Mike Huckabee, stop bashing Beyonce

Story highlights

  • Mike Huckabee is rumored to be interested in running for president in 2016
  • So why is he criticizing President Obama's parenting style, Beyonce and Jay Z?

Ruben Navarrette is a CNN contributor and a nationally syndicated columnist with the Washington Post Writers Group. Follow him on Twitter: @rubennavarrette. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

San Diego (CNN)As parents, we want to be careful to protect our children from the wrong influences. Just because someone is famous and has a following among a certain segment of society doesn't mean they're a good role model for youth. One group in particular comes to mind. They're essentially minimally talented narcissists who are starved for public attention, and they will say and do shocking and inappropriate things to get it. Truth be known, many of them are not the best people in the world.

I speak, of course, of politicians — and, in particular, of Mike Huckabee.
Ruben Navarrette
The former Arkansas governor and GOP presidential candidate is rumored to be interested — along with about 14 other Republican hopefuls — in making a White House bid in 2016.
    It will be a long, hard slog for Huckabee, a second-tier candidate, who — if he enters the race — is likely to find himself battling former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas for the votes of evangelical Christians.
    Republicans believe that President Obama is in over his head, and they want to restore adult supervision to the White House. Huckabee, who until recently hosted a cable television show, has a juvenile habit of shooting from the lip with commentary that is unplugged and unfiltered.
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    In the process of making the press rounds for his new book, "God, Guns, Grits and Gravy," Huckabee has already said a few things — about the first family and pop star Beyonce Knowles — that are hostile, hurtful, hateful and harmful. In fact, in a recent interview for People magazine, he didn't just step on one minefield but a whole lot of them.
    Concerning the Obamas, Huckabee is shocked that the President and first lady Michelle Obama allow their daughters, Malia and Sasha, to be part of Beyonce's fan base. As an ordained Baptist minister, Huckabee doesn't approve of some of the performer's songs and on-stage behavior.
    Politician. Talk show host. Minister. And now, music critic. Huckabee does get around. The Republican sees a conflict between how conscientious the Obamas are about most things concerning their daughters, and this one area where the girls have the freedom to idolize one of their favorite entertainers.
    "I don't understand how on one hand they can be such doting parents and so careful about the intake of everything — how much broccoli they eat and where they go to school, and making sure they're kind of sheltered and shielded from so many things," Huckabee told the magazine. "And yet they don't see anything that might not be suitable for either a preteen or a teen in some of the lyrical content and choreography of Beyonce."
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    Huckabee was just getting warmed up. His next target: Jay Z, music mogul and Beyonce's husband. About Jay Z, Huckabee wonders: "Does it occur to him that he is arguably crossing the line from husband to pimp by exploiting his wife as a sex object?"
    No. He did not just go there. What a tin ear. For someone who communicates for a living, you would think that Huckabee would know enough to avoid taking one of the most successful African-American businessmen in the country and comparing him to — of all things — a pimp. Really?
    While Republicans like Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky talk about the importance of reaching out to African-Americans, Huckabee may have reached a new low in terms of offending them.
    So where did Huckabee go wrong? First, if you have a problem with the President, take it to him but leave his kids out of it. Second, if you want to come across to the rest of America as a serious candidate, try talking about serious things and avoid these Dan Quayle-Murphy Brown moments where you try to score points off something in popular culture. Third, if you don't see the problem with comparing a prominent and successful African-American businessman with a pimp, you had better check your common sense tank but you're running low. Fourth, leave the music reviews to the professionals, and, the next time you decide to attack a performer, try choosing an outlier and not someone so embedded in the mainstream that she has sold more than 75 million records — just as a solo artist. And fifth, you can critique the other side's policies all day long but you should really skip the parenting advice since it's one thing to accuse someone of being a bad president, and quite another to say they're a bad parent.
    You just don't go there. Even in the brass-knuckled world of politics, there are rules to be followed and lines that should not be crossed.
    Huckabee crossed one. For that, he ought to be ashamed. And he ought to be apologetic. Then he ought to be quiet.