"I didn't bring Natalie Portman up at all," said the potential presidential contender on Sirius XM station POTUS. He suggested that conservative radio host Michael Medved was the one responsible for dragging Portman into the exchange in question.
Mediaite relays what Huckabee went on to say:
In the context of the first chapter of my book, and that's how he kind of got into it, because I talk about the importance of the family as being the most fundamental unit of government. So in the course of that, he asked me about her acceptance speech. I used that as a segue, not to talk about Natalie Portman, but to talk about the economic realities of unwed mothers.
Huckabee also reiterated a compliment he paid to Portman last week in attempting to do damage control on the reception of his initial remarks. He called her a "great actress" and added that she deserved the Best Actress Oscar she accepted at this year's Academy Awards.
Here's what Huckabee initially said that sparked backlash:
You know Michael, one of the things that's troubling is that people see a Natalie Portman or some other Hollywood starlet who boasts of, 'Hey look, you know, we're having children, we're not married, but we're having these children, and they're doing just fine.' But there aren't really a lot of single moms out there who are making millions of dollars every year for being in a movie. And I think it gives a distorted image that yes, not everybody hires nannies, and caretakers, and nurses. Most single moms are very poor, uneducated, can't get a job, and if it weren't for government assistance, their kids would be starving to death and never have health care. And that's the story that we're not seeing, and it's unfortunate that we glorify and glamorize the idea of out of children wedlock.
You know, right now, 75 percent of black kids in this country are born out of wedlock. 61 percent of Hispanic kids -- across the board, 41 percent of all live births in America are out of wedlock births. And the cost of that is simply staggering.
Facing criticism on the heels of the comments, Huckabee asserted that he did not "slam" or "attack" the Oscar-winning actress.
Via Mediaite comes audio of Huckabee's latest remarks: