Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) said that the government shouldn’t help women who can’t control their “libido or their reproductive system” by providing co-pay-free birth control and that Democrats are encouraging women to be “victims of their gender.”
Huckabee made the comments during a speech at the Republican National Committee’s winter meeting on Thursday.
“If the Democrats want to insult the women of America by making them believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of government then so be it! Let us take that discussion all across America because women are far more than the Democrats have played them to be,” Huckabee said.
Huckabee argued that Democrats “think that women are nothing more than helpless and hopeless creatures whose only goal in life is to have the government provide for them birth control medication.”
Huckabee also argued that his party is not waging a war on women.
“The fact is the Republicans don’t have a war on women, they have a war for women, to empower them to be something other than victims of their gender,” Huckabee said.
White House press secretary Jay Carney was asked about Huckabee’s comments shortly after he made them.
“I haven’t seen that report, but whoever said it sounds offensive to me and to women,” Carney said.
Slate political reporter Dave Weigel pointed out that Huckabee had actually made similar comments recently.
“The ridiculous claim that a pro-life position is a “war on women” is an insult to the millions of women who make extraordinary sacrifices for their children,” Huckabee said on the most recent episode of his Sunday show. “For Democrats to reduce women to beggars for cheap government funded birth control is demeaning to the women that I know who are far more complicated than their libido and the management of their reproductive system.”
Huckabee has made other, similar comments in the past. He’s argued that “wives graciously submit to their husband’s sacrificial leadership” and supported then-Rep. Todd Akin’s (R-MO) “legitimate rape” comments.
It’s been a banner week for former Republican governors. A few days earlier former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) defended himself against criticism for referring to Hoboken, N.J. Mayor Dawn Zimmer (D) as a “lady mayor” in responding to accusations of intimidation by Zimmer toward New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) administration.
This post was updated.