Endorsements of Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee by members of the Duggar family disappeared from the former Arkansas governor's campaign website this week just prior to Josh Duggar’s parents’ revealing details of his sexual misconduct. But the Huckabee campaign said they were always meant to come down.
Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar's photographs and words of endorsement had appeared prominently on the homepage of Mike Huckabee's campaign website since the beginning of his run for president last month. The couple, who along with their 19 children starred in TLC's reality show "19 Kids and Counting," have defended themselves amid harsh criticism over allegations their eldest son, Josh Duggar, 27, molested five underage girls when he was a teenager.
Their photos had been at the top of seven that appeared on the right side of Huckabee's homepage under the label, "I Like MIKE."
"America needs Governor Huckabee for president!" Jim Bob Duggar was quoted as saying.
"Governor Huckabee is a man of faith who is very wise, and will help get our nation back on track," read Michelle Duggar's endorsement.
A campaign spokesperson told ABC News that the website's developers "always intended for the graphics to rotate out at the first of each month." The photos appeared on the site as recently as Monday, June 1, according to an archived version of the page on the Internet Archive.
"The old ones were routed out on June 1," the spokesperson said. "That has always been the plan."
The endorsement's disappearance was first reported by Talking Points Memo.
When allegations of Josh Duggar's behavior first surfaced last month, Huckabee issued a statement expressing his full-throated support of the family, saying, "Good people make mistakes and do regrettable and even disgusting things."
The Duggars endorsed Huckabee's first presidential run in 2008, and Rick Santorum's in 2012.
But as more details have emerged, TLC pulled the Duggars' popular show, and Santorum, one of Huckabee's opponents for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, said he was "sickened" by the allegations.
During an interview with Fox News this week, Jim Bob Duggar said Josh Duggar had fondled four of his sisters and a babysitter.
Huckabee's campaign did not respond to questions today from ABC News about whether his view of the Duggar family had changed following this week's revelations, if he still accepted their endorsement, and if they would appear at his future campaign events.
When asked on Wednesday by ABC affiliate KATV whether the Duggars would join him on the trail, Huckabee said, "I don't know. It will be up to them. Ask them, I don't know."