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Huckabee Addresses "Floating Cross" Question in His Holiday Ad

Huckabee gets into the holiday campaigning spirit. (Getty Images).

By Perry Bacon
AMES, Iowa -- Because of his rapid rise in the polls, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee is under increasing scrutiny from his rivals and the press. But his campaign has eagerly embraced the attention that came with an ad Huckabee put on the air this week, in which he noted "the celebration of the birth of Christ," wished Iowans a "merry Christmas" and, some critics have said, sat near a bookshelf that resembles a floating cross.

At an event in Ames, Bob Vander Plaats, his Iowa campaign chairman, introduced Huckabee by noting "this crowd has a very special greeting for you." The audience shouted, "Merry Christmas." "And you know that it's okay if you say that," Huckabee told them.

"There was no hidden agenda," he said in Ames of the ad. "There was no floating cross. That is a bookshelf, but if people are seeing the cross in it, so be it."

"If I had used the name of Jesus Christ in vain and blurted it out as profanity, nobody would be talking about it. It would have simply been ignored," he told the crowd later in his speech. "But because I invoked His name on His own birthday to say to America, 'Happy Birthday, merry Christmas,' somehow everybody sees in it something that isn't even there."

"Have we lost our national soul? Have we become so coarse that even the attempt to bring some civility to the political arena is met with nothing more than scorn, disdain and disbelief?" he said to loud applause.

For Huckabee, whose lead in the polls in Iowa is in large measure because of his popularity among conservative evangelical Christians, another opportunity to invoke his faith was hardly something to be shy about.

But in the first stops on a four-day pre-Christmas tour of Iowa, the former governor launched a series of other subtle attacks. Along with people who want to take faith out of public life, Huckabee had another target: former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who is now trailing in the polls against Huckabee.

In recent television ads, Romney has criticized Huckabee for proposing tuition breaks for the children of illegal immigrants and reducing hundreds of sentences of people convicted of crimes in Arkansas. (The charges are largely true, even if Romney's rhetoric is overheated on the subject.)

But in his speeches and in a press conference, Huckabee kept complaining about "my opponent," a man offering "dishonest," "misleading" and "unfair" descriptions of Huckabee's record in a state where voters say they dislike negative campaigning.

"If a person doesn't have his own platform and all he can do is attack somebody else, he's probably not the person you want running the country," Huckabee said in Ames.

Asked in a press conference if he was in a battle with Romney, Huckabee said people should have "some sense of sympathy" for Romney, now trailing in Iowa polls despite vastly outspending Huckabee.

"I don't intend to fight with him," Huckabee said. "He's throwing punches; I'm saying merry Christmas."

But Huckabee is attacking Romney for negative campaigning. And he's been trying to make a more direct contrast with Romney, as well, and seize the mantle of the true compassionate candidate in the race.

As Romney attacked Huckabee on the illegal immigrants issue, Huckabee accused of him not caring for children, saying the children of illegals shouldn't suffer for what their parents did.

On the pardon issue, Huckabee is particularly vulnerable; he pushed for the release of a convicted rapist who then killed two women. So Huckabee is seeking to change the conversation from the killer, Wayne Dumond, to Anthony Circosta, an Iraq war veteran who pleaded guilty at 13 to shooting another boy in the arm with a BB gun. Circosta needed a gun license to become a police officer after he returned from Iraq, but Romney would not pardon him when he was governor of Massachusetts.

"When you make decisions based on how it's going to affect your own political does say a lot about judgment," Huckabee said.

Romney aides have said his policy was to respect the decisions of juries and not offer pardons.

By Web Politics Editor  |  December 20, 2007; 11:25 AM ET
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To Inardozi:

I didn't find any info. regarding Huckabee dropping out of seminary on but I did find on that he is an ordained minister with a B.A from Ouachita Baptist Univ. in '75 and has earned his Master's degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in '80.

Can you please provide more info. on what you found at

Posted by: agreen1 | December 24, 2007 1:50 AM | Report abuse

It's a bookshelf. The vertical and horizontal aspects of portions of the bookshelf are highlighted and appear as a "glowing" cross. I assume the lighting was added in post-production editing.(?) I guess it could have been done during production too but it would be a lot easier to add later. If added later, did Mike even know about it? If he didn't know about it until later, how should he respond to questions about it? If he answered he didn't know about it until after, people would say he's lying. As it is, he says it was not intentional and people say he's lying. I would think it beyond Mike's scope of involvement with pre/post production/editing to have directed the special lighting. Mike is very astute, sharp witted and articulate but I don't think he's that knowledgeable about lighting attributes and film making. Maybe someone noticed the cross and suggested adding lighting and Mike said, "okay, that's kind of cool."

