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Video: Mike Huckabee hits fellow conservatives for criticizing Michelle Obama

Mike Huckabee, Fox News Channel program host and potential Republican presidential candidate, says fellow conservatives have criticized Michelle Obama 'unfairly' for her anti-obesity program.

By Dave CookStaff writer / February 23, 2011

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee spoke at a Monitor Luncheon at the St. Regis Hotel in Washington DC on February 23.

Michael Bonfigli / Special to the Christian Science Monitor

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Washington

Mike Huckabee, Fox News Channel program host and potential Republican presidential candidate, says fellow conservatives have "unfairly" criticized first lady Michelle Obama for her anti-obesity program, acting out of political reflex “rather than out of a thoughtful expression.”

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At a Monitor-sponsored meeting with reporters in Washington on Wednesday, the former Arkansas governor said Mrs. Obama’s anti-obesity campaign, called Let’s Move, attracted conservatives' scorn in part “because she is the one presenting it. And that is why I have been defensive of her.”

Mr. Huckabee, who is running strongly in polls rating the appeal of potential Republican candidates for the presidency in 2012, said, “I still think her approach is the right one. I do not think that she is out there advocating that the government take over our dinner plates. In fact, she has not. She has been criticized unfairly by a lot of my fellow conservatives. I think it is out of a reflex rather than out of a thoughtful expression, and that is one of the things that bug me most about the political environment of the day.”

IN PICTURES: Will these Republicans run in 2012?

Prominent conservatives who have been critical of Mrs. Obama’s efforts to promote better nutrition include former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, US Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, and radio personality Rush Limbaugh. Huckabee did not mention them by name Wednesday.

Huckabee himself has grappled with his weight through the years, and has written a book about losing more than 100 pounds.

“We don’t have to believe that everything the other side proposes is immediately and altogether bad,” Huckabee said. He is in the midst of a 41-city tour promoting his latest book, “Simple Government.”

More than 35 political reporters gathered at a Washington hotel to question the prospective presidential candidate. He specifically defended Mrs. Obama’s efforts to improve the quality of the food in school lunches, noting the problems the US armed services have finding recruits who are not obese. “It is a national security issue.... Rather than us condemn Michelle Obama, I think we ought to be thanking her and praising her for what she has done."

IN PICTURES: Will these Republicans run in 2012?

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