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Mike Huckabee on Civil Rights

Former Republican AR Governor; possible draft candidate

Pays attention to black vote; got 48% as governor

One GOP primary debate was hosted by Tavis Smiley, the host of the PBS program bearing his name, & held at Morgan State, a historically black college in Baltimore. I was embarrassed that most of the GOP candidates had chosen to ignore this opportunity to show that we really were the party with a message of hope and opportunity for African Americans. Instead, by their unwillingness to appear, our "marquee players" had not only insulted and shown their disrespect for the African American community, but had only solidified the "we don't care about you" image that has dogged Republicans in relation to the black community. Having received an almost unheard of 48% of the African American vote in Arkansas during my reelection campaign for governor, I knew that Republicans shouldn't ignore this important constituency. The fact that I showed up and answered the questions with knowledge & compassion opened many doors to nontraditional Republicans and spoke to middle-class Americans across the country.
Source: Do The Right Thing, by Mike Huckabee, p. 61 , Nov 18, 2008

I witnessed firsthand the shameful evil of racism

I grew up at a time and in a place where the civil rights movement was fought. And I witnessed firsthand the shameful evil of racism. I saw how ignorance and prejudice caused people to do the unthinkable to people of color, and it wasnít so many years ago. I want to say with the utmost of sincerity, not as a Republican, but as an American, that I have great respect for Senator Obamaís historic achievement to become his partyís nominee, not because of his color, but with indifference to it.
Source: Speech at 2008 Republican National Convention , Sep 3, 2008

Itís arrogant for GOP to ignore Hispanics or any group

Q: Do you think that youíre taking a risk to come here [to an Hispanic forum]?

A: Well, I think the great risk is not so much that we would come. The far greater risk is if we didnít. And itís not just that we would offend or perhaps insult the Hispanic audience of this country. I think it would insult our own party. It would insult every voter in this country. To act like that somehow weíve become so arrogant that thereís any segment of our population that weíre either afraid to speak to, hear their questions, or somehow that we donít think that theyíre as important as another group. And itís why I think whether itís an African American audience, a Hispanic audience, a union audience, as Republicans, we ought to be more than willing to sit down, even with people with whom we might know there are disagreements. And I think, frankly, itís important for us to be here. Itís important that you gave us this opportunity. And I want to say thanks for letting us have this audience on Univision.

Source: 2007 Republican primary debate on Univision , Dec 9, 2007

Racial profiling based on speaking with accent is unAmerican

Q: Four out of five Hispanics are either legal residents or American citizens. Many of them feel affected by the negative tone of the immigration debate. What would you do to curb this anti-Hispanic sentiment?

A: Well, I was governor of the state that is the second fastest growing state for Hispanics in the country, and we faced that. Quite frankly, when we fix the situation and make the border secure and people are here legally, a lot of the sentiment goes away. But itís a terrible thing when a person who is here legally, but who may speak with an accent, is racially profiled by members of the public, and people assume that they may be illegal. It is in everybodyís best interest--and most of all in the best interest of the legal immigrants--that we fix this problem, so nobody questions the legitimacy of their being here, which often happens, unfairly, unnecessarily and, frankly, in a completely un-American manner.

Source: 2007 Republican primary debate on Univision , Dec 9, 2007

Got 48% of black vote in AR; embarrassed at national GOP

Q: Please tell me and this audience why you chose to be here tonight and what you say to those who chose not to be here tonight.

A: Well, I want to be president of the United States, not just president of the Republican Party. Frankly, Iím embarrassed. Iím embarrassed for our party and Iím embarrassed for those who did not come, because thereís long been a divide in this country, and it doesnít get better when we donít show up. Quite frankly, for a lot of people, thereís a perception that Black Americans donít vote for Republicans. I proved that wrong in Arkansas, with 48% of African Americans voting for me. But I want to make sure that the people of this country recognize that weíve come a long way, but we have a long way to go. And we donít get there if we donít sit down and work through issues that are still very deep in this country, when it comes to racial divide. Iím honored to be here. I wish all of the candidates had come.

Source: 2007 GOP Presidential Forum at Morgan State University , Sep 27, 2007

Address gay behavior if problematic, not gay attitudes

Q: Most of our closest allies, including Great Britain and Israel, allow gays and lesbians to openly serve in the military. Is it time to end ďDonít ask, donít tellĒ policy and allow gays and lesbians to serve openly in the US military?

PAUL: I think the current policy is a decent policy. If there is homosexual behavior in the military that is disruptive, it should be dealt with. But if thereís heterosexual sexual behavior that is disruptive, it should be dealt with. So it isnít the issue of homosexuality.

HUCKABEE: Itís already covered by the Uniform Code of Military Conduct. I think thatís what Congressman Paul was saying. Itís about conduct, itís not about attitude. You donít punish people for their attitudes. You punish them if their behavior creates a problem.

Q: So you wouldnít change existing policy.?

HUCKABEE: I donít think that I would. I think itís already covered by the existing policy that we do have, in fact.

Source: 2007 GOP debate at Saint Anselm College , Jun 3, 2007

Gay tolerance reflects lack of fixed societal standards

Public debate today is filled with arguments that, not long ago, would have been dismissed as ridiculous and insupportable. Consider homosexuality, for instance. There have been homosexuals in every human culture. But until recently, who would have dared to suggest that the practice should be accepted on equal footing with heterosexuality, to be thought of as a personal decision and nothing more?

Everything you do and believe is directed by your answer to the ultimate question: Is there a God? It all comes down to that single issue. If there is a God, then everything moves one way. If there isnít, it moves another.

By refusing to define character using fixed standards, we lose our reference point., we lose our ability to navigate, and, therefore, we drift. Who is right and who is wrong? Who knows?

Source: Character Makes a Difference, by Mike Huckabee, p.113-116 , Jun 1, 2007

Respect gay couples but no gay adoptions

Q: Should gay couples be allowed to adopt children?

A: Unfortunately, so much of this argument has been framed about what the same-sex couple wants. But the real question needs to be child-focused, not couple-focused. And thatís true whether the couple is same-sex or whether theyíre heterosexual. In our state, as in most, the criteria for adoption is always whatís in the best interest of the child.

Q: So is it in the best interest of the child to have gay parents?

A: Iím not sure that we have a positive answer to that. And until we absolutely could say it, then Iím always hesitant to change those institutions.

Q: Do you believe that youíre born gay or you choose to be gay?

A: I donít honestly know. But the point is, people are who they want to be, and we should respect them for that. But when they want to change the institutions thatíve governed our society for all the years of recorded human history, then thatís a serious change of culture that we donít just make readily or hurriedly.

Source: Meet the Press: 2007 ďMeet the CandidatesĒ series , Jan 28, 2007

USA has gone from Barney Fife to Barney Frank

Q: You said this to the Des Moines Register: ďLetís face it. In our lifetimes, weíve seen our country go from ĎLeave it to Beaverí to ĎBeavis and Butt-head,í from Barney Fife to Barney Frank.Ē Why include Barney Frank, a gay congressman, in that reference?

A: It was a matter of a rhetorical device to talk about the different cultural shift that we have, and it wasnít any particular attempt to be derisive of him. But there has been a huge cultural shift in this country.

Q: Some would suggest by including Barney Frank in that reference you are tearing a gay man down. Youíre against gay marriage, youíre against gay civil unions. Do you have a problem with gay people?

A: No. I have a problem with changing institutions that have served us. Before we change the definition of marriage to mean something different, I think our real focus ought to be on trying to strengthen heterosexual marriages because half of them are ending in divorce.

Source: Meet the Press: 2007 ďMeet the CandidatesĒ series , Jan 28, 2007

Signed legislation outlawing same-sex marriage in Arkansas

Source: PAC website,, ďAboutĒ , Dec 1, 2006

No civil unions; only one-man-one-woman marriage

Q: Should Arkansas recognize civil unions between same-sex couples?

A: No.

Q: Should Arkansas restrict marriage to a union only between a man and a woman?

A: Yes.

Source: 2002 AR Gubernatorial National Political Awareness Test , Nov 1, 2002

No affirmative action for state contracts nor colleges

Q: Affirmative Action: Should race, ethnicity, or gender be taken into account in state agenciesí decisions on:

Q: College and university admissions

A: No.

Q: Public employment

A: No.

Q: State contracting

A: No.

Source: 2002 AR Gubernatorial National Political Awareness Test , Nov 1, 2002

If Titanic sank now, feminism would cost more women's lives

The doctrine of "women and children first" makes the Titanic tragedy stand out in remarkable ways. When asked in Senate hearings about the Titanic sinking whether the doctrine of "women and children first was the law of the sea," a naval officer responded, "It is the law of human nature." Of course, there were no formal laws, maritime or otherwise, which required the implementation of such a policy in times of danger.

Alas, no longer. The debunking suffragettes have won. And thus, we have all lost immeasurably more than we can imagine.