Posted by: agreen1 | December 24, 2007 1:04 AM | Report abuse

It is both incredulous and disingenuous that most neochristians who would find using Christmas and the cross of Jesus vulgar and crass in marketing merchandise or cars have no problem with using the same Holy icons to package the neocon political campaign of Pastor Mike Huckabee. How is Huckabee's "Christmas" campaign commercial complete with a glowing cross any different than using Christian symbols to sell cars

The neocon Perkins automotive family in Colorado Springs, for example, could rename their dealerships "Christian Chrysler" with ad copy that offers "Family Values," Celestial Savings," glowing cross license plate frames, fiber-optic-lit fish insignia on the grill and a promotion for a free AK-47 automatic rifle rack for use against illegal Mexicans, in the "war against secularists" and to "take back the Nation for Christ."

Romney could resurrect the family car business with Mormon Motors - "Check out the 2008 Kolob, complete with a golden horn of Morni.

Offended? Before you hit the "Report Offensive Commnets" button, think about using the Lord and his Cross for marketing a political campaign. Is this anyway to celebrate Jesus' birthday?

Posted by: coloradodog | December 22, 2007 9:51 PM | Report abuse

In his 1992 contest with Dale Bumpers, Huckabee used campaign funds to pay himself as his own media consultant. Other payments were given to his babysitter. In 1994, he set up the Action America group so he could give speeches for money without having to disclose the names of his benefactors. He failed to report that campaign travel payments were used to finance the use of his own personal plane. He converted a governor's mansion operating account into a personal expense account, claiming public money for a doghouse, dry-cleaning bills, panty hose and meals at Taco Bell. Inauguration funds were used to buy clothing for his wife. THREE DECADES after their wedding, his wife registered at department stores so their new home, not the governor's mansion, could be stocked with gifts of linens, toasters and other items. He was sanctioned six times by the Arkansas Ethics Commission. The Democrats would have a field day with this guy as the Republican nominee for President.

Posted by: jfrench | December 22, 2007 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and one more thing. It's not the CROSS I object to - it's the LIE and the smarmy assumption that since I can't PROVE it was put into the commercial on purpose (though do you really think they're just slapping something together and spending a million to air it without REALLY LOOKING at it?) it doesn't count as saying "If you're Christian you better vote for ME". He needs to spend more time telling us EXACTLY HOW he plans to do the things he says he'll do. That's why the only one I like this time is Ron Paul - he's not a liar, which is my prime qualification for the job.

Posted by: lnardozi | December 22, 2007 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Right, because a bookshelf has only one horzontal shelf and is split in half vertically, just like every other bookshelf in your home. What's that? Yours has 3 to 5 horizontal rows and no vertical divider? You know why? Because Huckabee is a LIAR. You need only go to to find out that he lies a LOT. He's a PASTOR, not a PREACHER - he doesn't have a theology degree, he "dropped out" (read failed) seminary school.

Posted by: lnardozi | December 22, 2007 1:27 PM | Report abuse

How can you tell its a bookcase? Don't bookcases have books on them? These "bookcases" have no books, what happened to the books? Removed? How could one call it "just" a bookcase when it has no books. Yes, I would agree that it is a bookcase. And I think it is intentional that there are no books on it. Just as intentional as Huck's response (non response) to the question "What would Jesus do", as well as MANY other non answers he has given.
There is great danger for this country if we continue to elect our leaders based on emotional pandering instead of looking at leaders record. We continue to elect leaders whom tell us one thing and do a 180 when they get in office. In most cases an honest look at their previous record would have prevented this. yet we still seem to allow them to bluff us with pleas to our emotional side, instead of winning our support by appealing to our logical senses.

This ad, regardless of whether you believe its a cross or a bookcase is not the point. The Point is is that this is a political ad, it IS NOT a Christmas wish to you. Its full intent is to win your vote by appealing to your emotions.

Posted by: jrcoffee62 | December 22, 2007 10:39 AM | Report abuse

infantry11b4faus, how many Dems say they got into politics to 'take back America for Christ'?

As a freedom-loving American, I find that statement unacceptable and un-American.

And I quote, Article VI, US Constitution: 'no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States'

Huck apparently believes otherwise. God is bigger than any religion. Our constitution knows it. Someday fundamentalists might learn it too.

Posted by: ssomo | December 22, 2007 12:22 AM | Report abuse

I'm not worried about the "cross" in Huckabee's commercial, I'm worried that he doesn't have a clue about handling the taxpayer's dollar. He raised taxes in Arkansas like there was no tomorrow and people want to put him in the White House? You've got to be kidding me. We already have a huge deficit!!!

Does anybody really think he's going to help us? Our children and grandchildren will pay the price if Huckabee is elected.

Posted by: PiousPolly | December 21, 2007 11:15 AM | Report abuse

LarkinGMead-This won't have long, but hopefully you will see it.

First, the problem is twofold.

The allowance of EMPLOYERS to use UN-DOCUMENTED Workers(As in possibly Felons, Child Molesters, Criminals fleeing prosecution-or any of a long list of people of this Country authorities are trying to control, as well as Illegal invaders).

