New radio ads airing in South Carolina during conservative talk shows praise Huckabee for calling disputes over the confederate flag an issue for the states, the Associated Press reports. South Carolina Republicans go to the polls Saturday.
"You don't like people from outside the state coming in and telling you what to do with your flag," Huckabee said in Myrtle Beach, S.C., on Thursday. "In fact, if somebody came to Arkansas and told us what to do with our flag, we'd tell 'em what to do with the pole, that's what we'd do."
The radio ads, from Americans for the Preservation of American Culture, also take aim at John McCain – he has been "calling the flag a racist symbol for years," one spot says – and Mitt Romney, who said "that flag shouldn't be shown" in a debate.
Huckabee, by contrast, "understands that all the average guy with a Confederate flag on his pickup truck is saying is he's proud to be a Southerner," according to one ad. "Mike Huckabee understands we value our heritage and why."
The flag flap is not the only social issue Huckabee finds himself involved with: He is taking heat for comments he made to beliefnet about gay marriage this week.
"I think the radical view is to say that we're going to change the definition of marriage so that it can mean two men, two women, a man and three women, a man and a child, a man and animal," Huckabee said.
David Smith of the gay rights group the Human Rights Campaign told CNN that Huckabee is "equating a loving marriage between two people of the same sex with some form of bestiality. I think that's really out of the mainstream of American thought, and most people will find that offensive."