Mike Huckabee on Monday defended Donald Trump's failure to disavow the Ku Klux Klan, asserting that the GOP front-runner is not racist.
In an interview on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Monday, the former Arkansas governor was asked if he would disavow the KKK and David Duke. The former presidential candidate did so immediately.
"David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan are absolutely abominable. I don't know anybody that I know, anybody that I've ever known, supports them," Huckabee said. "And look, I think there's an incredible, just overwhelming, fascination I've been watching this morning. But look, let me ask you this: Do you think Hillary Clinton is going to have to answer for her relationship with Sen. Robert Byrd, who was an actual member of the KKK? Look, I'm not trying to defend, maybe, the inartful way —"
Co-host Joe Scarborough then interrupted Huckabee: "You're trying to do something, Mike. I don't know what you're trying to do, but ... this is pretty simple. Donald was asked two simple questions, and he didn't answer them. And there's no fascination here. I'd just like to hear [Trump] say about the Ku Klux Klan what you just said about the Ku Klux Klan. I don't think that's hard. Do you?"
On Sunday, Trump failed to completely disavow the KKK and its former grand wizard, before going on NBC's "Today" early Monday to blame it on a faulty earpiece.
"Does anybody think Donald Trump is a racist? I don't. I mean, I really don't. I don't know of anything in his life that indicates that this man has racist tendencies," Huckabee shot back.
"Here's the thing. I doubt he is as sensitive about just how deplorable David Duke is to many of us in the South," Huckabee added. "I think because I'm from the South, I'm more sensitive and frankly more repulsed by racism than maybe people who didn't grow up here."
Huckabee, who has declined to endorse any candidate, hit the Republican National Committee for demanding each GOP candidate sign a pledge to support the party's eventual nominee.
"Well here's what I would be more afraid of. I'd be afraid that it's the end of the Republican Party, not because of Donald Trump, but because of people being fed up with the Republican Party that's so elitist, so snobbish that they demand not just Donald Trump but they demand of me and every other Republican candidate a loyalty to the party," he said. "And if we have an election, that's how we select presidents, we elect them, we don't select them, by the party bosses. And if the party bosses don't get the guy they want, then what are they gonna do? They're gonna disavow the person the people wanted? If we have to be loyal to the party, Joe, shouldn't the party be loyal to us?"
Huckabee's daughter and former campaign manager, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, works for Trump's campaign.