Huckabee Wanted to Isolate AIDS Patients – in 1992

The story from Yahoo! News:

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Mike Huckabee once advocated isolating AIDS patients from the general public, opposed increased federal funding in the search for a cure and said homosexuality could “pose a dangerous public health risk.”

As a candidate for a U.S. Senate seat in 1992, Huckabee answered 229 questions submitted to him by The Associated Press. Besides a quarantine, Huckabee suggested that Hollywood celebrities fund AIDS research from their own pockets, rather than federal health agencies.

Huckabee said Saturday that his comments came at a time when the public was still learning about HIV and AIDS and promised to do “everything possible to transform the promise of a vaccine and a cure into reality.”

The opposition research must really be working on overtime digging up dirt on Huckabee. Although, this issue doesn’t seem to be all that important. Huckabee had a decent explanation:

Huckabee said in a prepared statement released by his campaign Saturday afternoon that he called for quarantine when there was a lot of confusion about how AIDS is spread. He said he wanted at the time to follow traditional medical practices used for dealing with tuberculosis and other infectious diseases.

“We now know that the virus that causes AIDS is spread differently, with a lower level of contact than with TB,” Huckabee said. “But looking back almost 20 years, my concern was the uncertain risk to the general population — if we got it wrong, many people would die needlessly. My concern was safety first, political correctness last.”

He’s right, isolating dangerous diseases used to be standard operating procedure and the only way to prevent it from spreading and killing millions of people. A reaction to AIDS wouldn’t have been any different at the time. Now we’re too politically correct to even suggest a disease should be quarantined.

I really don’t think this is even news other than a good headline. It would be different if they added in the fact that is was 1992 in the headline like I did. This wasn’t recent policy or a statement from last week, it’s not going to mean much.

Update

Apparently Huckabee was none too keen on homosexuality in the 90s.

Story from The Politico:

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, surging in Iowa polls in the Republican presidential race, wrote on a questionnaire while running for U.S. Senate in 1992 that homosexuality is “aberrant” and “sinful.”

“I feel homosexuality is an aberrant, unnatural, and sinful lifestyle, and we now know it can pose a dangerous public health risk,” Huckabee wrote in the questionnaire for The Associated Press, which reported the answer on Saturday.

This shouldn’t be that shocking either. Let’s remember, he’s a Southern Baptist evangelical pastor. I say that meaning if he is speaking from a moral position, it’s not surprising he would say this about homosexuality.

I’m sure it will rub some voters the wrong way, mostly liberal voters who wouldn’t be voting for him anyway. But then, the Log Cabin Republicans probably won’t fancy him too much either.

  • Michael Jerryson

    I don’t know Nate. Speaking as a liberal voter, not a political analyst, I was leaning toward Huckabee. If it were a Clinton v. Huckabee race I would have gone Huckabee. This, even though he is pro-life and pro capital punishment, two views I strongly oppose.

    This latest news on gays creates an even larger chasm for me to feel ok in jumping over. After hearing these views, I am now back to ‘undecided’ if it were the Clinton-Huckabee scenario.

  • Well then perhaps it will have more of an impact than I thought. Then again though, you were ok with the rest of his views even though they probably didn’t line up with your own?

  • Michael Jerryson

    What I believe, and again, this is now an individualized response, is that our country has headed in a direction where we need to wake up and pay attention. Pay attention to the changes in the media, in the economic fluctuations, and most importantly in our politics.

    So I decided, after what I deem a completely dismal appointment and service from our current President, we as citizens need to start assessing candidates first and foremost on the basis of intellectual and emotional capacity, before evaluating a candidates individual ‘moral’ or ‘political’ platforms. We need to start asking if someone is capable of serving the office of the president, before evaluating if their views match our own.

    This is what allowed me to start investigating conservative candidates to a greater extent than ever before. I saw promise in Huckabee, McCain and even in Thompson (though that is now fleeting).

    I still feel that we must view capacity before individual platforms. However, it is not absolute contrast. If a candidate has an excellent capacity to lead our nation, but has almost no shared values with me, I will be more inclined to vote for one who has a decent capacity to lead our nation, and has many shared values with me.

    At some point the scale tips…and in this case, it tipped for me.

  • That’s a very open minded way of assessing a candidate because most people will not even consider voting outside party lines.