Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said Sunday his critics need to get a sense of humor about his tongue-in-cheek interview with Fox News host Megyn Kelly over New Yorkers and profanity.
Ms. Kelly had chided him over his Jan. 24 comments about New York men and women who use profanity on the job, which he had called “trashy” during a radio interview in Iowa.
As a New York woman, Ms. Kelly told Mr. Huckabee during her Wednesday show on Fox: “We are not only swearing, we’re drinking, we’re smoking, we’re having premarital sex — with birth control, before we go to work — and sometimes boss around a bunch of men.”
Mr. Huckabee replied jokingly, “Ugh, I just don’t want to hear that.”
CNN’s Dana Bash teased Mr. Huckabee about the episode on Sunday’s “State of the Union,” saying: “Here at CNN, the women are not smoking or drinking or having premarital sex. In fact, not sex before work. No cursing. So welcome back to CNN.”
Mr. Huckabee laughed and replied, “Well, thank you, Dana, and by the way, I think what I should have told Megyn is, ‘My gosh, Megyn, I’ve only been gone three weeks, and the place has just gone to the dogs.’ It was a funny moment.”
Mr. Huckabee, who left Fox News in early January in order to weigh a bid for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, said he was surprised that some news outlets had taken Ms. Kelly’s remarks seriously.
“I was in on the joke, as was Megyn, and yet I read stories where people said, ‘Megyn really took it to Mike Huckabee,’ and I said, ‘You guys need a sense of humor,’” Mr. Huckabee said. “I thought it was hilarious. She’s a terrific person. We have a lot of fun with it.”
Quipped Ms. Bash, “We’ll see if anybody takes what I just said seriously.”
The exchanges centered on Mr. Huckabee’s remarks about profanity during a Jan. 24 interview with Iowa radio talk-show host Jan Mickelson.
“In the South, or in the Midwest, there in Iowa, you would not have people who would just throw the F-bomb or use gratuitous profanity in a professional setting,” Mr. Huckabee said during the Iowa radio interview.
“In New York, not only do the men do it, but the women,” he said. “As we would say in the South, that’s just trashy.”
Several media news outlets took Mr. Huckabee to task over his comments, including Salon, which ran an article headlined, “Huckabee’s hateful true colors: Why his dig about Fox’s ‘trashy’ women is so revealing.”
Mr. Huckabee has said that he was referring in his Iowa interview to New York women in general, not his former colleagues at Fox News.