Mike Huckabee Is Seriously Deranged

Gotta wonder what happened to Mike Huckabee. At his peak, he was one of the most politically savvy candidates running in either party, always at the ready with a clever quip that made you chuckle. Not so his disturbing quip today during his speech at the NRA, referring to a bang heard in the background:

"That was Barack Obama, he just tripped off a chair, he's getting ready to speak," said the former Arkansas governor, to audience laughter. "Somebody aimed a gun at him and he dove for the floor."

It's actually really disturbing to watch because you have the sense that he knows it was a stupid thing to say; there's this really long uncomfortable pause after he says it as though he was trying to think of a way to retract it but just couldn't think of one.

Watch it below:

Jeffrey Feldman, whose new book, Outright Barbarous, explores the right's tendency to evoke violent language in a political context, reminds us that this isn't the first time Huckabee has joked about shooting a presidential candidate. Last year, on a hunting trip, Huckabee joked about shooting Mitt Romney. That at least had the benefit of context, although, obviously, it was still really twisted. The only context here was the fact that Huck was speaking at the NRA, even though, as Ben Smith notes, the joke was even off their message. I have to agree with Feldman that Huckabee should face consequences.

For joking about the assassination of Sen. Obama, Mike Huckabee should be removed from the rosters of all the various cable and network stations on which he regularly appears.

Of course, perhaps Huck already has. This episode probably single-handedly disqualified him from being McCain's VP, or at least it gave McCain the excuse he needed to cross him off his list.

Tags: 2008 Presidential election, Mike Huckabee, Violence (all tags)

Comments

55 Comments

Re: Mike Huckabee Is Seriously Deranged

This is a major, Macaca-level gaffe in that it will live with Huckabee for the rest of his political career.  I can't believe that came out of his mouth.

by Pat Flatley 2008-05-16 04:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Mike Huckabee Is Seriously Deranged

It seemed to flow right out of his mouth with such ease though.

by devoted1 2008-05-16 04:19PM | 0 recs
Huh....

...republicans have a pretty mean sense of humor don't they?

But that was cheap even by republican standards.

by DawnG 2008-05-16 04:11PM | 0 recs
Jesse Helms did the same to President Clinton

Mr. Helms, a Republican from North Carolina, created a furor by saying that President Clinton was not up to the job of Commander in Chief, he told The News and Observer, a newspaper in Raleigh: "Mr. Clinton better watch out if he comes down here. He'd better have a bodyguard."

Mr. Helms said soldiers disliked President Clinton because he had avoided service during the Vietnam War and supported homosexuals in the military.

by Al Rodgers 2008-05-16 05:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Mike Huckabee Is Seriously Deranged

Eh. Just a bad joke. I'll be surprised if it has any legs. Huckabee is a bit of a nut, but he was one of the saner voices on the right defending Obama's association with Wright. I don't think he's a hate monger like Coulter et al. I'll give him a pass.

by bigdaddy 2008-05-16 04:14PM | 0 recs
Re: I'll be surprised if it has any legs.

Jim Webb disagrees with you ;)

by phoenixdreamz 2008-05-16 04:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Mike Huckabee Is Seriously Deranged

Nope. He is NOT SANE. Don't let that good 'ol boy jokey persona fool ya. He's a major sociopath out for himself only.

by splashy 2008-05-16 07:10PM | 0 recs
Repubs & their Macaca love

Don't look now Huck, but you will never be McCain's running mate..oops.

by phoenixdreamz 2008-05-16 04:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Mike Huckabee Is Seriously Deranged

I'm in the minority, I guess, but I just don't see this as anything to get worked up about.

His boilerplate apology was weak, though.

by DPW 2008-05-16 04:21PM | 0 recs
Because of past history

I don't know your age, and I apologize if you are old enough to have lived through multiple assasinations, but if you have not, this really is upsetting because it brings back memories of and fears about the real thing.  I can't look at a candidate making a speech before an enthusiastic audience without thinking of risk, risk, risk.

by mady 2008-05-16 04:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Because of past history

I'm 32 and didn't really get interested in politics until after 9/11.