If that "unsinkable" liner were to go down in the North Atlantic today, we could hardly expect the standard of "Women and children first" to bring order to the crisis. The great sea disaster would undoubtedly cost even more lives were it to occur in our time--when notions of sacrifice, duty, and chivalry no longer dominate our cultural landscape.

Source: Kids Who Kill, by Gov. Mike Huckabee, p. 58-61 , Jun 1, 1998

Women's liberation resulted in women's impoverishment

Most of the revolutionary attempts at social engineering have been undertaken, ostensibly, in an effort to improve the lot of women and children in our society.

As one cover story asserted, "American women have been sold a bill of goods. Instead of making life easier, or better, or even more just for women, the sundry programs of social engineering have made it harder, worse, and more unjust. They have broken down traditional family structures. They have contributed to epidemic irresponsibility. They have opened a Pandora's box of social ills not the least of which is the progressive impoverishment of the very women it is supposed to liberate.

Evidence of the feminization of poverty everywhere abounds. 70% of today's women in the labor force work out of economic necessity. More often than not, they are single, widowed, or divorced. And more often than not, they are poor. A full 77% of this nation's poverty is now borne by women and their children.

Source: Kids Who Kill, by Gov. Mike Huckabee, p. 94-95 , Jun 1, 1998

No-fault divorce increases feminization of poverty

Social utopians fought to have divorce statutes in America follow "gender-neutral" rules--rules designed to treat men and women "equally." In 1970, California capitulated to their demands and introduced the no-fault divorce. Before that time every state required "fault-based grounds for divorce." Some kind of marital fault had to be demonstrated--be it adultery or abandonment--before a divorce could be granted. 47 states followed California's lead.

The practical result was that divorced women,

Source: , Jun 1, 1998

Until recently, no one suggested homosexuality was equal

Public debate today is filled with arguments that, not long ago, would have been dismissed as ridiculous and insupportable. Consider homosexuality, for instance. There have been homosexuals in every human culture. But until recently, who would have dared to suggest that the practice should be accepted on equal footing with heterosexuality, to be thought of as a personal decision and nothing more?

Everything you do and believe in is directed by your answer to the ultimate question: Is there a God?

Source: Character IS the Issue, by Mike Huckabee, p. 98-99 , Sep 9, 1997

Treat AIDS as plague to be isolated, not civil rights issue

It is difficult to understand the public policy towards AIDS -- it is the first time in the history of civilization in which the carriers of a genuine plague have not been isolated from the general population, and in which this deadly disease for which there is no cure is being treated as a civil rights issue instead of the true health crisis it represents.
Source: Responses to Associated Press Questionnaire for AR Senate , Nov 1, 1992

More federal funding of IDEA for disabled education.

Huckabee adopted a letter to Senate leaders from 4 Governors:

As you prepare the budget resolution for the coming fiscal year, the nationís Governors urge Congress to fully fund the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). When the law, formerly known as the Education of the Handicapped Act, was passed in 1975, full funding was defined as 40 percent of the costs. Currently, the federal governmentís contribution amounts to only 13 percent, and states are funding the balance to assist school districts in providing special education and related services. Although Governors strongly support providing the necessary services and support to help all students succeed, the costs associated with implementing IDEA are placing an increased burden on states.

We are currently reallocating existing state funds from other programs or committing new funds to ensure that students with disabilities are provided a ďfree and appropriate public education.Ē In some cases, we are taking funds from existing education programs to pay for the costs of educating our students with disabilities because we believe that all students deserve an equal opportunity to learn. Therefore, Governors urge Congress to honor its original commitment and fully fund 40 percent of Part B services as authorized by IDEA so the goals of the act can be achieved.

Source: National Governor's Association letter to Congress 00-NGA22 on Mar 14, 2000

Support principles embodied in the Equal Rights Amendment.

Huckabee adopted the National Governors Association policy:

In 1976 the National Governors Association expressed support for ratification and implementation of the Equal Rights Amendment, which would constitutionally guarantee full citizenship rights and opportunities for women. In 1982 the drive for ratification fell short, and efforts to initiate the amendatory process were taken.

The National Governors Association reaffirms its support for the principles embodied in the Equal Rights Amendment, i.e., that equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on the basis of gender.

Source: NGA Executive Committee Policy EC-14: Equal Rights Policy 01-NGA1 on Feb 15, 2001

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George W. Bush (R,2001-2009)
Bill Clinton (D,1993-2001)
George Bush Sr. (R,1989-1993)
Ronald Reagan (R,1981-1989)
Jimmy Carter (D,1977-1981)
Gerald Ford (R,1974-1977)
Richard Nixon (R,1969-1974)
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Page last updated: Oct 09, 2013