(CNSNews.com) - Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee says the controversy surrounding Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson is similar to the one involving Chick-fil-A, whose president drew fire last year for his support of traditional marriage.
"Christian people, by and large, they really don't like to be against something, but they are willing to be for something," Huckabee told Fox News on Monday. He said in both the Chick-fil-A and the Phil Robertson cases, people "are standing with someone that they think has taken a stand that reflects their own views and their own values.
"That is what is similar. And I think that is why you have seen this huge reaction. And I believe that people of A&E and Cracker Barrel wish they had never waded off into this deep water."
Cracker Barrel on Sunday posted a letter to customers on its website, saying it was a mistake to remove Duck Dynasty merchandise from its stores.
"Dear Cracker Barrel Customer," the message read. "When we made the decision to remove and evaluate certain Duck Dynasty items, we offended many of our loyal customers. Our intent was to avoid offending, but that’s just what we’ve done." Cracker Barrel admitted it had made a mistake, apologized, and returned all Duck Dynasty products to its stores.
Huckabee told Fox News that Cracker Barrel "really stepped in it."
"This thing blew up, I think, because there is a point at which a lot of people, people in the South, people in the Midwest, people who are Christian, look, we're -- we're willing to say live and let live, until someone says, but we want all of you who hold these views to just shut up and go away.
"And I think a lot of people said, no, we are not going away and we are not going to shut up. We're going to stand with Phil. That is what has happened. Cracker Barrel really stepped in it. And they had to come back and reverse their course and finally decided that they had really screwed up with their customer base."
As CNSNews.com reported, Robertson, in a recent interview with GQ magazine, criticized homosexual behavior as sinful, using blunt language to describe various body parts.
The resulting outcry from homosexual activists and others led to his indefinite suspension from A&E reality-TV show, “Duck Dynasty.”
According to Huckabee on Monday, "What A&E should have done that would have avoided all of this controversy...is simply said, look, the opinions expressed by Phil Robertson or others of the Robertson family don't necessarily reflect the views of A&E, its sponsors, its advertisers, its executives. And that would have been the end of the story.
"What Phil Robertson (said), he said out of the convictions of his heart. I'm so grateful that he hasn't capitulated on his views, because he just said, this is who I am, you know who I am, you knew who I was when you put me on the show. This is the way we talk in the duck woods of Louisiana and the swamps. It shouldn't have been a big surprise to anybody."