Huckabee Calls Duck Dynasty Anti-Gay Comments “Traditional” Values

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Dec. 22 2013 11:36 AM

Huckabee Eyes White House Run, Says Duck Dynasty Anti-Gay Comments Are “Traditional” Values

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Mike Huckabee speaks during a corner stone dedication ceremony for a new Jewish settlement on January 31, 2011 in East Jerusalem

Photo by Lior Mizrahi /Getty Images

Former Gov. Mike Huckabee says the odds of him running for president in 2016 are at about 50 percent. “It would be, frankly, dishonest to say no,” Huckabee told Fox News when he was asked whether he was considering running for the presidency again. Earlier in the week, Huckabee gave several interviews, including to the Washington Post, in which he said that he was being encouraged to throw his hat in the ring “from places where I never got it before.” Huckabee struck a populist tone in the interview, saying he wanted to stand up to the “collusion” that exists between Washington and Wall Street, points out Politico.

The former governor was also asked about the whole Duck Dynasty controversy involving anti-gay statements that the show’s star, Phil Robertson, uttered during an interview. Huckabee staunchly defended Robertson, saying that his views on gay people were nothing but an expression of “traditional” values. “Political correctness has made it so that if you want to take a point of view that is traditional that holds to steadfast old fashioned biblical Christian values that are also by the way values of traditional Judaism and Islam then somehow you’re just supposed to shut up and keep that to yourself,” said Huckabee, who has started a Facebook petition to defend the Duck Dynasty star.  “But if you want to advocate for same-sex marriage we’re supposed to be very tolerant.”

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Huckabee then went on to equate Robertson’s remark to President Obama’s former opposition to marriage equality. “There is a new level of bullying on the part of these militant activist groups, who if anyone says something that holds to the same position that Barack Obama held in 2008” they get criticized, Huckabee said.

When Wallace appeared to want to throw Huckabee a lifeline, asking him specifically on the way that Robertson expressed himself, comparing homosexuality to bestiality and adultery, the former governor refused to engage, saying the remarks were “more appropriate for the duck woods than the pages of a major news magazine.”  And regarding his comments on African Americans living in the pre-civil rights era—“pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues”—Huckabee merely said: “I think I saw the world of the south a little differently than maybe he did.”

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

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