I'm not trying to excuse it, but I don't get the same "mean spirited, hate monger" from a Mike Huckabee like I do from Hannity, Limbaugh, Coulter, Malkin and some of the other wingnuts in Congress and Senate.

And its NEVER funny to joke about what he joked about. I just don't feel outraged.

by bigdaddy 2008-05-16 04:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Because of past history

I can appreciate the sensitivity. As an enthusiastic Obama supporter, I find my self nervous about his safety on occasion. However, Huck's remark just seemed so unserious and dumb that it didn't trigger any kind of serious emotion in me.

by DPW 2008-05-16 04:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Because of past history

P.S.--I'm 33. So, I was around for the attempted assasination of Reagan, though I was pretty young. My wife's parents--who do vividly remember the deaths of Kennedy, King, et al.--are far more nervous about Obama's safety than I am.

by DPW 2008-05-16 04:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Because of past history

I think when you live through assassination after assassination it leaves some scars.  You can't joke about this stuff any more or even accept that it could ever be the premise of a joke because you know how easily it comes true.

JFK, RFK, MLK, Malcolm X within 6 years.  John Lennon 12 years later.  Attempts on Gerald Ford and a serious attempt on Ronald Reagan.  There has been so much of it, a joke like that becomes a threat.

by mady 2008-05-16 04:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Because of past history

Yeah, I'm your wife's parent's age and it is peculiar to my generation, this fear of this, but it is reality based.

by mady 2008-05-16 04:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Because of past history

Please, get a grip on your serious trigger.  I'm 58 and I have seen Hope go down the drain too many times.  

by Tunk 2008-05-16 06:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Because of past history

Not sure what you mean, except about hope.  

by mady 2008-05-16 06:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Because of past history

He is NOT unserious, that's the thing. DON'T let his aw shucks persona fool you. He's a major creep and NOT to be trusted in any way shape or form.

by splashy 2008-05-16 07:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Because of past history
Agree with you there, splashy.
His comment about changing the Constitution to be more in line with the bible was horrifying.
by skohayes 2008-05-17 04:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Mike Huckabee Is Seriously Deranged

I would add that, to me, Lieberman/McCain's attempt to make Obama the Hamas-endorsed candidate is far more distasteful--primarly because those remarks are part of a designed line of attack. Huck just went for a spontaneous zinger and failed.

by DPW 2008-05-16 04:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Mike Huckabee Is Seriously Deranged

+1 on this. I guess that's how I feel. In the Right-wing Hate-monger pantheon, this doesn't get me worked up as much as being called a terrorist appeasing traitor who loves gay man/boy/dog sex and drinks the blood of the unborn.

by bigdaddy 2008-05-16 04:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Mike Huckabee Is Seriously Deranged

Huck just went for a spontaneous zinger and failed.

I'll agree to a degree. The malicious and scripted comments are much more egregious. Huckabee was trying to make a spontaneous comment. I'd wager that he was trying to make it sound like Obama irrationally feared guns, but his brain went completely off the rails.

However, that doesn't really excuse him for this nor does it speak well of him as a candidate on a national scale.

by TCQuad 2008-05-16 05:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Mike Huckabee Is Seriously Deranged

Very Christian isn't it? Aiming at a gun at Obama is crass and very dangerous. This is a dangerous country we don't need that kind of jokes.

He is finished.

by MissVA 2008-05-16 04:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Mike Huckabee Is Seriously Deranged

I wonder if the republicans would have thought it was just as funny if a top democrat talked about pointing a gun at their candidate. We would never hear the end of that one.

by pollbuster 2008-05-16 04:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Mike Huckabee Is Seriously Deranged

Of course not. And he'll never hear the end of it from aggrieved Dems.

