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Friday, April 13, 2007
GOP presidential candidate defends Imus, slams Jackson and Sharpton

Listen to Huckabee's comments on Imus' firing.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Republican Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee defended embattled radio talk-show host Don Imus during a radio interview Friday, saying that if Imus deserves to be fired, several other talk-show hosts do as well.

"I think if Imus is going to get fired, then there are a number of other people who need to go out the door," the former Arkansas governor told Radio Iowa in Des Moines. "Rosie's probably got to go. Bill Maher has to go. Gosh, half of talk radio and television has to go."

But Huckabee did not hold back in criticizing the talk-show host's comments about the Rutgers Women's basketball team.

"It was wrong, it was over the top," he said. "And what made it so bad, worse than a normal kind of thing, was that it was directed at amateur athletes and college students, and specific college students, it wasn't just a generic statement. And those are classy kids. And they've shown an extraordinary level of class through this whole thing, more so than anybody else I've seen on either side of it."

Huckabee also criticized Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton's involvement in the case.

"The best way to get rid of him is for people just to say, 'I'm not going to listen to him anymore,' not to make this decision because Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton said so," he added. "And perhaps what's most offensive is, of all the people to lead the charge, here are two people that have a long history of making outrageous statements and getting away with it. And I don't understand that."

-- CNN's Steve Brusk

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