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. ben

    If it's "religious extremism" to support living within your means and oppose corporate control of government, then give me a plate full of religious extremism. Go Huck!

    February 26, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  2. CNN moderation purgatory...

    THAT ONE/BIDEN 08 February 26th, 2009 3:15 pm ET

    Can Americans please stop pretending "socialism" is a bad thing?
    -------------------------------
    We're not pretending... we know it is.
    And don't give me that line about police, fire, etc. are "social service" garbage.
    They are not. These are essential public services that are to the benefit of all members of society along with the military and are for the safety of all citizens.
    That is the ONLY role the government is supposed to play according to the Constitution.
    Welfare checks and the like are the forced transfer of monies from one citizen to another and is unconstitutional. That is socialism.

    February 26, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  3. Matt the Baker

    Huckabee's comment represent the real reason why the GOP is stuck in reverse. McCarthyism does not work anymore. THE GOP does not concentrate on having reasonable dialogue on issues. Instead , they prefer to draw lines in ht sand and categorize any views that do not fall under their banner as "evil" or "socialist". When will a GOP leader emerge that understands that "tax cuts" is not an economic platform and Falwell's "Moral Majority" bigotry is not a social platform. Running on the values of fear and hate will cause a party to lose touch with middle America.

    February 26, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  4. Comradio

    All of these conservatives only even have the word "Socialism" in their vocabulary because Limbaugh, Hannity, and Beck keep telling them that that is what is happening here. Its an amazing tool though, to figure out who knows absolutely nothing about social theory, history, or the principles and definitions of socialism. Excuse me, when was the last time you read a socialist book, paper, or magazine? That's right, never, but you sure believe AM radio when they tell you what to think! Fools. Hypocrites. