Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee released a statement Friday, attempting to explain comments he made earlier this week about Oscar-winning actress Natalie Portman "glamorizing" unwed pregnancy. According to Huckabee, the much-reported and largely criticized comments didn't constitute an "attack" or a "slam."
"In a recent media interview about my new book, A Simple Government, I discussed the first chapter, 'The Most Important Form of Government Is a Father, Mother, and Children,' " Huckabee said in the statement, according to Politico, referring to comments made in a radio interview Monday.
Huckabee then claimed that the controversial remarks that followed were made in response to a question about the pregnancy of Portman, who he called "extraordinary actor, very deserving of her recent Oscar." The potential 2012 Republican presidential candidate explained that he was "glad" Portman was planning to marry Benjamin Millepied, the father of her child, and that his comments weren't meant to be deprecating.
"However, contrary to what the Hollywood media reported, I did not 'slam' or 'attack' Natalie Portman, nor did I criticize the hardworking single mothers in our country," he said. "My comments were about the statistical reality that most single moms are very poor, under-educated, can't get a job, and if it weren't for government assistance, their kids would be starving to death. That's the story that we're not seeing, and it's unfortunate that society often glorifies and glamorizes the idea of having children out of wedlock."
During his interview Monday, Huckabee used Portman's situation to make a larger social commentary about single mothers.
"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 glamorize the idea of out of children wedlock," he said. "You know, right now, 75 percent of black kids in this country are born out of wedlock. 61 percent of Hispanic kids -- across the board, 41 percent of all live births in America are out of wedlock births. And the cost of that is simply staggering."
The comments came amidst what many have considered a bad week for the presidential aspirant. Apart from recent remarks questioning Obama's childhood, the former governor also drew fire last month for comparing abortion to slavery.