Huckabee likes to make jokes, and for anyone who does so, once in a while one comes out that just shouldn't have been said. I frankly don't see this as a huge deal.

by PhilFR 2008-05-16 04:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Mike Huckabee Is Seriously Deranged

Yeah it's not a big deal until some nut with a gun thinks it's a good idea.

by pollbuster 2008-05-16 04:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Mike Huckabee Is Seriously Deranged

True enough. Some of us remember the blood that was spilled in the 60s, and the lost opportunity that came with it.

by PhilFR 2008-05-16 05:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Mike Huckabee Is Seriously Deranged

He just "joked" that an assassination attempt was being made on Obama.

Thats funny, how?

He's an idiot.

Huckabee continues the Republican meltdown. Its wonderful.

I hope he's torn to shreds for this. I never trusted his hate-filled theocratic bs. Just because he comes off as a nice guy doesn't mean he is. It also doesn't mean he should get a pass.

He is no friend to many of us in the minority.

by devoted1 2008-05-16 04:29PM | 0 recs
Yes, don't let the "nice guy"

Act fool ya, he's as bad as they come.

by splashy 2008-05-16 07:17PM | 0 recs
He apologized

and unlike most Republican apologies, I believe it.

He made a ghastly bad joke. I wouldn't hold it against him for all eternity, unlike the detestable, deliberate  and premeditated remarks from McCain/Bush.

by Bee 2008-05-16 04:30PM | 0 recs
Re: He apologized

I agree, it was clearly a spontaneous joke. We should be bigger than the other side, and give this guy the benefit of the doubt. I don't believe we should ascribe the darkest of interpretations.

by brimur 2008-05-16 07:02PM | 0 recs
No! No benefit of the doubt

Huck is really like that, and should not be given the benefit of the doubt. You can't trust him, no way no how.

by splashy 2008-05-16 07:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Mike Huckabee Is Seriously Deranged

Not even a chuckle from the crowd.  That was way over the line.

by Skaje 2008-05-16 04:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Mike Huckabee Is Seriously Deranged

That's how you know it was really bad .. he couldn't even get a chuckle from the NRA crowd .. as even they sense the tidlewave coming

by Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle 2008-05-16 04:39PM | 0 recs
Before the NRA

I have no idea what most folks' views are on guns here...

I don't personally own a firearm and have no desire to do so - but I grew up around guns.  Many of my family belong to the NRA.  I've taken NRA gun safety classes.

They didn't laugh because the overwhelming majority of legal gun owners find a joke like this repulsive.

Anyone taught the proper way to handle a gun knows you don't "point" a gun at anything, or certainly anyone - unless you intend to shoot it or him/her.

Sure - it was a stupid joke.  But I guarantee you that my dad, my uncles, my cousins - all them - were cringing when/if they heard this.

Every NRA member - every gun owner - I know was pretty pissed about Dick Cheney's little hunting incident, too... even the one's who are among the 26% dead-enders.  You don't pont a gun at someone, even in jest - and if you hit something you didn't mean to hit, that's your fault and no one else's.

Frankly, I know it won't happen, but I'd love to see Obama make hay out of this... not by going after Huckabee, but by touting his constitutional bona fides.  By making a statement in support of the 2nd amendment.

You want to defang the NRA?

Don't kiss the asses of gun owners with rhetoric about hunters or heaven forbid, trying to pretend you're a hunter.  Show them the respect they deserve - and the overwhelming majority, to an extreme extent - of NRA members consider themselves very responsible.

They think of the 2nd amendment the same way you and I think of the 1st amendment.  They respect the limitations, but they resent being painted as nuts.

Mike Huckabee made no friendds among responsible gun owners - they aren't going to rush to his defense because he just caricatured gun owners.

by zonk 2008-05-16 08:16PM | 0 recs
No VP! Bad Huckabee!

He should have known better. Bad, bad form.

by Firewall 2008-05-16 04:34PM | 0 recs
wow

what an idiot!

He could have left out the last part and maybe had a good (but stupid) laugh line. Seemed even the crowd quieted a bit after the stupid "dove to the floor" line.

I was thinking he would be the best bet for a mccain VP, but this may have hurt him with the republicans and their ethical candidate john mccain. ...

