The key to beating female candidates is treating women like a “special treasure,” according to Fox News host and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.
In interviews published on Tuesday, the potential GOP presidential candidate said his experience running against female candidates gave him an edge in 2016 if Hillary Clinton happened to be his opponent.
“I certainly know the Clintons; I know Hillary. I’ve had two races against female opponents. I do understand the difference in the dynamics that that brings,” Huckabee told the Washington Times.
He explained those dynamics in another interview with The New Republic.
“I’ve twice run against women opponents, and it’s a very different kind of approach,” Huckabee explained. “For those of us who have some chivalry left, there’s a level of respect. … You treat some things as a special treasure; you treat other things as common.”
A male opponent is “common,” but a female opponent requires “a sense of pedestal,” he added.
In a statement to Salon, Huckabee defended his comments. He said women were equal to men, but not the same as men, and therefore should receive different treatment.
“I was raised to treat women with respect,” Huckabee told Salon. “I still will invite a lady to go first, will open a door for her, and will place her in the center of the photograph. And yes, I would seek to treat a female opponent with the same respect I give to all women, even though we may disagree on the issues.”
Huckabee told the Washington Times decide on a presidential run after the 2014 midterm elections.