January 7, 2015

President Huckabee?

The former Arkansas governor is testing the turbulent waters for 2016.

Former Arkansas governor and Fox News host Mike Huckabee has decided to once again test the turbulent waters of presidential candidacy. Entering what might grow to be the largest field of candidates the GOP has seen, Huckabee will need to significantly broaden his appeal to avoid his 2008 defeat.

In that race, the ordained Southern Baptist minister’s appeal to evangelical voters won him a few primaries, but in the end he failed to win the support of the socially moderate or fiscally conservative wings. Since then, America’s values climate has only devolved, and many more voters will find Huckabee’s Christian values unpalatable.

RealClearPolitics shows him tied for fourth in a field of 12 candidates. But 17 points separate him from front-running Jeb Bush.

A couple brushes Huckabee had with the Club for Growth in past years could cause him problems. When Gov. Tommy Thompson (R-WI) ran for the Senate in 2011, the Club for Growth attacked Thompson’s record and supported his opponent. Huckabee replied that the Club had no understanding of what it takes to govern, and that Thompson had lowered taxes, cut capital gains and inheritance taxes, while increasing employment.

The following year, while Huckabee considered a run for the nomination, the Club for Growth sent a press release referencing a white paper tied to Huckabee’s last presidential run in 2008. It offered highlights from the report, including charges that Huckabee “raised sales taxes repeatedly,” “increased state spending” and “raised the minimum wage.” Indeed, while Huckabee brags of cutting taxes while governor, he also raised them for a net increase of about $500 million.

It’s telling that the leftist rag Mother Jones defended him in 2007: “Spending did go up under the Huckabee regime. … But Huckabee balanced the Arkansas state budget every year he was governor (balancing the budget is a requirement under Arkansas state law) and in the end, Huckabee had a positive effect on the state ledger: He faced a $200 million deficit in 2002, but ended his term with a $844.5 million surplus.” Their conclusion: “Democrats support the sort of fiscal responsibility that Huckabee was able to demonstrate.” That should raise a few red flags.

Yet Leon Wolf of Red State offers a few words of tempered wisdom on this dispute: “[I]t is entirely fair to engage Mike Huckabee stridently on the substance. … What bothers me is that, résumé-wise, Huckabee is pretty much the same guy as Jeb Bush. People who disagree with Jeb generally start their disagreement with Jeb’s policies. … People who disagree with Huckabee generally start by attacking him personally.”

“Believe it or not,” Wolf adds, “the people who … go to their Southern Baptist churches … are smart enough to figure out why Huckabee gets this disparate treatment and what it means about how the folks in Washington, DC who are at least nominally on their side view them. … [M]aybe it would be worth toning back the contempt a little.”

Still, Huckabee has other issues to resolve – among them his support for Common Core and cap and trade.

Last year, Huckabee urged conservatives to “stop the fight” over the Common Core standards promulgated by the Obama “Education” Department. He urged fellow Republicans to consider the positive effects the nationalized standards might have on students in poor-performing schools. This position pits Huckabee squarely against virtually every other conservative. Common Core has been judged to be junk and deserves to be scrapped. Unless he has a sudden epiphany, his hopes for nomination will go the way of Common Core.

As for cap and trade, Huckabee claims that he’s never believed in global warming or supported cap and trade, but in 2007 he said he supported a mandatory cap on global-warming pollution and that the U.S. has a moral obligation to address climate change. “It goes to the moral issue,” he said then. “We have a responsibility to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, to conserve energy, to find alternative forms of energy that are renewable and sustainable and environmentally friendly.”

Seven years is enough time for someone to re-evaluate an old position. Huckabee needs to make his position clear now because the last thing we need is another envirofascist president.

Though the primaries are still a year away, as more Republicans throw in their hats, the contest will become more contentious. Candidates and the entire party must keep their eyes on the prize, and remember that the bigger fight is with Democrats.

Start a conversation using these share links:

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!


“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2021 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.