Former Arkansas governor and 2016 Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee said Friday he supports reality TV family the Duggars amid allegations that their oldest child molested underage girls as a teenager.
"Good people make mistakes and do regrettable and even disgusting things," Huckabee said in a statement about the Duggars, the stars of the TLC show "19 Kids and Counting," which follows their lives as a large, conservative, evangelical Christian family.
"No one needs to defend Josh's actions as a teenager, but the fact that he confessed his sins to those he harmed, sought help, and has gone forward to live a responsible and circumspect life as an adult is testament to his family's authenticity and humility," Huckabee said.
Josh Duggar, 27, issued an apology on Thursday and quit his job after In Touch Weekly magazine published a police report that claimed he had fondled multiple girls.
"Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends," Josh Duggar said in statement on the Duggar family Facebook page. He expressed remorse but did not directly address the allegations.
"Josh's actions when he was an underage teen are as he described them himself, 'inexcusable,' but that doesn't mean 'unforgivable.' He and his family dealt with it and were honest and open about it with the victims and the authorities," Huckabee said.
The Duggars, Arkansas residents, have in the past endorsed Huckabee, a former Southern Baptist pastor.
There has been no response to the allegations yet from TLC, the network that airs the Duggars' reality show. This is the second such allegation against one of the network's stars in six months; last October, TLC swiftly canceled "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" after the matriarch of that reality TV family was accused of dating a sex offender.