Mike Huckabee opted to lie his way out of a Fox News interview when cornered about his attack on President Obama's nominee to head the Army.
Saturday afternoon Mike Huckabee issued a disgraceful attack on President Barack Obama, and Eric Fanning – the man the Commander-in-Chief had just nominated to be the next Secretary of the Army – and the LGBT community.
"It's clear President Obama is more interested in appeasing America's homosexuals than honoring America's heroes," Huckabee said, adding that President "Obama is so obsessed with pandering to liberal interest groups he's nominated an openly gay civilian to run the Army. Homosexuality is not a job qualification."
Thousands of his 1.8 million supporters on Facebook weighed in, most of them attacking the President for putting a gay man in charge of the Army, and a civilian to boot – despite the fact that it is a civilian position and the man Fanning is replacing is a Republican who never served in the military.
Huckabee so ginned up his base a good number of them called for the President to be tried for treason, with at least one demanding Obama be removed from office "by any means necessary."
What the former Arkansas governor opted to leave out of his Facebook rant is that Fanning is by far the most-qualified man for the job, and is supported by the Secretary of Defense to take that role.
On Fox News Business Monday morning, Huckabee was actually challenged on his attack, with host Sandra Smith even pointing to a Washington Post piece praising Fanning's qualifications.
"Is there any indication from the White House that they nominated him for any reason other than his qualifications?," Smith asked.
Standing by his Facebook rant, Huckabee responded by asking why the White House was "making such a big deal and talking about" Fanning's sexual orientation.
"What difference does it make?," Huckabee, riled up, asked, before launching into a defensive tirade.
"I had people who were gay who worked on my staff, who have served in my administration when I was governor. I never went around saying, ‘Hey, I’ve got some homosexuals that are working for me.’ What’s the point? If they’re qualified, hire them. But hire them on the basis of qualification," Huckabee said, ignoring that that's exactly what the President did.
"My point is," the GOP residential candidate stumbling in the polls continued, "that a person’s sexual orientation is not a qualification, and I just think this president is so into symbolism, so into trying to prove to everybody that he’s this open-minded guy, maybe he’s trying to make up for the fact that until, gosh, what, just three years ago, he still took the position that many of us do, and that is that marriage, for example, is a biblical issue, and it is between a man and a woman. He had this sudden revelation that it is not that way anymore. And I just feel like that the president has made this such an agenda, and the agenda for the military is to focus on the best qualified people, because we’re talking about life and death issues. And if he thinks Eric Fanning is the best for the job, nominate him, but leave his sexual orientation out of it."
Smith responded that Fanning "is widely seen as very qualified for the job."
And in fact, at no point could NCRM find the White House saying anything about Fanning's sexual orientation during or since the announcement – with one possible exception: on Saturday morning the White House posted to Facebook a link to a New York Times article. That article link reads, "Obama Names First Openly Gay Secretary of the Army."
At no other point did the White House "make such a big deal" about Fanning's sexual orientation – or actually even mention it at all.
Here's the Obama administration's announcement on Fanning's nomination:
Eric K. Fanning, Nominee for Secretary of the Army, Department of Defense
Eric K. Fanning has served as Acting Under Secretary of the Army since June 2015. He has served as Special Assistant to Secretary of Defense Ash Carter since March 2015, including as Chief of Staff to the Secretary from March to June 2015. From 2013 to 2015, Mr. Fanning served as Under Secretary of the Air Force and as Acting Secretary of the Air Force in 2013. Mr. Fanning previously served as a Deputy Under Secretary of the Navy from 2009 to 2013. Prior to joining the Administration, he was Deputy Director of the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism. Mr. Fanning worked for Business Executives for National Security (BENS), first as the Washington Regional Director in 2001 and then as Senior Vice President for Strategic Development from 2001 to 2007. Prior to joining BENS, Mr. Fanning held a number of positions, including Senior Associate at Robinson, Lerer & Montgomery in New York and Associate Producer at CBS News. He began his career in public service serving as an Associate Director of Political Affairs at The White House in 1996, Special Assistant in the Office of the Secretary of Defense from 1993 to 1996, and as a Research Assistant for the Committee on Armed Services in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1991 to 1993. Mr. Fanning received a B.A. from Dartmouth College.
The media of course noted that Fanning would be the first openly gay Secretary of the Army, because that's news. But the White House, except for a link to a New York Times article on Facebook, said not one word.
Huckabee is the one who made the biggest deal, and the most news about it.
Image: Screenshot via Fox News Business