UPDATED, 2:30 PM EST, 1-19-15:
Mike Huckabee apparently did not know about Beyoncé’s loyal fan base, the Beyhive.
After stinging backlash, the Republican presidential hopeful on Sunday walked back harsh criticism of President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama for allowing Sasha and Malia to listen to Beyoncé, according to The Hill, citing a report at TMZ.
The former governor of Arkansas called her a “mega-talent,” a marked difference from comments in his new book, God, Guns, Grits and Gravy, where he calls the pop star’s music “obnoxious and toxic mental poison.”
In comments to TMZ, he said that she “has done some great stuff” and that he just wishes the singer would be less risqué in her attempts to gain popularity, The Hill writes.
Huckabee declined to say whether he himself was a fan of the singer but did say he enjoys pop music, along with country and classic rock.
The Beyhive stings again.
Republican politico and former FOX talking head Mike Huckabee (pictured left) is taking aim at the Obamas (pictured right) for letting their children listen to Beyoncé, according to a new People story.
In the interview, promoting his new book “God, Guns, Grits and Gravy,” Huckabee cites the Obamas as “excellent and exemplary parents in many ways.” This is why he says he is so confused as to why they would let their teen daughters Sasha and Malia Obama listen to the RnB songstress:
“That’s the whole point. I don’t understand how on one hand they can be such doting parents and so careful about the intake of everything – how much broccoli they eat and where they go to school and making sure they’re kind of sheltered and shielded from so many things – and yet they don’t see anything that might not be suitable for either a preteen or a teen in some of the lyrical content and choreography of Beyoncé, who has sort of a regular key to the door.”
The Obamas, Jay-Z and Beyoncé have struck up a friendship in recent years. Last January, the singer/rap superstar duo visited the White House with daughter Blue Ivy to celebrate Michelle Obama’s 50th birthday. In return, Michelle has taken her daughters to numerous Beyoncé concerts.
Beyoncé also performed at Obama’s 2009 and 2013 inaugurations.
In his book, Huckabee framed the situation as a “vast disconnect” between “where people actually live – in flyover country – versus the three great bubbles of influence in Washington, D.C., New York City and Hollywood.”
Those who have responded negatively to his previous Beyoncé critiques only prove that disunion, he says. “It’s like people are shocked that I would raise that as an issue. My response to that is, ‘Gee, the mouse took the cheese.'”
Huckabee—who is mulling another run at the White House in 2016—claims Jay-Z is exploiting his wife as a “sex object,” referencing their steamy “Drunk In Love” duet.
Neither President or Mrs. Obama have responded to Huckabee’s comments.