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Mike Huckabee condemns Natalie Portman for 'glamourising' single motherhood

Date

Alex Spillius

Expecting their first child ... Natalie Portman and Benjamin Millepied.

Expecting their first child ... Natalie Portman and Benjamin Millepied. Photo: Getty Images

Mike Huckabee, a likely Republican contender for the 2012 nomination, has condemned Oscar winner Natalie Portman for "glamourising" single motherhood with an "out of wedlock" pregnancy.

In remarks that could backfire on his presidential hopes, the former Arkansas governor criticised the 29-year-old actress even though she is engaged to her fiance, ballet dancer Benjamin Millepied.

When collecting her best actress award for Black Swan, Miss Portman thanked Mr Millepied for "the most wonderful gift" that was preparing her for "her most important role".

Outspoken ... Mike Huckabee.

Outspoken ... Mike Huckabee. Photo: AP

Mr Huckabee, who came second to John McCain in the Republican primary in 2008, insisted on a conservative talk radio show that Miss Portman was setting a bad example.

"There aren't really a lot of single mums out there who are making millions of dollars every year for being in a movie," he said.

"Most single moms are very poor, uneducated, can't get a job, and if it weren't for government assistance, their kids would be starving to death and never have health care. And that's the story that we're not seeing, and it's unfortunate that we glorify and glamourise the idea of out-of-children wedlock."

Some Republicans have advised against stressing "social issues" such as gay marriage, single parenting and abortion in the forthcoming campaign, believing that they alienate floating voters who are overwhelmingly concerned about the poor state of the economy.

It was the second time during the week that Mr Huckabee, who is on a tour to promote a new book, sparked controversy. Earlier, he erroneously suggested that President Barack Obama was raised in Kenya, by way of explaining what he called the President's anti-Western views. Mr Obama spent part of his childhood in Indonesia.

His comments revived memories of remarks by then vice-president Dan Quayle in the 1992 presidential campaign in which he condemned Murphy Brown, a character in a TV sitcom, for deciding to raise a child without the father.

The Daily Telegraph, London

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140 comments

  • This would have been awesome if Natalie Portman had played a role in the movie I Heart Huckabees!

    Commenter
    BrooHaahaa
    Date and time
    March 07, 2011, 11:34AM
    • Oh Ward! Go back to your chair and put your feet up while Mrs Cleaver makes dinner.

      Commenter
      Harrigriff
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      March 07, 2011, 11:36AM
      • what is "out-of-children wedlock" exactly?

        Commenter
        RF
        Location
        Sydney
        Date and time
        March 07, 2011, 11:41AM
        • Go Natalie! Let those crazy neo-cons enjoy crazy-town and you go on being awesome. Single parents unite!

          Commenter
          TheAntiBolt
          Location
          Menzies House
          Date and time
          March 07, 2011, 11:42AM
          • Oh no, she's having a child and she's not married. Western civilisation is crumbling all around us...

            Commenter
            Brendan
            Location
            Melbourne
            Date and time
            March 07, 2011, 11:43AM
            • I guess it's around that time when the usual presidential wannabes start coming out of the woodwork. Hey, Mike, where were you during Bristol Palin's pregnancy? And what was on those 90+ hard drives you ordered destroyed when you left the governor's office? Hmmmm.

              Commenter
              Gabrielle
              Location
              Melbourne
              Date and time
              March 07, 2011, 11:43AM
              • Single? My understanding of single is clearly different to his, she has a partner, that no longer makes her single.
                As for a poor role model, she's at the top of chosen profession, a real disgrace.
                But the comment gets publicity, so well done.

                Commenter
                Leo
                Location
                Priest Gully
                Date and time
                March 07, 2011, 11:45AM
                • And of course none of these none of these single mothers are a result of poor sex education. Where abstinence is the primary form of birth control taught in Arkansas high schools. When are the christian right going to realize they are part of the problem and not the solution. BTW I didn't see him mention Sarah Pallin's daughter.

                  Commenter
                  Ben
                  Location
                  Melbourne
                  Date and time
                  March 07, 2011, 11:45AM
                  • Huckabee is appealing to the same demographic (conservatives) who voted for Bush, so it may work - at least he stands for something unlike people such as Kevin Rudd! In my opinion though, she's not single - she's in a long-term relationship and engaged to be married.

                    Commenter
                    Ben
                    Location
                    Sydney
                    Date and time
                    March 07, 2011, 11:46AM
                    • Wow, and here I thought prejudice was a sin. Mr Huckabee, for a Christian you sure don't act like your Christ.

                      Commenter
                      poiuytrewqlkjhgfdsamnbvcxz
                      Date and time
                      March 07, 2011, 11:50AM

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