personal beliefs, convictions, and personality as a father, husband, and Christian. I feel the same way. I'm a Republican, and I think President Obama so far has conducted himself very well as a human being. I may not agree with some of his views or political decisions, but I think he's probably an all-around pretty good guy to be a friend or relative of.

    February 24, 2011 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  16. cb3620

    very classy

    February 24, 2011 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  17. ynotgetalong

    If only all politicians could be like this man! Yes, feel free to debate the actual issues, but stop making up issues to appeal to the base fears and predjudices of the voters (this is directed at both sides of the political spectrum.) It is very sad that a person's religious faith is some sort of litmus test in the first place.

    February 24, 2011 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  18. Syeda

    Praise the Lord.

    February 24, 2011 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  19. Linda

    Wow! This is a good man.

    February 24, 2011 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  20. forskis

    The whole "is he Christian" thing is getting silly...he is Christian, fine, end of story, no need to say that you believe him...besides, so what if the President, ANY President is of a different religion? There are no rules that state, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, Orthodox or whatever means that you cannot run for and be the Presidency....the whole "it has to be Christian" is getting out of hand...look at that Mormon Republican, he believes in the same God and Jesus and they gave him plenty of grief about being Mormon...

    February 24, 2011 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  21. njemnu

    ' A Daniel come to judgement'! I commend Rev. Huckabee on this brave and honest remark.

    February 24, 2011 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  22. peace

    oh boy what does this son of SATAN have in store now. It"s praying time people and that"t no joke.

    February 24, 2011 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  23. Holly

    OK until he basically said all he was good for was being black so let's get a rich white old man in there. Jerk.

    February 24, 2011 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  24. Limbaugh is an IDIOT

    more pandering! – d tea-party folks are not gonna like dat!

    or is this a jab at GOP Newt Gingrinch who has admitted to cheating on his first wife with his 2nd wife, then cheating on his 2nd wife with his first wife!!!

    President Obama – 2012!!!!

    February 24, 2011 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  25. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Okay. Wow! The truth has been spoken by a Republican. Wow.

    Now feel free to disagree with him on policies and all the other stuff, that is your right as an American. We,those that support the President, just tire of having the other team malign him ACROSS THE BOARD, and treat him disrespectfully as POTUS.

    In regards to your joy at seeing an African-American elected president, I have to point out Mr. Huckabee based on your defense of Babar's indefensible racial past, that it was probably more SHOCK than JOY.
    All water under the bridge though, and in this case at least, Obama's presidency will be ONE fact that your friends in the South won't be able to DELETE from the history books.

    February 24, 2011 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
1 2 3