Huckabee Once Claimed Jesus "On the Cross" Was Pro-Death Penalty

News & Politics
This post, written by Amanda Terkel, originally appeared on Think Progress

At Wednesday's CNN/YouTube debate, a questioner asked former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee "what would Jesus do" on the death penalty. He replied:
You know, one of the toughest challenges that I ever faced as a governor was carrying out the death penalty. I did it more than any other governor ever had to do it in my state. As I look on this stage, I'm pretty sure that I'm the only person on this stage that's ever had to actually do it. [...]
Jesus was too smart to ever run for public office, Anderson. That's what Jesus would do.
Huckabee dodged the question that time. But in 1997, Huckabee claimed that Jesus would have agreed with him on supporting the death penalty. Shortly before a triple execution in Arkansas in Jan. 1997, a caller called into Huckabee's show on Arkansas Educational Television Network and asking how he squared his Christian teachings with his support for the death penalty. As the Arkansas Times reported on Jan. 22, 1997:

"Interestingly enough," Huckabee allowed, "if there was ever an occasion for someone to have argued against the death penalty, I think Jesus could have done so on the cross and said, 'This is an unjust punishment and I deserve clemency'."


Jesus, though, did not ask for clemency. Therefore, according to Huckabee's logic, Jesus must have been in favor of capital punishment.

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