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GOP Rival Isn't Laughing at Mike Huckabee's Unrepentant Trans Fantasy

GOP Rival Isn't Laughing at Mike Huckabee's Unrepentant Trans Fantasy


Mike Huckabee reportedly has gotten a lot more mileage from that 'joke' about wishing he were trans as a teenager, but one rival suggests his 'mocking' is out of line.

A new report reveals that Mike Huckabee's February "joke," in which he sarcastically laments that he wishes he could have pretended he were transgender when he was a teenager (so he could then shower with girls in his high school) is a familiar bit for the former preacher and presidential candidate.

BuzzFeedfound at least two earlier examples of the former Arkansas governor rolling out that punchline for easy yuks. And Huckabee tells the website's Andrew Kaczynski "the only ones who seem to be stirred up about it" is the media.

"Nobody ever asks me about it," said Huckabee. "What people talk to me about is not some speech I made four months ago. And it's not some cultural issue. People talk to me about the loss of their job. They talk to me about the threats to this country and that's what I'm focused. It's why I'm running for president, it's not to entertain the mass with comments on the culture news of the day."

According to BuzzFeed, Huckabee twice joked about teenage boys pretending to be transgender to go shower with the girls in 2013: on his Fox News television show and during the Family Research Council's 2013 Value Voters Summit.

Both times Huckabee made the comments, he was reacting to the 2013 California School Success and Opportunity Act, which allows transgender students in public schools across the state to use school facilities and participate in activities that correspond with their gender identity.

Video of Huckabee repeating that joke in February at the 2015 National Religious Broadcasters Convention in Nashville was unearthed this week.

But Huckabee's assertion that media members are the only ones talking about his "joke" simply isn't true. Asked to comment on CNN about Huckabee's remarks, GOP candidate George Pataki, the only announced Republican candidate for president who supports marriage equality, said everyone should be showing respect for people who make the decision to transition, not mockery.

"We should give people their dignity and let them make their own decisions," said Pataki to CNN's Wolf Blitzer. Mediaite reported that Pataki acknowledged Huckabee's comments were clearly in jest, but did go on to say:

"People often make decisions that I don't agree with, but in a government where it's supposed to be of the people, if someone chooses the path that's different from mine, we should respect that as opposed to mocking it."

Later, Pataki tweeted those same sentiments, and tagged Caitlyn Jenner's Twitter handle in his tweet, essentially showing support for her transition:

You can watch Pataki respond to Huckabee's mockery of transgender teens below in a clip from CNN, and also watch the 2013 examples of Huckabee's jokes, in clips posted by BuzzFeedhere.

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