Catholic League president slams Huckabee for 'subliminal' cross ad
David Edwards and Jason Rhyne
Published: Tuesday December 18, 2007 |
Print This  Email This

GOP presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee's new Christmas-themed campaign ad -- which may or may not feature a subliminal cross image -- has found an unlikely critic in Catholic League president Bill Donahue.

The opening seconds of Hucakabee's Christmas spot features the candidate seated in front of a window pane which appears to form the shape of the Christian cross. Speaking in the ad, the former Arkansas governor tells viewers that "sometimes it's nice to pull aside" from politics and "remember that what really matters is the celebration of the birth of Christ and being with our family and our friends."

Donahue, the president of the Catholic League and an ardent defender of Christmas in what he believes is a secular "war" against the holiday, told hosts of the Fox and Friends morning program that the ad had gone too far.

"The whole idea is to give the appearance of a cross," he said, "and this is just injecting religion into politics even too far for guys like me."

Asked if the ad was "too much," Donahue said it was.

"Because there's a pattern here," he added. "Every other word out of [Huckabee's] mouth is that 'I'm Christian.' He's calling into question Romney's Mormonism...let people talk about there faith, but don't sell it on your sleeve."

Added Donahue, "Yeah, I believe in freedom of speech and freedom of religion, but don't become a salesman. Don't hawk it like that on the street."

The Catholic League president suggested that Huckabee was relying on his faith too heavily as a campaign tactic.

"If it was just the Christmas ad, I wouldn't have one complaint about it," he said. "But when you juxtapose that with all these other kinds of things, there's a subliminal message there, and it's all done intentionally...what he's trying to say to the evangelicals in Western Iowa is 'I'm the real thing.'"

"You know what?" concluded Donahue. "Sell yourself on your issues, not on what your religion is."

This video is from Fox's Fox & Friends, broadcast on December 18, 2007.