Then, there are the groups like La-Raza trying to use the MASSIVE invasion of Foreign Nationals as a WEAPON!

As far as I am concerned-All the people here illegally are free to leave the Country!
When the JOB Magnet is SHUT DOWN, they will! Only thing making it complicated, is an INSANE Policy of granting BIRTHRIGHT CITIZENSHIP as a SECOND Nationality to Children of Parents ILLEGALLY, or without good reason, to be here!
That, can be fixed!
HR:1940, Birthright Citizenship Act(Sitting on Nancy Peloser's Desk!)

Make it Retro-Active to 2000BB (Before Bush)

Posted by: rat-the | December 21, 2007 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Huckabee pardoned way to many people. as a private citizen we should forgive everyone but as governor he should sustain the law.

If anyone was serious about the immigration problem they would be talking about funding the USCIS form the general fund. Right now it is funded from the fees they collect. HELLO...No fees collected when you sneak across the boarder.

Posted by: bl23 | December 21, 2007 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Just an historical note here! For those of you who are so anti-immigration, allow me to remind you that Mike Huckabee is for securing our borders, not only to prevent undocumented aliens from Mexico, but, to all other immigrants who are coming into our country with much more sinister agendas. He has repeatedly said that those illegal aliens who are now here in the United States, must return to their countries of origin and apply for work permits and eventual citizenship. "Get in line" like everyone else who has had to wait years to be granted entry into the United States.

Just as an historical note to those who would choose to round up 12 million undocumented workers, (illegals) and deport them, let us never forget what the Socialist/Nazi regime did to the Jews who were living in Germany prior to World War II. They were rounded up like cattle, stripped of all their personal belongings, had their businesses closed up and trashed, children ripped from the arms of their mothers, husbands and wives seperated to never see each other again.

There is a lot of tough talk out there, but, most of those commenters are hiding behind their User ID so they will never have to be identified.

Yes, we need to secure our borders, and, yes, we need to impose stiff penalities on employers who knowingly hire illegal aliens, and, we as citizens certainly have the right to report suspected illegals to the proper authorities who should respond with enforcing our country's laws by means of deportation.

In enforcing the immigration laws of this country, we should be consistent and firm in the deportation process, but, let us not be brutal and cruel in our enforcement of the law.

Again, MERRY CHRISTMAS,(I really do like to write those words). It is so Christian.

Posted by: LarkinGMead | December 21, 2007 8:14 AM | Report abuse

From most of the comments I have read so far, with the exception of a few, it appears that the athiests and secularists who live under the thumb of the liberal elitists and socilaists, are frightened by the prospect of the good man from Arkansas that he will interfere with their hedonistic lifestyles.

Perhaps the left-wingers out there would prefer a President who is indifferent to the threats of Islamic fanatics ,who are at this very moment, threatening to kill all Christians and Jews?

As for me, and most folks I know, we would much prefer to have a person in the White House, the people's house, who will protect and defend our rich Judeo-Christian heritage. Mike Huckabee appears to be that person and I will be supporting him, Christian cross and all; all the way to Washington, D.C.
"MERRY CHRISTMAS" and "Shalom Aleichem"

Posted by: LarkinGMead | December 21, 2007 7:33 AM | Report abuse

Jewelxu-I am as fair as it gets!

Here Presidente Cabrone-Oops, and Oh darn, did it again!-Calderon, is the Bill for educating the MILLIONS of YOUR Precious Mexican Citizens, we have been DUMB (Democrat Mascots) enough to have done for decades!

You, now OWE us MEXICO!

Posted by: rat-the | December 20, 2007 11:09 PM | Report abuse

All those opposed to Huckabee's immigration policy, think about where your from. ARE ANY OF YOU NATIVE AMERICANS? Because those are the only people right now who have any right to speak againest his immigration policy. The United States of America is built on immigrants. Your family probably immigrated here. And because the immigration laws are tighter now, certain individuals cannot just move to the US like your family. Seeing as you can write commentary, you were probably educated here too.
Let me also educate you on illegal immigration. Contrary to popular belief, illegal immigrants often pay taxes. Those taxes go to education, social security, and other social services. So your children who are in public schools, yes you have illegal immigrants partly to thank for that. They also contribute largely to our economy. They have to rent homes and buy daily commodities, just like the rest of us.
The only thing is that illegal immigrants don't get anything back. When we pay our taxes, we know that no matter what in the future we have the right to collect social security (perhaps not, but that's thanks to BUSH), social welfare is we should ever need it, and medicare/medicaide. They don't get that right.
So the least that you can do is allow their children, whom may I remind you may be citizens, to get a public education. Otherwise, lets remove the millions of dollars that illegal immigrantes contribute annually. Then lets see how you feel about the education system then.

People I'm not asking for alot, let's just be fair!

