December 5th, 2007
09:25 AM ET
9 years ago

Huckabee didn't know about NIE report

DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) - At a dinner with reporters on Tuesday night, Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee admitted that he had neither read nor been briefed on the latest national intelligence estimate, which stated that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003.

“I don’t know where the intelligence is coming from that says they have suspended the program, or how credible that is versus the view that they actually are expanding it,” Huckabee told the assembled journalists, after being informed of the report’s content by a questioner.

“And I’ve heard, the last two weeks, supposed reports that they are accelerating it and it could be having a reactor in a much shorter period of time than originally been thought,” he added.

The candidate’s apparent lack of knowledge on the issue comes at a time when the former Arkansas governor is facing intensifying scrutiny due to his rise in the polls. A Des Moines Register survey released on Sunday found Huckabee leading the GOP field in Iowa with 29 percent of likely Republican caucus-goers.

Huckabee attributed recent attacks on his Arkansas record on taxes, immigration and the criminal justice system to “desperation” on the part of rival campaigns.

“I call it that the ‘tattle tale campaign,’” he said. “Sometimes campaigns are reduced to tattle tales on the others. I think it’s a real turn off to most people.”

- CNN's Dana Bash and Evan Glass


Filed under: Iowa • Mike Huckabee
soundoff (68 Responses)
  1. Jack Jett

    Give Upchuckabee enough time and he will come up with a one liner that will blow Sheckey Greene's sox off.

    December 5, 2007 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  2. Lee, Landing NJ

    He also doesn't know anything about reality, thinking the earth is just over 6 thousand years old and that evolution was something that dumb scientists have foisted on us.

    We could use a president that will not make us the laughingstock of the world, someone grounded in reality, not just "faith". The first step is to actually be aware and curious as to what is being reported and care about what intelligence agencies are saying.

    Being a president is a lot more than being a Baptist Minister or a comedian with nice one liners to "wow" an audience.

    December 5, 2007 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  3. Ba Gua Zhang, Chico, CA

    Maybe Huckabee only reads the Bible. If so, he'd make a Talibanic president.

    December 5, 2007 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  4. Ed Williams, York PA

    To bukky, baltimore .. READ THE ARTICLE without inserting your own wrong facts. It said that Huckabee admitted that he had neither read nor been briefed on the latest national intelligence estimate. Thats all. It doesn't say that he wasn't aware of it.. or that he didn't hear from the press some of the conclusions drawn from the report.

    December 5, 2007 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  5. Hans Solo, Middle America

    Ba Gua Zhang.. You sound like an idiot and obviously have a bias against christianity. To compare Huckabee to the Taliban shows your ignorance. I fear for the future of our country when I read opinions like yours. No wonder California is so messed up..

    December 5, 2007 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  6. NS, New York

    Helen- "Wow. "Lack of knowledge"?? Did CNN know that Iran's nuclear program was on the supposed decline before this brief was made public? If not, why? They're expecting Governor Huckabee to have some sort of clairvoyance, why not themselves?"

    Clairvoyance??? They asked him about something that had been front page news for a day and a half. No he doesn't have to be clairvoyant,but geez shouldn't we sort of expect him to know at least as much as the average citizen when it comes very serious stuff such as that? I know campaigning is pretty time consuming, but if he wants to be a national leader he's got to set some time aside to stay current with important matters like this.

    December 5, 2007 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  7. Ian, Eastham MA

    Hans Solo –

    Yes, if only we were as Christain as good 'ole Huck. Then we can talk about using nukes against Iran as a precaution against the possibility that they may get nukes for themselves.

    You know what the bible says – "Nuke contries half way around the world, before they get nukes"

    December 5, 2007 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  8. Jaik , chicago, IL

    No suprise he has no idea what he's talking about, these politicians in th GOP live outside of reality.

    December 5, 2007 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  9. Jared, Bryan Texas

    Do Ron Paul supporters have jobs or do they just sit and wait for new blog posts to open up?

    December 5, 2007 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  10. Ba Gua Zhang, Chico, CA

    "Ba Gua Zhang.. You sound like an idiot and obviously have a bias against christianity. To compare Huckabee to the Taliban shows your ignorance. I fear for the future of our country when I read opinions like yours. No wonder California is so messed up.."

