August 17, 2007

Leah Yoon, NPR


After Interview, Huckabee Takes on Ping Pong with Host Luke Burbank;
Audio and Video Available Only at

August 16, 2007; New York – In an interview for NPR’s new morning show The Bryant Park Project – only available at after 12:30PM (ET) Friday, August 17 – Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee (R-AK) praises Bill and Hillary Clinton’s family values and recalls his relationship with the former President.

And it’s not all talk: Following the lengthy interview with The Bryant Park Project hosts Luke Burbank and Alison Stewart, Burbank challenges Huckabee to a ping pong match at the New York-based show’s table. Video of the interview and the competition (including the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat) will be available on the The Bryant Park Project pages on

Talking with Stewart and Burbank, Huckabee recalled a “cordial relationship” with Bill Clinton, who were both Governors of Arkansas and share a hometown. “We knew a lot of the same people (and) when he was governor, I was president of the Baptist convention of the state, we had a number of conversations. Even in politics, I think he appreciated that during my tenure as governor, while he was President, when every media entity in the country would have more than welcomed my taking the stage to condemn Bill Clinton, I didn’t do it. I saw no future in it. There was a long line of people standing in line to condemn him. I always liked the short lines anyway.”

Stating “I have great respect for them,” Huckabee noted, “There are two things about Bill Clinton I tell Republicans – it drives them nuts…Number one, don’t get it lost on you that a kid from a very small, southern rural state aspired to be President of the United States, this kid came from a dysfunctional family, alcoholic abusive father and yet, he didn’t just aspire, he was elected President of the United States not just once, but twice. That is an affirmation of the system. It is a wonderful testament to give to every kid in America that no matter where you come from, you’ve got an opportunity to do something extraordinary.

“The second thing, and this will really rankle some of my Republican colleagues, Bill Clinton and Hillary went through some horrible experiences in their marriage because of some of the reckless behavior that he has admitted he had. I am not defending him on that, it’s indefensible. Just let’s not let it get lost on us that they kept their marriage together. They raised a magnificent daughter. Chelsea is truly a delightful human being…She’s polite, thoughtful, intelligent and everything you would hope a daughter to be. But they kept their marriage together. And a lot of the Republicans who have condemned them and talk about their platform of family values, interestingly, didn’t keep their own families together. Give Bill and Hillary Clinton credit for doing something we say they should have done and that is hold their marriage together in spite of enormous trials.”

All media excerpts must be credited to NPR News/“The Bryant Park Project.” Television audio and/or video usage must include on-screen NPR News/”The Bryant Park Project” credit with NPR logo throughout segment.

NPR News’ newest morning newsmagazine, The Bryant Park Project, has been offering audio and video segments and full episodes since Spring 2007 to and NPR Podcasts audiences. A two-hour daily morning drive radio show will make its premiere on October 1 and be available through terrestrial, satellite and digital HD radio, and free streaming audio. The show, aimed at Adults 25-44, joins the NPR News line-up, which includes the landmark newsmagazine Morning Edition, the #1-rated morning radio show in America. The Bryant Park Project is produced at NPR New York.