.... ha .... ha.... hahahahaha!!!  HAHAHAHA!!! I can't believe I said that!  hahahahahaha!!!

by kevin22262 2008-05-16 04:35PM | 0 recs
I like Mike Huckabee actually

He was one of the few Repubs who defended Obama and even Wright during the Wright debacle.

It was just an unfortunate joke he made and he obviously wasn't thinking.

He has apologized and I forgive him.

by puma 2008-05-16 04:37PM | 0 recs
Re: I like Mike Huckabee actually

Me too.

I think we need to cool it with some of this "gotcha" stuff.

It sounded like a spontaneous joke that didn't come off well.

On the other hand, his defense of Obama, as several have pointed out,  over the Wright issue was  something he obviously thought about and was appreciated by this listener.

Huckabee would never get my vote, but I don't think this botched joke deserves piling on.

Let's focus on policy.

by emptythreatsfarm 2008-05-16 05:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Mike Huckabee Is Seriously Deranged

I don't understand the punchline to the joke.  What part of that remark was supposed to be funny?

by Piuma 2008-05-16 04:41PM | 0 recs
frankly

I think he just simply royally fucked up.  It looks like he was trying to spin the NRA, guns and the noise which interrupted his speech, started with an ad lib and well, went down a path he knew was really bad and it was too late.

Not that I like Hucklebee's policies but I don't believe for a second he planned or meant or even believed what he just said.  I think he became humor ambitious and went way beyond "putting his foot in his mouth on it".

Sorry, I mean let's discuss changing the constitution to appease a small segment of our society and void all of the principles upon which it is based, but I have to give him the benefit of the doubt on this one after watching it.

by Robert Oak 2008-05-16 05:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Mike Huckabee Is Seriously Deranged

I was in high school for JFK's assassination, and in college for RFK and MLK. Don't forget Wallace. This country has a wrenching history of political assassination, and Black Americans have an understandable sensitivity to the idea of a charismatic black man being cut down (MLK, Malcom X, Medger Evers). This isn't funny on any level.

Political consequences. Unfortunately, they are probably slight. I'm just not concerned about Huckabee's future. (I do think that because he has a long history of making offhand jokes, he might weather this better than most. If you tell enough jokes in the moment, you are bound to really screw one up sometime.)

My question is why can't Democrats make this a political question about the true heart of Republicanism? We are drowning in the Republican ideals of authoritarianism, hostile and threatening male models, demeaning women, simplifying of other cultures, languages and religions to the point of caricature, love of war and profit wrapped into one. How can we help regular Americans really understand the nihilist core of this movement?

by anoregonreader 2008-05-16 05:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Mike Huckabee Is Seriously Deranged

Dem's can't win by running against "the true heart of Republicanism." To do that is to offend those many people who have voted (R) at some point, be it for Reagan, or their House Rep.

Many of my in-laws have been fairly solid Repubs, and are now wavering. We don't win them by telling them they've been siding with evil all this time, and shame on them.

So, should we try to win by painting the Repub party as a cross between Hitler and Darth Vader? Isn't that the same as the Willie Horton ads that Bush #1 ran?  Isn't there a more positive framing we should pursue?

And if talking about what we believe is right (as opposed to why we believe the other side is satan) doesn't win it for us... well, maybe my worst fears about human nature are in fact founded. I'm an optimist, so I think not.

And frankly, I think McCain (like Darth Vader) has gone over to the dark side, but still retains a shred of decency. We have the potential for a real, honest debate here. Let's not make it be a mud-fest.

by PhilFR 2008-05-16 05:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Mike Huckabee Is Seriously Deranged

Huckabee showed his dark (really dark) side during the SC primary campaign. He knew exactly what those BJU types want to hear and gave it to them ... loud frowning hostlity aimed squarely at the servants of satan as embodied by Democrats.

