Mike Huckabee’s Transgender Comments & 4 More Wildly Offensive Things He’s Said That Prove He Probably Shouldn't Be President
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee came under fire this weekend for disparaging comments he made regarding transgender individuals at a Nashville religious broadcasting convention in February. A video of the event was originally uploaded by World Net Daily on Sunday in which the 2016 candidate joked that he wish he "could have felt like a woman" in high school in order to take showers with the female students — a comment that incited vehement backlash by those in the LGBTQ community. With a presidential run on the line, his recent statements, as well as Huckabee's deep history of wildly offensive commentary, may return to haunt him in the months to come.
"Now I wish that someone told me that when I was in high school that I could have felt like a woman when it came time to take showers in PE," Huckabee told the audience of Christian communications leaders, to raucous laughter. "I'm pretty sure that I would have found my feminine side and said, 'Coach, I think I'd rather shower with the girls today.'" He then joked that the notion of a man feeling more like a woman was "ridiculous" and that there was something "inherently" wrong with teaching young children about transgender people.
The commentary picked up more traction on Tuesday, after BuzzFeed News published the video on its site. In the shadow of Monday's Vanity Fair cover debut, which featured former Olympic track star and transgender woman Caitlyn Jenner, the news was taken especially hard.
The sophomore presidential candidate has a sordid history of flirting with PR disaster, despite having an extensive background in politicking. If nothing else, Huckabee's most recent comments have only served as a jumping-off point into a deep well of controversy for anyone looking to convict him in the court of public opinion. Here, a handful of some of Huckabee's most appalling moments:
SCOTUS & "Judicial Tyranny"
In a January interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, Huckabee expressed dismay over what he saw as judicial overreach by the Supreme Court, which had recently decided to hear arguments over the constitutionality of bans on same-sex marriage. When asked for his opinion of the court's decision, Huckabee blasted:
One thing I am angry about, though, Hugh, is this notion of judicial supremacy, where if the courts make a decision, I hear governors and even some aspirants to the presidency say well, that’s settled, and it’s the law of the land. No, it isn’t the law of the land. Constitutionally, the courts cannot make a law. They can interpret one. And then the legislature has to create enabling legislation, and the executive has to sign it, and has to enforce it.
When pressed over whether he meant that states should ignore the SCOTUS decision if it ruled in favor of gay marriage, Huckabee replied, "Somebody has to decide [if] the Court [is] right." Of course, a ruling on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage bans isn't exactly "making a law," as the former Arkansas governor suggested, but rather an overarching decision on whether current laws are actually valid according to federal law. But you know, nice try, Mike.
Abortion & The Holocaust
During a stop on the European leg of his "Reagan, Thatcher, Pope John Paul II" tour Huckabee took a moment to address the atrocities of the Holocaust — and promptly proceeded to compare the horrific tragedy to abortion:
We wonder with some sense of bewilderment, how is it possible that since 1973 alone over 55 million unborn children have died in what should have been the safest place that that baby ever experienced, the womb of its mother? Because our pulpits were silent and forgot and failed to teach that every human life has value and worth and there’s no such thing as a disposable, expendable human being, that all of us are created equal.
If you felt something incredibly powerful at Auschwitz and Birkenau over the 11 million killed worldwide and the 1.5 million killed on those grounds, cannot we feel something extraordinary about 55 million murdered in our own country in the wombs of their mothers?
A short while later, Huckabee lamented that the foundations of the country, which are apparently heterosexual marriage and pro-life advocacy, were in trouble. "The soul of America is in real trouble," he told the crowd.
AIDS Patients Should Be "Quarantined"
In a 1992 questionnaire for the Associated Press dug up by Politico in 2007, then Senate-candidate Huckabee complained that AIDS research received far too much government funding and suggested that "multimillionaire celebrities, such as Elizabeth Taylor [and] Madonna" should be responsible for the funding of continued AIDS studies and drug development. He then added that AIDS patients ought to be quarantined:
If the federal government is truly serious about doing something with the AIDS virus, we need to take steps that would isolate the carriers of this plague. 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.
Huckabee eventually lost the race, but the comments came up once more during his 2008 presidential bid. It's unclear still whether the dirt sullied his failed run, but either way, it left a sour aftertaste in a lot of people's mouths.
Gay People Are "Icky"
A 2010 profile by The New Yorker left Huckabee watchdogs reeling when it was revealed that the Fox host had some pretty objectionable views on homosexuality. After reporter Ariel Levy, who had followed Huckabee on his tour of Jerusalem, asked him to explain the reason for his opposition to gay rights in general, Huckabee replied:
I do believe that God created male and female and intended for marriage to be the relationship of the two opposite sexes. Male and female are biologically compatible to have a relationship. We can get into the ick factor, but the fact is two men in a relationship, two women in a relationship, biologically, that doesn't work the same.
Huckabee added that it was a "proven" fact that children fared better in a male/female parent household, and that they had a "healthier outlook and a different perspective from kids who don't have the presence of both."
Of course, there have been plenty of studies done over the past decade that point to Huckabee being wrong — but with his track record of stubborn resistance to evolving social patterns and his insistence on theological evidence to support his often erroneous claims, it's not likely that the tenacious 2016 candidate will be backpedaling on any of his comments anytime soon.
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