February 26th, 2009
02:40 PM ET
6 years ago

Huckabee blasts McCain, warns of socialism

Speaking at CPAC, Mike Huckabee governor took McCain to task for voting for the financial bailout last October, a move the former Arkansas governor said betrayed the party’s core beliefs.
Speaking at CPAC, Mike Huckabee governor took McCain to task for voting for the financial bailout last October, a move the former Arkansas governor said betrayed the party’s core beliefs.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Mike Huckabee and John McCain got along famously during the Republican presidential campaign, but now Huckabee - possibly mulling another bid in 2012 - is putting some space between himself and the former GOP nominee.

Speaking at CPAC, the annual gathering of conservative activists, the former Arkansas governor took McCain to task for voting for the financial bailout last October, a move Huckabee said betrayed the party’s core beliefs.

“With all due respect, Sen. McCain dramatically suspended his campaign and flew back to Washington not to champion those conservative Republicans [in the House], but to join meekly with Barack Obama in voting for the bailout, a bailout most American opposed,” he said.

Huckabee said he went along with the Republican ticket because he was “a good soldier,” but that the bailout vote may have sunk McCain’s campaign.

“I tell you, that moment was not our best moment,” he said. “It would have been our best shot at winning the White House a chance to offer a true authentic, conservative choice rather than a big government echo, rather than a meek, ‘me too’ way of doing things.”

Huckabee frustrated some Republican primary voters during the campaign because he was perceived as being too supportive of government spending on social programs, but in his remarks Thursday, he stressed his opposition to the financial bailout and President Obama’s stimulus package. Those spending bills, he said, have given conservatives a chance to define themselves against liberal overreach.

“The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics may be dead, but the Union of American Socialist Republics is being born,” he said.

Still, Huckabee struck back at his critics, saying he was "prophetic" in warning during his campaign about the dangers of a "Wall Street to Washington Axis of Power that was out of control."


Filed under: John McCain • Mike Huckabee
soundoff (205 Responses)
  1. donna

    Poor Huckabee...still trying to remain relevant...

    February 26, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  2. Scott of Utah

    Amen liz, I would add, "to feed your own greed" at the end.

    February 26, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  3. Steve from Florida

    We should worry more about Hucklebee than we do about Palin. He is extremely frightening and with his religious right theocracy is more dangerous than even Rush!

    February 26, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  4. HBO

    Calling all Evangelicals!!!!

    Please tell us was Jesus a conservative or a liberal (socialist)? And, please provide scriptures to support your views.

    February 26, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  5. HBO

    Calling all Evangelicals!!!

    Was Jesus a conservative or a liberal? Please provide scriptures to support your views.

    February 26, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  6. ch

    Is the republican party so desperate that Huckabee and Palin are considered serious potential candidates?

    Until they rid their party of the hateful right wing nut jobs, the GOP will remain where they deserve to be – in the MINORITY.

    February 26, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  7. Andy

    There is a rift in the Republican party between those who think the party lost its way because they went too moderate and those who think the party appeals too much too the fringe elements of America.

    Compound that with the fact that minorities are becoming the majority, as well as the lack of appeal of so-called traditional values to those minorities and the result doesn't look good for Republicans.

    Changing their PR message and dressing up the party with minority leaders isn't going to change anything. Changing the way they think from authoritarian "better-than you" moralistic bigots is the only way the Republican party has a chance.

    February 26, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  8. ch

    It should have been him (Huckabee) against Obama this election.
    -------------------------------
    Yes – I agree. Than Obama would have won an even bigger landslide.

    Huckabee and Palin appeal to nobody other than right ring religious extremists – get a clue!

    February 26, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  9. Concerned in MA

    @ Truth Teller

    Your're corrct.. Jesus did just as you said.

    But... he taught those things because he was a decent person, not to further his own agenda. Big difference.