Posted by: jewelxu | December 20, 2007 10:20 PM | Report abuse

If you had to choose.....

When you fly, would you rather have a pilot who attends the same church you do, or the one who knows what he's doing in the cockpit and has a long and perfect safety record?

When your team is recruiting a new quarterback, would you rather have the one who attends the same church you do, or the one who, in addition to being a good citizen, can read and break down any defense, consistently throw pin-point passes, and holds several dozen records?

When you're being wheeled into the operating room for heart surgery, do you want the surgeon who attends the same church you do, or the one who has been successfully performing the operation you need for many years, with never a mishap?

If you could choose the president and CEO of your employer, would you rather have a leader who attends the same church you do, or the one who understands budgets, economies, business, and benefits, and is capable of ensuring the longevity and profitability of the company so it can keep you employed and pay you well.

When you're voting for the president of the United States, would you rather have the one who attends the same church you do, or the one who while governor used out-of-the-box thinking to lower taxes, create jobs and produce a surplus, rejected the idea of giving illegal aliens college scholarships, and kept criminals behind bars where judge and jury said they should be?

May we choose wisely. God often works through people of other faiths who happen to have the talents needed to bring about His purposes.

Posted by: WeNeedSkills | December 20, 2007 8:51 PM | Report abuse

For the first time I have moved away from the conservative "Dark Side" and now support Mike Huckabee for President. Just too many power hungry conservative Talk Show Hosts supporting the Wall Street Power Brokers and their candidates. Mike Huckabee has single handedly moved the election system into the light for all true conservatives and Americans by removing the "For Sale" sign from Washington DC.

Posted by: d_shoup | December 20, 2007 7:45 PM | Report abuse

These people who practically wet themselves over a bookshelf, a few Christmas lights, and the fact that Huckabee dared to say that Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Jesus, need to grow up!

I'm surprised there aren't people who hate Huckabee so much that they're ticked off that he dared to suggest that people spend the holidays with their loved ones! I'll bet you that if Hillary or Obama made an ad like this, those same people who hate Huckabee and every other Republican candidate would be giving them a standing ovation.

We live in a free country, where even people who are hoping to be the next President are allowed to wish the citizens of the United States a merry Christmas. If you don't like that, then move to a country where there is no such thing as freedom of religion! Hey! I'll even help you pack your bags!

Posted by: chocobear_555 | December 20, 2007 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Evangelicals Wouldn't Vote for Christ

Wait a minute... I thought the cross wasn't intentional?

I am shocked and offended at the most recent e-mail I received last night from the American Family Association. The organization made it quite clear with their bulk mailing, titled "NBC says some find bookcase and Christmas lights offensive," that they are anything but a non-profit serving American families but rather one who thinks a religious test to gain political office is okay.

It is true that Merry Christmas, as a holiday greeting, has been exploited by those that want to make this a secular country. But excusing the method of campaigning by Gov. Huckabee is abhorrent and divisive. The AFA can't have it both ways: saying the cross isn't misplaced in a presidential campaign yet also calling the claims of it being a subliminal message media garbage. The only Americans who say this cross was not an intentional message are those without 20/20 vision. Gov. Huckabee has brought religion into this race so clearly that the level of foolishness the AFA and the Huckabee campaign have risen to is the same that they had hoped Americans would have when receiving their propaganda. It is insulting for the AFA and the Huck campaign to think their message is not interpreted correctly by Americans.

The AFA becomes the equivalent (on the opposite end of the spectrum) as the ACLU with this opinion. They clearly think religion belongs in politics. Many cannot help but wonder, what would they say if Huck was running against a Jew? Is the Jew a candidate that doesn't deserve your evangelical votes because he's a non-Christian? What's worse, is that their target, Romney, is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Need I or the church's 10 million + members say more? For evangelicals, this American Holy War has become a religious hijacking of the 2008 presidential race.

The gathering of voters via churches (an undisputed fact by the Huck campaign) with 501(c)(3) status is already over the line. Secondly, Huck's "Christian Leader" ad implies he is the Christian candidate while others are not; then his ignorant comment about the Mormon faith came, and finally the lit, looming cross that Huck's campaign has supposedly said wasn't intentional is the cherry on the bigot sundae.

Let's face it, to a certain, acceptable extent, religion does play a part in politics. But not when the blessed land becomes mud to sling. A candidate helping voters see who he is by disclosing their religion and doing nothing more is fine. It's expected. But the AFA, like Huckabee, apparently thinks the American people are so unwise as to not consider these messages religious stabs. Good grief.

Most importantly, if the AFA truly cares about the GOP nomination, they will not back a candidate like Huckabee. Does anyone other than Iowan evangelicals and those already supporting Huck (more evangelicals) really think he can appeal to the masses after exposing his ignorance of very key issues: the NIE, AIDS, women's rights? Or will it be his ethics: gifts, pardons and commutations?

