Is Huckabee the One?

With Fred Thompson proving to be less attractive than some people thought, and Sam Brownback now out of the race, many social conservatives are turning their attention to Mike Huckabee. The former Arkansas governor is firmly pro-life and pushes all the right buttons on other cultural issues. As a Baptist minister he is also comfortable talking in religious terms. He wowed the audience at the recent Values Voter Summit and did surprisingly well in the straw vote of attendees.

Not so fast, said John Fund in the Wall Street Journal last week.

Betsy Hagan, Arkansas director of the conservative Eagle Forum and a key backer of his early runs for office, was once "his No. 1 fan." She was bitterly disappointed with his record. "He was pro-life and pro-gun, but otherwise a liberal," she says. "Just like Bill Clinton he will charm you, but don't be surprised if he takes a completely different turn in office."

Phyllis Schlafly, president of the national Eagle Forum, is even more blunt. "He destroyed the conservative movement in Arkansas, and left the Republican Party a shambles," she says. "Yet some of the same evangelicals who sold us on George W. Bush as a 'compassionate conservative' are now trying to sell us on Mike Huckabee."

The business community in Arkansas is split. Some praise Mr. Huckabee's efforts to raise taxes to repair roads and work with an overwhelmingly Democratic legislature. Free-market advocates are skeptical. "He has zero intellectual underpinnings in the conservative movement," says Blant Hurt, a former part owner of, and columnist for, Arkansas Business magazine. "He's hostile to free trade, hiked sales and grocery taxes, backed sales taxes on Internet purchases, and presided over state spending going up more than twice the inflation rate." MORE

David Kuo came to Huckabee's defense, suggesting Fund may have had other motives.

Well let's think about this. He loves the spotlight? Check. He was a preacher and is now a politician - he definitely believes in himself.

An economic and environmental liberal? Yeah, he only cut taxes and fees 100 times totaling more than $375 million. He only left a state surplus of nearly $850 million. What a liberal disaster he is.

This is a pure hit piece with a curious number of quotes from Mitt Romney backers. MORE

My view is we could probably do worse than Huckabee, but I can't get excited about him. Maybe I will learn more and change my mind. For now, my vote in the GOP primary still goes to Ron Paul.


Donald Douglas said...

"For now, my vote in the GOP primary still goes to Ron Paul.'

Even after I provided evidence of his ties to Stalinists and 9/11 truthers?!!

Come on, Patrick. Can't you get with a candidate who's got even the slightest chance of success?

Huckabee's not presidential, plain and simple. I watched at the debates and I thought he looked like Beaver Cleaver. I'm sure he's a good man, though. But he's got a snowball's chance...

Patrick said...

I'm under no illusions about Ron Paul's chances of getting the nomination, much less into the White House. It just happens that he more closely matches my views than anyone else. I don't agree with him 100% of the time by any means. Nor do I embrace everyone else who supports him.

Whatever else you think about Ron Paul, the fact is that he's on the ballot. People are free to vote for him. That's democracy at work. Sorry if you don't like it.

The Catholic Knight said...

Check out the "Rosary for Huckabee" campaign.

Patrick said...

Here is a story about Huckabee that is quite disturbing, if true.