Mike Huckabee has always had the reputation as a candidate who does things outside the box.
But he is now the face of the Diabetes Solution Kit, a $20 quasi-medical product that claims to reverse diabetes for good through lifestyle changes, and without the use of drugs.
If you’ve watched television past midnight lately, the tone of the 36-minute product video, which begins with a message from Huckabee, is about as infomercial as it gets.
“Let me tell you that diabetes can be reversed. I should know, because I did it and today, you can too,” Huckabee says, referring to his 110-pound weight loss that he said got his own blood sugar under control.
“Prescription drugs aren’t going to cure you,” Huckabee continues. “They’re only going to keep you a loyal, pill-popping, finger-pricking, insulin-shooting customer, so big Pharma and the mainstream medical community can rake in over $100 billion a year annually.”
The product’s website displays a photo of iced cinnamon rolls with the caption: “Discover which key ingredient in these pastries has the power to control your blood sugar fast.”
Hint: The company contends that it’s cinnamon. That claim, however, is not supported by the American Diabetes Association.
“It is best to get vitamins and minerals from the foods you eat,” the association writes on its website. “In fact, research has not been able to prove that dietary or herbal supplements (including omega-3 supplements, cinnamon, and other herbs) help to manage diabetes.”
Huckabee’s spokeswoman, Alice Stewart, told The New York Times that he no longer has a relationship with Barton Publishing, the company behind the kit. She said the video “was something created several months ago, back in 2014, but due to possible future plans, they have concluded the relationship.”
Huckabee is no stranger to out-of-the-box videos. In 2012, some of his supporters released a movie trailer-style ad titled, “It’s A Marathon” and set to “Eye of the Tiger.” It’s a montage that shows Huckabee running races and opens with, “In 2012, one man will take back the White House for faith, family and freedom.” During his 2008 presidential campaign, he cut ads with actor Chuck Norris.
But the infomercial, which is not related to a campaign or political party, has again raised questions about just how serious Huckabee is about running for president.
Unlike other potential 2016 candidates, Huckabee skipped the Conservative Political Action Conference, better known as CPAC. And while others are crisscrossing the country – from Iowa to New Hampshire and soon South Carolina – meeting with voters and hiring activists, Huckabee – the 2008 Iowa caucuses winner – is traveling mixing in events to sell his book.
In addition to this diabetes ad, he has also gotten attention in the last several months for stories about his $3 million beachfront home in Florida and the approval of permits to build it – a far cry from image of a humble former Arkansas governor he built in the 2008 campaign.