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The Huckabee RINO: Scorecard

huckabee-will-be-back

October 13, 2009

So, 2008 was a bad year for Republicans. Bush was unpopular. Iraq was unpopular. And the economic collapse cemented things. Yet, even with voter fatigue after the long 2008 campaign and Obama’s early popularity, this is a time when leaders in a party (or those who think they are leaders) try to put forward a compelling vision for voters. It’s also a time when one group of leaders has exited the stage and a new group of leaders comes onto the stage to put forward that message.

The 2008 campaign was one of the longest in history, but Republican strategists think that the competition for their 2012 nomination will be every bit as long or longer. Candidates begin their campaigns immediately after the 2010 midterm elections, and to do that, they must spend much of the next 18 months getting ready. As grassroots conservatives learned in 2008, who a candidate is and what he stands for has political consequences. The Republicans voted for John McCain once, they can do it again.

Mike Huckabee is a former ordained Southern Baptist Minister who was Governor of Arkansas from 1996 to 2007. That’s a fairly impressive accomplishment, given that Huckabee was only the third Republican governor Arkansas has had since the Reconstruction. He, without a doubt is a charismatic dynamic personality and rhetorical prowess. The Arkansas governor’s public persona is chock full of down-home American wisdom straight from the heartland, measured and never shrill.

A review of his record as governor shows that, beginning in 1996, he drove through a series of changes that transformed education and health insurance in Arkansas, achievements that were never tried by most of his predecessors, including Bill Clinton. Having served nearly 11 years as a Chief Executive Officer between 1997 and 2007, Huckabee is most likely a candidate to run again. With not a hint of irony, Huckabee is attempting to court the hard-core conservative base by tapping into the one emotion that seems to be motivating potential Republican voters: grassroots anger towards big and out-of-control government .

But if you believe in illegal alien enforcement, limited government, less taxes, and transparency then Mike Huckabee belongs nowhere near the Presidency. He is a big government Republican, like Dubya, who just happens to be a social conservative. And to the extent that he allows a simplistic understanding of Christian tenets to lure him into political decisions that run afoul of the government’s duty to secure those creator-endowed rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, voters should be wary. Some label this as being a “Christian Socialist.” Whatever you want to call it, it is NOT what any Reagan conservative should want this party to become.

Huckabee has a superb record on right to life issues, supports an amendment to protect marriage, and would be sure to make single-issue social conservatives very happy as a nominee. He also seems to have an excellent record on 2nd Amendment issues. But that’s about it. Will Huckabee’s ardent supporters look past his opportunistic rhetoric and examine his record?

Huckabee been accused by the Club for Growth of “big-government liberalism” and called by conservative columnist Jonah Goldberg a “statist.” There’s some justification, of course, to these labels. Huckabee invites them when he expresses reservations about free trade, which he does, and when he endorses ideas such as tax-paid tuition breaks for the children of illegal aliens.

Not a Fiscal Conservative

To start, it is true that Governor Huckabee fought for an $80 million tax cut package in 1997 that was passed by the Arkansas legislature (Cato Policy Analysis No. 315, 09/03/98); cut the state capital gains tax in 1999 (The Commercial Appeal 02/29/99); and passed the Property Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights in the same year, limiting the increase in property taxes to 10% a year for individuals and 5% per taxing unit (AP 03/16/99). However, his record over the rest of his ten-year tenure tells a starkly different story. Via the Club for Growth:.

    • Immediately upon taking office, Governor Huckabee signed a sales tax hike in 1996 to fund the Games and Fishing Commission and the Department of Parks and Tourism (Cato Policy Analysis No. 315, 09/03/98)
    • He supported an internet sales tax in 2001 (Americans for Tax Reform 01/07/07)
    • He publicly opposed the repeal of a sales tax on groceries and medicine in 2002 (Arkansas News Bureau 08/30/02)
    • He signed bills raising taxes on gasoline (1999), cigarettes (2003) (Americans for Tax Reform 01/07/07), and a $5.25 per day bed-tax on private nursing home patients in 2001 (Arkansas New Bureau 03/01/01)
    • He proposed another sales take hike in 2002 to fund education improvements (Arkansas News Bureau 12/05/02)
    • He opposed a congressional measure to ban internet taxes in 2003 (Arkansas News Bureau 11/21/03)
    • In 2004, he allowed a 17% sales tax increase to become law (The Gurdon Times 03/02/04)

By the end of his ten-year tenure, Huckabee was responsible for a 37% higher sales tax in Arkansas, 16% higher motor fuel taxes, and 103% higher cigarette taxes according to Americans for Tax Reform (01/07/07), garnering a lifetime grade of “D” from the free-market Cato Institute. While he is on record supporting making the Bush tax cuts permanent, he joined Democrats in criticizing the Republican Party for tilting its tax policies “toward the people at the top end of the economic scale” (Washington Examiner 09/13/06), even though objective evidence demonstrates that the Bush tax cuts have actually shifted the tax burden to higher income taxpayers.

