Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee says he decided to organize his nationwide, hugely successful Chick-fil-A “Appreciation Day” on Wednesday without even speaking to its owner Dan Cathy, because it emphasized an issue of fairness.
“I personally had no contact with the company,” Huckabee told Fox News’ Eric Bolling Wednesday night, adding that he didn’t want it to look like “I was coordinating some effort on their behalf.”
Huckabee’s successful call to action in support of the restaurant franchise created long lines — and in some places massive traffic jams — across the country on Wednesday.
People lined up not just to order food but also to voice support for Cathy, whose recent comment that he believes in the Biblical definition of marriage between one man and one woman led gay rights supporters to call for a boycott of his franchise.
Some mayors even joined in the effort to disrupt business at Chick-Fil-A outlets located in their cities.
Huckabee said 21 million people responded to his organizing effort by logging in to his Facebook page. Most of them apparently hit the streets as well.
“If there ever was a spontaneous, grassroots initiative that happened because people felt that there was a basic sense of unfairness, this was that moment,” he said. “People just responded because they thought, gee, if they can tell Dan Cathy to shut up, and if mayors can censor him, then who is next?”
Huckabee said he’d like to ask the mayors, “What government authority gave them the right to censor commerce in their communities because they disagreed with someone who worked there.”
“We need to remember that the country is built on the idea that commerce ought to happen,” Huckabee said, noting that he still uses an iPhone, drinks Starbucks coffee, and eats Ben & Jerry’s ice cream even though their company heads support same-sex marriage.
“I’m not buying their politics. I’m buying their products,” Huckabee said. “And I think people need to quit being so ridiculously fearful that somebody might have a point of view that is different from mine.
“I expect people to have a different one,” he added. “I just expect them to treat each other with civility and a sense of respect.”
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