It is Huckacide. A nomination for Huck is a vote for Clinton, and true conservatives that value low taxes, a knowledge of foreign policy and executive experience will all remember the un-American organizations that contributed to his disastrous campaign. However, most seem to be pastors and their churches.

The other candidates blow Huck's qualifications away. But what's seemingly frightening is the fact that Iowa will not only ignore every valid reason to not vote for Huckabee, they will also ignore every valid reason to vote for the other candidates. Iowa, Evangelicals specifically, in 2008, will permanently lose its informal position as gatekeeper to the GOP nom that Falwell and many others worked so hard to solidify in the Reagan years. America will see the bigotry, and they will reject it. And some thought Bush haven't seen anything yet.

I am cancelling my AFA membership today and will advise every one of my friends, family members and co-workers of the political agenda you as an organization have, and how the AFA supports a campaign that has only gained recognition through bigotry.

But the one group of people I will not share my political opinions with is those of my church.

Posted by: stevekittel | December 20, 2007 6:56 PM | Report abuse

If there was ever a crazy fringe candidate it is Mike Huckabee. Why the American people would choose to elect a man so lacking in mental faculties that he thinks the Earth was created 6000 years ago is beyond rational thinking. One must wonder if Huckabee thinks paleontologists are engaged in some kind of conspiracy to create a dinosaur myth. Come on people, how do we expect to increase our science scores when we've got this man misdirecting our children's scientific education towards fascist YECs (young earth creationists)? All science loving Americans need to snip this candidate in the butt or else we'll continue to be the laughing stock of the civilized world. I for one, don't want to see this man using No Child Left Behind on a federal level to impose the anti-evolution standards of Kansas on the whole country.

Posted by: scott.hackney | December 20, 2007 6:20 PM | Report abuse

It is astonishing that Mike Huckabee get's grilled about saying a kind, warm hearted Merry Christmas message, while Britney Spears sister get's glamorous reviews in the media now that she is pregnant at 16 years old.

What is a young person supposed to think, should they grow up thinking hmmmm... well I want to be well respected and if she gets pregnant at 16 maybe I should too. And I shouldnt say Merry Christmas or I will get blasted.

The liberals and liberal media is bringing America down with their backward twisted reviews. The liberal media is a Facist cult religion trying to twist our young children's minds into doing the wrong things.

Americans do not want the liberals ruining what we have. Americans have honor, respect and kindness. The liberal media had better shape up or ship out.

Mike Huckabee is a great role model for society. Bringing goodness, kindness, humbleness to the spotlight. He is trustworthy and that's why his poll numbers are skyrocketing. It's not about money, it's about character.

Posted by: vote4mikehuckabee | December 20, 2007 5:54 PM | Report abuse

financepirate - a self-proclaimed atheist does have a point here. "Happy Holidays" doesn't offend me (and it shouldn't) if I am allowed to say "Merry Christmas".

I think that the problem is in whether a government employee is allowed to say "Merry Christmas"/ "Chanukkah" out of his/her personal beliefs? Or, can he only say "Happy Holidays"/"Happy New Year"?

There are a very small group of people (ACLU mostly) are out there trying every turn and corner to stopped "public employees" to say "Merry Christmas". However, the majority population don't mind the goodwill of wishing one another kindly.

This is why I see irony in this thing. I watched the video and even did not notice the bookshelf/+/cross the first time. I was paying attention to the message itself. So, I agree with Huckabee in saying that "people seeing things that's not even there" when it comes to politics, especially used to attack an opponent.

GOP candidates, please get over with this. After all, Obama is wishing America Merry Christmas too.

Merry Christmas to y'all out there. It is only a few days away.

Posted by: SC_GOP | December 20, 2007 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Let's see, Romney has spent 20 times more money in Iowa than Huckabee has. Romney buys votes at the straw polls. Still, Huckabee is in the lead there.

You want a fiscal conservative? Just look to the guy who used the least amount of money to get to the top of the polls. If Romney and Huckabee were put to the same task in the White House, it would only cost Romney 20 times more taxpayer money to get the job done.

We can't trust Romney to keep good on his word anyway, after all, he PROMISED Massachusetts that he would defend abortion rights, yet he says that he consistently came down on the side of life. That's a broken promise.

Posted by: cpatter6 | December 20, 2007 4:33 PM | Report abuse

just ONCE, i wish a candidate would have the balls to declare their atheist belief and say, "there is no God and you people are nuts."

