Huckabee clarifies Portman criticism
March 4th, 2011
08:25 AM ET
12 years ago

Huckabee clarifies Portman criticism

(CNN) - Mike Huckabee is explaining comments he made earlier this week criticizing Oscar winner Natalie Portman for being pregnant and unmarried.

"In a recent media interview about my new book, A Simple Government, I discussed the first chapter, 'The Most Important Form of Government Is a Father, Mother, and Children,'" Huckabee said in a statement obtained by CNN. "I was asked about Oscar-winner Natalie Portman's out-of-wedlock pregnancy. Natalie is an extraordinary actor, very deserving of her recent Oscar trophy and I am glad she will marry her baby's father. However, contrary to what the Hollywood media reported, I did not "slam" or "attack" Natalie Portman, nor did I criticize the hardworking single mothers in our country."

The former Arkansas governor and possible Republican presidential candidate criticized the actress Monday on a conservative radio show for being pregnant and unmarried.

"One of the most troubling things is that people see a Natalie Portman or some other Hollywood starlet that boasts of, hey look, we're having children, we're not married, but we're having children and they're doing just fine," Huckabee told host Mike Medved on his radio program.

Portman, who won the best actress Oscar on Sunday for her role in "Black Swan," is engaged to choreographer Benjamin Millepied, who also worked on the film.

Huckabee, a Baptist minister who ran for the 2008 GOP presidential nomination, said when wealthy actresses have children without being married, they set a bad example for the rest of America.

"There aren't really a lot of single moms out there that are making millions of dollars each year by being in a movie," Huckabee said. "I think it gives a distorted image that not everybody hires nannies and caretakers and nurses. Most single moms are very poor, uneducated, can't get a job, and if it weren't for government assistance, their kids would be starving to death and would not get healthcare."

In addition to her work in films, Portman attended Harvard University and graduated with a degree in psychology.

Portman has yet to respond to Huckabee's criticism.

Filed under: Mike Huckabee
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. Name

    Huckabee just lost my vote. What a low, cheap shot at a kind and intelligent (and financially independent) woman. Shame on Huckabee.

    March 4, 2011 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  2. Annie. sw missouri

    You are kidding, right? No mention of the Republican Vice President candidate's daughter and the fact that she was paraded around like everyone should be so proud of her being a single mom. Natilie Portman is a self supporting adult that can obviously support her child. It is pretty obvious that Huck is running. Look at all of the comments he has made in the last couple of weeks that have gotten him into the headlines. All for the benefit of the extreme right to hear so they think he is one of them.

    March 4, 2011 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  3. The unsub

    Huckleberry Finn has gone to the dark side. He claims to be a Baptist minister but he has sinned by lying about President Obama's upbringing. He has lost all credibility.

    March 4, 2011 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  4. lynn

    About the only thing I agree with the Huck on. When our nephew proclaims his love for his new baby and "girlfriend", with no shame, something is wrong. Another hit and run in the making, leaving the mother a "single mom" to raise the baby. How many times we hear the single mother proclaiming to the world, poor me, I can't afford this or that. Gee, but you laid with the guy, what did you think would happen??

    March 4, 2011 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  5. San Antonio

    Should Portman respond to a desperate Presidential candidate?

    March 4, 2011 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  6. Jerrold

    Keep talking Mike because every time you open your mouth you clarify just how narrow, extreme and outdated your views are.

    March 4, 2011 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  7. Bernard

    While he goes of on a tangent sometimes, he's semi-right. While I can't say for sure if Portman is outright encouraging single motherhood over being married, Huckabee is right on this one. He never was one to just be "because its wrong", he always rationalized is arguments and he's right.

    Single-motherhood isn't in itself a problem, but if women are going out of the way to have a baby alone then I have some bad news for them: you don't have Natalie Portman's wallet.

    March 4, 2011 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  8. Nicole in MN

    Could he be any more offensive? I was raised by a single mother after my parents divorce and we were a far cry from poor, uneducated, jobless and only government assistance away from starving. In fact we did not receive government assistance.

    Huckabee needs to start thinking before he speaks, the only thing he has been showing when he opens his mouth lately is his own ignorance.

    March 4, 2011 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  9. fayse

    History repeating itself. This didn't work very well for Dan Quayle did it. The American people don't want a preacher,presidential (potential) candidate intruding in their personal lives. The politicians need to stick to solving problems instead of making these sort of statements. Huckabee is shooting himself in the foot before he even declares his candidacy. Given enough rope, these GOP hopefuls will defeat themselves with their own hypocritical words.

    March 4, 2011 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  10. Kahuna

    Wow, Huckabee is out to polarize Americans into another level of class warfare.

    Sure glad his religion teaches him all about tolerance.

    March 4, 2011 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  11. sputnik11

    Huckabee has NO business passing judgment on anyone. Does anyone really think a child would be better raised by a bible-thumping, self-righteous twit, than a Harvard eduated, successful actress, whether she's married or not?

    March 4, 2011 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  12. Jill American

    Natalie is consulting Jennifer Anniston before making a comment. LOL

    March 4, 2011 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  13. Anonymous

    "Most single moms are very poor, uneducated,... " wow....

    March 4, 2011 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  14. CajunJaymee

    Well Well Well, the Hunchback of Arkansas is setting a bad example by judging people which is against all kinds of Baptist Rules, oh yeah, and the Bible. Huckabee is not electable. Young people despise him, the average age of his followers is 74 so 2 or 3 percentage points of his total tally will be dead when he finally runs for POTUS. Back Row Baptists are scarier than Morman Fanatics who go in the closet of the election booth to be hypocrites themselves. Sarah Palin is more likable than Huckabee. I guess I will vote for Buddy Roemer.

    March 4, 2011 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  15. elizabeth

    I hate to agree with this guy..but he is right...Too many women have children on their own..and it is very very hard financially...but we are accepting this more and more in this country...

    March 4, 2011 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  16. Randy, San Francisco

    Keep it up, Huckabee. Been a very bad week for him, appearing very non-presidential.

    March 4, 2011 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  17. Dale

    Most single moms are very poor, uneducated, can't get a job, and if it weren't for government assistance, their kids would be starving to death and would not get healthcare."

    This guy is a complete idiot. Making unfounded claims that have no basis in reality. His religious and political ideology is doing his thinking for him. WHEN WILL PEOPLE RETURN TO RATIONALITY?!? Think based on fact, PLEASE!!

    March 4, 2011 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  18. levi83

    why would she respond to him, she isnt running for office?

    March 4, 2011 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  19. kevin

    Sounds like someone is having a Dan Quayle moment to me. And look how that worked for him. Now I respect Mr. Huckabee and his personal beliefs greatly, however, they should not be imposed on other Americans especially when it comes to the governance of the country. Employment and fiscal problems are more important right now and they should be the focus of lawmakers. Afterall if government starts to dictate how individuals should live their lives then there will always be animosity towards government. Oh, wait a minute, isn't that what the GOP and the Tea Party have been arguing all along? Let's hope Mr. Huckabee realizes this because if he chooses to follow that course he will only alienate himself from a large portion of the population that firmly believe in the seperation of church and state whether his beliefs are right or not and the country still won't move forward.

    March 4, 2011 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  20. a in austin

    What a hypocrite. You stand behind your faith and vilify someone who is single and pregnant yet you spew hate and LIES about the POTUS. Which Bible are you reading?

    March 4, 2011 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  21. MS

    "Christian: One who believes that the New Testament is a divinely inspired book admirably suited to the spiritual needs of his neighbor"

    March 4, 2011 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  22. iceman

    Give it up Huck. Everyone knows you are an extreme right wing wacko religious zealot with no chance of winning the GOP pee nomination for President. What idiots, after having a hard look at what you stand for, would give you any support. You are judging where your religion tells you you have no right to. So that makes you a hypocrite to your own religious beliefs. That makes you untrustworthy. Picking on Natalie is really sinking to the lowest form of GOP propaganda. What a low life.

    March 4, 2011 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  23. Tanya

    I think that Mr. Huckabee should be ashamed of himself. Even though I think people should wait till they are married to have kids but her situation does not make her a bad person. That is the problem with socity these days we should not be worshipping actors, models, or sports prayers. She is human just like everyone else and has a right to live her life so how she chooses. I do take offense to his comments when he says "Most single moms are very poor, uneducated, can't get a job, and if it weren't for government assistance, their kids would be starving to death and would not get healthcare." I am a single mother and I am not poor nor uneducated. I don't live on public assistance and my child is not starving. I am a working class american trying to survive when the times are really tough at the moment. I think it is funny when you have politicians especially Republicans talking bad about people who don't fit there mold. It's easy to judge people both democrat and republican when you make so much money doing nothing to better our country while normal joe's struggle everyday. It makes me really made when I vote for officals and they don't do there jobs but they do not have to worry about money nor healthcare because working for goverment you are all set. It is not fair and I am truly sick of it.

    March 4, 2011 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  24. jeff, alabama

    WHERE"S the fowl ?
    Most mothers without husbands are not millionaires.
    The guy is right.
    So all of you out there start counting on your fingers
    how many millionaire mothers without husbands you know.
    Then count how many poor mothers without husbands you know.
    I see credit apps on people with kids who make more from
    the government in a month than I will ever see when I retire
    after paying into social security for decades.
    Alot of us hardworking Americans are fed up with this crap.
    The next revolution in this country could well be THE GREAT

    March 4, 2011 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  25. mike

    Thats funny because you think he would be praising her for not getting an abortion. I guess he wants to return to the day when this didnt happen. Instead, young unwed moms were secretly wisked away to have their baby, and then forced to put it up for adoption to the Catholic Church. Ahhh the past was so much better.

    March 4, 2011 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
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