If he had become the nominee he'd make InsaneMcCain look like a voice of moderation and reason.

by Nomo Clintons 2008-05-16 05:26PM | 0 recs
How About an SNL Parody

Picture Obama speaking:

"That was Mike Huckabee, he just tripped off a chair, he's getting ready to speak. Somebody showed him Darwin's On the Origin of Species and he dove for the floor."

by Bob Miller 2008-05-16 05:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Mike Huckabee Is Seriously Deranged

This comment was absolutely revolting, but unfortunately not at all surprising. Republicans will be making all sorts of these "jokes" during the fall campaign, because an uppity negro doesn't deserve their respect.

by unionfield 2008-05-16 05:42PM | 0 recs
Shut the Huck up

Yeah, that was about as funny as "Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran."  Mike Huckabee is old enough to remember the JFK, RFK and MLK assassinations first hand.  He must know that Michelle didn't want Barack to run because she feared for his life.  Yet, this "Huck up" made the remark at an NRA function.  I don't care if he's sorry or not.  What I care about is some unhinged, wingnut, James Earl Ray wannabee just thought he just got green lighted.  WV should remind us all that knuckle dragging racism is still with us and doesn't need encouragement.

by braised cod 2008-05-16 05:57PM | 0 recs
Another crazy preacher,

haven't we had enough?

by UrbanRedneck 2008-05-16 06:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Mike Huckabee Is Seriously Deranged

Huckabee's remark was ungentlemanly, wrong and inexcusable.  It had the tone of racist remarks I've heard about fellas getting "spooked."

I had been kind of sympathetic to Huck as a refreshing, direct, and clever personality (if politically wrong-headed). No more. Huck's dead to me.

by Hobe 2008-05-16 06:04PM | 0 recs
What if I made the same joke?

Or anyone else here.  If we did it in public and it was reported we'd have G-men emptying our dresser drawers and carting our computer equipment out the front door.  Seriously.  At the very least we'd have one scary afternoon.    One thing all we intelligent Americans seem to get -- you don't make jokes about bombng stuff or offing a president/presidential candidate.  

But because it's Mike Huckabee and not Hickville Joe  it will be treated as nothing more than a "gaff" even though the real threat with gaffs of this kind  is what it potentially inspires.

For many months i've been worried about Obama because he has that sort of dynamic magnetism that draws the scariest kooks out of the woodwork.  (the only anomoly there has been Jerry Ford...go figure)  

This joke is just too close to home for comfort.  Huckabee should be hung on a fence for it.    

by grassrootsorganizer 2008-05-16 06:35PM | 0 recs
What a sick thing to say

by activatedbybush 2008-05-16 06:47PM | 0 recs
As an Arkansan, I have to say

We tried to warn people. Huck is a real piece of work. We are still wondering why he destroyed a bunch of hard drives here in Arkansas when he left. What was on them that he had to go to such length and cost the state so much to replace them?

We are also wondering what happened to the backups.

He probably should be incarcerated.

by splashy 2008-05-16 07:08PM | 0 recs
Very bad joke...eom

by likelihood zero 2008-05-16 07:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Mike Huckabee Is Seriously Deranged

He was completely off the reservation with that remark.  It was stupid, offensive, and just frankly out of his goddamned mind.

That being said, he is pretty thoughtful for an evangelical leader.  As a Jew growing up in South Carolina, I could have better dealt with people like him than the actual ministers I met.

He's good people.  He's wrong on most every policy issue their is, and I find his particular brand of Christianity frightening, but he really does seem to care about regular folks, and my friends from Arkansas, even the Dems, say he's a decent enough guy.

I expect he really does feel horrible for having said it.  He defended Obama over Wright when no other Republican I can recall would do so.

He'll pay for the remark, but I don't damn him for it.  He thought up a joke off the cuff, and it went really poorly.  It happens.

by Reaper0Bot0 2008-05-16 09:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Mike Huckabee Is Seriously Deranged

In all fairness he wasn't joking that he was going to assainate obama, just that someone else pointed a gun at him.  but what a weird ass thing to say.  I mean does anyone beleive that Huck wouldn't fall to the floor and ball like a baby if someone pointed a gun at him?  The man can't even have a little dignity.

by goodleh 2008-05-17 11:56AM | 0 recs

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