Yesterday, Media Matters first reported that Mike Huckabee earlier this week attacked Oscar-winning actress Natalie Portman for having a child "out of wedlock." Huckabee's remarks ignited a firestorm of coverage and criticism.
Huckabee reportedly spoke to Us Magazine about the controversy by lashing out at "some left-wing partisans" and pointing people to his new book. Us reports:
In the wake of the unexpected debate, Huckabee spoke to UsMagazine.com exclusively about the fracas.
"These people should read my book and they would know what I said instead of what some left-wing partisans are attempting to put forth," the politician tells Us. "I do appreciate the attention to the book as it is sparking interest in it dramatically."
Huckabee's A Simple Government addresses the subject of "out-of-wedlock babies" in its first chapter. (According to a search of the Kindle version, Huckabee does not mention Portman).
UPDATE: Mike Huckabee posted a statement about his remarks on his Huck PAC blog, claiming that he did not "slam" or "attack" Portman. Huckabee also claims he did not "criticize the hardworking single mothers in our country":
In a recent media interview about my new book, A Simple Government, I discussed the first chapter, "The Most Important Form of Government Is a Father, Mother, and Children." I was asked about Oscar-winner Natalie Portman's out-of-wedlock pregnancy. Natalie is an extraordinary actor, very deserving of her recent Oscar and I am glad she will marry her baby's father. However, contrary to what the Hollywood media reported, I did not "slam" or "attack" Natalie Portman, nor did I criticize the hardworking single mothers in our country. My comments were about the statistical reality that most single moms are very poor, under-educated, can't get a job, and if it weren't for government assistance, their kids would be starving to death. That's the story that we're not seeing, and it's unfortunate that society often glorifies and glamorizes the idea of having children out of wedlock.
MEDVED: Governor, I know you probably are out on book tour right now, you probably didn't have a chance to watch the Academy Awards last night?
HUCKABEE: I'm very happy to say that I missed it because usually it's about the most boring waste of several hours that I've ever experienced.
MEDVED: Well this was a - this was a low audience. However, there was - there was one moment where a very brilliant and admirable actress named Natalie Portman won Best Actress, and she won for a movie which I loathed called Black Swan. But in any event, she got up, she was very visibly pregnant, and it's really it's a problem because she's about seven months pregnant, it's her first pregnancy, and she and the baby's father aren't married, and before two billion people, Natalie Portman says, 'Oh I want to thank my love and he's given me the most wonderful gift.' He didn't give her the most wonderful gift, which would be a wedding ring! And it just seems to me that sending that kind of message is problematic.
HUCKABEE: You know Michael, one of the things that's troubling is that people see a Natalie Portman or some other Hollywood starlet who boasts of, 'Hey look, you know, we're having children, we're not married, but we're having these children, and they're doing just fine.' But there aren't really a lot of single moms out there who are making millions of dollars every year for being in a movie. And I think it gives a distorted image that yes, not everybody hires nannies, and caretakers, and nurses. Most single moms are very poor, uneducated, can't get a job, and if it weren't for government assistance, their kids would be starving to death and never have health care. And that's the story that we're not seeing, and it's unfortunate that we glorify and glamorize the idea of out of children wedlock.
You know, right now, 75 percent of black kids in this country are born out of wedlock. 61 percent of Hispanic kids -- across the board, 41 percent of all live births in America are out of wedlock births. And the cost of that is simply staggering.
MEDVED: It's tremendously staggering.
- Mike Huckabee