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Huckabee Refuses To Disavow Flying Of Confederate Flag In South Carolina

Reported by Ellen - January 19, 2008 -

Mike Huckabee ducked and dodged Alan Colmes' questions last night (1/18/08) about whether or not it's appropriate to fly the Confederate flag, particularly in South Carolina where there's a primary later today. Huckabee was quick to condemn 527 groups who sponsor attack ads but never specifically disavowed the one that supports him and has attacked John McCain and Mitt Romney for denouncing the flying of the flag. With video.

At about one minute into the interview, Colmes asked, "“Do you personally find it offensive to fly the Confederate Flag?”

"You know, the whole point I’ve tried to make is, this is absolutely a non-issue for presidential candidates, whether it’s the South Carolina flag, the Arkansas flag, the Texas flag," Huckabee said. "We’ve got a country that has really serious unemployment problems… for a president to jump into that just doesn’t make any sense and that’s what’s wrong with Washington right now. They get involved in things they shouldn’t be involved in and they’re not fixing the problems that people want to be fixed."

(Comment: Apparently, for Huckabee,amending the Constitution to put it in line with God’s law is what Washington should be doing but addressing an issue of great sensitivity to African Americans isn't.)

Colmes pressed, "But, Governor, people want to know what your sensibilities are. Do you see it as a symbol of southern pride or do you see it as a symbol of racism? How do you, personally, view that flag?"

Huckabee dodged again. He said, "It doesn’t matter. No, you’re missing my point, Alan, with all due respect. It is not an issue for me because I don’t live in South Carolina."

Colmes continued,"But in this state, you’ve got a group called Americans for the Preservation of American Culture taking ads out against McCain and against Romney and, basically, supporting you and saying that John McCain’s been doing it, calling the flag a racist symbol for years, saying (about) Mitt Romney, ‘waving a Confederate battle flag in front of Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney turns out to be like waving a red flag in front of a bull.' Do you support what this group is doing?"

Huckabee gave a carefully worded response. "No, I don’t support some (my emphasis) of the independent groups. You know, I don’t support what the Club For Growth has done to me, spending $750,000, most of which was given by Mitt Romney supporters… to attack ME (his emphasis) in ads here. These whole 527’s under McCain Feingold are out of control. I would love to see a lot of things changed in the campaign finance laws because candidates don’t have any ability to step in and stop it. In fact, it’s against the law if we were to call them and ask them to stop it, even though in Iowa and New Hampshire, we asked the states’ Attorney Generals in each of those states to investigate, and if any way to stop it, we wanted them to because I think some of these tactics are disingenuous, they don’t necessarily help the candidate for whom they’re intended and I’d rather people just either be for me or against me but do it through the campaigns. Do it up front, do it honestly."

If he were really upset about the ad supporting the flag, he could just come right out and denounce it.

Sean Hannity, of course, had no problem with the flag issue.

The video below includes the entire interview with Huckabee.