Mike Huckabee: Liberal Media Distort My 'Libido' Comments

Friday, 24 Jan 2014 02:31 PM

By Melanie Batley

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Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee slammed the liberal backlash against his remarks about government-funded contraception — and blamed Twitter posts by two mainstream reporters for lighting the fire.

“I'm always flattered when people on the far left manufacture a new version of being ‘offended,’” Huckabee told Fox News' Howard Kurtz. “They can be quite creative in finding something that hurts their feelings.”
 
The 2012 GOP presidential candidate told Newsmax's Steve Malzberg on Monday that claims by Democrats of a GOP "war on women" were "incredibly demeaning" to U.S. women "because women are far more than the Democrats will play them to be."

In similar comments in a speech at the Republican National Committee meeting Thursday, Huckabee said, "Women I know are smart, educated, intelligent, capable of doing anything that anyone else can do. Our party stands for the recognition of the equality of women and the capacity of women. That's not a war on them. It's a war for them."

He added, "And if the Democrats want to insult the women of America by making them believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of government, then so be it."

Huckabee noted that NBC’s Kasie Hunt and CNN’s Dana Bash distorted his meaning when they “erroneously tweeted” his remarks.

Their tweets indicated that the "Uncle Sugar" and "libido" remarks were his opinion, Huckabee told Kurtz, which is  “the polar opposite" of what he actually said. 

Hunt and Bash corrected their tweets “because they so totally blew it," Huckabee said. "And now it’s a scandal?”

"My point was to point out that Dems have put a laser-like focus on government funded birth control and given it more attention than cancer drugs," he said in an email to Kurtz.

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Conservative commentators agreed that Huckabee's views had been distorted.

"They selectively got it wrong," said Fox News' Elisabeth Hasselbeck on "Fox and Friends." Host Steve Doocy added, "So they took him out of context."

Hasselbeck acknowledged that both reporters corrected their initial tweets, but Doocy said their reactions show how the media is quick to distort comments from conservatives.

"You know how the mainstream media works. Somebody puts something out there and then a whole bunch of the political left pile on to Huckabee before they actually realized what was going on," Doocy said. "And now seeing an entire, Republicans' 'War on Women, Book Two,' the Democrats apparently now are trying to fundraise off of Mr. Huckabee's taken-out-of-context quotes."

Democrats also leaped on the comments and tried to pin them to claims that the GOP is out of step with women.

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"Mike Huckabee has no idea what he's talking about," Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said, according to The Associated Press.  "If this is the GOP rebrand a year later, then all they've gotten is a year older."

White House press secretary Jay Carney said the remarks sound "offensive to me and to women."

But others have rushed to his defense.

"The president and others have profited politically from the false narrative that women are weak and need big government to be our savior," Penny Nancy, CEO and president of the conservative Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee, said in a statement, according to AP.

The Republican National Committee, now meeting in Washington, D.C., has been working to soften its image among women after it lost the female vote by more than a 10-point margin to President Barack Obama in 2012.

Rick Santorum, a potential challenger to Huckabee in the 2016 GOP primaries, told CNN's "Crossfire" that Huckabee could have "chosen different words" to express his point.

Controversial comments made about rape by Senate candidates Richard Mourdock and Todd Akin sparked widespread fury, helping to reinforce the GOP's misogynist image, and were blamed for denting the party's chances at the ballot box in 2012.

Huckabee, a popular figure among Christian conservatives, has said he is eying a 2016 presidential bid.

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