(CNN) – If the Republican Party wants to get back on track, former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee says GOP leaders must first restore voters' confidence in the government.
"People will forgive you for being a little left or a little right, but they won't forgive you for not taking them up instead of down," he told CNN in between appearances on his 56-city tour to promote his new book, "Do the Right Thing: Inside the Movement That's Bringing Common Sense Back to America."
Huckabee said Republicans have lost their reputation as people who believe in curtailing spending and attempting to balance the budget and have a new label: the "budget busters," who spend more than they can pay back while priding themselves on not raising taxes.
Watch a post-campaign Huckabee on the road
"But it's not that they do it by curbing spending, they just kick the can down the road and put the burden on our grandchildren," he said, adding that he considers it "morally wrong" to indebt future generations.
Following big losses in the 2008 elections, the former Arkansas governor is urging Republican leaders to get back to the party's core values and "govern well" if they hope to win back the trust of voters.
Those in office, he said, "have to show that they are competent to lead," whether at the governors' level or city council. That way, Republicans can point to those people as examples to justify why they should be given a chance in the future.
Related: I'm not settling scores, says Huckabee
"If we don't live up to our own principles, then we can hardly criticize the other party for not living up to our principles either," he said.
Wow, thanks Huck-
Another book that instructs people to hate gay folks and to take away women's rights. Gee, that's really what we needed. Thanks for throwing in some obvious fiscal failures of the GOP as well. What a news flash.
How 'bout this:
Stop cramming your bible down everybody's throat.
Or go back to trying to run a church instead of trying to run a country.
Freedom is the distance between church & state.
The RNC DOES NOT HAVE A CREDITABLE LEADER THAT ANY ONE WILL LISTEN TO. WHEN THERE'S ONE,LET ME KNOW.
I like Mike. While he is a very religious man, and there is nothing wrong with that at all, he comes across as acknowledging those that wish not to have it shoved down their throats, and doesn't seem overly condemning of those either.
If you're going to have a party with very-strong roots in religion, then he's the guy to consider. Unlike Caribou Barbie, he supports the teaching of both evolution and creation. Fine by me, it's better than banning books because they are against your beliefs.
He seems to at least understand that you need to be liked by more than the religious-right. He can help heal the party. Palin will ruin the party.
The problem with the GOP over the past 30 years or so is that they've abandoned intellectualism in the name of pandering to the religious right. "Common sense" really means "gut belief" and has no basis in critical thinking or any kind of intellectual rigor.
They've pandered to the lowest of the low and now wonder how they lost favor with educated, 21 century people.
Huckabee and Palin are textbook examples of what is wrong with the GOP.
Palin??? Are you all nuts!!! Her kids are high school drop outs and she barely made it out of college. She slaughters the english language and knows NOTHING of what is going on in the lower 48 let alone the world!!! Quit appealing to the radical right wing!!!!
god save the U.S.
I just love how the libs are so threatened by anything Palin! They go everywhere, even to Alaska to try and demean someone who they can find no valid complaints about. She is loved by the media and around the world. There are thousands of blogs condemming the hateful Letterman for his campaign to belittle her! Blogs are full of people who want her on their shows–even the "hallowed " billionaire "oprah" who needs viewers and is sweating bullets because of her drop in viewership. Dream onLibs–she is not going away!
Huckabee is like Palin to me, I have no interest what so ever in listening to either one of them.
The way I see it, it could take years before we see another Republican in the White House. Over the years the Republican party has trashed their own reputation from the inside out. They've lost voter's trust, they can't seem to put a compitent person in office (Bush Sr., Bush Jr., and Palin for example), and they refuse to move closer to the center in an increasingly liberal America. The Republicans are out of touch, out of date, and out of ideas. The same thing happened to the Democrats after the Reagan conservative movement and it took us 12 years to get back in control. I see this as an Obama liberal-moderate-rational thinking movement. Get working GOP, you've failed and you've got A LOT to recover from.
Bob, have you been sharing a cave with Bin Laden? Which Palin are you referring to with your statement?
I actually agree with Huck on one thing: It is morally wrong to indebt future generations. Too bad it started with Reagan; we're paying for it now. It's hilarious that the GOP leaders are JUST NOW admitting that they didn't follow the historical GOP mantra. You realize this now? This didn't happen during the last eight years of fascism lite? Geez.
I would like to know what kind of education Sarah has.
Does she have a t-shirt that reads "I Are a College Graduate?"
Huckabee is one of the few republicans I can tolerate
he is the only one the advised to layoff Obama and rev Wright
and he is the only one that is being honest about the problems of the GOP
I used to be a Republican, before the neo-cons–like Huckabee–hijacked the party and ruined it. The party can have me back–but only by returning to the small-government, fiscally responsible, philosophies it once espoused, and by getting rid of the self-righteous, narrow-minded, bigoted, bible-thumpers like Huckabee and Palin.
Bob. If we didn't impeach Bush for all the things he has done to our country then I think Obama would have to murder some one on the steps of Congress to be impeached.
The problem with the GOP is that they have no leadership. McCain slipped into the election because everyone else imploded and then he pulled the most bone-headed move by selecting Palin.
Bob ——— November 24th, 2008 3:06 pm ET
Sara Palin and Mike Huckabee 2012. Sara Palin is so much smarter then Obama…………..
Maybe in your shallow little world Bob. I betcha ya think the world is still flat.
Huckabee will never be President.
Obama graduated with a degree from Columbia and a Law Degree from Havard. And he was President of the Harvad Law Review. Sarah Palin went to 4 different institutions before getting a degree in communications journalism. 2 of those were community colleges. She doesn't even have an advanced degree.
What is your definition of smart?
Its obvious Bob is delusioned? He needs help to make him forgo his racist thinking and embrace the reality that America has gone beyound his thinking.
Newsflash: The GOP has no future. End of article.
Keeping Sara Palin on board will insure a win win for Dems. Beauty fades but brains are forever. She did severe harm to the Rep party and
it seems that no one in the Rep camp is brave enough to admit it.
Google.... Alaskans for Truth news conference Nov 24 ....if you think she is popular in Alaska. It won't matter what Reps do to try and reinvent themselves if they don't shut Sarah down.
As usual, any Huckabee article brings out the liberal mantra "separation of church and state" (see thomas and others on this board).
If you actually read the constitution, you will see that this phrase is not in there at all. Separation of church and state was a comment once made by Thomas Jefferson well after the Constitution was written.
And there is certainly nothing in the Constitution that says that someone who believes in the bible cannot be elected to office. How is that freedom, that someone should not be elected or able to run purely based on their faith? Aren't liberals the ones who claim to promote "tolerance"?
The real problem with the GOP is they have to start telling the truth instead of just throwing out lies against the other guy. One more thing, get a plan instead of just knocking the guy who has a plan. The Rove days are over, the American people saw through all the lies. Change or be left behind, far behind on the far right.
i'm not so sure its such great strategy to jump ahead to think that putting a republican in charge of anything but the local sewer system...can be good thing...; and (just to be fair) anyone employed with the local sewer system might have a problem with even that idea....
scott in NH
I don't want to hear about repubs for a while. I don't ever want to hear about Palin again. who cares?
Nothing Huckabee does should be taken seriously–after all, he wasn't.
After the comment he made at the NRA meeting about Barack Obama, someone should advise him that his tastelessness and boorish comments are not welcome here anymore. It's too late to quicken himself after his losses.