Huckabee Stands By AIDS Statement
Posted by pozlife on December 10, 2007
by The Associated Press
Posted: December 9, 2007 – 4:00 pm ET
(Washington) GOP presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee said Sunday he won’t run from his statement 15 years ago that AIDS patients should have been isolated.
Huckabee acknowledged the prevailing scientific view then, and since, that the virus that causes AIDS is not spread through casual contact, but said that was not certain. He cited revelations in 1991 that a dentist had infected a patient in an extraordinary case that highlighted the risk of infection through contact with blood or bodily fluids.
"I still believe this today," he said in a broadcast interview, that "we were acting more out of political correctness" in responding to the AIDS crisis. "I don’t run from it, I don’t recant it," he said of his position in 1992. Yet he said he would state his view differently in retrospect.
Huckabee, as a Senate candidate that year, told The Associated Press that "we need to take steps that would isolate the carriers of this plague" if the federal government was going to deal with the spread of the disease effectively (story).
"It is the first time in the history of civilization in which the carriers of a genuine plague have not been isolated from the general population, and in which this deadly disease for which there is no cure is being treated as a civil rights issue instead of the true health crisis it represents," he said then.
In an interview on "Fox News Sunday," the former Arkansas governor denied those words were a call to quarantine the AIDS population, although he did not explain how else isolation would be achieved. "I didn’t say we should quarantine," he said. The idea was not to "lock people up."
Huckabee stated his 1992 positions in an AP questionnaire in which he also called homosexuality "an aberrant, unnatural, and sinful lifestyle."
GOP presidential rival Rudy Giuliani on Sunday declined to discuss the matter during a separate television interview except to say he had heard Huckabee say it was not "his current position."
"I have enough of my own statements and issues that I have to deal with," the former New York mayor said, laughing.
Giuliani, who appeared on NBC’s "Meet the Press," said he did not believe homosexuality was aberrant. What is sinful are "the acts, not the orientation."
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