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. Izza Rollin

    Shazam!! Gomer speaks. Faux News trying to control how you think in the guise of one of the darlings of the repugnantcan party.

    March 4, 2011 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  2. Kwesoe

    No gentleman can attack a pregnant mother. Me thinks this Bee is not a gentleman.

    March 4, 2011 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  3. Gert Johan Manschot

    This is so Last Century!

    March 4, 2011 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  4. Claire

    And by getting married, the poorness, uneducation and no job goes away?

    March 4, 2011 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  5. Chris

    And like all of our lying, cheating career politicians are any better role models? Impliment fines for our politicains. $10,000 for every outright lie to be paid from the campaign funds directly to the national debt. That will solve the defecit in teh coming election year.

    March 4, 2011 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  6. MikeMazzla

    Keep talking dip Last I heard people in this coutry have free will and if an educated woman who is not married wants to have a child and can easily support that child.. thats what matters. Ive seen plenty of married couples who have children who cant suport them or raise them correctly...Ridiculous comment

    March 4, 2011 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  7. Steve in Denver

    Dear Huckleberry: Why don't you stick to inciting your ignorant base with more lies about Obama growing up in Kenya.

    It would be nice if some day the stupid masses that listen to you, Limbaugh, Beck, Boortz, etc. actually said to themselves "I'm tired of being lied to, I'm not listening any more." I don't know how this country can have so many stupid, hateful people.

    March 4, 2011 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  8. Char

    He was giving his opinion, Why do liberals always take a opinion of somebody they disagree with policially and then spin it to be what its not? quit being so uptight! I'm Registered Nurse who also had a baby out of wedlock and was not affended in the slightest. Quit making a big deal out of nothing!

    March 4, 2011 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  9. Luis

    Mr Huckabee is right that society has degraded quite a bit over the last decades. Policies to try to revert this could be a good idea but will not be popular. Pregnancy in an unstable socioeconomic situation is no joke and for the most it is the consequence of very poor decisions.made by people aware of the consequences.
    I have mixed feelings of the role of the Government providing support in these cases. They are people. but their mishaps are paid with my taxes. I prefer that tax money spent in schools.

    March 4, 2011 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  10. Catca

    During high school Natalie also made it to the semi-finals of a prestigious national science competition – and working in the movie business at the same time. While attending Harvard, if she had a work commitment such as promoting a movie, she turned her work in early – she never asked for an extension. Her and Benjamin spent long hours on the set of Black Swan and fell in love. Their child was conceived out of love and will be raised in a 2 parent family as Natalie is engaged and will be married soon. So I have to say, I think Natalie makes an outstanding role model for American women. I for one find her work ethic, effortless beauty, and compassion to be inspiring.

    And frankly, as a woman, I am really getting tired of Republicans attacking single mothers and stating how much they care for children when they (1) don't call out the men that are not supporting the mother's of their children (2) cutting education spending and other programs to help families including single mothers while refusing to touch programs like defense spending that are much bigger portions of the budget and that even the defense department admit is bloated. The hypocrisy is unbelievable and undermines any positive message about moral values Mr. Huckabee may have been trying to convey.

    March 4, 2011 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  11. eatthepoor

    Huckabee really needs someone to do his fact checking for him. He seems to be on a roll lately saying ill-informed stuff. Natalie Portman is "engaged" to the baby daddy so she is doing the right thing according to him.

    March 4, 2011 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  12. KritterKat

    I'm not a Republican, but I have to support Huckabee's thoughts on this 100%. He is absolutely right. These Hollywood stars, who have plenty of money to raise a child alone, are not a good influence for those people living paycheck to paycheck who want to live the single parent lifestyle. A child is a lifelong commitment, and should be brought into the world in a legally committed two-parent family. We all know that's the best way to raise a child.

    March 4, 2011 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  13. Dan

    What a dork. Seriously Huckleberry, it's 2011, not 1911.

    A kid who is raised by a single mom might just grow up to be president of the United States these days, something that you, Huckleberry, will NEVER be.

    March 4, 2011 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  14. Ben

    Mike Huckabee is a symbol of degraded American values.

    March 4, 2011 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  15. wowlfie

    Yeah hollywood actors set bad examples all the time. Charlie Sheen, Lindsay Lohan, Winona Ryder, Natalie Portman, etc, etc, etc., etc. Almost actors at one time or another set a bad example!!!

    March 4, 2011 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  16. Shekinah

    First, I'm embarassed FOR him that he thinks so many women look to Natalie Portman as a role model. Second, as a recovering Baptist, you see why I am longer associated:). Third, I'm always amused when the WOMAN is condemned for being a bad role model as if she got pregnant all by herself. Where is the condemnation for the father (not that I think there should be ANY condemnation, just asking to point out the double-standard.)

    March 4, 2011 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  17. a little sad

    "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."

    Does this mean you support NOT making the draconian cuts to WIC, education, healthcare, etc? WHy don't you get your republican buddies on board with that?

    March 4, 2011 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  18. Sgt. Joe.

    And that's the focus of the GOP issues. They could give a rats behind about the economy because they are all sitting high on the hog now that Wall St. is off the hook and can even donate to their campaigns full force. But holy heck if the Unions donate to the Dems, right? They just can't handle that concept. "Real American" workers donating to the Dems! Doesn't the GOP preach about listening to "real Americans" (who, by the way, favor bargaining by over 60%) yet they are so in bed with Wall St.? I can't believe that so many fools vote GOP and against their own best interests. Unbelievable to me.

    March 4, 2011 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  19. paul

    Huck has been saying a lot of crazy things lately. Must be running for president. Everyone knows the Republican party has moved so far to the right that you have to say a lot of "wacko" things to get through the primary. Why do you think that Ginrich, Palin, Bachman, etc are even being considered. Heres hoping that the American voters realize what is happening and show up next time. The country wants candidates that can appeal to the center.

    March 4, 2011 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  20. ellid

    This slimy "Christian" needs to look to his own sons, who tortured animals to death at a "Christian" camp, before he comments on another. He also seems to have forgotten that Natalie Portman is engaged to the father of her child and isn't simply having a baby on her own.

    March 4, 2011 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  21. Nathan

    He's right. She should have an abortion since she's not married. Oh wait.......

    March 4, 2011 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  22. really?

    There are so many things wrong with his statement. First of all, I highly doubt MOST single moms are poor with no education and on welfare. I am a single mom, going to college, making good money, and surviving just fine with no government assistance other than Pell Grants. Secondly, who the hell is Huckabee to judge? Mr. Baptist preacher who is supposed to be a Christian. Guess what? Christians are told not to judge, but to love. Its because of judgemental jerks like Huckabee that Christian's get a bad name. How bout doing the Christian thing and loving every man/woman as you would yourself??

    March 4, 2011 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  23. DGeorge

    This fool is playing God. He should to hell with his unforgiving attitude. God is loving and forgiving . I guess he did not read that part of the bible, this want to be pastor.

    March 4, 2011 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  24. Paula

    I don't get these guys. They want big government to stay out of our lives, but they use their power in the bully pulpit to condemn those they feel are morally inferior. You cannot have it both ways...get out of my life big gov and out of my bedroom big brother republican would-be moralists.

    March 4, 2011 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  25. ASingh

    It's better than pardoning convicted murderers just based on religion who then go out on street and kill other ppl and cops. She's not interfering with ur life Moron, leave her alone! U should be proud that she is keeping the baby!

    March 4, 2011 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
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