Katie LaPotin, Red Alert Politics, January 24, 2014
When former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee agreed to speak at the Republican National Committee’s annual Winter Meeting Thursday, he didn’t expect to become the talk of the town. And he’s still mystified by it.
The Fox News host told colleague Howard Kurtz Friday that his comments about women’s libidos were “virtually identical” to remarks he made on his who last weekend, but were merely drawn out of proportion as the 2008 presidential candidate weighs a potential second bid for office in 2016.
“I’m always flattered when people on the far left manufacture a new version of being ‘offended,’” Huckabee said. “They can be quite creative in finding something that hurts their feelings.”
During his speech, Huckabee was talking about the so-called “War on Women” when he commented that,“If the Democrats want to insult women 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 the government, then so be it.”
Immediately after the words came out of his mouth, several liberal journalists and commentators jumped on him, with The Huffington Post writing the headline “Huckabee: Dems Think Women ‘Can’t Control Their Libido’” and MSNBC running segments entitled ”Hucked Up” and “What the Huck?”
The former Governor signaled out two female reporters in particular – NBC’s Kasie Hunt and CNN’s Dana Bash – as they “erroneously tweeted” his remarks and thus blew the scandal out of proportion. He added that if people actually read what he said in context, “everyone who wants to understand it will.”
While Huckabee, an ordained Southern Baptist minister, has always represented the religious right of the Republican Party, the GOP has in recent months made a huge push to make candidates and elected officials more sensitive in their language toward women. This comes after two U.S. Senate candidates in 2012 – Todd Akin in Missouri and Richard Mourdock in Indiana – lost their election bids because of comments about abortion and rape they made in public.
A spokesman for the RNC, Sean Spicer, defended Huckabee on MSNBC Thursday, turning the tables instead on the network’s portrayal of women.
“It’s not the way we would probably have described [Democrats actions], but you can probably look through every speech and find something that could have been worded differently,” he said. “Look at your own network, frankly Alex, between Martin Bashir, Alec Baldwin, Melissa Harris-Perry – your own network has problems communicating itself.”
The party, however, did decide at its Winter Meeting that it will fully embrace its “pro-life” reputation, something that could have an impact on the 2014 elections and beyond.