In a Monday afternoon statement, Mike Huckabee defended calling female opponents "a special treasure" who should be treated with "a sense of pedestal."
"I believe in equality, and I have a record of transforming that belief into action," the ex-governor told Salon in an e-mailed statement. "However, equality doesn't mean sameness."
As Salon noted this morning, Huckabee told The New Republic's Nora Caplan-Bricker, who had asked about a potential 2016 match-up against Hillary Clinton, that a female opponent required "a different approach." To illustrate the contrast, Huckabee told Caplan-Bricker that he treated his wife "very differently than I treat my chums and my pals. I wouldn’t worry about calling them on Valentine’s Day, opening the door for them, or making sure they were OK."
"I was raised to treat women with respect," Huckabee told Salon in his afternoon statement. "I still will invite a lady to go first, will open a door for her, and will place her in the center of the photograph. And yes, I would seek to treat a female opponent with the same respect I give to all women, even though we may disagree on the issues."
Update (3/11): The TNR story is now online.