Huckabee says Confederate flag issue is up to the people of South Carolina

Mike Huckabee -- Prezography 3

(Prezography photo)

From Press Release


Former Arkansas governor and 2016 Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee made the following comments concerning the Confederate flag in South Carolina while appearing this morning on Meet the Press with host Chuck Todd:

“I still think it’s not an issue for a person running for president. The question underlying all of this is, we’re asking, is South Carolina a racist state because of the flag that flies on their capitol grounds? Here’s what I can tell you, as a frequent visitor to South Carolina, this is a state that largely white people elected a female governor of Indian descent and the first African-American United States Senator from the south. They have more diversity in the people they have elected to statewide office than New York, Connecticut or Massachusetts.  There’s 4.8 million people in South Carolina, I don’t think you could say that the presence of one lunatic racist, who everybody in this country feels contempt for, and no one is defending, is somehow evidence of the people of South Carolina.

“I think we’ve seen the people of South Carolina and their character by what you saw in Charleston –  with people of all races, Democrats, Republicans, from every perspective, hugging, praying. nobody was burning down their community.  They weren’t breaking windows, they weren’t beating up on cops, they were exhibiting a true Christian spirit that is really, I think, exemplary to the rest of the country.”

When asked if government should be sanctioning a symbol that a large chunk of residents believe is a symbol of racism, Gov. Huckabee said, “Well, it depends on which level of government. if the state government of South Carolina wishes to address an issue in their state, that’s fine. but, Chuck [Todd], if you can point me to an article and section of the constitution in which a United States president ought to weigh in on what states use as symbols, please refresh my memory on that, but for those of us running for president, everyone’s being baited with this question as if that has anything to do whatsoever with running for president. My position is, it most certainly does not.  As president you’re focused on the economy, keeping America safe, some really big issues for the nation. I don’t think they want us to weigh in on every little issue in all 50 states that might be an important issue to the people of that state but not on the desk of the president.

When asked if he was comfortable displaying the confederate flag, Gov. Huckabee said, “I don’t personally display it anywhere, that’s the issue for the people of South Carolina.  Do you display it? I doubt it.  Does anyone on the panel display it?  I doubt it.  For us, it’s not an issue.”