January 18, 2008 in Nation/World

Huckabee opposes federal flag laws

The Spokesman-Review
 

Republican Mike Huckabee said the government should stay out of disputes over the Confederate flag in South Carolina.

“You don’t like people from outside the state coming in and telling you what to do with your flag,” Huckabee, a former Arkansas governor, told supporters Thursday in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

“In fact, if somebody came to Arkansas and told us what to do with our flag, we’d tell ‘em what to do with the pole, that’s what we’d do,” Huckabee said.

Arkansas’ flag includes four stars surrounding the word “Arkansas” – one above it and three below it. The one above stands for the Confederacy, according to the state code.

He would not say whether he considers it offensive to fly the flag, a symbol of racism to some and Southern pride to others, saying only that the matter should be up to the states.

Washington

Chris Matthews regrets remarks

Under pressure from feminist groups and his own bosses at MSNBC, Chris Matthews apologized Thursday for remarks about Hillary Clinton that he now admits sounded “nasty.”

For 10 days, the “Hardball” host had doggedly insisted he was just reciting a bit of history when he said on the air that “the reason she’s a U.S. senator, the reason she’s a candidate for president, the reason she may be a front-runner is her husband messed around.”

But protests against those and other remarks by Matthews reached a peak Thursday when the presidents of such groups as the National Organization for Women, Feminist Majority and National Women’s Political Caucus sent a joint letter of complaint to NBC News President Steve Capus.

On Thursday night’s program, Matthews defended the substance of his remarks that Clinton’s political career in New York was launched because of public sympathy stemming from her husband’s much-investigated affair with Monica Lewinsky. But, he said, “was it fair to imply that Hillary’s whole career depended on being a victim of an unfaithful husband? No. And that’s what it sounded like I was saying.”

Washington

Vermont’s Leahy endorses Obama

Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, endorsed presidential candidate Barack Obama on Thursday.

“We need a president who can reintroduce America to the world and actually reintroduce America to ourselves,” Leahy, D-Vt., said in a conference call with reporters. “I believe Barack Obama is the best person to do that.”

Leahy’s endorsement gives Obama eight among Democratic senators, compared with 11 for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. Many Democratic senators have held off on public endorsements in the presidential race, in part because there were at one time four Democratic senators and a former one in the race.

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