Mike Huckabee
Mike Huckabee Makes Republican Prime Time, Not Rick Santorum

By Lucas Grindley

Originally published on Advocate.com August 27 2012 4:09 PM ET

Normally relegated to weekends on Fox News Channel, Mike Huckabee and his antigay views will hit prime time during the Republican National Convention.

Though Huckabee hasn't said what he'll be talking about, the inventor of Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day will be the RNC lineup's most prominent representative for the party's social conservative wing. He speaks on Wednesday, the second night of the convention, just before former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice takes the stage at 10 p.m. Eastern.

With Monday's schedule canceled due to fears that a hurricane could hit Tampa or elsewhere in Florida, the newly reshuffled agenda reported by CNN puts former senator Rick Santorum on the first night just outside of prime time, sometime before 8 p.m. Eastern, when New Hampshire senator Kelly Ayotte takes the stage.

Huckabee is enjoying a resurgence in his public profile after convincing thousands of people to go to Chick-fil-A to support the homophobic beliefs of its president, Dan Cathy. The fast-food chain's president called marriage equality "twisted" and the company has donated approximately $5 million to antigay causes, including those that attempt to turn people from gay to straight.

Huckabee of late has stepped into debates about the most hot-button of issues. He defended the Boy Scouts of America, for example, from calls that it allow openly gay troops and leaders by suggesting pedophilia concerns were somehow connected.

He is also the rare defender of Rep. Todd Akin, a candidate for U.S. Senate from Missouri whom party leaders have called on to quit the race after an ill-informed comment about rape.

The former Arkansas governor and failed presidential candidate also used his radio show to react to a shooting at the Family Research Council, joining in casting blame on the Southern Poverty Law Center for labeling FRC a "hate group."

He said in a statement afterward: "If people of faith can find the self-restraint not to blame their critics for their follower’s evil actions, is it too much to ask those on the other side to stop poisoning public discourse by falsely accusing religious people of evil motives, like hate and intolerance, just because they hold a differing view on a single issue?"