    February 26, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  10. kayla

    JESUS WAS CRITICIZE BY PEOPLE LIKE THE REPUGS. SO, IT IS THE SAME PROBLEM CONTINUES. JESUS, ALSO CALLED THEM HYPOCRITES.

    February 26, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  11. THAT ONE/BIDEN 08

    Can Americans please stop pretending "socialism" is a bad thing?

    February 26, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  12. Typical White Person

    @ liz

    Socialism according to dictionary.com:

    the stage following capitalism in the transition of a society to communism, characterized by the imperfect implementation of collectivist principles.

    Collective Principles : Collectivism is a term used to describe any moral, political, or social outlook, that stresses human interdependence and the importance of a collective, rather than the importance of separate individuals. Collectivists focus on community and society, and seek to give priority to group goals over individual goals.

    We are very near socialism. This administration has put forward the largest transfer of wealth in human history and are not only totally disregarding individual goals but are disregarding individual responsibility.

    February 26, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  13. Earl Barnett

    Jesus is neither conservative, centrist, or liberal. Jesus is just simply right,

    February 26, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  14. California Gold

    Frankly it wasn't the vote for the 2008 bailout that was McCain's problem. (1) The economy submarined McCain. (2) McCain's grandstanding appeared like he was desperately trying to avoid the debate that was scheduled (canx campaign means no debate). Then he was caught interviewing with Katie Couric in New York and no where near Washington. Then the first bailout vote failed. McCain was McCain's #1 problem and the tanking economy finished him off.

    February 26, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  15. carlo

    Not the Socialism banter again. That guy on the HBO special not only misspelled it, he couldn't define it. Most of the people who scream Socialism can't define it, either, and don't realize that this country has never been a completely capitalist country. We have always had socialist elements. They're always against it until they need it. Don't believe me? Ask Citibank.

    February 26, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  16. jano1234

    glub!!! hold your nose; we are going down with Obama.

    February 26, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  17. Melissa

    Oh stop with the fear tactics. We're tired of it.

    February 26, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  18. mpp

    Really, "The Earth is Flat Society?" I have a news flash for everyone worried about Presidents forcing their beliefs on Americans: It's not going to happen!!

    Gays will eventually be allowed to marry, abortions will never be outlawed, and the Republicans will still be protecting your back and your pockets. When that time comes, I'll be happy to allow my gay married couple neighbors to have abortions as long as I can protect my wealth from socialistic democrats who think Obama is the answer to all their prayers.

    February 26, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  19. California Gold

    It wasn't the vote for the 2008 bailout that was McCain's problem. (1) The economy submarined McCain. (2) McCain's grandstanding appeared like he was avoiding the scheduled debate (canx campaign means no debate). Then he was caught interviewing with Katie Couric in New York and no where near Washington. Then the first bailout vote failed. McCain was McCain's #1 problem and the tanking economy finished him off.

    February 26, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  20. Voter

    Will these people ever say something new?

    February 26, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  21. KLK

    The church needs their deacon back. This man does not belong in politics.

    February 26, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  22. Baze

    Good job playing Monday morning quarterback Huckabee. Seriously, this guy is starting to look a petty partisan hack. He couldn't even beat McCain for the Republican ticket, couldn't even get close in fact, so how can he claim that he would have run a stronger campaign?

    February 26, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  23. Emma, San Jose

    Clearly, the Republicans have not grown to adequately manage the US '
    contemporary needs. Surely we are all noticing how the ineptitude of the last eight years is attributed to Obama. How unhealthy!

    February 26, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  24. america first

    no mr. huckabee, mccain lost because the American people wanted a leader they could trust, no republican is trust worthy anymore, you are all filled with hate, greed and racism, look at the hate palin stirred up, it has caused more and more of these hate filled groups to come out of the wood work, SHAME ON ALL OF YOU, President Barack Obama(2012).

    February 26, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  25. Maggie from Virginia

    Liz,

    The GOP is an advocate of ignorance. If your educated, you're an elitest. Why do you think they're against government funded education. The more you know, the more you question.

    February 26, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
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