Posted by: millionea7 | December 20, 2007 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Hey, here's a great article to read, check it out -

Posted by: yamgrand | December 20, 2007 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Anyone interested in what Huckabee is really like face to face should try this funny (but it actually happened) column:

Posted by: lanefiller | December 20, 2007 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Huckabee is by far the most articulate, and likeable of the Republicans- This is what the party NEEDS (especially after the Bush presidency)When the people see him firsthand they realize the "Rube" "evangelical" stereotypes are purely manufactured by those in the east coast pundit class seeking to manipulate the elections. My hope is that people go beyond the filters- I notice he has been getting less unfiltered media attention lately. Is this a top down decision my the upper level executive types to squelch his campaign? They were only interested in giving him airtime originally to make the horse race interesting...they have created a Frankenstein and are now scared to death of him. THIS IS CLASSIC...I love it when this stuff backfires on those running the mass media mind control scratch their heads and wonder why their plan did not work. They day the mass media mind manipulators win is the day the America dies. We will then become a nation Of the east coast establishment, FOR the east coast establismnet & BY the east coast establismnet...and not for regular americans.

Posted by: timklly747 | December 20, 2007 1:48 PM | Report abuse

I find it encouraging that Huckabee wants all those living in the USA to be able to benefit from the education and, I hope, little bit of public health care there is. Whether they should be in the USA should be an entirely different debate.
As far as his being a fundamentalist, he is opposed by some of the Southern Baptist leaders because he didn't fight on the fundamentalist side with them. In any case I don't think that should have anything to do with his presidency.
If he, personally, likes the symbolism of the cross, and loves Jesus Christ, should he have to hide that in order ot be president? He ought to be himself.

Posted by: johnedfran | December 20, 2007 1:47 PM | Report abuse

As a Presidential candidate, I think Huckabee would make a fine governor, of Arkansas or some other southern state...and that bookcase/floating cross was definitely a Baptist-inspired placement.
Huckabee will probably win Iowa, but so did that nut-job Robertson in 1988 - and thank GOD that that idiot lost the republican nomination that year. Huck will win Iowa but still lose the nomination. Watch for John McCain, making a comeback

Posted by: Nick5 | December 20, 2007 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Agreed, financepirate. There IS no war on Christmas.

Though I disagree with Huckabee on social issues, I do like much of his economic and foreign policy thinking. I don't mind him talking about religion (one's religion -or lack of- would not in itself sway my vote) but am disappointed that he would perpetuate the "Christmas war" myth.

Come on, Huck. I know you're smarter than that.

Posted by: juliro | December 20, 2007 1:44 PM | Report abuse

What amazes me about some of these posts is that they sound like the kind of reaction we heard from the Sudanese after they discovered an English teacher dubbing a teddy bear "Mohammed".

For the sake of argument, let's assume the likely possibility that the designers of the Huckabee ad purposefully placed him in front of that semblance of a cross. Then the question becomes whether Huckabee knew about it, and if he did, why didn't he say anything to change it?

Personally, I really don't care if Huckabee knew whether the cross was so visible, but I can understand others who are not Christian possibly taking offense at it.

I am probably more wary of US politicians than almost everyone who ever posts here, and I left the US for many years partially because of my disenchantment.

But I consider it a waste of time, and even malicious and rude to dismiss him as some sort of ogre because he talks about the birth of Jesus at Christmas time.

I always enjoy listening to people who don't preach but who are not afraid to share their faith with others. And I am not really that religious myself, and I don't go to church, but I don't take offense at people like Huckabee. He seems a lot more honest about his evangelism than Romney does about his faith.

Romney tried to sound like Kennedy, and he failed miserably.

Someone asked me to say who do I favor. I am most in accord politically with Dennis Kucinich, but I have to admit that Huckabee seems the best Republican despite many differences I have with him politically.

I don't like to be preached to, whether by an evangel or by an agnostic, atheist, or Methodist. I don't get that from Huckabee. Why do so many of you really feel so strongly about this cross thing?

Posted by: expat2MEX | December 20, 2007 1:34 PM | Report abuse

First of all your use of grammar is evidence of your lack of interest in the things that really matter to the US population: education, health care, global warming, energy, the economy, etc.
It does not matter if your are liberal or conservative; all the above will dramatically affect your children's lives.
Religion belongs in the churches and synagogs and mosques, but not in polictics. We, who reside in America and are citizens of the US, all benefit or lose from poor political judgement. Alienating nonchristians is not the american way.

Merry Christmas to all who celebrate Christmas; Happy Hanukah to all who celebrate Hanukah, Happy Kwanza to those who celebrate Kwanza, and happy new year and good health to anyone who does not celebrate anything. We are all people and we all deserve respect no matter what religion we follow or do not follow.

Posted by: arleeneisman | December 20, 2007 1:34 PM | Report abuse

More on Romney's Leadership check out these links: and

See this video for Mitt Romney caught lying!

all this rhetoric is follishnes and an intent denial to dismiss truth. The Demo-wacks have had control over congress for 2 years now and have done NOTHING but fund pork barrel projects and have not come close to making any kind of real progress that the promised their poor demo-wack supporters. There credibility is SHOT! and as for Huckabee... People fear that he will win, which he is... At this point I will vote for anybody other than a Demowack. i am so frustrated that I have changed party position and will vote Repub this year.

christmas is the celebration of the birth of jesus christ and if anyone do not want to celebrate it then don't but remember, each time you give a gift to someone else, you are mimicking the 3 wise men that gave gifts to jesus at his birth and most importantly, you are mimicking the giving factor that God gave his only begotten son to the world. So whether you formally ccelebrate or deny it, each gift given is a reflection of God Giving Christ to the earth as a gift. and i am happy to have received a merry christmas wish from a governmental official.. which that does not happen at all now a days! I am so proud of Huckabee i do not know what to do. He is a man of principle and he surely just sealed the deal with my vote. He will win and big he will, and while the pundits try to demise him, or his other political rivals try to make him look bad. They may want to look at the mirror at themselves. You got flip flopping mitt, dead fred, pimped out guiliani , no brain mccain, and PAUL IS DEAD!

And as for the Dems: you got Hell-ary that have sold her soul to the left party lobbyist in america, and you got chronic smoking Obama? which neither one has ANY experience in foreign policy. If it was not for Hell-ary having bill clinton last name, she would not even be known.

Huckabee is the sure winner and will win big. I can not wait for romney to get out of the race. i bet he will go back to hiring illegals to work in his yard. check more out about him at he is the biggest flake since kellogs!

Posted by: in-God-I-Trust | December 20, 2007 1:15 PM | Report abuse

"Christmas and Christianity are thriving, yet they feel "persucted." Talk about paranoia."

It's not paranoia; it's how you keep the troops stirred up. The story in this country is as old as Jonathan Edwards, who convinced his flock that their dreary, weary New England lives weren't the result of bad geography or poor planning, but collateral damage as Satan himself waged war for their souls.

Posted by: NorwegianBlue | December 20, 2007 1:08 PM | Report abuse

That's all we need, ANOTHER Christian fundamentalist as Pres.(although there is absolutely nothing Christlike about Bush).
Goodbye Science.
Goodbye true religious freedom.
Goodbye separation of Church and State.
Hello regression to the 1920's.

Posted by: lufrank1 | December 20, 2007 1:03 PM | Report abuse

"I'm overjoyed that Huckabee's response to Romney's attack on him pardoning someone is to find someone Romney should have pardoned."

Posted by: jonawebb | December 20, 2007 12:37 PM

I couldn't agree more, Huckabee is campaigning with a unique style that I have never seen before.

Personnally, I think he would be better off as VP to Giuliani or McCain (we can rule out a Romney/Huckabee campaign) which would create a campaign with broad appeal. If Huckabee happens to sneak into the nomination this year, I think he will run into problems against a verteran campaigner like Clinton or a similarly charismatic Obama.

If he accepts a VP nod, then win or lose, he would be setting himself up for a successful run in the future.

Posted by: HokiePaul | December 20, 2007 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Nothing wrong with Merry Christmas. If someone I know celebrates Christmas, that what I say. If I know or suspect they don´t, I say "Happy Holidays" or "Seasons Greetings."

This "War on Christmas" BS is one of the silliest things I´ve heard from the conservative Christians. Christmas and Christianity are thriving, yet they feel "persucted." Talk about paranoia.

Posted by: pfalduto | December 20, 2007 12:47 PM | Report abuse

pfalduto: it was raising his hand as not "believing" in evolution that disqualified him in my book.

Posted by: financepirate | December 20, 2007 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Does Huckabee believe Jesus was born on Dec. 25? Not the 24th or the 26th, but for sure on the 25th?

Many scholars believe this date was simply made up to appeal to the Romans, whose major holiday was the winter soltice, the time when the sun was "reborn."

This date wasn´t fixed as the birth day of Jesus until the 4th century. But Huck takes it literally and that alone disqualifies him as President in my view.

This is the 21st century, not the 4th.

Posted by: pfalduto | December 20, 2007 12:44 PM | Report abuse

I'm a very liberal atheist, and I disagree with Huckabee on many levels. I fervently hope that he does not become president.

But seriously, it's a bookcase, people. Get over it.

I do have to take him to task on the Merry Christmas thing, not because there's anything wrong with it (there is absolutely nothing wrong with wishing someone a Merry Christmas), but because he's pretending there are people who are offended by it, and thereby perpetuates the myth of there being a so-called "War on Christmas". Can we stop that please? There's no war on Christmas. Huckabee is known as someone who is not divisive - fine, let's start with acknowledging that no one gives a crap if you say Merry Christmas. Honestly, I've heard more Christians who are offended by "Happy Holidays" than non-Christians who are offended by "Merry Christmas". So can we all just let that particular sleeping dog lie?

Posted by: financepirate | December 20, 2007 12:39 PM | Report abuse

First, let me say I could not care one bit about the Cross image. I am talking about him playing up the Religion Issue!

This is NOT Iraq, let's try to keep it that way!

Second, just as I allow any Candidate to modify his stance-as long as it is in concession to my Views(LOL!), I mention my digs as constructive criticism.

