Mike Huckabee and Glenn Beck Battle Over 'Progressive' Slur

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Players: Glenn Beck; Mike Huckabee

Opening Serve: On his radio show this week, Glenn Beck called former governor of Arkansas and his Fox News colleague a "progressive," a term he has, in the past, compared to cancer and Nazis. "He's a progressive. Look at his record, he's a progressive," Beck told his radio audience. "I think Mike Huckabee is a guy who's had Michelle Obama on and said 'you know what? I think your fat kid programs, they are great."

Return Volley: Huckabee issued a response to Beck's accusations on his PAC's website yesterday. He insists:

"I’m no fan of her husband’s policies for sure, but I have appreciated her efforts that Beck misrepresented—either out of ignorance or out of a deliberate attempt to distort them to create yet another “boogey man” hiding in the closet that he and only he can see. The First Lady’s approach is about personal responsibility—not the government literally taking candy from a baby’s mouth. He seems to fancy himself a prophet of sorts for his linking so many people and events together to describe a massive global conspiracy for pretty much everything.... Why Beck has decided to aim his overloaded guns on me is beyond me. But he ought to clean his gun and point it more carefully lest it blow up in his face like it did this time."

On Friday, the spat continued with Beck making fun of Huckabee for getting so upset, suggesting it was a good reason for him to stay out of the 2012 presidential race. "If, sir, you are this thin-skinned about your politics," he said on his radio show, "it might be best for you to stay on the sidelines."

What They Say the Fight's About: Beck proposes that anyone who agrees with an idea promoted by the Obama's, or Democrats in general, is automatically a "progressive." Huckabee argues that the First Lady's anti-obesity campaign makes sense for combating the health risks of childhood obesity and the health care expenses they incur.

What the Fight's Really About: Beck's habit of inaccurately connoting words, such as "progressive." Naturally, "progressive" is not a desirable adjective for someone aiming at a Republican presidential bid, but Beck's attitude toward the word "progressive" as interchangeable with "cancer" and "Nazi" makes the insult much more extreme.

Who's Winning Now: Huckabee wins for nailing Beck's ridiculousness in his statement by saying, "What did I do that apparently caused him to link me to a fatal disease and a form of government that murdered millions of innocent Jews? I had the audacity—not of hope—but the audacity to give respect to the efforts of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign to address childhood obesity." A Twitter search of the spat shows several signs of support for Huck, alongside numerous acknowledgments that this is just Beck being Beck.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.