Huckabee lost all credibility as a ‘fiscal conservative’ when under his stewardship as Governor, spending exploded more than 65% (between 1996 and 2004) and the average overall Arkansas tax-burden increased 47%. Fast forward to January 28, 2007, and while promulgating in campaign mode, Huckabee ‘refused’ to pledge not to raise taxes if elected President, first on Meet the Press and then at the National Review Conservative Summit. Yet, when Huckabee misleadingly boasts that he cut taxes “94 times”, indeed, 90 tax cuts were enacted under Huckabee, however, so were 21 tax increases, and the tax increases far outweighed the tax cuts. The total net tax increase under Huckabee was an estimated $505.1 million, according to the state Department of Finance and Administration’s Whitney McLaughlin.

Not surprisingly, all these tax increases allowed for greater spending. According to Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), state spending under Huckabee rose by 65.3 percent during 1996 to 2004. The number of workers on the state’s payroll increased by 20 percent during his tenure, and its general debt obligation rose by nearly $1 billion. The spending increases were due largely to the creation of new government programs and the expansion of existing ones. Huckabee has asserted he did not raise spending significantly in areas he could control.

And, the golly-gee good-old-boy Huckabee supported as recently as last year the phony amnesty bill. He believed illegal aliens should receive Social Security. He believed they should receive driver’s licenses. He believed their kids should get tuition breaks and he backed taxpayer-funded scholarships. He favored a guest worker program too. Huckabee actually implied that those who want illegals deported are tantamount to slave masters.

The traditional-values agenda is as much an economic initiative as anything else and Huckabee is a protectionist advocate of big government. But don’t take my word for it, listen to CNBC’s Larry Kudlow on Hugh Hewitt Radio Show, 12/21/07. If you really think that Mike Huckabee is the true conservative candidate that he claims he is for the Republican party you need to take a look at the facts; but don’t take my word for it. The late Robert Novak said Huckabee is a fake conservative and would be bad news for the Republican Party.

But don’t take Robert Novak’s word for it. Read what Ann Coulter wrote about Huckabee denouncing a bill that would have prevented illegal aliens from voting and receiving state benefits. But don’t take Coulter’s word for it, check out what Lisa Meyer of NBC reported regarding numerous stories about Huckabee’s questionable receiving of gifts. But don’t just believe her, check out what factcheck.org says about Huckabee’s own discrepencies. Oh, you don’t believe them, well then check out what the Editorial Board at the Wall Street Journal has to say about Huckabee’s contradictions.

Governing Highlights:

    • The well respected Cato Institute (not aligned with any candidate) gave him a ‘F’ rating in last term in office for fiscal conservatism. They rated him lower than even hardcore liberal democratic governors.
    • He consistently supported and initiated measures that increase government’s interference in markets. He raised the minimum wage in 2006 from $5.15 to $6.25 an hour and encouraged Congress to take the same initiative on a national level (US Newswire 08/03/06), a proposal that President Bush and most congressional GOP members opposed. He signed a bill into law that would prevent companies from raising their prices 10% ahead of a natural disaster; services like roof repair and tree removal were targeted. He ordered Arkansas regulatory agencies to investigate “price-gouging” in the nursing-home industry and threatened to launch investigations of “gouging” on gas prices after 9-11. He told the Washington Times he supports “empowering people to make their own decisions.”
    • He opposed a congressional measure to ban internet taxes in 2003. (Source: Arkansas News Bureau, 11/21/03) and supported an internet sales tax in 2001 (Americans for Tax Reform 01/07/07).
    • He granted pardons or clemency to over 1,030 criminals, including 12 convicted murderers, some of whom raped or murdered again. In one case, the rape victim pleaded with Huckabee in person and via letters to not to have Wayne Dumond be released, but he did anyway allegedly with Huckabee’s support after serving 12 years of a 20-to-life sentence. He called the parole board and lobbied for clemency and Huckabee himself personally wrote a letter saying that he believed Dumond, the rapist of Ashley Stevens, 17, should be freed. (You can read the actual letters here. Of course, Dumond was released, and he went on to kill and rape two more women. Huckabee denied he put pressure on the board. But critical sources say otherwise. Then, on Nov. 30th, 2009, another violent felon, Maurice Clemmons, who also was granted clemency by Huckabee nine years earlier killed four policemen in a Seattle coffee shop as they typed away at their laptops. Prior to his clemency, Clemmons’ criminal history included at least five felony convictions in Arkansas.
    • He turned Arkansas into a sanctuary state for illegal immigrants while he was governor and promoted tuition breaks for the children of illegal immigrants insisting, “You don’t punish a child because a parent committed a crime or committed a sin.” Click here for more Huckabee spin titled: Lies, Deceit & misrepresentation or more spin here or click here to read Michelle Malkin’s take on Huckabee’s illegal immigration pandering
    or click here.
    • During the campaign last year, Huckabee promoted his new and improved “The Secure America Plan” which detailed his 9-point plan to facilitate the “enforcement of our immigration laws and results in the attrition of the illegal immigrant population” Huckabee makes it clear that illegal aliens will have to leave the U.S. However, what he is advocating is the ‘touch back’ provision which was a trick fielded by the supporters of the failed “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” amnesty bills in the U.S. Senate. Click here for a slew of documented articles revealing Huckabee’s Liberal Nature or here You can view a Youtube clip of Huckabee pleading for the scholarships for illegals: here. I fear Huckabee would grant amnesty to illegal aliens. Yup.
    • He opposed a bill requiring proof of citizenship to vote in his own state. (Source CNS NEWS, Some GOP Concerned about Huckabee’s Immigration Views, Fred Lucas, 12/04/2007) Click here.
    • He glowingly boasted that he “balanced the budget every year” he was governor, but that’s not much to crow about. Like other governors, he must balance the state budget by law.
    • He supposedly supports homeschooling, yet implemented arcane, awful homeschooling rules in Arkansas. He has played politics with the issue to please both unions and homeschoolers in his state. In 1999, Mike Huckabee signed into law a bill which added major restrictions on homeschooling parents and which was opposed by the HSLDA. Yet, he claims he is a big homeschool proponent. He adamantly opposed school vouchers.
    • He has strongly advocated that federal funds be distributed to pay for ‘arts and music studies’ in state schools as a “reform” to the No Child Left Behind act, a position that is a big hit with the teachers unions. And, just like a well-spoken Democrat, Huckabee wants more money for public education.
    • He joined Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in declaring his opposition to the interrogation procedure known as “waterboarding,” and said he would support closing the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and moving the Guantanamo prisoners to the military’s only maximum-security prison, Fort Leavenworth in Kansas. This move would grant habeas corpus rights to “enemy combatants.”
    • He accepted 314 gifts worth at least $130,000, ranging from $3,700 cowboy boots, $250 worth of dental care to a $600 chainsaw. Plenty of politicians accept gifts of all sorts, but Huckabee had problems with Arkansas gift rules that bar public officials from accepting rewards for official action and require them to report the value and source of gifts. He filed a lawsuit against the commission stating that the rules were unconstitutionally vague.
    • He was fined $1,000 by the ethics commission for failing to report that he paid himself $14,000 from his 1992 U.S. Senate campaign and $43,000 from his 1994 lieutenant governor’s campaign. The latter payment — for the use of his eight-seat, twin-engine plane — was reported in a cryptic way that didn’t identify Huckabee and his wife as the owners of the plane.

So who is Mike Huckabee?

Huckabee received 14 ethical violations and five (5) resulted in findings that he violated ethics guidelines. [Associated Press, 11/23/06] In 2007, Huckabee was named one of the 10 Most Corrupt Politicians (2007) by Judicial Watch. Lisa Meyers also of NBC News, looks into the Huckabee accusations here. In general, the accusations involve a failure to disclose otherwise legal gifts; the receipt by Huckabee of a large number of gifts (valued at twice his annual salary one year), and Huckabee’s appointing of some gift-givers (pay-for-payola) to unpaid state commissions. Huckabee’s defense — both on his site and to Fox News – is that he was being hounded by Democrats upset at having a Republican finally win a statewide office in Arkansas. One conservative critic characterized Huckabee’s actions as ‘Clintonesque.’

