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. Folabi

    Another reason why America will NEVER have a President Huckabee. Judgmental, religious freak-jobs disguised as 'responsible' have no place in the leadership of a dynamic and evolving American society. That woman is an accomplished woman as any, and her type is hardly an example of the reason why values are falling in America, if at all. Folks like Huckabee and Palin and the rest of them pose far more potent threat to progress in this country than the likes of Portman.

    March 4, 2011 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  2. ric

    I doubt a poor uneducated girl is having a baby because they see Natalie Portman having one. The Blame game at it best.

    March 4, 2011 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  3. Seriously?

    Mike – Go back to the pulpit! We do not need nor want your moral judgments. We are quite capable of making our own.

    You know Mike – we all get why in the last couple of days you have made such inflammatory statements. You got tired of Palin getting covered by the press and no one caring about what you were saying. So, you decided to become a Sarahwannabe and it's working. Everyday the press is covering yet another ridiculous remark you've made.

    The problem here for you, Mike. Sarah has become our political fodder. We watch her to see just how dumb her next statement will be. It is coverage, but for all the wrong reasons. Welcome to the "Stupid Political Fodder List", Mike. I hope you get everything you deserve.

    March 4, 2011 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  4. The reality is...

    Huckabee will undoubtedly be slammed for stating the truth. Truth rarely wins the popularity contest these days, especially in Hollywood and the press. That is precisely why this once great nation is going down.

    March 4, 2011 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  5. Bill McGrath

    Having children out of wedlock? If you can afford it, what's the big deal? Marriage is an institution designed to create stability, and the religionists confuse this with morality. Maybe if Huckabee and his like-minded conservatives wouldn't rail against real sex education and contraception, the poorer women who wind up pregnant wouldn't be. His kind contributes more to the problem than he realizes.

    March 4, 2011 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  6. me

    The respect i had for you pretty much wained this week. The term "American Exceptionalism" only applies when you live up to the term, otherwise its just entitlement. Dont think your allowed to misrepresent facts because of the god you follow.

    March 4, 2011 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  7. Jason

    Mike Huckabee sets a bad example to America’s youth by being judgemental. Is that what we want? Kids growing up throwing their judgement at everyone else they don’t agree with? Isn’t that what gets America in trouble all the time?

    March 4, 2011 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  8. Folabi

    Or how about Newt Gingrich?

    March 4, 2011 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  9. SwanLover

    I'm sure Natalie will lose a ton of sleep worrying about what Huckabee thinks.

    March 4, 2011 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  10. guest

    Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. I'm sure there are skeletons to come falling out of his closet.

    March 4, 2011 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  11. Give me a Break

    Mike Huckabee: professional Troll. Is there a single member of the Republican party that can sell an image and share their ideals WITHOUT bashing on someone else? It'd be nice to see a Republican presedential hopeful go "Hey, I know I'm not perfect, but here's how I think we can improve our country".

    Have some humble pie Mike, it'd do you wonders.

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

    While I don't totally agree with his argument, I do agree she is enjoying the limelight a bit too much and therefore could give off the wrong impression to young girls who think it would be cool to be like her. However, he should be blaming the media on constantly showing baby bump pics of the stars. I don't agree that all young women are "uneducated" and believe life would be perfect like Natalie Portman's. Not sure why, but I got the impression this wasn't a planned pregnancy in some article I had read. Seemed like she wasn't all that thrilled at first, then changed her mind on that when she started getting all the preggers attention from the media outlets, which just so happened to coincide with the Oscars. Enjoy it while you can, I guess! I have always thought she was rather intelligent and one of the classier girls in her age group compared to some Holllywood attention seekers.

    March 4, 2011 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  13. jcoull

    The problem, Mr. Huckabee, is your belief that the love two people share needs to be approved by the government. I will trust Ms. Portman's judgment of what is best for her future children well before I subscribe to your demand that the government uselessly impose control over her rights and freedoms. Furthermore, I don't appreciate you stumping the presidential race that is still 20 months away; please have the dignity and respect to let Mr. Obama do his job without the distraction of having to campaign for it at the same time.

    March 4, 2011 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  14. Mike S.

    This is why the Republican party is so out of touch with reality. The problem with this country isn't that Natalie Portman is pregnant and unmarried. The problem is that one political party keeps trolling for votes for totally irrational reasons, and wins.
    That's how we got eight years of the worst president in U.S. history – he got the dumb vote. Keep trolling Huckabee. But you should be more concerned about childhood obesity (wink wink) than pregnant bellies.

    March 4, 2011 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  15. Glenda Green

    In the words of Ted Neeley as he was portraying Jesus Christ in the film 'Jesus Christ Superstar'...."if your slate is clean then you can throw stones, if your slate is not, then LEAVEA THEM ALONE!" Self-righteous, closed minded judgemental politician! My Jesus doesn't steretype people!

    March 4, 2011 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  16. rvines

    I guess he needed to get himself in the news so he points his finger at someone and calls them bad.

    March 4, 2011 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  17. nps

    I consider myself mainly liberal, but I do believe that family values stink these days. I am tired of single Hollywood women seemingly being completely unaware of how to avoid pregnancy. It makes me sad for the kids because you know this relationship won't work out, even if they do end up marrying. I also agree with Huckabee (even though I'm not a fan of his) that most single mothers are broke and uneducated and milking the system. I believe the breakdown of traditional family values is partly responsible for the ruiin of this country and the instability of its children. I do however support gay marriage in hopes that it would create a stable family environment for kids.

    March 4, 2011 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  18. Andrea Migliore

    Would Mr. Huckabee have preferred that Ms. Portman have an abortion?

    March 4, 2011 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  19. JMissal

    On the other hand, Huck....maybe it is the government assistence that is giving single moms the vehicle to live without having to work. Take it away and I'll wager that there will be a drop in the pregnancy rate since they will no longer be getting paid to have children.

    March 4, 2011 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  20. Sara

    She's not the first unwed mother, nor will she be the last. Honestly, there are much worse role models. If we could treat her as a role model, encouraging girls to graduate from Harvard before getting pregnant, we'd probably all be better off. If this is really the tactic he wants to choose, he could look a little closer to his own party for some more targets more representative of the issue.

    I used to think Huckabee was a reasonable, thoughtful, intelligent guy, whom I may have disagreed with on the overall political scale, but would've seriously considered voting for if I was given the option. It's making me a little sad to see him arguing this point.

    March 4, 2011 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  21. scbona

    What a hypocrite Huckabee is. She's only following in the steps of great Republicans like the Reagans. If children were only born to married couples, many of us wouldn't be here! 😉

    March 4, 2011 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  22. Don

    Huck, save your own soul. That is your responsibility. Leave Natalie to worry about hers. Morality police. Taliban anyone?

    March 4, 2011 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  23. San Antonio

    Is it really necessary for Postman to respond to a desperate presidential candidate?

    March 4, 2011 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  24. WDRussell

    For those few who didn't realize it yet, Huckabee is a worthless piece of human waste who is so low he could crawl under the belly of a snake.

    March 4, 2011 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  25. timd

    He's just like all the rest of the bible thumping righties. He preaches morality but you know damn welll he wishes that he was the one that knocked Natalie up. He probably hires prostitutes and makes them dress up like queen amidala and speak in yiddish while he wears a priests collar and wanks. He should just mind his own effin business.

    March 4, 2011 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
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