Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee argued on Wednesday that he had not been wrong to allow his mailing list to be used to peddle cancer cures based on Bible verses because it was similar to selling legitimate medical equipment.
The New York Times pointed out earlier this year that Huckabee had raised funds pushing dubious diabetes treatments and cancer cures prior to announcing his 2016 presidential run.
On Wednesday, CNN host Jake Tapper asked the candidate if he had lost credibility by attaching his name those types of marketing efforts.
“I never signed that letter,” Huckabee said of the email selling cancer cures. “It’s a huge email list that I developed over many years. And we did, in fact, rent it out to entities.”
“But my gosh, that’s like saying, you run some ads on CNN, do you personally agree with all the ads that run on CNN? I doubt you do,” he continued. “I’m sure there’s some for maybe, I don’t know, catheters or adult diapers, they’re not products you use or you necessarily believe in. I don’t hold you responsible for that.”
Tapper, however, accused the former Fox News host of creating a “false equivalence.”
“We’re talking about medical devices on one hand, catheters and adult diapers, and you’re talking about something I think a lot of people would consider to be hucksterism in terms of Bible verses curing cancer,” Tapper said.
But Huckabee insisted that it was not fair to hold him responsible when “people buy the advertising space.”
“I didn’t actually run that part of my company,” he remarked.
Watch the video below from CNN, broadcast May 6, 2015.