In a 1992 questionnaire sponsored by The Associated Press, then Governor Huckabee answered 229 questions. According to AP, in response to a question on AIDS, he wrote "If the federal government is truly serious about doing something with the AIDS virus, we need to take steps that would isolate the carriers of this plague."
The Washington Post article on the Huckabee gaffes of this week included a statement from the candidate saying "We now know that the virus that causes AIDS is spread differently, with a lower level of contact than TB. But looking back almost 20 years, my concern was the uncertain risk to the general population – if we got it wrong, many people would die needlessly. My concern was safety first, political correctness last."
There is a lot that is revealing of Mr. Huckabee in this statement. First are all the misconceptions about HIV, the nature of epidemics and sound public health sense. But second and perhaps most important, is the fact that he apparently expects anyone to believe this explanation. It says something about his character. There was no confusion in 1992 about how AIDS was spread, or any question about whether it was spread with a lower level of contact than TB – whatever that is supposed to mean. There had been no confusion along these lines for years.
Simply put, this explanation makes no sense and trying to fudge it now by saying that there was "confusion" about AIDS transmission in 1992 is perhaps trying to take advantage of the time that has passed since then, hoping that no one will notice the discrepancies in his statement. Huckabee’s campaign has released a statement on his AIDS position with more of the same mentality behind it. Not credible stuff.
Good thing I guess. As of yesterday, the Associated Press also reported that Mr. Huckabee is standing by his 1992 comments.