After Frito-Lay this month said it would mail rainbow-colored Doritos chips to consumers who donate money to the It Gets Better Project, a nonprofit helping the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, Huckabee went on the offense against the snack-maker.
In a letter his campaign said he sent Frito-Lay on Tuesday, Huckabee said Dan Savage, the man behind the group benefiting from the bags, has for years made “very hateful and vulgar comments toward Christians” and called “for violence and injury to people he disagrees with.”
The letter follows one four days earlier in which Huckabee first asked Frito-Lay, a subsidiary of PepsiCo that produces Doritos, to stop raising money for Savage’s project, according to Huckabee’s campaign, which said Thursday he had yet to receive a response to either one.
Huckabee and the outspoken gay rights activist and commentator, who created the It Gets Better Project, have had a stormy relationship for years.
Savage has long targeted Huckabee for what he believes are the latter’s homophobic views -- often using sexually explicit and graphic language to attack the former Arkansas governor and Baptist minister -- while Huckabee as recently as Saturday called Savage “one of the most vile, vicious, violent and vulgar individuals in an organization I’ve ever met.”
“It is beyond me to understand how a responsible corporation would think that partnering with someone who spews the vicious vitriol that Savage does would be worthy of your corporate contributions,” Huckabee wrote in his Tuesday letter after the Pride flag-inspired chips became available. In his earlier letter, Huckabee suggested Frito-Lay may not have fully vetted Savage, saying he was “not one to hastily call for a national boycott of a company that may have not adequately researched an affiliation.”
The It Gets Better Project works to "communicate to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth around the world that it gets better, and to create and inspire the changes needed to make it better for them,” according to its website (http://www.itgetsbetter.org/pages/about-it-gets-better-project/).
All of the Pride flag-inspired, limited-edition Doritos Rainbows bags had been claimed as of this week, after Frito-Lay received an "incredible amount of support," it said on the chips' website.
Huckabee, in his letter this week, provided a link to comments in which Savage used vulgar, sexually explicit language to attack Huckabee, advised Frito-Lay management to watch it and “ask if it represents the values and views of Frito-Lay.” He referred to Savage’s project as a “hate group.”
Frito-Lay said today it had only worked with the It Gets Better Project, and not Savage, on the Doritos Rainbows program.
"We have not partnered with Dan Savage, and he has not been involved with this initiative," Alexia Allina, a spokesperson for Frito-Lay told ABC News.
She said the program has concluded after all the chips had been claimed.
A spokesperson for Savage said, “The It Gets Better Project is committed to suicide prevention and anti-bullying efforts on behalf of LGBT youth, inspired by a YouTube video created by Dan Savage five years ago this week. Unlike Mr. Huckabee, iconic corporations like Frito-Lay are on the right side of history and we appreciate their support."