Responding to a Florida Independent report on Florida resident and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s upcoming fundraiser for an anti-abortion group that likens Planned Parenthood’s work to genocide, U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Pembroke Pines, blasts Huckabee for legitimizing such “divisive tactics.”
Likely 2012 GOP presidential hopeful Huckabee’s decision to raise money for Heroic Media has caused surprisingly little controversy. Though known as a staunch abortion foe, Huckabee’s ties to the group could still prove problematic for the would-be head of state.
In December, Heroic Media launched a campaign it labeled “Planned Parenthood Aborts African Americans” and, in an interview, founder Brian Follett said that he felt that Planned Parenthood’s efforts were “almost like” genocide.
Heroic’s campaign consists of billboards placed in low-income neighborhoods proclaiming that “the most dangerous place for an African American is the womb.” Planned Parenthood reps vehemently denied the claims, calling them “untrue” and “reprehensible.” Even state Sen. (and former Republican Party of Florida chair) John Thrasher criticized the group for which he had once acted as a keynote speaker.
Huckabee spoke at the inaugural benefit dinner for Heroic Media’s Chicago branch in 2009. On Feb. 15, he will speak at the group’s Orlando “Evening of Hope,” which is advertised on Heroic’s website as a dinner to raise funds for more “positive, life-affirming television commercials, billboards and Internet in Florida.” Heroic’s events are generally pricey and not open to the press — unless the reporter buys a ticket, proceeds of which go to Heroic.
Calls and emails made to Huckabee’s Political Action Committee (HuckPAC) on his endorsement of Heroic Media went unreturned.
When asked for her thoughts on Huckabee’s support for Heroic Media, Rep. Wasserman Schultz, who made headlines recently with her vocal opposition to a GOP abortion bill, criticized Huckabee for supporting a group known for such “divisive tactics.”
“Incapable of achieving their goals using the truth, this organization seeks to mislead and divide people using emotionally charged images and language,” Wasserman Schultz told The Florida Independent. “At a time when we need to find common ground to move America forward, politicians that legitimize these types of divisive tactics risk being associated with moving America backward.”