Former Arkansas governor and potential 2016 presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee blamed “militant activist groups” for A&E’s decision to suspend Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson last week.
Robertson was suspended from the popular cable reality show after anti-gay comments he made during a recent interview with GQ magazine prompted widespread outrage.
Huckabee defended Robertson’s remarks as “traditional” on Fox News Sunday.
“I think it has come to a point in our culture where political correctness has made it so if you want to take a point of view that is traditional, that holds to steadfast, old fashioned, biblical Christian values… then somehow you’re supposed to just shut up and keep that to yourself,” he said.
Huckabee, who already came out in support of Robertson with Facebook event that topped 100,000 supporters in the first day, also accused activist groups of “bullying” Americans who express traditional beliefs.
“There’s a new level of bullying on the part of these militant activist groups, who if anyone says something that holds to the same position that Barack Obama held in 2008 when he… made it very clear that he opposed same-sex marriage and he said he did so because he was a Christian and because of his biblical views,” he said.
On Wednesday, the network suspended Robertson, stating his “personal views in no way reflect those of A&E Networks, who have always been strong supporters and champions of the LGBT community.”
Along with comparing homosexuality to bestiality, Robertson also argued that the black community was happy, pre-civil rights.
The Duck Dynasty controversy has become a heated, partisan issue over the last week, with conservatives from Lousiana Gov. Bobby Jindal to Sarah Palin speaking out in support for Robertson’s freedom of speech. In addition, members of the controversial Westboro Baptist Church announced they will picket A&E in February.