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. Jamie5

    Huckabee: Miss Portman's private life is none of your business. She seems happy-leave her alone. You are criticizing someone you know nothing about-what kind of example is that??

    March 4, 2011 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  2. Canuck

    I think that an ex-Christian minister who thinks that its OK to lie to score political points could also be considered a symbol of degraded American values

    March 4, 2011 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  3. Jason

    I see so many parallels between Huckabee's views on Natalie Portman and Bristol Palin with the exception that Portman is a talented actress while the the 2 famous Palins are skilless, brainless, trolls,

    March 4, 2011 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  4. tomtheengineer

    Mike! Wake up and join the 21st century already. Having a committed relationship is more important than having a marriage ceremony. Too many marriages are hollow and everyone knows it, thereby reducing/eliminating respect for the institution. I'd MUCH rather see the emphasis placed on the personal responsibility and the long term committment required to raise a child than on whether or not the parents are married.

    March 4, 2011 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  5. Ben

    Mike Huckabee is a real winner. He would make a good Republican Presidential candidate.

    March 4, 2011 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  6. NVa Native

    Chuck-abee is in full blown "appease the wacko-right base" of fox followers & ditto-heads mode.
    Mindlessly spreading lies about Obama's childhood and stupid comments degrading women as single parents. I guess gay bashing and liberal elite nonsense will soon follow, and through in a little "make-believe creationism" and "poof" you're done.

    March 4, 2011 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  7. Michigan Don

    Ptiful that an ordained preacher mixes religon with money and politics. Jesus is her judge not you Huckee it says that in the Bible. It also warns against money loving religious leaders like you.... so leave the lady be.

    March 4, 2011 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  8. Phillip

    Dan Quayle reprise.

    March 4, 2011 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  9. Derek from Boston

    "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."

    So...Miguel...why don't you stand up FOR Planned Parenthood?!

    March 4, 2011 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  10. W P

    What "sets a bad example to America" are religious fundamental terriorists who attack others because they don't adhere to their hypocritic standards. DIVORCE SETS A BAD EXAMPLE!!!

    March 4, 2011 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  11. Tony

    Well at least Natalie and Ben are engaged. They got a little ahead of the game, but are on the path to a wedding. I am not a Baptist minister, and have no use for conservative radiio; but the celebrity life style of having children and not marrying does send a bad message. I've read that 46% of children in the US are born to unwed parents. That is just not right. Say again, I am not a moralist, nor pursue any religious belief.

    March 4, 2011 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  12. _ian_

    Oh my! What is it with all these GOP Pres hopefuls? Huckabee sounded almost reasonable once upon a time, bible-thumping notwithstanding. But these days it's a race to the bottom, to join the crazy circus of Santorum, Bachman, Palin, etc. Newt is doing the same kind of thing nowadays, ditto Barbour and Pawlenty. At this rate, by 2012 they will all declare that Earth is flat and proceed to fall off the edge...

    March 4, 2011 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  13. Jamie5

    PS: If you want an example of degraded American values look at Gitmo.

    March 4, 2011 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  14. Leo Vale

    Really? The evangelical Republicans are STILL railing against single motherhood as though it's a life sentence of pverty? Sure, there is a mountain of responsibility for a single mother and there are far too many young single mothers who apparently ignore the fact that their financial situation (joblessness or a minimum wage job) will likely relegate them to a life of poverty and public assistance...but to point to Natalie Portman as setting a bad example is ridiculous. Portman is well-educated and financially secure and if today's young women can't see how their financial readiness to have an raise a childe is vastly different from Ms. Portman's, then this country has bigger problems than unwed motherhood – – it means our young women are also stupid beyond belief.

    March 4, 2011 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  15. Name Creole

    Man this DUDE!!!!!! He use to walk with GOD ???? So he said until Fox News and the Right took his Soul!!!!!!

    March 4, 2011 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  16. JEANNE

    This man is an idiot – considering 50% of marriages end in divorce – typical republican – they can't deal with the real issues facing america – so they try to get everyone excited over crap they know nothing about.

    March 4, 2011 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  17. M

    Another typical bigoted baptist. Notice he did not say anything about Bristol Palin. Give me a break

    March 4, 2011 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  18. ...

    Natalie Portman is an awesome woman who should be commended!

    Huckabee should be ashamed of the comments he has made as of late. Nothing but lies, distortions, & hate-filled rhetoric that does nothing but fan the flames of ignorance...

    I used to think he was an idiot for denying evolution but judging by his recent comments I beginning to agree!

    March 4, 2011 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  19. AEK

    I don't know if I would really hold my breath while waiting for Natalie Portman to "respond" to this clown. She owes absolutely nobody ANY explanation for her choices least of all Mike Huckabee. Just sayin'...

    March 4, 2011 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  20. Bob

    Of all the Hollywood child stars turned adult stars, Ms. Portman is the near to the last on the list of people anyone should be pointing fingers at. And whoever said part of her job is to be a role model? She's an entertainer, not a community leader. As far as I'm concerned, her private life is her own.

    Huckabee's a Christian minister, right? Whatever happened to (paraphrased) "judge not, lest ye be judged yourself?" Or (again, paraphrased) "those who live in glass houses should not throw the first stone?" 🙂

    March 4, 2011 09:48 am at 9:48 am |

    Love that these right wing repugnatican windbags who while standing on the porch of their glass house toss boulders. Being that your son was conviced of torturing and hanging a puppy maybe Schmuckabee may want to keep his mouth shut on any "family matters"..............

    March 4, 2011 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  22. Peggy

    Why does his condemnation only extend to the "moms?" What about unmarried DADS! Grow up Huck–unmarried people like Natalie are not immoral if they choose to have children without marriage and are fully capable of providing for their needs. The Bible tells us to love, not judge our neighbors.

    March 4, 2011 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  23. Anonymous

    " most single moms are very poor , uneducated , can't get a job , and if it weren't for government assistance , their kid's would be starving to death and would not get health care . " So by all means , gut all the services that would help them feed thier kids ,or help them get an education to be able to support themselves .Sounds like a plan .

    March 4, 2011 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  24. Rick McDaniel

    Get off the religious tripe.

    March 4, 2011 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  25. Laurie

    "Let he among you without sin, cast the first stone." I absolutely cringe at the hypocrisy of these "so called Christian conservatives." Really living your faith, aren't you Huckabee????

    March 4, 2011 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
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