January 5th, 2008
10:00 PM ET
7 years ago

Huckabee, McCain go after Romney

McCain and Huckabee both have an interest in seeing Romney lose in New Hampshire Tuesday.

McCain and Huckabee both have an interest in seeing Romney lose in New Hampshire Tuesday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Republicans John McCain and Mike Huckabee seemed to be working off the same playbook at Saturday's presidential debate, each hitting rival Mitt Romney for changing his position on key issues.

"Which one?" Huckabee interjected when Romney asked that he not try to characterize his position on the Iraq war.

"We disagree on a lot of issues, but I agree you are the candidate of change," McCain told Romney later in the debate, after the former Massachusetts governor said he was best able to change Washington.

Meanwhile, Romney's presidential campaign sent out press releases shortly after the comments attempting to show that Huckabee has changed his position on the troop surge in Iraq, and McCain has changed his stance on an amnesty policy.

– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney


Filed under: John McCain • Mike Huckabee • Mitt Romney
soundoff (109 Responses)
  1. Joe

    I don't have any respect for any status quo politician who uses thier position for personal gain and power by catering to the special interests/lollyists. They are voted in to represent the people. Yes, that includes Hillary.

    January 6, 2008 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  2. RR

    Huckabee seems to have made an unholy alliance with McCain. Both came across in last night's debate as childish and petty. They obviously see Romney as a threat and instead of sticking to discussing the issues at hand they took cheap shots and made slide remarks, very unpresidential. I wasn't surprised to see this type of behavior from old Huckleberry, but I am very disappointed in McCain. I was pulling for McCain, but now feel he isn't the type of person I want to see in the White House.

    January 6, 2008 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  3. Ed,Ellenville,New York

    The debates last night were a perfect illustration of why someone would have to have no ethics or morals to vote republican. The entire crowd of republicans,except Ron Paul,was just repulsively ignorant. If Ron Paul doesn't win the nomination, the republican party is dead. Paul was the only candidate that had the balls to mention that bush turned our dollar into toilet paper. This country is going democratic all the way. Bloomberg should run a libertarian ticket with Paul.

    January 6, 2008 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  4. Allen Ridge

    I feel that Gov Romney handled the personal attacks by Senator McCain very well. He did not get angry and frustrated, but sticked to the issues and defended his use of advertisements to point out the strong difference between his and Senator McCain's positions on illegal immigration.

    It seems to be a very touchy issue for McCain and his only defense was to backlash at Romney with personal attacks and slide remarks. For a 71 year old man with all his experience I feel it was a very juvenile display of his character.

    Stick to the issues Mr. McCain. If you cannot properly defend your support of amnesty for illegal immigrants, admit you were wrong and take it like a man

    January 6, 2008 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  5. Doris Johnson

    I'm a school teacher who is always concerned about the "bullly" who harasses some kids and encourages others to do the same. Last night during the debate I saw "bullying" behaviors exhibited toward Romney–disrespectful jabs directed at him instead of addressing the issues. CNN afterwards aledged that the other candidates really don't like him. Can we trust to elect a bully? This makes me want to vote for Romney.

    January 6, 2008 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  6. Doris Johnson

    Note: While submitting my comment I realized the email address was incorrect. I will re-submit my comment with the correct email address.

    I'm a school teacher who is always concerned about the "bully" who harasses some kids and encourages others to do the same. Last night during the debate I saw "bullying" behaviors exhibited toward Romney–disrespectful jabs directed at him instead of addressing the issues. CNN afterwards aledged that the other candidates really don't like him. Can we trust to elect a bully? This makes me want to vote for Romney.

    January 6, 2008 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  7. ike

    It was refreshing to hear a candidate support his positions, even when others do all they can to try and stop him. Romney did a great job in the debate. McCain and Huckabee both tried to attack him with snide remarks through the whole thing and both ended up looking stupid. Especially, when McCain kept trying to say amnesty wasn't amnesty even though it was amnesty but it wasn't amnesty because it was amnesty, which it wasn't. Then Huckabee's position on troops was ridiculous. The sounded more confused every moment he spoke.

    January 6, 2008 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  8. Gunnara

    I was shocked at how unprofessional McCain and Huckabee were in their interaction with Romney. I thought Romney came out looking quite a bit better than either of those two. I lost a lot of respect for McCain; and gained none for Huckabee. Romney convinced me that he was the best man for the presidency.

    January 6, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  9. P. D.

    I AGREE, partly.
    Huckabee is a DC wanna-be, masquerading as an average guy. The glamour, power and attention will corrupt before his hand touches the bible.
    I always knew McCain was a NUT.
    He is utterly frightening. A wild eyed, loose cannon.
    God Help us if he is elected the next President of these bedraggled United States.
    And !!!!!!!
    The disgusting, low class, immature behavior of the slug Thompson, bully McCain and the rest as they laughed and made faces during Ron Paul's comments.
    Utterly Shameful.
    Gutter mentality.
    So typical.
    No surprise.

    January 6, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  10. Gunnara

    I thought Romney came out looking quite a bit better than either McCain or Huckabee. I lost a lot of respect for McCain; and gained none for Huckabee. Romney convinced me that he was the best man for the presidency.

    January 6, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  11. Ben

    Mitt is reaping what he has sown. The other candidates despise him for his dishonest attacks and want him out of the race as soon as possible. I can't say I disagree.