Even, to the Dims.

See, when this is all over, odds are we will still have Bidden, "Roadside" Obama, and Billary in the Senate. As such, I would like them to learn and good, from the Pounding they are about to recieve for their bad judgements!

Then, as far as Huck is concerned, I fondly refer to him as "Number 2"!

After all, Mittster needs a VP. I believe Giuliani, McCain, Thompson, and even Dr. NO-who happens to be a Military Experienced Doctor of Medicine who I feel would be perfect for addressing many issues involved in both Military and Private Practice there-of!,-Should be in Cabinet Posts where they could probably do MORE than running around having to be the Statesman all the time!

Face it folks. Obasama and Pretty Boy are going to Hook-Up! It is going to be a very tough ticket to defeat!

I am talking "Class War". Socialism Vs. Capitalism.

Two things I hope to see. First, Tancredo offering his services to Romney as a Cabinet Member to help organize the crackdown on illegal Employment. THE EMPLOYERS!
Second, when Billary loses to the Socialist Twins, she also endorses Capitalism and promotes the Execs over the Congressmen.

Folks, this Country cannot afford Pollitics as usual! And unlike Pretty Boy and Obasama, I mean it is time for Team Effort, not Socialism!

Posted by: rat-the | December 20, 2007 12:37 PM | Report abuse one cares if it's a bookcase or cross..we care that they pretend it's not purposeful. Say it's a "bookcase cross"! why not! I'm not offended by a cross. Just don't pretend you didn't notice while editing.

Posted by: soulsender | December 20, 2007 12:37 PM | Report abuse

I'm overjoyed that Huckabee's response to Romney's attack on him pardoning someone is to find someone Romney should have pardoned. Actually, I'm amazed. Someone actually stands up for compassion -- and this is not the first time Huckabee has done it. He is breaking new ground as a Republican candidate, and I hope he goes on to win the nomination. He deserves it.

Posted by: jonawebb | December 20, 2007 12:37 PM | Report abuse

We Americans tend to care about the important facts when we determine our president. Is the candidate a male or a female? Black or white? Mormon or Christian? Is that a cross or a bookcase?

Important facts...

Posted by: zoonotic | December 20, 2007 12:33 PM | Report abuse

and how many times do you lefties decry your fellow dems for appearing and giving campaign speaches in black churches. NEVER.
so get over it.

Posted by: infantry11b4faus | December 20, 2007 12:33 PM | Report abuse

So, preachers lie too...
(I'm shocked!)

Posted by: kase | December 20, 2007 12:24 PM | Report abuse

I've seen the ad several times...if anyone thinks that "bookshelf" (and yes it is a bookshelf)looks like a glowing cross by accident then your just sad. NOTHING in ANY commercial is there by accident! come on!

Posted by: soulsender | December 20, 2007 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Huckabee is ok in my book.

I think he could win a lot of democrats, and deservedly so. He could beat Hillary. He is just too darn likable, and is appealing on a lot of issues.

He might be the only Republican candidate that could lead the country that most democrats would follow on most issues.

Go Huck!

Posted by: river845 | December 20, 2007 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Get over it, people. It's a !#$%!#@ window frame.

Posted by: beegrace123 | December 20, 2007 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Hey Rat, please DO smoke a joint... You sound like you need to relax a bit.

Are you from Arkansas? If not, how was he spending YOUR tax dollars? Seems to me the only people who should be upset are the people of Arkansas who paid those taxes (and they seem pretty happy with 'ole Huck)

Finally, "people like you, choosing which Laws you want to enforce and which you don't"???? Ha, that's funny...tell us who doesn't do that in the political arean???? You are fooling yourself.

And you're so smart...who is YOUR favorite politician? Share... After you take a few hits first...

Posted by: dizzyguy | December 20, 2007 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Gimme a break.

Huck is saying Christmas, but I am picturing Lent the way he is carrying that Cross!

Huckleberry-This wake up call is for YOU!

Believe me you need it.

Children are under the age of @ 13. YOUNG adults are what we call teenagers.

18, and older, ADULTS!

Now that we have educated you on the fact that College Tuition amounts to Education for ADULTS, have you checked on the damage and expense our country is reeling from having to divert our resources to educating Children of people who have no business being here, and neither should the said Children!

WHY, is it OUR responsibility to educate Children of people who should not be here, and are in violation of LAWS doing so!

Would you be as quick to ignore me Drinking on the sidewalk, or speeding down the road?

Mind if I smoke a joint in front of you?

Well Huckleberry, I mind people like you, chosing to decide which Laws you want to enforce, and which you don't!

I also mind Employers hiring Un-Documented Workers, and Invaders leeching off my Tax Dollars!

Keep carrying that Cross, and I'll NAIL you to it!

Posted by: rat-the | December 20, 2007 11:39 AM | Report abuse

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