Huckabee Says the Confederate Flag Shouldn’t Be a Campaign Issue—Except That Time He Made It One

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/newshour/7895087510/in/photolist-jxbHH3-jx9QQz-jxbcxn-jx9vAH-jxc4mw-jx9LCM-jxcS1q-4rKJ1B-d2Eoss-d2Eokd-4okKY1-7WE4vG-7WASLp-7WE4nE-7WE4Ts-7WAUtB-7WATKg-7WB4Xr-7WAQT6-7WE8xo-7WASje-7WE431-7WAQuv-7WE7d9-7WARnF-7WE5zU-7WATwi-7WE5V5-7WAREV-7WASUr-7WE6gW-7WARwR-7WE733-7WAT3k-7WASCp-7WE4Ly-7WAUaH-7WE5KN-7WAUke-7WAUC8-5Lqxcg-5LuMsy-rJ2Htf-4aHAWo-4aDymi-5iQ9vD-4quRDg-5y3Vsw-5sQBgJ-5fmyAd">newshour</a>/Flickr

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On Sunday, just days after a gunman killed nine African American parishioners at a Charleston church, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee argued on Meet the Press that presidential candidates should not need to answer questions about the Confederate battle flag:

For those of us running for president, everyone’s being baited with this question as if somehow that has anything to do whatsoever with running for president. And my position is it most certainly does not.

Where could anyone have gotten the impression that the flag is a presidential campaign issue?

Maybe from former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who did everything short of actually firing on Fort Sumter in an effort to court white South Carolina voters during his 2008 presidential campaign:

You don’t like people from outside the state coming in and telling you what to do with your flag. In fact, if somebody came to Arkansas and told us what to do with our flag, we’d tell ’em what to do with the pole; that’s what we’d do.

Evidently, Huckabee’s pandering on the flag issue was deemed a successful strategy. In that same campaign, the New York Times noted, an independent group ran radio ads attacking Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) for criticizing the Confederate flag, and boasted that “Mike Huckabee understands the value of heritage.”

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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