Huckabee’s Hoof In Mouth Moment

Uh, oh. Just as former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has strummed his way to top-tier GOP presidential ranking, he goes and pulls a Janet Rowland/Rick Santorum sex-with-animals moment.In an interview with the Web site Beliefnet shortly after he pulled off a win in Iowa, Huckabee spoke about gay marriage – and then dragged in comparisons to polygamy, child rape and sex with animals.

Q: Is it your goal to bring the Constitution into strict conformity with the Bible? Some people would consider that a kind of dangerous undertaking, particularly given the variety of biblical interpretations.

HUCKABEE: Well, I don’t think that’s a radical view to say we’re going to affirm marriage. I think the radical view is to say that we’re going to change the definition of marriage so that it can mean two men, two women, a man and three women, a man and a child, a man and animal. Again, once we change the definition, the door is open to change it again. I think the radical position is to make a change in what’s been historic.

Friday morning, when the word “Mike Huckabee” and “bestiality” were punched into the old Google search, already about 11,600 hits appeared.

Which reminds us, of course, of the Colorado candidate to liken gay marriage to having sex with animals — specifically sex with sheep.

When appearing on the March 2006 Rocky Mountain PBS public affairs show “Colorado State of Mind,” Republican Mesa County Commissioner Janet Rowland made the following observation during a discussion about gay marriage:

“Homosexuality is an alternative lifestyle. That doesn’t make it a marriage.” Rowland said.

“For some, bestiality is an alternative lifestyle. Do we allow a man to marry a sheep? At some point, we have to draw a line,” she said.

When gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez subsequently announced Rowland was his running mate for lieutenant governor, her comment didn’t help at all. (Friday morning, when  the words “Janet Rowland” and “bestiality” were punched into the old Google search, 442 hits appeared.)

Probably the most famous sex-with-animals interlude, of course, was the classic exchange that came during an Associated Press interview with former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum in April 2003:

SANTORUM: Every society in the history of man has upheld the institution of marriage as a bond between a man and a woman. Why? Because society is based on one thing: that society is based on the future of the society. And that’s what? Children. Monogamous relationships. In every society, the definition of marriage has not ever to my knowledge included homosexuality. That’s not to pick on homosexuality. It’s not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be. It is one thing. And when you destroy that you have a dramatic impact on the quality –

AP: I’m sorry, I didn’t think I was going to talk about “man on dog” with a United States senator, it’s sort of freaking me out.

SANTORUM: And that’s sort of where we are in today’s world, unfortunately. The idea is that the state doesn’t have rights to limit individuals’ wants and passions. I disagree with that. I think we absolutely have rights because there are consequences to letting people live out whatever wants or passions they desire. And we’re seeing it in our society.

Santorum’s still got the upper hand with his sex-with-animals claim to fame. On Friday, when the words “Rick Santorum” and “bestiality” are punched into the search engine, 16,700 hits appeared.

Let’s see how long it takes for Huckabee to catch up.

Cara DeGette is a senior fellow at Colorado Confidential and a columnist and contributing editor at the Colorado Springs Independent. E-mail her at

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