Fox's Carlson did not challenge Huckabee's apparent inconsistencies on "free speech"

››› ››› MATTHEW BIEDLINGMAIER

On Fox & Friends, Mike Huckabee criticized senators for denouncing Rush Limbaugh regarding his recent "phony soldiers" comments, saying that "it is not the business of government to infringe upon the free speech of anybody, including a talk show host." But host Gretchen Carlson did not point out that Huckabee supported -- and attacked Sen. Hillary Clinton for opposing -- a Senate amendment that condemned the "General Betray Us" MoveOn.org ad.

On the October 4 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-host Gretchen Carlson asked Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee to comment on the controversy surrounding Rush Limbaugh's characterization of service members who advocate U.S. withdrawal from Iraq as "phony soldiers." Huckabee replied: "[W]ith all the things the United States Senate ought to be doing -- securing our borders, resolving the situation in Iraq, improving education and health care -- what are they doing? They're worried about what a talk show host says." He added: "Rush Limbaugh has a right to say anything he wants to. Last time I checked, the First Amendment has not been repealed, and while individual citizens can say whatever they want to about Rush Limbaugh, it is not the business of government to infringe upon the free speech of anybody, including a talk show host." Carlson did not point out that Huckabee, while now criticizing senators for denouncing Limbaugh, supported -- and attacked Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) for opposing -- a Senate amendment that condemned a MoveOn.org advertisement headlined "General Petraeus or General Betray Us?"

Responding to Clinton's Senate vote against the nonbinding amendment sponsored by Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) -- which, in the words of the amendment, "repudiate[s] the unwarranted personal attack on General [David] Petraeus by the liberal activist group Moveon.org" and "condemn[s] any effort to attack the honor and integrity of General Petraeus and all the members of the United States Armed Forces" -- Huckabee, referring to Clinton, told The Washington Times in a September 25 article: "If you can't get your lips off the backside of George Soros long enough to use those lips to say it's wrong to declare a sitting general ... guilty of treason ... how would you ever expect to have the support of the very military you might have to send into deadly battle?" From the article:

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee gets uncharacteristically angry when talking about Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's failure to condemn by name the billionaire backer of Moveon.org's attack on Gen. David H. Petraeus.

"If you can't get your lips off the backside of George Soros long enough to use those lips to say it's wrong to declare a sitting general ... guilty of treason," the 2008 Republican presidential hopeful said, "how would you ever expect to have the support of the very military you might have to send into deadly battle?"

Further, as Media Matters for America documented, Clinton did vote for Sen. Barbara Boxer's (D-CA) amendment, which cited the MoveOn ad, as well as Republican-backed attacks against the military service of Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) and former Sen. Max Cleland (D-GA).

From the October 4 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:

CARLSON: Another thing that was an attack on the GOP base -- what many people thought was the attack on Rush Limbaugh: Some of the other Republican candidates, presidential candidates, have come out and said what they think about it -- specifically [Mitt] Romney and [Fred] Thompson. [Rudy] Giuliani may be stating something later today. I'm going to give you the opportunity to make news this morning, Governor Huckabee, how do you feel about the whole event?

HUCKABEE: Well, with all the things the United States Senate ought to be doing -- securing our borders, resolving the situation in Iraq, improving education and health care -- what are they doing? They're worried about what a talk show host says. I can't think of anything that is a greater waste of their time and my money as a taxpayer, and, frankly, Rush Limbaugh has a right to say anything he wants to. Last time I checked, the First Amendment has not been repealed, and while individual citizens can say whatever they want to about Rush Limbaugh, it is not the business of government to infringe upon the free speech of anybody, including a talk show host.

CARLSON: And I understand you're going to release that statement on your Internet site today, which is, MikeHuckabee.com. Next time you're on the East Coast, towards New York, come and pay us a visit here on our couch, OK, Governor?

HUCKABEE: I'll look forward to it, Gretchen. Thank you very much.

CARLSON: All right, great to talk with you.

Posted In
Elections, National Security & Foreign Policy, Military Personnel & Veterans
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Gretchen Carlson
Show/Publication
FOX & Friends
Stories/Interests
2008 Elections
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