Medved ♥s Huckabee; CfG, not so much

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Columnist Michael Medved is impressed by former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee's 2nd place showing in the Iowa straw poll:

The more I think about Mike Huckabee’s stunning 18% showing at the Iowa straw poll the more I’m persuaded that he could be the exciting, unifying conservative standard bearer the GOP base has been craving.

Medved thinks the Huckster blows Fred! away as a speechifier and gladhander:

Moreover, Thompson’s campaign speeches so far have been distinctly underwhelming in their impact, showing none of the folksiness and force of his TV character Arthur Branch or his brief radio commentaries, for that matter.

I challenge any die hard Fred Heads to watch tape of Thompson addressing a live audience and then to contrast it with tape of Huckabee working a crowd – or performing at one of the televised debates. There’s no comparison: Huckabee spontaneously deploys the warmth, humor, gift of gab, accessibility and kindness that we haven’t seen in a GOP Presidential contender since Reagan. He comes across as a regular guy who cares about other regular guys. He also possesses a rare ability to craft catchy phrases that connect with people. As he told audiences in Iowa, “One of the things I think I’ve brought to the process is unapologetically I’m a conservative – but I’m not mad at anybody over it.”

And it’s tough for anyone, from any faction in the party, to feel mad at Mike Huckabee.

Club for Growth isn't exactly mad, but they aren't exactly thrilled about the prospect of a President Huckabee. Here's the summary of their analysis of his economic record:

Governor Huckabee's record on pro-growth, free-market policies is a mixed bag, with pro-growth positions on trade and tort reform, mixed positions on school choice, political speech, and entitlement reform, and profoundly anti-growth positions on taxes, spending, and government regulation.

While Governor Huckabee's record displays some flashes of economic conservatism, especially during his early years, the overwhelming evidence of his record and rhetoric over the past ten years leaves the Club for Growth and economic conservatives around the country to wonder if a President Huckabee would espouse the relatively pro-growth policies of Governor Huckabee circa 1997 or the anti-growth policies of Governor Huckabee circa 2004. While the Governor has made a concerted effort to defend his record, calling oneself an economic conservative does not make one so. His recent refusals to rule out raising taxes if elected President-the cornerstone of a pro-growth platform-perhaps indicate which path he would choose.

He's a bit of a mixed bag on immigration as well. From his website:

My number one priority is to have a secure border. Right now, we have too many people entering the country illegally, and this must stop. We can't turn the tide until we stem the tide. We need to know who is coming into our country, where they are going, and why they are here. We need to create a process to allow people to come here to do the jobs - plucking chickens, tarring roofs, picking fruits - that are going unfilled by our citizens. They must have a tamper-proof, scannable I. D. with a finger or retinal scan, so that their employers know they belong here.

A blogger called Lonewacko has a more pungent take on some of Huckabee's immigration comments. Taking a Huckabee speech line by line, he points out how Huckabee hits all the pro-amnesty themes:

America has a right to know who's here and why, he said. But federal immigration laws "are so antiquated and the process so cumbersome, it would take some people 10 to 20 years to go through the legal process."

Our rights aren't just limited to knowing who's here, they include deciding who's able to come here in the first place. George Bush, the GOP, and the Democrats have taken that right away and Huckabee would just continue that de facto policy.

Then comes the usual false choice between an amnesty and mass deportations:

Creating a system to process people properly and thoroughly would cost money, but certainly less than it would cost to "round up 13 million people and deport them," Huckabee said.

He continues with the Bushian/Feinsteinian redefinition of amnesty:

He said he doesn't believe in "blanket amnesty," but illegal immigrants here should be given a way to pay a fine and apply for legal status. They should be required to speak English and pay taxes, he said.

Then, the Rovian/Schwarzeneggerian
call to just relax:

He said the debate has gotten too emotional.

And, for good measure, some sanctimony combined with more support for illegal immigration:

"Tonight, when you get home, get on your knees and thank God you live in a country people are trying to break into rather than a country people are trying to break out of," Huckabee said. "If we start there, we might have a possibility of getting a solution."

(Hat tip to Dawn Eden for the recent demo of embedding playing card suits in blog text.)

MORE: OpinionJournal's Brian Carney interviews Huckabee, who talks about the importance of consistency on the core values that have attracted voters to the Republican Party in recent decades, his enthusiasm for the Fair Tax (a national sales tax that would replace the income tax), and what he would do on environmental issues.

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10 Comments

Dan Paden said:

The part that torques me off is the part where he echoes the disgusting "jobs Americans won't do" mantra. Last time I saw any stats on the subject, they indicated that the majority of people working in agriculture, service industries, etc., were either citizens or legal residents. The presence of illegals exerts a net drag on wages in those businesses, and the presence of a bloated social welfare system makes taking those jobs--especially at depressed wages--less attractive to some citizens.

It's more like "jobs Americans won't do at prices offered under our over-regulated, over-taxed system, when they can do almost as well courtesy of Big Gub'mi't."

XonOFF said:

I'm sorry, really....but, I can't seem to bring myself to say "President Huckabee".

