Mike Huckabee & The Diabetes "Cure" Infomercial He Starred In Are Causing Quite A Stir

Politicians usually save their appearances on television advertisements for campaign season — but not Mike Huckabee. Huckabee has appeared in infomercials for a “Diabetes Solution Kit” that claims to “reverse your type 2 diabetes.” Yes, the product’s claim is as dubious as it sounds, and is notably not supported by the American Diabetes Association and cautioned against by medical doctors. Already — just a week after officially announcing — Huckabee has caught flak for his endorsement of the products, and for good reason. Yet, Huckabee defends his participation.

On Sunday on CBS’s Face the Nation, Huckabee answered questions about the video. In the Internet infomercial, Huckabee urges viewers to ignore “Big Pharma” and rather take a look at the “weird spice, kitchen-cabinet cure.” The product, dubbed a “cure” for diabetes, is made of cinnamon and chromium picolinate. A booklet on the products, entitled “Diabetes Solution Kit,” sold for $19.95, plus shipping, and included tips on eating healthfully, exercising, and taking dietary supplements.

While Huckabee maintained that the treatment and his support for the pills were mischaracterized and that he was no longer doing these infomercials as a presidential candidate, he was not apologetic about his participation. According to Huckabee, first off, the particular plan in question is “about healthy eating, and secondly, he “doesn’t have to defend everything that [he’s] ever done.”

One of the elements of the plan was dietary supplements, but it is not the fundamental thing. The fundamental thing is always, as both you and I know, is exercise, it's good eating habits, it’s maintaining sugar levels, it’s not eating a bunch of junk food, processed food, lots of carbs, sugar, those type of things.

Huckabee then used this point to launch into a larger message about diabetes awareness and the importance of focusing on finding a cure, and not just on treatment. Which is an important point. Plus, this message about the need for more attention to the issue will likely appeal to the base that Huckabee is trying to court: seniors, and particularly conservative seniors. According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes is particularly prevalent in Americans age 65 and older. As of June 2014, an estimated 11.8 million seniors — roughly a quarter — had diabetes.

But perhaps even more importantly than providing a good talking point for his base, Huckabee’s participation sported one other big gain in the political world: money. According to The New York Times, Huckabee has been pursuing some pretty unusual routes to raise funds for his 2016 campaign — perhaps, in part, because a lack of funding led to his demise in 2008.

Still, somehow, it doesn’t seem like a “weird spice, kitchen-cabinet cure” will offer him that boost he’s looking for in 2016.

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