Mike Huckabee says that he’s a huge supporter of Jill and Jessa Duggar, the molestation survivors who appeared in a TLC special about sexual abuse called Breaking the Silence. However, Huckabee tried to silence a non-Duggar molestation survivor when she dared to question the way Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar responded to Josh Duggar’s confession that he was fondling his siblings while they slept. Because of their failure to take action, Josh continuing molesting his younger sisters.
Mike Huckabee was speaking in front of a small crowd in Clinton, Iowa, when an attendee brought up the Josh Duggar molestation scandal and Huckabee’s defense of Josh’s parents. When she asked Huckabee about his views on child abuse, the GOP presidential hopeful first tried to change the subject by saying that he believes that “the ultimate form of child abuse in this country is abortion.” However, the woman wasn’t going to let him get away with his attempt to quickly move away from the topic of child abuse – she hit a raw nerve when she brought up Huckabee’s support of the Duggars.
“When the Duggars came out and the son had molested their child you more or less said that you felt sorry for their parents,” the woman said, according to the Huffington Post. “Their parents let it continue for over two years.”
Last summer, In Touch Weekly published police reports that documented the molestation that took place in the Duggar household. The reports revealed that Josh Duggar committed seven acts of molestation on five different victims, including four of his sisters. He told his parents what he was doing on three different occasions, but Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar didn’t take any serious action until then-15-year-old Josh confessed to fondling his 5-year-old sister. Legal experts told In Touch that the parents could have faced up to six years in prison for Permitting Abuse of a Minor (Arkansas Code 5-27-221) if their actions (or lack thereof) had been discovered before the statute of limitations had run out.
Mike Huckabee seemingly doesn’t believe what the police reports say.
“You have no idea what you’re talking about,” Huckabee said in response to the woman’s claims that Jim Bob and Michelle allowed the molestation to continue after they first learned about it. “You don’t know that family and I do.” Huckabee also raised his voice and started wagging his finger at the woman, complaining that she was hurting his feelings by accusing him of supporting child abuse.
— Josh Duggar (@joshduggar) May 16, 2015
Mike Huckabee then tried to shift focus away from Jim Bob and Michelle’s failures by accusing the news media of “exploiting” Josh’s victims. Two of those victims, Jill and Jessa Duggar, voluntarily appeared on Megyn Kelly’s Fox News Channel show, The Kelly File, to talk about their family’s ordeal, but it’s unclear if this was the exploitation that Huckabee was referring to.
— Yahoo TV (@YahooTV) June 8, 2015
“You don’t know what those parents did and how they worked to try to take care of their entire family,” Huckabee told the woman. She countered by saying that she knows that Jim Bob and Michelle made sure that their daughters were locked safely in their rooms so that Josh couldn’t get to them.
Mike Huckabee responded to this comment by speculating that the woman read it in a “tabloid” like People magazine. People did report this, but it used Jill Duggar’s own words in its report – Jill told Megyn Kelly that her parents put numerous “safeguards” in place that were meant to protect them from Josh, including “locks on the doors” of the girls’ room.
An irate Mike Huckabee proceeded to accuse the woman who was asking him about child abuse of abusing the Duggar family.
“You cannot abuse—which is what you’re doing—the reputation of a godly family who have been through hell because a son of theirs—one of their many children—did something evil and sinful,” Huckabee said.
Huckabee then tried to claim that the Duggars stopped the sexual molestation when they found out it, which isn’t true – it went on for months before they managed to get Josh to stop. In the video below, Mike Huckabee keeps claiming that he knows the Duggars better than the woman speaking to him, but he seems a bit clueless about what actually happened. According to In Touch Weekly, Jim Bob and Michelle waited 16 months after Josh’s confession before going to the authorities, and their idea of “going to the authorities” was having a state trooper that Jim Bob knew give Josh a stern talking to. Josh never faced any legal repercussions for his actions.
As you can see, the woman reveals that she’s a sexual abuse survivor after Mike Huckabee tells her that she’s “done,” and he responds to this revelation by joking that he’ll mark her down as undecided.
[Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]