Guess I'm going to have to try to overcome some of my personal issues.

David VanRisseghem said:

At the precinct caucus, my 18-year-old voted for Huckabee. I kinda laughed.
Now I'm dead-serious and all for Huckster!

susan said:

I saw Huckabee interviewed tonight. He does seem to have more experience than Hillary Clinton and the other democrats.

susan said:

I just saw Greta with Fox News interview Gov. Huckabee tonight. There is a clip on Foxnews.com (Gov.Huckabee's run for the White House)

Michael, perhaps you could put that on your site for others to see.

susan said:

Mike Huckabee has outstanding accomplishments and definitely has more experience and character than Hillary Clinton. Dan Boren has been quoted as saying he feels Hillary Clinton will win but he completely forgot about the video clip.

This is something that has stood out in millions of viewers and voters minds when this happened.

I hope the Republican Party will show the clip of Hillary Clinton over and over again on primetime national televisin air time to make sure voters of the U.S. remember New York's Sen. Hillary Clinton's outrageous and childish behavior when President George Bush made a remarkable speech September 2001 to a joint session of Congress.
At a time when even the most partisan of her democratic colleagues sto united with President George Bush, Hillary Clinton was quoted ..."she shunned patriotism for petulance. She grimaced, she sighed, rolled her eyes, she figeted like a five year old at the opera." This is no one you would think as honorable as a presidential candidate.


Susan

slaw said:

HUCKABEE-
1. criticized for supporting illegal immigration. Ex: trying to get illegal aliens government financial aid for college.
2. has only served as a governor.
3. NEVER SERVED A DAY IN THE MILITARY!
4. increased state spending as governor 65%!
5. supported 5 tax increases.
6. has made disrespectful Jewish comments on IMUS show.

Do you honestly think he can solve this countries problems, get us out of a useless war, get rid of illegals, has the clout to survive the beltway......

T.Merkel said:

RESPONSE TO SLAW -
1. Huckabee does not support illegal immigration, he favours a closing and guarding of the border while at the same time rationalizing our immigration system to disincentivize would-be illegal crossers. He has never tried to get illegal aliens financial aid for college.
2. Being a Governor is much closer to running a nation than being a Senator, Representative, or Mayor.
3. Neither did Thomas Jefferson. So what?
4. While at the same time leaving a surplus in the treasuries. So what?
5. These were either court-ordered or approved by a plebiscite, for necessary spending. Huckabee has always opposed unnecessary tax raising -- do a google search of ["tax me more fund"] and for [huckabee "triple wide"]
6. He mentioned concentration camps in a joking way. This is not disrespectful to Jews at all, as concentration camp in historical context means any sort of prison camp for a group.

susan said:

When you view the tape of Hillary Clinton's childish behavior as Democratic colleagues stood united with President George Bush on primetime national television, you have to wonder if Sen. Hillary Clinton was relieved that American Airlines Flight 77 on September 11, 2001 just happened to have attorney and conservative commentator Barbara Olsen on it that slammed into the Pentagon. Barbara Olsen wrote "Hell to Pay".

Another book on Hillary Clinton to read is The Case Against Hillary Clinton.

With wealthy Oprah's support and influence for getting votes for B. Obama, B. Obama could soon be the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination soon.

susan said:

The American Security Council has previously been reported as giving Hillary Clinton 20% on national security issues. Hillary Clinton met repeatedly with groups that had openly supported Hamas, Hezbollah, and other foreign terrorist organizations including among many others the militant Islamic Relief Association and The American Muslim Council whose followers carried out the 1993 World Trade Center bombings.

Bill and Hillary Clinton have been reported to have the most number of witnesses to die suddenly by guns, alleged suicides", etc. Will people ever know what lies Bill and Hillary Clinton told in connnection with the death (some reporters felt murders) of Vince Foster and over 100 other Clinton associates, staff and friends through their political careers.

As we all know, Bill Clinton did NOT serve in the military and was known for Clinton's documented DRAFT AVOIDANCE.

John Spencer, a Vietnam combat veteran accused Hillary Clinton of accepting money from wealthy businessmen who are associated with the American Iranian Council, a pro-Iranian-regime.
Hillary R. Clinton was called "Sister Frigidaire" in her high school newspaper and continues to be known for her frigid ways.

Voters won't forget FILEGATE, TRAVELGATE, Monica Lewinsky, Paula Jones, Arkansas Business woman Juanita Broaddrick's rape charges, Gennifer Flowers, Bill Clinton's abuse of power, perjury, obstruction of justice and witness tampering.

Read "Hell to Pay -- the Unfolding Story of Hillary R. Clinton and The Final Days -- a behind the scenes look at the Desperate Abuses of Power by the Clinton White House.

Is it any wonder that wealthy people like Oprah
are trying as hard as they can to get Sen.Barack Obama elected as our next president?
Jesse Jackson's sister Santita was a bridesmaid
for Michelle Obama. Sen. Obama has said he must be one of the least wealthy families in the Senate, and he has had to prepare his own taxes which was an incentive for him to work on tax simplification.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on August 15, 2007 5:49 PM.

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