Iowa Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee's 15-year-old comments that AIDS patients should have been isolated have so alarmed the mother of Ryan White, an Indiana teenager whose life-ending battle with AIDS in the 1980s engrossed the nation, that she has asked for a meeting.
"I would be very willing to meet with them," the former Arkansas governor responded Tuesday while campaigning in western Iowa. "I would tell them we've come a long way in research, in treatment."
The GOP front-runner in Iowa's Jan. 3 caucuses stood by his 1992 comments in a broadcast interview Sunday, infuriating Jeanne White-Ginder, the late teen's mother and a board member of the AIDS Institute.
"It's so alarming to me," she said in a telephone interview Monday with The Associated Press from her home in Leesburg, Fla.
White was 13 when he was diagnosed with AIDS in December 1984, having contracted the disease from the blood-clotting agent used to treat his hemophilia. He was barred from school the following year out of fear the disease was spread casually. He died in 1990 at age 18.