Huckabee, Santorum dodge Confederate flag issue.

Huckabee, Santorum Dodge Confederate Flag Issue

Huckabee, Santorum Dodge Confederate Flag Issue

The Slatest
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June 21 2015 7:19 PM

Huckabee, Santorum Dodge Confederate Flag Issue

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Republican presidential candidate and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee speaks during the Rick Scott Economic Growth Summit held at the Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Convention Center on June 2, 2015 in Orlando, Florida.

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

A day after two big-name Republicans pretty much called on South Carolina to remove the Confederate flag from statehouse grounds, two of the GOP’s more conservative presidential hopefuls refused to get involved in the debate, saying it’s an issue for the state, not the federal government. “For those of us running for president, everyone’s being baited with this question as if somehow that has anything to do whatsoever with running for president. And my position is: It most certainly does not,” Mike Huckabee said on NBC. When pressed on the issue, the former governor of Arkansas stood firm: “I don’t personally display it anywhere. So it’s not an issue for me.”

Fellow Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum also gave a similar answer when he was asked about the issue on ABC. “I don’t think the federal government or federal candidates should be making decisions on everything and opining on everything,” said Santorum. “We should let the people of South Carolina go through the process of making this decision.”

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Santorum and Huckabee refused to wade into the issue less than a day after Mitt Romney clearly wrote on Twitter that it was time for the flag to be brought down, a sentiment President Obama quickly supported.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the Today’s Papers column from 2006 to 2009. Follow him on Twitter.