Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said Monday he pulled out of appointment to the board of the Country Music Association when he heard it was going to be controversial, because he did not want to become a distraction.
"My reason for being involved in it, and I was so thrilled to be asked, because for decades I have been trying to get music in the arts in public schools," Huckabee told Fox News' "Fox & Friends." "I pushed that in my own state. Worked nationally across every kind of barrier to put musical instruments in the hands of kids, which I think is life-changing. It certainly was for me as a kid."
Huckabee was named last Wednesday to the board of directors for the charitable arm of the association that runs the annual CMA Awards and the CMA Festival.
Foundation chairman Joe Galante praised Huckabee for his "policy experience with education reform," but Jason Owen, co-president of Monument Records and owner of Sandbox Entertainment, publicly opposed the appointment, as Huckabee has long been opposed to gay marriage and has supported the National Rifle Association. Other music executives also complained, and Huckabee stepped down, with an open letter, the day after he was assigned.
"Somebody was upset because I'm a member of the NRA and I'm conservative and I'm a Christian and I hold some views that this person didn't like," Huckabee said. "You know, it just wasn't worth it to push it, so I lasted less time in that job than Anthony Scaramucci did at the White House."
Huckabee called on his supporters to quit targeting ayoung songwriter with the same name as Owen, and that needs to stop.
"Let's buy his music," he said. "Let's show him that this is not who we are. And I said let's not punish the CMA because the fact is, if they are going to put musical instruments in the hands of kids, then I'm for them. The fact that I'm not going to be a part of it is irrelevant. They don't need me but kids need musical instruments and that's what this ought to be about."
Huckabee also Monday called out Hollywood for its "hypocrisy" on guns.
"I think it's a little ridiculous that people in Hollywood are so against law-abiding citizens who have never pointed a gun at anybody and every day in Hollywood they produce movies in which there are mass murders with automatic weapons and the glorification of murder," he said. "The glorification of the misuse of weapons is at the hands of Hollywood."
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