presidential candidate Mike Huckabee on Tuesday defended his
Christmas ad amid suggestions that the ordained Baptist
minister had gone too far in mixing religion and
The ad -- which
is airing in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina --
shows Huckabee in front of a Christmas tree as he says,
''Are you about worn out by all the television
commercials you've been seeing, mostly about politics?
Well, I don't blame you. At this time of year, sometimes
it's nice to pull aside from all of that and just remember
that what really matters is the celebration of the
birth of Christ and being with our family and
courting evangelical voters and other religious
conservatives in his bid to win the Iowa caucuses
January 3. In Texas for a fund-raiser, he said the ad
was a harmless holiday greeting even though it
excludes other religions.
''If we are so
politically correct in this country that a person can't
say, 'Enough of the nonsense with the political attack ads;
could we pause for a few days and say Merry Christmas
to each other,' then we're really, really in trouble
as a country,'' Huckabee said.
the separation of church and state, the ad has caused a
president Bill Donahue said Huckabee went beyond wishing
people a joyous holiday. Donahue said he was especially
disturbed by the cross-like image created by a white
bookcase in the background of the ad, saying he
believed it was a subliminal message.
trying to say to the evangelicals in western Iowa [is], I'm
the real thing,'' Donahue said Tuesday on Fox News Channel's
Fox and Friends. ''You know what, sell yourself
on your issues, not on what your religion is.''
Huckabee said the
bookshelf is just a bookshelf and shrugged off the
controversy: ''I will confess this: If you play the spot
backward, it says, 'Paul is dead. Paul is dead.'''
He was joking
about the Beatles' recording of The White Album
and the urban legend that if a portion of the album is
played backward, the words ''Paul is dead'' are heard, a
reference to the very much alive Paul McCartney. (Liz
Austin Peterson, AP)