Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is under fire for a tweet he posted over the weekend saying he will “identify as Chinese” in order to earn the approval of major US corporations.
The ex-governor and former GOP presidential hopeful caused the social media response on Saturday, when he posted, “I’ve decided to ‘identify’ as Chinese.
“Coke will like me, Delta will agree with my ‘values’ and I’ll probably get shoes from Nike & tickets to @MLB games. Ain’t America great?” Huckabee continued, referencing some businesses that have criticized Georgia’s new voting law.
The tweet was met with immediate backlash on the social media platform, with many noting the steep uptick in anti-Asian hate crimes in the last year.
“Elderly Asian women are getting beaten up on the street and you say this?” wrote actress Patricia Arquette.
One lawmaker responded by asking the former governor’s daughter, former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, whether she condoned her father’s rhetoric.
“Dear @SarahHuckabee,” Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), who is Asian, began, “You defended the former President’s use of racist phrases like Kung Flu. Do you condone Mike Huckabee adding fuel to anti-Asian hate?”
“Asking on behalf of Americans everywhere who drink Coke, fly Delta, wear Nikes and watch baseball,” he continued.
Huckabee Sanders is currently running the the state’s governors race. Her father served as governor from from 1997 to 2006.
It doesn’t appear that the tweet’s backlash got to Huckabee, who wrote on the social media platform later Saturday, “I don’t take Twitter or myself that seriously but I do take gospel seriously. I truly wish you only joy & continued blessings. May the power of the resurrection lift you to high places this Easter weekend.”
Huckabee’s tweet appears to have been aimed at the corporate response to a controversial Georgia voting rights bill that has sparked fury from Democrats.
Major League Baseball said Friday it was pulling it’s All-Star Game out of Atlanta to protest the law.
The legislation in question, signed by Gov. Brian Kemp late last month, overhauls election protocols in the Peach State, placing new restrictions on voting by mail and increases legislative control over the voting process.
President Biden initially referred to the bill as “Jim Crow on steroids” the day after its signing, but went even further last Wednesday, saying he would “strongly support” moving the MLB’s mid-summer classic in protest.
“I think today’s professional athletes are acting incredibly responsibly,” Biden said in an interview with ESPN. “I would strongly support them doing that. People look to them. They are leaders.”