The Backstory on My Infamous YouTube Moment
An excerpt from the governor’s new autobiography, Do the Right Thing: Inside the Movement That’s Bringing Common Sense Back to America.
It was hard to call these debates at all. Most were structured so as to feature the host—not the candidates. I publicly said that they were more like a game show than a true debate. Even worse, the questions were sometimes ludicrous. An example is that in the very first debate, host Chris Matthews asked for a show of hands of who didn’t believe in evolution. It was a ridiculous question, given that no president in American history has ever written the text of an eighth-grade science text book and has no role in such things. In addition, a show of hands didn’t allow us to give any additional information or elaboration—nor even clarification as to whether the question pertained to macroevolution…or microevolution. Later, I would get the same question in a different way: Wolf Blitzer asked me during a June 2007 debate on the campus of the Saint Alselm College in New Hampshire if I believed in evolution.
It was a ridiculous question, given that no president in American history has ever written the text of an eighth-grade science text book and has no role in such things.
Of all the political talking heads, Wolf is one of my personal favorites. He’s been fair to me and respectful, and was willing to have me on his show when others were ignoring me. In addition, he does what some won’t—he actually lets his guest give an answer without interrupting to argue. So while I felt he was doing his job by asking me a question that had liberal bloggers lighting up the Internet since the MSNBC debate in the “raise your hand” moment, I was more than a bit frustrated that after all the months on the campaign trail talking about energy independence, health care, education, national security, the FairTax, and loss of jobs, I was expected to use what precious little time I had during the debate to answer a totally irrelevant question that had absolutely nothing to do with being president. Maybe I had some pent-up frustration for having been pushed to the sidelines waiting for an opportunity to speak when he asked, but when asked, I told him I didn’t think it had anything to do with being president and then he pushed even harder and said, ‘Well, do you believe in evolution?’
The answer that exploded out of my mouth for the next ninety seconds would end up having over a million hits at video-sharing Web sites and then was e-mailed to hundreds of thousands of people across the nation and shown in churches in Sunday morning services.
From the book Do The Right Thing: Inside the Movement That’s Bringing Common Sense Back to America, by Mike Huckabee by arrangement with Sentinel, a member of Penguin Group (USA), Inc., Copyright (c) Mike Huckabee, 2008.