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. Rob

    Mike Huckabee is playing it right, I think. If a GOP candidate wants to win the presidency, they can't blindly criticize everything about President Obama. Obama is a popular guy. To win, you need to win over some of the Obama supporters, which means recognizing some good things about Obama, but charting a different path. You won't win any votes from rational people if you criticize every last detail regardless of what it is. I say this as an Obama supporter also.

    February 24, 2011 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  2. peace

    another jim jones.

    February 24, 2011 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  3. Osazee

    Mr. Huckabee is the kind of politicain this country needs. Respect your opponent and respectfully disagree on political issues.
    Governor Huckabee, you have a good christian family too. God bless you.

    February 24, 2011 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  4. ProudtobeanAmerican

    Pretty cool and surprising to see comments come from the opposite side of the aisle. When will you people wake up and understand that every time you bash our President, YOU become responsible for telling the world that we are weak. Love your neighbor, and figure out how you can make America a better place.

    February 24, 2011 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  5. BradKT

    Those remarks will NOT get you the support of the low forehead crowd in the GOP.

    February 24, 2011 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  6. sandra

    I'M FLAWED...I'm certainly convinced that Huckabee is not running for President. There is no way , no how, the Conservatives are going to see these statements in a positive light. Good man Huckabee, but you have just sealed your faith.

    February 24, 2011 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  7. apib

    huck def not running....he actually declared that barry was not the anti-christ....wait till RUSH hears...huck gonna be in troubbbbbleeeeee

    February 24, 2011 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  8. James

    The Tea Party will now crucify this poor but honest Christian man.

    February 24, 2011 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  9. Nick , California

    WOW!!! Finally some "common sense" from these conservatives! I still wont vote for you Mike but I like what your doing.. it is actually a good representation of good "Christian" values, more so that the other conservatives who love to judge everyone but themselves.

    February 24, 2011 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  10. fred

    Huckabee for President 2012

    February 24, 2011 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  11. Lemon J.

    The first republican with common sense since Reagan.
    HuckaBee understands that one cant beat Obama just by spreading hate and fear around. I am Democrat and love Huckabee.

    February 24, 2011 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |

    Bravo, Mr. Huckabee, Bravo

    February 24, 2011 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  13. jen

    for real Huckabee? a republican singing praises for President Obama? that's the first, maybe the last...will not hold my breadth...having said this, Kudos to you Huckabee for having a sound mind among the morons!

    February 24, 2011 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  14. Bob in PA

    It's just a shame that he is a terrible role model for President of the United States.

    February 24, 2011 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  15. Randy, San Francisco

    Kudos! His comments must have displeased the extreme conservative wingnuts of his party.

    February 24, 2011 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  16. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    It is the republican regimes who have spent us to the brink of being broke, not the democrats. Our national debt, contrary to what repubs, right wingnuts, baggers, birchers and bigots say, did not begin on January 20, 2009. It is hard for the uninformed to admit that republican tax cuts for the wealthy, rep tax cuts for big oil and big business, rep unfunded wars, unfunded bailouts for the too big to fail banks have brought our country to its knees. Instead of taking responsibility, they have made women's rights their number one priority.

    February 24, 2011 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  17. Larry

    Wow, a sane Conservative. Who would have thought it...................

    February 24, 2011 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  18. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    A wolf in sheep's clothing perhaps?

    February 24, 2011 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  19. MBG

    This is why, as a Democrat, I would vote for Huckabee. I don't agree with all of his opinions, but I love the way that he respects the opinion of others, even when he disagrees. He's also not afraid to say that he supports the idea/opinion of someone from the opposite aisle. This is leadership. If he's the Republican nominee, it is going to be interesting.

    February 24, 2011 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  20. gt

    obama is a great roll model for a dad....... but as a president...

    February 24, 2011 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  21. Al-NY,NY

    Although he seems like a decent guy, he is NOT an electable politician. He is a preacher and is therefore ineligable to run. Just look for all the zealots to all of a sudden kill him in their rhetoric because he dares to say anything about Obama. Fat-boy and the rest will be hammering him for that. His comment about Barbour the other day ended any possible chance he had

    February 24, 2011 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  22. Amy Brown

    I think Huckabee is coming to his sense and started to acknowledge the truth about the prisedant Obam,if he does appericate Obma on the area that he should be appericated and admire Mr.Huckabee is defintely will be formidable presdantial candidate to stand against Obma.But i still doubt his intellect to handle many tasks that Obma is performing right now.The presidant is knowlegeable on all areas unlike Huckabe.This might be aproblem for him so he needs to read more within the remianing time.Goodluck Hucabee

    February 24, 2011 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  23. Retired Air Force Vet

    How refreshing to finally see the opposition acknowledge one of the President's fine man extraordinare. Props to you Mr Huckabee, and good luck in the GOP primaries

    February 24, 2011 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  24. T'sah from Virginia

    Started out GOOD – was getting ready to applaud Huckabee for his remarks but then he spoiled it in the END!!!

    "It did, in fact, give me cause to celebrate that in my own lifetime I saw an African American elected to the presidency... and now that we have been there and done that we can elect a [WHITE] Republican next year..."

    It would have been better to state that he was excited about the election of an African American but agree more with his own policies which is the reason why he may run for the position!!! We’ve “been there and done that” is harsh – as if it will NEVER happen again and at this time, it MUST be handed back to a WHITE man – a Republican’t at that!


    February 24, 2011 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  25. anotherGDlefty

    So after Huck says he can't afford to run again he starts speaking the truth about President Obama?

    FoxPAC will have none of that.

    Expect Mike to explain what he "really" meant later this week on some Fox Opinion Channel show...

    February 24, 2011 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
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