In saying it's unfortunate that American society seems to "glorify and glamorize" having children out-of-wedlock, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee unknowingly caused a stir in Tinseltown after "slamming" pregnant Oscar-winning actress Natalie Portman.
"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,'" Huckabee said earlier this week in an interview with conservative radio host Michael Medved. "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 [sic]."
E! News was just shocked:
Contrary to what E! suggests, I'm pretty sure Huckabee's point was not that the couple should rush down the aisle before the baby arrives. Instead, the potential 2012 contender points out that Portman is a role model and not exactly sending the most responsible message to young girls who look up to her. It's not an attack on Portman and it's not a diss on single mothers to point that out.
"Since Huckabee believes women shouldn't even have a choice about abortion, what exactly did he want Portman to do? She's never declared in an interview that it's better to get pregnant before you're married, but apparently she's "glamorizing" the practice simply by continuing to live her movie star life," writes Gawker girl site Jezebel. "Rather than dressing up and attending the Academy Awards, Portman should have sat home on Oscars night crying her eyes out over the horrible shame she's inflicted on her family. Or perhaps she should've taken a cue from "old Hollywood" and gone "on vacation" for a few months, then passed her lovechild off to a family member."
After widespread ridicule for his relatively benign comments, Huckabee issued a clarifying statement Friday:
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."
Shucks. This probably means Huckabee won't get the Hollywood feminist vote if he decides to run in 2012. I'm sure he was counting on it...