Sarah Huckabee Sanders speaking into microphones in front of blue background and American flag

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‘A Huckabee with a gun and a dog in the same photo is worrying’: Sarah Sanders hunting pic resurfaces sordid family story

They didn't think it through.


Claire Goforth


Posted on Feb 9, 2023

On Thursday, the Republican National Committee tweeted a photo of Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders (R). The picture, captioned “almost Friday,” shows a smiling Sanders thigh-deep in a wooded swamp next to a dog with a gun balanced on one of her shoulders.

“Get you a Governor who can do both,” the GOP wrote.

It probably envisioned the post as a casual way to celebrate the coming weekend, glorify gun culture, and revel in the adoration Sanders received for her recent anti-woke rebuttal to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union.

Instead, the tweet dredged up a disturbing tale about the Huckabee family.

Back in 2008, Sanders’ father Mike Huckabee ran for president. During the campaign, a story emerged about Sanders’ brother viciously killing a dog in the late 1990s when he was a counselor at a Boy Scout camp.

The circumstances of the dog’s death were never fully established—the family maintains that the boy, then 17, put the animal out of its misery. But, according to Snopes, there is no question that Sanders’ brother killed the dog, which resulted in him and another counselor being fired.

People who remember the story felt that posting a photo of a member of the Huckabee family holding a gun next to a dog was ill-advised at best.

“A Huckabee with a gun and a dog in the same photo is worrying. Just saying,” @ChidiNwatu tweeted.

“Knowing her family—I don’t know if putting a gun and a dog in the same photo is a good idea,” commented Tim Fullerton, who previously worked for former President Barack Obama.

Some critics noted that most people actually work on Thursday and Friday, and also suggested that Sanders’ appearance suggests that it was a photo op rather than an actual hunting trip.

“She doesn’t even have shells in the pouches specifically made for them. I know the GOP’s entire grift revolves around making their candidates look relatable, but good God this is embarrassing,” @spawnofKhan tweeted.

Others wondered how standing in the woods could be considered doing more than one thing.

“What’s the second thing,” @BrennanCaldwell asked.

It seems pretty clear that the GOP meant that Sanders, who was sworn in a month ago, can govern and hunt.

People still thought it was amusing that the picture shows her doing one thing.

A few had ideas for what the two things might be. @MrMcTalksalot suggested they could be hunting and hating poor people.

“Lie AND cheat?” @PBothMedia offered.

“Both be a part of the swamp and complain about it?” razzed another.

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*First Published: Feb 9, 2023, 3:04 pm CST