In an impassioned speech following Thursday's shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, President Barack Obama predicted, "Somebody somewhere will comment and say, 'Obama politicized this issue.'" It didn't take long for former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee to prove him right.
On Thursday afternoon, Huckabee took to Twitter to express his condolences to the families of the victims. Unlike most of his fellow presidential hopefuls, Huckabee did not stop there. On Friday morning, he proceeded to criticize Obama for what Huckabee characterized as his "liberal, anti-gun agenda."
With few facts, Obama is quick to politicize this tragedy to advance his liberal, anti-gun agenda. #USSshooting— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) October 2, 2015
Gun violence is a problem in this country, but it's not the 2nd Amendment’s fault. It's fault of evil people doing evil things. #UCCshooting— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) October 2, 2015
There were 50 shootings in Chicago the past two weekends, and this administration failed to utter a word. Why? #UCCshooting— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) October 2, 2015
Obama can shamelessly try and exploit any tragedy he wants, but it's clear that gun free zones are sitting duck zones. #UCCshooting— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) October 2, 2015
Chicago, Obama's hometown, has become a buzzword, often sloppily used, to indicate "black on black crime." For Huckabee, the former governor of a state whose capital has the highest murder rate of any city with fewer than 200,000 residents (and a higher rate than Chicago's), to invoke Chicago after a tragedy is as much of a politicization as anything. (Never mind that UCC wasn't a gun-free zone, because it is impossible for public colleges in Oregon to ban guns.)
"This is something we should politicize," Obama said on Thursday. "It is relevant to our common life together, to the body politic." He just might not have chosen to politicize it the way Huckabee did.
Correction: An earlier version of this article misstated the name of the town where the shooting occurred and the time of day when Huckabee posted his first tweet.