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. Barbara

    He's so dumb. Natalie Portman rocks and she's engaged to be married. That's not setting a bad example.

    March 4, 2011 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  2. RobA

    Maybe it's just me, but something about Huckabee's inane ramblings make me think of "Burma Shave" billboards and endless acres of corn and dust. His mindset was born of the Great Depression, and hasn't gone anywhere since. It certainly doesn't suit the year 2011. But of course, he has many GOP fans who yearn for the good old days when women couldn't own property and people who were different lived apart.

    March 4, 2011 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  3. Robin Bray

    In the early days of the great new American Republic close to 60% of all children were born out of wedlock. But we still make it as a country. And those children grew up to build this country. He should do a little closer look at his own family history and I'm sure he will find a few surprises.

    March 4, 2011 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  4. Gerald Knowles

    There seems to be a penchant for Christian ministers to violate one by one the
    Ten Commandments to the extreme. First, lets take Jimmy Baker who robbed well meaning followers by stealing millions of dollars through fraud. Then comes Jimmy Jones who murdered a US Congressman and hundreds of his followers by forced suicides. Then comes Jimmy Swigart (along with Wizard of Ooz Newt Gingrich) who gives class to the idea of committing adultery. Now we have Huckabee, former minister and governor, –blatantly lying about the President of the United States-bearing false witness against his neighbor.

    March 4, 2011 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  5. Jon

    Oh, YES, because that's really at the top of our priority list right now! For crying out loud, Huckabee – cope!

    March 4, 2011 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  6. AZMom

    Wow, what a huge generalization of single moms. There are plenty single moms who work good jobs, take care of their kids, and save for their own retirement. My mom was one of them! What a judgmental jerk. How can he even call him Christian????

    March 4, 2011 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  7. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Baptist minister? I think not. Huck has lost his way.

    March 4, 2011 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  8. Betelmann

    That's funny, because it seems as if on all other issues Huckabee and his fellow Republicans hold up the rich as examples of what we should aspire to and can achieve. Rich people don't need unions, and if they don't we shouldn't, either. Rich people shouldn't pay more taxes, and that's why the rest of us shouldn't, either. This guy doesn't believe evolution happened and lives his life entirely according to words written by ignorant people who wandered around in a desert. He also is ignorant of Obama's background and then lied about that ignorance. He's hardly the one to lecture others about how to live their lives.

    March 4, 2011 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  9. steveo

    I guess he has nothing to say about the countless politicians caught up in sex scandals this year?

    March 4, 2011 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  10. jussayin

    Huck wasn't really criticizing Natalie Portman, but he was just pointing out the obvious that she has an advantage over most single moms these days. Did he say he has a problem with her? Did he stand in judgment of her? No, not really. He didn't even say that she has a responsibility to set a good example for her fans. He was talking about the state of affairs in the country and commenting that by and large, single moms need assistance.

    March 4, 2011 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  11. p

    Hey Mike – More meaningless words from you. You are UN-AMERICAN. You are not the least bit smart.
    You give Christianity a bad name.
    Enjoy your little book release. Say something else stupid and controversial. You only appeal to really unintelligent rednecks, and there aren't near enough of them to get you elected to anything.
    Fortunately for us, the closest you'll ever come to the White House is on a tour.

    March 4, 2011 10:11 am at 10:11 am |

    So, he's pro-abortion? Hmmmm.

    March 4, 2011 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  13. andrewstl

    gop please run huckabbe he is the ideal candidate

    head in the sand not a clue

    he thinks abortion is the biggest problem in america

    quite frankly i see him being a valid reson as to why abortion should be retroactive

    March 4, 2011 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  14. Yanni

    Huckabee, a Baptist minister who tells bogus story about the US president has a problem with a single mom having a chiled. How hypocritical of him? Let he who is without a sin...

    March 4, 2011 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  15. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Well, it would be ideal that people get married and then have children. If people lived all by the rules, then we wouldn't have to worry about this, but it doesn't always happen assuming we all have the same rules. There are many people out there that have children out of wedlock. Just because they do, that doesn't make it wrong in everyone's eyes.

    March 4, 2011 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  16. clevercandi

    Deja vu – can you say Dan Quayle and Murphy Brown (even though Murphy Brown was a TV character)?? LOL

    March 4, 2011 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  17. lordpet

    I was trying to like Huckabee but then he just runs his mouth and says a whole bunch of stupid nonsense

    March 4, 2011 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  18. Adalbert

    This right wing fanatic is working hard to demonize our President and everyone else who do not agree with him.

    March 4, 2011 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  19. Meh

    A politician saying that someone else is ruining values in America....ironic

    March 4, 2011 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  20. SuchPhail

    A cleptublican...talking about lack degraded American values? I think there's a word for this....hypocrisy? Really? The GOP wants to sell this country out from underneath us and you dare mention "American Values" to us? This is why voting ballots need a "none of the above" selection.

    March 4, 2011 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  21. jeff, alabama

    So....where did he supposedly
    go astray ?
    What he said was most mothers
    who are not married are not
    wher's the foul ?

    March 4, 2011 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  22. Greg Smith

    Let's see, so far this week the Huckster has criticized Obama for growing up in Kenya, which he did not, being educated in a Muslim school, which he wasn't, and now he's criticizing someone for making a decision about their life and wanting to have children. Is it so hard to see what he's trying to do? There are people out there who are not able to distinguish facts from fiction and will believe anything that yanks their emotions. The Huckster is courting them.

    March 4, 2011 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  23. Cedar Rapids

    'hey look, we're having children, we're not married, but we're having children and they're doing just fine'
    Having kids and doing just fine....sounds like its not a problem then, good.

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

    "if it weren't for government assistance, their kids would be starving to death and would not get health care." Then I guess the Huckster should be happy the government is voting to take away more and more of the assistance it gives the poor children. Goodness knows we need their money to fund the tax breaks for the wealthy. Huckabee continues his assault on anyone different than him by insulting single mothers. Way to go, buddy.

    March 4, 2011 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  25. jules sand-perkins

    As a literal believer in Genesis, Chapter One, Huckabee, on visiting the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan, would have to reject the displays concerning human evolution as lies.
    I wonder whether or not Huckabee, on viewing the collection of meteorites nearby, would accept the scientists' assertion that such large objects actually fell from the sky.

    March 4, 2011 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
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