    Well, at least I know enough to capitalize Christianity. Thank you for calling me an idiot. If you are a Christian, I'm sure you'll go to Heaven for being so kind to others. And I have no bias against Christianity. I was raised one, went to parochial school and then left Christianity when I realized it's not the Way. Last, CA is not messed up. It's paradise on earth because narrow-minded folks like you choose not to live here.

    December 5, 2007 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  11. Brad, from the great state of Texas

    Lee from NJ–
    It seems like I just read the exact same post on another story (your use of the word "foisted" on both posts gave it away).

    I keep hearing the same BS about how Huckabee must be a total moron because he thinks the Earth is only a few thousand years old, and therefore he could not possibly make sane decisions. However, the theory of evolution is just that–a THEORY that may never be proven and has plenty of holes in it, just like the story of Adam and Eve.

    Besides, I didn't know the origins of Earth was such a political hot topic... personally, I don't think it matters one way or the other. What I do care about (and you should too) are a candidate's positions on REAL issues like foreign policy, immigration, abortion, and, yes, that dirty word "morality." And so far I like what I see in Huckabee. Maybe I'm just another "redneck Bible-beater" to liberals like you, Lee, but I guarantee you I can go toe-to-toe with the best of you all any day.

    December 5, 2007 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  12. Ca Native

    Louie P –

    Actually you're a "Chrino" – Christian In Name Only.

    If you were a REAL Christian you would understand the immutable conflict created by "Justice". God's law required death as justice to sin. So as much as God wanted to pardon sinners, the LAW required death. As a substitute for our death, Christ gave his life – paying YOUR penalty. Redemption is the gift you received.

    But you go ahead and holler about Justice. Perhaps your "god" will give it to you... as you deserve.

    December 5, 2007 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  13. Irene M., Columbus, OH

    To CA Native: Nice Old Testament scary sermon, but lacking the compassion and love of the New. Get with the Christian game plan.

    December 5, 2007 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  14. Alice Newman Center Harbor NH

    " Huckabee attributed recent attacks on his Arkansas record on taxes, immigration and the criminal justice system to “desperation” on the part of rival campaigns."

    If the governor can't face the truth or stand on his record ... what good is he?

    As for those who mumble that Mike isn't responsible for knowing what's going on... it the big story of the day – in all major newspapers and TV broadcasts ... where is his staff?? If I know about it, so should he ... Mike is the one who wants to be president. The country can't afford someone else who doesn't know his ear from his elbow.

    December 5, 2007 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  15. Lee, Mays Landing NJ

    To Brad of Texas:
    If believing that the earth is far older than 6000 years and that scientists are also likely right about evolution makes me a "liberal", then I'm glad to be defined that way.

    A few hundred years ago your kind were also going "toe-to-toe" with those who said the earth was not flat, that the earth revolved around the sun rather than vice-versa. They certainly were very forceful and had the church and government on their side.

    I went to public school but I was exposed to your kind of thinking early on. I had a 7th grade social studies teacher, a fundamentalist pastor originally from the south, who maintained that the moon landing was staged in Hollywood and was faked by our "liberal" government.
    Luckily my father was an engineer, an an inventor who made things that made our society go forward, and so I came from a background that allowed me as a 7th grader to differentiate from superstition laced with right wing politics and actual reality.

    When conservatism becomes so anti-modern that it attacks science and knowledge, it retards humanity. This radical anti-knowledge and anti-reason ethic has spread in our culture to the point that fewer young Americans are becoming scientists and engineers and politics and "faith" replace thought and facts in decision making and policy.

    December 5, 2007 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  16. Osub

    This is worthless news.

    December 6, 2007 06:43 am at 6:43 am |
  17. Truth Seeker

    SO WHAT? BUSH WENT TO WAR WITH INFO GIVEN TO HIM BY "INTELLIGENCE". WHAT MAKES ANYONE THINK YOU CAN NOW TRUST THEIR REPORTS? Obviously, we need to use other sources. Maybe, we should trust Ahmadinijahd's "intelligence". Ha!

    December 6, 2007 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  18. Peter, Minneapolis, Minnesota

    There is no better predictor of future action than that of past action from someone with an established history. If we can see (and report on) Huckabee's history of xenophobic fear-mongering and ineptitude, does that make us tattle-tales? Perhaps we should retreat to the role of mere observers and shut our mouths while yet another bible-wielding zealot makes a grab for power?

    December 12, 2007 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
1 2 3