    January 6, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  12. Elwin Kern

    This is a truly a great time in presidential selection for this country. It is a win-win situation. After seven years of the total dismanteling of our country by George Bush, it doesn't matter if you vote Democratic, Republican, or Independant, there is no way but up.

    January 6, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  13. Mike Allen

    Romney has spent multi millions of dollars to attack both Huckabee and McCain. I can not fault these two for takeing a few shots at Romney, especially since the flip flop charge against Romney is so very true. Romney will say or do anything to get elected.

    January 6, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  14. Jenny

    Realistically speaking, no one is the perfect candidate in politics. Everyone has changed their position on something...usually because circumstances and perspectives change when you are being briefed about on information that we (the American public) don't have access to. Something, unfortunately, the flip-flopping is a matter of character in that the person doesn't actually stand for anything.

    This country needs a middle of the road candidate to stop polarizing politics. No extremists on either end – no left wingers, no right wingers! Romney and Huckabee are not those people. Niether is Clinton for that matter. McCain and Obama are our best hope for the future of this country! Would that they could form a coaltion and run as P & VP together!!!!

    January 6, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  15. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Fred Thompson did a great job in last nights debate. I'm not a republican but he sure got my attention because he spoke with clarity, facts and spoke from the heart.

    January 6, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  16. Dan, Saint Louis, MO

    Wow. McCain came across as a petty, tempermental old man and Huckabee showed his true colors as a dimb-witted hypocrite. Romney really cleaned house in the debate. He stood head-and-shoulders above his rivals as the candidate who can articulate a strong vision about the issues facing America. His rivals' attacks on him looked pathetic, in my opinion.

    Thompson had a good night too, but it's too little too late for him.

    January 6, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  17. David, Boca Raton, FL

    Rudy and Thompson also took shots at Romney, that's 4 of the 5 other candidates the other of which has no shot at the nomination. What does that say of Romney? That he has no integrity. Why would anyone tolerate such a man? I'm glad Romeny took a hit last night. Someone whose campaign depends on negative ads as oppose to their own stance on the issues and who in doing so willfully misrepresents the opponent's stances is a low-life. And Romney as a low-life got what was coming to him.

    January 6, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  18. s gillette

    Its funny how the two dont get specific on issues. They just character bash. They say they aren't doing negative campaigning. I used to like Huckabee and Mccain, but right now they look like Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi in a name calling frenzy at Pres. Bush. Please talk about some issues! All of the candidates are good people.

    January 6, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  19. Spencer

    Hey Gundy... you might want to pick up a dictionary. Know and Now are different words... genius.

    January 6, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  20. Mrjimbo

    It seems as though they collectively see Mitt Romney as the Candidate to beat.
    Mit is right on spot with immigration, taxes, the war on terror, free market medicine, family values.
    These guys have done the "attacking" while not responding to the "facts" presented by the Romney campaign.
    The "flip-flop" tactics are getting tired, but are working on the ill informed, soundbite voters. This is Romneys own Party members doing this to him, a SAD state for the GOP.
    This is just what the Dems want, since they know that they can easily win over McCain or Huckabee, but Romney would be their biggest challenge.
    It may be time for a Strong Third Party in our Country........

    January 6, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  21. Todd

    I can't support Huckabee, he has a 19th century view of the world, saying things a The New York Times article on December 12, 2007 like this: "..the United States will have to lead Western civilization in a worldwide conflict with radical Islam."
    Or this gem: "...separate people with H.I.V./AIDS from the general population, telling the Associated Press that 'we need to take steps that would isolate the carriers of this plague.'"
    Or this: "Don't Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?" He just sounds like a bigot.

    January 6, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  22. jimmy, Iowa

    My teen ager just told me it was ok to smoke pot and snort crank because Obama did. Obama YOU BETTER EXPLAIN TO MY CHILD NOW> I WILL HOLD YOU RESPOINSEABLE> YES I AM ANGRY

    Edwards 2008

    January 6, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  23. David, Oregon City

    Avoid the elite media’s “RUSH”, support Governor Huckabee early!

    January 6, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  24. Susie

    I would rather Hear about what they are going to do when they are in office instead of attacking other candidates. Let's hear the issues, not how horrible the other candidate is. Now I am leaning more to Romney due to these attacks.

    January 6, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  25. Betty Woodward

    While the other candidates were hammering Romney, Romney was hitting the nail on the head by talking about the issues.
    Previously, the other candidates criticized Romney for his negative campaigns , yet Huckabee leaked his negative ad to the press and got his seemingly innocent but negative publicity all over the country without even paying for it! Was he really trying to play "nice" in doing that? Is McCain playing "nice" now?
    I think the media needs to quit hammering Romney also. Some newscasters basically wrote him off after Iowa, but he is here to stay. I think the media needs to give Romney equal time and equal respect. It was barely noted that Romney won the Wyoming caucus.
    Romney performed a miracle stepping in to take charge of the Olympics in Salt Lake City when it was terribly in debt and steeped in scandal. He not only made it happen, but helped it make money in the process. And no, he wasn't in it for the money. He didn't even ask to be paid for his services. He saw the problem and knew that with his experience he could help.
    Now Romney sees that the nation is in trouble, and knows that he can help by stepping in to make a positive difference. I think, with the country's support, he can do it! It seems clear that Romney is in this race not for his own good, but for the good of the country.

    January 6, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
1 2 3 4 5

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.