He used the accepted gifts as a quid pro quo and appointed people to government positions – also know as patronage – including: accepting a $500 canoe from Coca-Cola which the ethics commission ultimately fined him $250 for because they said it rewarded him for doing his job… A judge later overturned the canoe decision but upheld an admonition for Huckabee’s failure to report receiving a $200 stadium blanket the same year. In total, he accepted 314 gifts valued overall at more than $130,000, according to documents filed with the Arkansas secretary of state’s office.

So who is Mike Huckabee? Three decades after the Huckabees’ wedding, his wife registered at department stores Target and Dillards so their new home, post-governor’s mansion, could be stocked with gifts of linens, toasters and other suitable furnishings; listings of $7,000 worth of housewarming gifts, ranging from napkins to a $300 KitchenAid mixer. Their wedding was in 1974.

So who is Mike Huckabee? Before leaving office, Huckabee spent $13,000 in state funds and ordered the destruction of tapes and hard drives containing embarrassing information. Early in Huckabee’s term as governor, documents, e-mails and memos stored on hard drives just like the ones that were destroyed formed the basis of embarrassing stories about Huckabee, including a 1998 story in the Arkansas Times detailing how Huckabee and his family were using the $60,000-a-year Governor’s Mansion fund as their personal piggy bank. Critics suggested he was hiding something. But the ethics commission dismissed complaints alleging violations of record management rules.

So who is Mike Huckabee? He converted a governor’s mansion $60,000 operating account into a personal expense account, claiming public money for a doghouse, dry-cleaning bills, magazine subscription, panty hose for his wife and meals at Taco Bell. He also tried to claim $70,000 in furnishings donated to the governor’s mansion and provided by a wealthy cotton grower for the private part of the residence as his own. He claimed it was his to keep until he learned ethics rules prevented it. When a disgruntled former employee disclosed memos revealing all this, the Huckabee camp shut her up by repeatedly suggesting she might be vulnerable to prosecution for theft because she’d shared documents generated by the state’s highest official.

So who is Mike Huckabee? After Huckabee became governor of Arkansas in 1996 — taking over from the corrupt Democrat “Jim” Guy Tucker, who had refused to leave office — he grabbed national headlines with a governor’s intervention that year to block the state from paying $419 for a retarded 15-year-old girl’s abortion, her pregnancy stemming from being raped by her stepfather on a camping trip. Huckabee held up Medicaid payment for the operation. He claimed his hands were tied by the state constitution, Amendment 68, which prevented underwriting of abortions unless the mother’s life was endangered.

The Supreme Court had thrown arguments from Christian Right governors like these out before. But Huckabee held to his guns, which threatened to end the $900 million annual agreement with Washington that gave his state medical money, so long as it played by federal rules. A compromise was finally reached in which private money footed the bill. Afterward Arkansas Democrat-Gazette columnist Michael Leahy accused Huckabee of having played a moralistic version of poker with the meek.

So who is Mike Huckabee? Huckabee was accused of stopping prosecution of his sons killing of a dog – which is illegal: Click here to read the gruesome death and animal cruelty of a dog that would make only Michael Vick proud. Huckabee’s one of two sons was then fired from a job at a Boy Scout camp (1998). Newsweek’s Michael Isikoff’s article claims that Huckabee got in the way of the animal cruelty prosecution and pressured law enforcement officials to NOT investigate the case. This is known as “abuse of power” or “obstructing justice.” Seven months later, the career officer, who headed the case was fired by Huckabee. In 2007, his other son, David, was arrested at Little Rock’s airport after a federal X-ray technician detected a loaded Glock pistol in his carry-on luggage.

Who is Mike Huckabee? In 2008, Huckabee’s PAC, Huck PAC, endorsed one of Congress’ most audacious pork spenders, Rep. Don Young of Alaska, in his primary race in 2008. Don Young was being challenged by fiscal conservative Lt. Governor Sean Parnell, who the Club for Growth PAC had endorsed. This type of activity is an outrageous endorsement of someone who embodies the worst of the Republican Party’s wasteful habits.

