Mike Huckabee: Democrats Want Women to Think "They Can't Control Their Libido"

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Jan. 23 2014 1:38 PM

Mike Huckabee: Democrats Want Women to Think "They Can't Control Their Libido"

Mike Huckabee knows women can control their libido.

Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

Earlier today, Harvard's Institute of Politics announced that former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who's currently a Fox News host and who may run for president again in 2016, would be a "visiting fellow" for the spring semester.

In unrelated news, Huckabee was the lunchtime speaker for today's leg of the RNC winter meeting. He started with a riff on that obsession of both parties—the "war on women" meme. Democrats, said Huckabee, were patronizing women every time they suggested that birth control was a right they had to defend from the GOP. Democrats were telling women "they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government."

Reporters were a little rattled by the line, but Huckabee's used it before—he used it on the latest episode of his Sunday show.

The ridiculous claim that a pro-life position is a "war on women" is an insult to the millions of women who make extraordinary sacrifices for their children.
For Democrats to reduce women to beggars for cheap government funded birth control is demeaning to the women that I know who are far more complicated than their libido and the management of their reproductive system.

So it's a crowd-pleaser, if only to a select audience.

UPDATE: Conservatives have responded to the quote -- well, more accurately, responded to liberals responding to the quote -- by insisting that the media ran it without context. Mea culpa/humblebrag: I was in the room at the time, filing quickly, but preferring not to stop my tape and transcribe the entire line. Here it is now:

Our party stands for the recognition of the equality of women and the capacity of women. That's not a war on them; it's a war for them. And if the Democrats want to insult the women of America by making them believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing them a prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government, then so be it, let's that that discussion all across America, because women are far more than Democrats have made them to be.

The conservative objection is that this full quote is not nearly as dismissive-sounding as the short, Twitter-sized version. That's arguable -- Huckabee's point remains that Democrats are calling women promiscuous and trying to buy them off with birth control. If Democrats want to object to that, they can.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 



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