February 26th, 2009
02:40 PM ET
5 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. Matt

    This guy is as big of a joke as his party is!! It's time for the religious right to GO AWAY! Halleluah – their days are OVER!!

    February 26, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  2. Kevin in Ohio

    Forced sharing and redistribution of wealth is certainly socialism...it sure isnt capitalism! Liberals, get over it..... it is now your turn to be ridiculed for inept governance. God knows we had our fill of all the hate and lies spewed forth the last eight years. President Bush never had a chance. The only difference is this time the ineptitude and incompetence is TRUE. And SOCIALISM is where we are headed.

    February 26, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  3. James L.

    LOL, republicans need to move from river ........................................DEnial. The water is rising and still they sit at the banks of deNIAL. You might want to move closer to REALITY.

    February 26, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  4. Alicia

    You don't think that fact he was out of touch and then had Caribou Barbie as a running mate had anything to do with it? LOL

    February 26, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  5. TRUTH

    Carlo- Sure we have always had social programs in this country, but it WAS a pre-dominantly capitalist society. Under Obama, in 8 years we will look like Cuba where everyone lives in government housing and drives a 1964 Chevrolet because that is all that is available. Give it a rest Carlo.

    February 26, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  6. Bud in NC

    Yeh ole Huck does not like spending money that might help the average person. Just like all his Republican friends, McCain, Palin, Jendal, Giulianni etc, etc etc, If you added up the IQ numbers of all the Repub. front running presidential hopefuls, it would be far below the IQ of our new president Obama. NO_WAIT!! I just calculated it. The total of all the right wing Repubs IQs in the US would still be less. Obama ain't perfect, but he is brilliant.
    So you moderate Repubs who have a good IQ join with the rest of America and support the President to fix this gigantic mess.

    February 26, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  7. RICO

    I just have one question. If socialism is so bad, which im not saying we should go to that, how come many of the G7 nation, which are the wealthiest nations in the world are socialist, and seem happy with it?

    February 26, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  8. I can see Canada from my house!

    Q: Where does the bulk of your tax money go to when it leaves Washington?
    A: States like Alaska, Louisiana and the other red states that continue to blindly support The GOP.

    The red states receive more money than they put in by far. The conservatives have been supported by federal money to far greater extent than any of us. For Huckabee, Jindall and the others to blast a stimulus package and a budget that will benefit them far more than states like Florida and California is sheer phpocrisy. The legislatures in those states control whether or not they will receive the money, and you can be sure they will take it.

    McCain did not lose the election because of one vote: he lost it because he could not lead. Huckabee cannot lead, either. Jindall cannot lead, Palin cannot lead, etc. See a pattern?

    February 26, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  9. Earl Barnett

    Socialism can be substantially defined by the overreach of government in the lives of the general populace and its influence on or the constraints of capitalism. Big government is a natural result. There is a principle whether it be government or AIG. When they get too big they become unmanageable and as a result fall apart. Our government was too big before Obama took the reins and he and his accomplices in crime are making it more unmanageable. You can expect our government to eventually implode in most of our lifetimes. Earl Barnett, Certified Public Accountant

    February 26, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  10. Augustine 25

    I'm proud of Gov. Huckabee making this point clear. Republicans can win by lining up with the American people in promoting self-responsibility instead of relying on the government. I don't think we will preserve our military and economic strength by being a "pain free" society. One of the earlier predictions is that the TARP would lengthen the recession. It looks like this prediction is coming true...

    February 26, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  11. JJ

    You people saying that Jesus taought socialist values are way off. He taught PEOPLE to love and take care of one another, I don't believe he mentioned a government redistrubution of wealth.

    February 26, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  12. Jim

    Obama and Bush are made from the same cloth!

    February 26, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  13. Al, California

    Religious extremist.

    February 26, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  14. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    well just let them fight it out and Rush can be the referee.

    February 26, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  15. Unshrub

    The republcian party is becoming a bigger joke by the day.

    February 26, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  16. James L.

    OMG.................if this is true..............then we (America) can only thank the GOP for opening the door. What really is the problem then?

    February 26, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  17. RYN2

    During somewhat similar times, the Republicans were out of the White House for 20 years – 1933 to 1953. Why does Huckabee want to repeat this? We need leaders with new ideas – not the same old worn out mythology.

    February 26, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  18. Orville

    Huckabee apparently does not like medicare, public utilities, Amtrak, the postal system, a public bus, his local fire, police, community colleges, public colleges and universities and his local school system..the list goes on and on!...these are all "socialized systems" and very successful!

    February 26, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  19. Mel of Alexandria, Virginia

    Mr. Huckabee, it is too early to begin campaigning. If the banking system is allowed to fail, all of us will hurt beyond your mind to comprehend.

    February 26, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  20. Mark

    Good man! We need a true conservative NOW not a marxist!

    February 26, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  21. ben

    what a nice and expirence politician you mike,who believe helpen the is a socialist it is very hard to believe that your comingback in 20012 will be a disaster for you and fellow republigans that somuch in rich people.

    February 26, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  22. gl, Pittsburgh

    Huckabee is dreaming if he think he will win the White House.

    February 26, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  23. Roy Arellano (San Antonio)

    And that is the sad thing (besides the MANY hypocritcal stances Huckabee has taken); he follows order, "like a good soldier".

    So at what point will our elected officials say, I may approach all issues based on my parties "core beliefs", but stand on behalf of my specific constituency????

    I mean elected officials are one way or the other, wouldn't it be intelligent to vote based on ONLY the needs of your constituency???
    You know a constituency which most like embodies all of America, diversity?

    I guess that's just too hard for any career politician.

    Maybe they should have limits on how long and how many offices and times they can run, just like someone who is or will be president. The only "elders" in all of our government should be the judges...

    February 26, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  24. BS

    Huckleberry Finn - what planet are you on?

    You state "the bailout vote may have sunk McCain's campaign...that moment was not our (rethugs) best moment...It would have been our (rethugs) best shot at winning the White House, a chance to offer a true authentic, conservative choice rather than a big government echo".

    And to top it off you say : "Those spending bills have given conservatives a chance to define themselves against liberal overreach"!

    First off, McCain lost the White House because AMERICA VOTED for President Barack Obama - get over it and move on!

    Secondly, "liberal overreach"!?!?!

    I beg to differ - more like LIBERALS HAVE TO GET US OUT OF THE TOILET THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION PUT US IN!

    Where were you for those 8 years deary?

    February 26, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  25. Joanne65

    I too thank you Governor Huckabee. Your a decent, honest man. I hope you run in 2012 you will get my vote/

    February 26, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
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