To put this further in perspective, Young supported a minimum wage increase, voted for the abominable Card Check bill, which would allow unions to organize without holding secret ballot elections, and was recently endorsed by the AFL-CIO. On the campaign trail, Huckabee demonstrated an antipathy for free trade, expressing doubts about the U.S. trade agreement with South Korea and calling for “Fair Trade” instead of free trade. Don Young has demonstrated similar protectionist tendencies, voting against NAFTA and free trade agreements.

Fair Tax: Pay No Attention to My Tax Record

To boost his tax credentials and neutralize the tax-hikes of his past, Huckabee talks a lot about his “Fair Tax” proposal, which is basically a national sales tax. Huckabee’s so called 23% Sales tax though is really a 29.87% sales tax. Meaning that if something costs $1.00 after his tax is implemented, 23 cents is tax. This is really a 29.87% tax. So that gasoline you are paying $3.20 a gallon for will cost $4.15. There is something inherently dishonest in the way he is understating the true cost to the American people. But the concept of a Fair Tax is to junk the federal tax code — payroll, income, corporate, Social Security, everything — and substitute it with a so called 23% Sales tax.

There’s a lot to be said for taxing consumption over income, and the fair tax would be worth consideration if we were writing a tax code from scratch. The ‘Fair Tax’ plan might just require repealing the Sixteenth Amendment that allowed a federal income tax, and the chances of that happening are approximately zero. The political risk, given the nature of government, is that we’d end up with both an income tax and a national sales tax. And, Huckabee’s claim that everyone will pay less taxes is a fantasy. The FairTax claims to be revenue neutral. That means that it has to collect the same $2.4 trillion or so that the current system collects.

Its not surprising to see Huckabee latch himself onto the Fair Tax in part to show his antitax bona fides — which is necessary given his mixed tax and spending record during his decade in Little Rock. But the Fair Tax also fits into Mr. Huckabee’s populist pitch as a way to “abolish” the hated IRS. Most fiscal conservatives love that drumbeat. Yet, it is true that the FairTax would get rid of the agency that we now call the IRS. But, according to the bill Huckabee supports, the Fairtax would “eliminate” the IRS by replacing it with a new Sales Tax Bureau, which wouldn’t necessarily be much smaller than the existing IRS.

Foreign Policy?

So who is Mike Huckabee? On foreign policy, columnist Charles Krauthammer said Huckabee’s “naïve and unconvincing” views on foreign policy are disqualifications to be President. “Huckabee is funny, well spoken and gave a preacher’s stemwinder that wowed the religious right gathering in [2007]. But whatever foreign policy he has is naive and unconvincing. In wartime, that is a disqualification for commander in chief.” (Charles Krauthammer, Op-Ed, “A Fine Field Of 4½,” The Washington Post, 10/26/07). The late NBC’s Tim Russert said the “headline” he would use to describe Mike Huckabee would be about “the Republicans embracing someone whose message was populist, and in terms of foreign policy, anti-George W. Bush.”

So who is Mike Huckabee? In his campaign manifesto, “From Hope to Higher Ground,” Huckabee does not provide any evidence that he has dealt directly on a major foreign policy or national security matter. In 2008, Huckabee told reporters in Iowa that he was being advised by John Bolton, the former US ambassador to the UN. But, when asked, Bolton said, he never talked with Huckabee. Huckabee then said he had sent an e-mail to Bolton. Later, it was disclosed that Huckabee was getting his foreign-policy advice from Richard Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations and Frank Gaffney, from the Center for Security Policy. He criticized Bush for an arrogant bunker mentality he views as counterproductive at home and abroad; he criticized Bush for naming Iran as part of the “axis of evil”; supported the surge; and encourages diplomatic relations with Iran. His message on Iran is more akin to that of the Democrats. As is the case with many of Huckabee’s foreign policy critiques, he does not suggest a coherent alternative.

But, he raised eyebrows when during the campaign Huckabee said the crisis sparked by Bhutto’s death should lead to a crackdown on illegal immigrants from Pakistan. And, he has been criticized by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for making “ludicrous” foreign policy statements. Click here to learn more about Huckabee’s foreign policy statements.

He does deserve praise for wanting to see the UN float into the East River all the way to far distant country and in August, he rejected a two-state solution for the Israel-Palestine conflict. But foreign policy gaffes plagued Huckabee in the last primary. Huckabee contended that “A president has to [do] whatever is necessary to protect the American people – even if that means not consulting Congress. Click here to read Mike Huckabee’s September 28, 2007 speech on foreign policy, delivered at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.

