Updated at 3:42 pm EST
Mike Huckabee was trying to argue that Democrats have narrowcast women as only caring about issues related to birth control as he spoke today to members of the Republican National Committee in Washington.
It ended up as perhaps not his cleanest act of political communication.
“If the Democrats want to insult the women of America, 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 the government, then so be it,” Huckabee said. “Let us take that discussion all across America because women are far more than the Democrats would play them to be.”
The former governor of Arkansas and Baptist minister who sought the Republican nomination for president in 2008 said Democrats are falsely claiming that Republicans are at war with their gender.
“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,” he said.
Huckabee, who has found fame and fortune as a Fox News host, is considering another run for president in 2016. At the White House, spokesman Jay Carney was asked to comment on Huckabee’s libido remark.
“I hadn’t seen that report,” Carney said, “but whoever said it, it sounds offensive to me, and to women.”
The Republican Party came out of the 2012 elections with the worst gender gap in a presidential contest since Gallup started tracking this — President Barack Obama won by 12 percentage points among women, Republican Mitt Romney by 8 points among men. Comments about “legitimate rape” and similar remarks helped derail the campaigns of two Republican candidates for Senate.
With an even starker loss among Hispanic voters, the party has embarked on a rebranding aimed at appealing to a broader constituency.
“Mike Huckabee has no idea what he’s talking about,” Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz said today. “If this is the GOP rebrand a year later then all they’ve gotten is a year older.”