Democrats treat women as if they are helpless and "cannot control their libido," Mike Huckabee stated Thursday at the Republican National Committee's annual meeting. Democratic and liberal groups took his remarks out of context and accused him of continuing the so-called "war on women."
Republicans are for women, not against them, Huckabee argued, but Democrats insult women by treating them as if they are helpless and cannot control their libido without help from the federal government.
"Our party stands for the recognition of the equality of women and the capacity of women," he said. "That's not a war on them, it's a war for them. If the Democrats want to insult the women of America by making them believe that they are helpless without 'Uncle Sugar' coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control, because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government, then so be it. Let us take that discussion all across America, because women are far more than the Democrats have played them to be."
Two reporters, CNN's Dana Bash and NBC's Kasie Hunt initially posted on their Twitter feed that Huckabee said women are helpless and cannot control their libido before correcting themselves. "Huckabee: Gov't Shouldn't Help Women Who Can't Control Libidos," was the headline for the liberal website, TalkingPointsMemo.com.
While later reports from liberal groups did not make the same mistake as Bash, Hunt and TPM, they misrepresented Huckabee's words in other ways.
While Huckabee's argument was that Democrats treat women as if they cannot control their libido, Planned Parenthood claimed that Huckabee said that Democrats support birth control because women cannot control their libido without help from the federal government.
A reporter read Huckabee's remarks to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, who said he had not heard the speech but he gave his reaction, speaking for the White House and (presumptively) women.
"I haven't seen that report, but whoever said it, it sounds offensive to me, and to women," Carney responded.
Other liberal pundits (see here and here) have sought to tie Huckabee's remarks to genuinely ill-informed or offensive comments about women, such as when Rush Limbaugh called Sandra Fluke a "slut" or when Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) used the phrase "legitimate rape" and suggested that few rapes result in pregnancy.
The Hill reports that some Democratic campaigns are already using Huckabee's remarks in fundraising appeals. Huckabee himself has turned the attacks on him into a fundraising appeal for his Huck PAC.
"Guess what liberals? If you can't stand to look at yourself in the mirror, then get ready for more of this talk, because conservatives are going to continue to fight back against your destructive policies towards women and families," Huckabee posted to his Facebook page.
"If you agree with me," he continued, "and want me to keep calling it like I see it, then I need you to do something urgent. Please give an immediate donation to my political action committee Huck PAC in any amount you can afford."