Huckabee believes in open communication.

Closing

I’m baffled as to why Iowans would support Mike Huckabee. Lesser of two evils? Sure, he sounds good in the debates with his witty one-liners and good explanations. However, is anyone in Iowa looking into this guy’s record? In the 2008 primaries, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) told staffers to hold all fire on Huckabee, until he secured the party’s nomination. The DNC will ignore the opportunity to slam Huckabee in the future too. They would love for the GOP to nominate Huckabee. Wonder why? During the 2008 primaries, the DNC didn’t put out a single press release criticizing his rising and hopeful candidacy. The DNC Press Release Attack Summary:

Governor Mitt Romney (R-MA) 37% (99) (press releases)
Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R-NY) 28% (74)
Senator John McCain (R-AZ) 24% (64)
Senator Fred Thompson (R-TN) 8% (20)
Governor Mike Huckabee 2% (4)

If social conservatives are honest with themselves, they know that Huckabee would never win in the general election. Too many people are wooed by the fact he was a preacher and are failing to assess his record. Governor Huckabee has consistently supported and initiated measures that increase government’s interference in markets and is on record in support of higher taxes, more spending and big government programs that elbow out private-sector solutions.

Much of conservatives’ concern about Huckabee centers on his record of raising taxes. With not a hint of irony, he signed Americans for Tax Reform’s (ATR) no-tax pledge, but only after dismissing such covenants as dangerous. He blasts the fiscally conservative Club for Growth as the “Club for Greed”. He publicly opposed repealing a tax on groceries and medicine, though he claims that he’s “always philosophically supported” axing the tax. According to ATR, after his 10 years in office, Huckabee had raised the state’s sales tax by 37 percent, motor fuel taxes by 16 percent, and cigarette taxes by 103 percent.

Huckabee supports a touchback amnesty plan for illegal immigrants where they leave and return legally and permanently in a matter of “days” or “weeks”. His antipathy for free trade, expressing doubts about the U.S. trade agreement with South Korea and calling for “fair trade” instead of free trade is sobering. When he is not giving clemency, his leniency towards criminals takes over. Huckabee granted 1,033 pardons and commutations during his term.

As governor, Huckabee drove ARKids first, a multimillion-dollar government program to provide health insurance for 70,000 children. He supported President George W. Bush’s 2003 massive expansion of Medicare by adding a prescription-drug benefit. He called the No Child Left Behind Act, which increased federal education spending by 48 percent and expanded big-government control of local schools, “the greatest education reform effort of the federal government in my lifetime”.

Michael D. Huckabee is no conservative. Mike Huckabee is a populist. Once you get past the preacher-man façade, it’s Huckabee who most resembles the old Rockefeller Republicans. Take away his pro-life position and his primary posturing, and the populist preacher is a bible-thumping John Edwards. A populist with bumpkin-speak and charm to spare. It’s tough not to like him. If you base voting decisions by who you like. Besides Super Sarah, he’s the most skilled retail politician in the Republican party.

He talks a class-warfare game that would make John Edwards blush: business elite against regular folk; populists versus establishment; middle-class versus working class; evangelicals against Mormons, Catholics against Baptists, Wall Street versus Main Street, small state versus big city, elites versus grassroots, Harvard-educated, venture capitalist, Mitt Romney versus preacher-turned-politician Huckabee, blue bloods versus blue collar, etc. Huckabee is a one-man class warfare cheering section. He has successfully risen because of identity-based politics. The bottom line rationale for his candidacy is frighteningly close to that of John Edwards. Addressing a sliver of the electorate, Huckabee in essence says, “vote for me because I’m one of you.” Look through his “awe schucks” act and see him for what he really is and you’ll see a compassionate, fiscally liberal, big government, nanny state Republican disguised as a guitar-picking populist.

Mike Huckabee is a wolf in sheep’s clothing that uses the religion card to push his own agenda for political gain. When Huckabee touts class warfare by lambasting the profit levels of oil companies, saying they ‘are stealing from absolutely the poorest people’ you can now just sit back and snicker with ad nausea. Governor, when you tout your fake populist message, you really enjoy speaking in metaphors, don’t you?

“How is our government benefiting from an abandoned 1-year-old?”

“You don’t punish a child because a parent committed a crime or committed a sin.”

“In all due respect, we are a better country than to punish children for what their parents did.”

“There are single moms, who are working two jobs, and still just barely paying the rent as we are the people at the top of the economy.”

“Arkansas needs to make the transition from a traditional Southern state to one that recognizes and cherishes diversity “in culture, in language and in population.”

Spend more money than John Edwards at a beauty shop…”

Huckabee continues to use his faith as a weapon against those who question not his faith, but his political populism — much of which he shares with secular progressives. He is both slick and evasive. He sure acts like a TV evangelist. He sure is affable, charming and aloof. Likeable fella. An everyman persona, capable of rousing his evangelical core constituency. Gushing with charisma, Huckabee makes up facts faster than you can speak …and he’ll freeze out anyone who disagrees with his plans. Given his Rockefeller Republican past, Huckabee will always have to neutralize his past. Those that claim that Huckabee is a good Christian politician will look beyond his opportunistic rhetoric as he constantly tries to reinvent himself.

Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely and the last thing this country needs is another liar and bubba from Arkansas. Mike Huckabee is simply not being honest about his record on taxes, spending and his illegal alien stance. Politicians will be politicians. Presidential material? Not on your life. He sure has Chuck Norris fooled. Are the American people willing to accept another LIAR in office? This man is another “Slick Willy” except Huckster isn’t as smart as Clinton. Huckabee decries flip-flopping politicians whereas he is the standard bearer of one himself. Immigration isn’t the Governor’s only flip-flop.

I am not mesmerized by his clerical credentials. Christian charity does not include turning a blind eye to truth. It’s easy to blind people with the shining halo over a former religious spokesperson’s head to make them believe he is “good”. Upon a cursory glance, people see him as genuine. A Christian Leader. Yet, research like this hurts an image. And, I don’t trust Huckabee now. His actions speak different from his words. A two-forked tongue isn’t Christian – it’s a liar trying to pretend to be a Christian. The traditional-values agenda is as much an economic initiative as anything else. His populist propaganda is so out of touch with the reality of his record as governor, it is amazing that anyone would buy it. Maybe they’re a single issue voter. But, no doubt, I don’t trust him with America’s problems. I wish people would look into his record.

With conservatives like Mike Huckabee, who needs liberals?

Notes:

    • When Huckabee touts ‘fiscal conservatism’ you can laugh first, then read this from Rush Limbo here.

In 2007, Judicial Watch announced its list of our national capitols “ten most wanted corrupt politicians” Here they are, in order:

1. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY)
2. Rep. John Conyers (D-MI)
3. Senator Larry Craig (R-ID)
4. Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA)
5. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R-NY)
6. Governor Mike Huckabee (R-AR)
7. I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby
8. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL)
9. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
10. Senator Harry Reid (D-NV)

• Congratulations, you made it through it.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Evelyn Dodd permalink
    March 10, 2011 9:44 pm

    TO MS ALEXANDER:
    HAVE YOU DISECTED ALL THE POTENTIAL CANDIDATES THE WAY YOU HAVE MR. HUCKABEE?
    YOU TAKE THINGS OUT OF CONTEXT WHICH MAKES YOU BIASED. YOU TELL HALF TRUTHS, AND FORGET THAT IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT TO ATTRACT INDEPENDANT VOTERS.

    • klsouth permalink*
      March 25, 2011 10:20 am

      Huckabee’s record speaks for itself. Its all a matter of public record. Nothing was taken out of context.

  2. Gary Walter permalink
    April 20, 2011 2:26 pm

    I don’t know where to begin to speak of the atrocious out-of-context “information” in this article. I can only tell you it is just that- out of context, one sided , disingenuious dribble. Drummed up last time around, warmed up and spewed as if it were the truth. Each issue hasbeen addressed by the Huckabee campaign and ably refuted. I have personally researched, studied and actually gotten to know Gov. Huckabee in the last five years. He is a consistent conservative who champions conservative causes. With authors such as the author of this article- to paraphrase his own words- who needs liberal hit pieces?

  3. Lynn L. permalink
    April 20, 2011 3:01 pm

    Whew, that’s quite a barrage.
    I noticed you quote extensively from pundits and talking heads like Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh, who fell in love with Mitt Romney and Giuliani. Here is Gov. Huckabee’s conversation with Ann Coulter, in which he sets her straight about her false attacks on his record:

    You forgot to quote conservative icon Paul Weyrich. As you know, he was an ardent Romney supporter. Before he died, Weyrich addressed a convention of conservative leaders in New Orleans, and said, “Before God and all of you, I want to say: I was wrong.” He said that Huckabee “shares our values more than any candidate in a generation,” and that they should have gotten behind him.

    Or how about Dick Morris, in his article “Mike Huckabee Is a Fiscal Conservative.” Here are a few more facts for you:
    “Let me clue you in: Mike Huckabee is a fiscal conservative.”
    In Arkansas, the income tax when he took office was 1 percent for the poorest taxpayers and 7 percent for the richest, exactly where it stood when he left the statehouse 11 years later. But, in the interim, he doubled the standard deduction and the child care credit, repealed capital gains taxes for home sales, lowered the capital gains rate, expanded the homestead exemption and set up tax-free savings accounts for medical care and college tuition.
    Most impressively, when he had to pass an income tax surcharge amid the drop in revenues after Sept. 11, 2001, he repealed it three years later when he didn’t need it any longer.
    He raised the sales tax one cent in 11 years and did that only after the courts ordered him to do so. (He also got voter approval for a one-eighth-of-one-cent hike for parks and recreation.)
    He wants to repeal the income tax, abolish the IRS and institute a “fair tax” based on consumption, and opposes any tax increase for Social Security.

    Now, if you are interested in hearing more facts which refute these unfounded allegations in our article, please visit http://www.HucksArmy.com

  4. April 20, 2011 3:12 pm

    This article is so ludicrous I can’t believe I am taking time to comment. However, it’s obvious a number of conservatives are still drinking from the anti-Huckabee Kool-Aid trough , kept full of distortions and outright lies by some of the radio talkers and the GOP establishment- but the number of “drinkers” are thinning out. In 2008 when he was virtually unknown to the average voter, the “conservative” media was able to get by with most any false charge they wanted to level. They could say what they wanted about his record as Governor because the average conservative had no idea what it actually was. Today, it’s a different story. People have had time to shuffle through all the trash and tripe and are beginning to recognize it for what it is.

    As just one of many examples- some conservatives were initially duped by the nonsense on Mike Huckabee that was released by the Club for Growth in the 2008 primary. Even though the CFG is slightly outside of the mainstream on conservative fiscal policies they are respected by many for their valuable work. Nevertheless, many were dismayed by their report that was at times misleading, if not outright dishonest. Most people acknowledge that the Club for Growth believes that state sales taxes should never be increased to pay for such entitlements as education, Medicare, highways, and economic development. We understand that this is the reason that they opposed Governor Huckabee’s record. But I believe that most Americans—and most conservatives see the whole picture for what it is.

    I certainly do not think the fiscal conservative bona fides of a man who cut taxes and fees almost 100 times, saving the taxpayers almost $380 million, and left a surplus of nearly $850 million should be denigrated because he took such actions as implementing a 1/8-cent sales tax hike. Plus, Huckabee never raised taxes anyway- the people did by a vote of 80%. Throngs of conservatives have awakened and are dismayed at the disingenuous means that this group, and many others- have used in the past to smear the Governor’s character. Just as importantly, Governor Huckabee has the ability to appeal to non-conservative voters, independents and minorities.

    He’s charming and charismatic, a gifted speaker with a quick wit and disarming sense of humor. He is the anti-Obama. Perhaps that is why he has led overall in polling for over a year now. (Even though most of this is downplayed, ignored, or unreported) All appearances however, would lead one to believe that the average American conservative voter is beginning to see through all these old, worn out, and ridiculous charges of “RINO”…big government “progressive” and of course the juvenile “Huckster.” Classy. Mike Huckabee is in a league all of his own. He possesses the experience, wisdom, character, leadership abilities, and communication skills necessary to guide our nation in a more hopeful direction. If you are still skeptical, or can’t break free of the Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, Matt Drudge poppycock- do some digging. The truth might just set you free.

Trackbacks

  1. GOP Presidential Prospects Shaping into Two Tiers | Tea Party Tribune - Tea Party & Political News
  2. GOP Presidential Prospects Shaping into Two Tiers | Parcbench
  3. Politics In AZ: Mitt Romney's Candidacy: Conservatism's Last Stand « Mike Huckabee Feed « Mike Huckabee for President- News Watch

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