Huckabee on the Duggars: 'As far as we know -- 18 out of 19 kids turned out pretty darn well'
Mike Huckabee and admitted child molester Josh Duggar (Twitter)

Putting a bit more distance  between himself and longtime boosters, the Duggar family, struggling GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee said  that, as far as he knew, 18 of the 19 kids have turned out "pretty darn well" -- so far.

Appearing on CNBC with John Harwood, Huckabee was asked if he had any regrets about previously holding the Duggar family up as "a model of everything that was good and decent about family," in light of Josh Duggar's fall from grace.

Duggar has admitted that he molested several of his sisters when he was a teen and conducted multiple adulterous affairs as an adult.

'Well, out of 19 kids, y'know, as far as we know, 18 turned out pretty darn well," a smiling Huckabee said.

"That's a pretty good percentage," he continued, "And I don't think you disparage.." as Harwood cut him off.

"I can just imagine quite a few people who feel disparaged about things you've say about gay rights, gay marriage, and would think 'Heh, hypocrite,'" Harwood pressed.

"Look, I'm not to defend anything of Josh," Huckabee replied. "Nothing to defend. But I don't think you can disparage the entire family because one of the members did some pretty bad things."

"Well, fair enough," Harwood countered. "But maybe the message that some people would draw is: don't disparage anybody."

"I don't think I have disparaged people, John," replied Huckabee who has a long history of criticizing gay couples, President Obama, Democrats, and the courts.

Watch the video below from CNBC: