When running for Senate in 1992, Mike Huckabee answered a questionnaire from the AP. Among his answers, he proposed “isolating the carriers” of AIDS. Andrew DeMillo reports for the Associated Press:
Mike Huckabee once advocated isolating AIDS patients from the general public, opposed increased federal funding in the search for a cure and said homosexuality could “pose a dangerous public health risk.”
As a candidate for a U.S. Senate seat in 1992, Huckabee answered 229 questions submitted to him by The Associated Press. Besides a quarantine, Huckabee suggested that Hollywood celebrities fund AIDS research from their own pockets, rather than federal health agencies.
“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,” Huckabee wrote.
Read the rest at the link above. By 1992, it was well established that AIDS wasn’t a “plague,” in the sense that it might spread through casual contact. It is unclear what effect this might have on Huckabee’s campaign for the nomination, but it is one more question he must address now that he is in the spotlight as a “frontrunner” in Iowa.
Much of Huckabee’s sudden rise in the polls, in my opinion, can be attributed to the same phenomenon which sees “generic” candidates faring better than specific ones. In the fog of the second tier of the race, Huckabee was an unknown quantity. This not only allowed him to define himself (because no one else was paying attention to him), but also allowed voters to see in him the qualities and policies they wished to see, just as with the unnamed “generic” candidate mentioned. Now he’s on center stage, and his entire record is fair game to opponents and reporters alike.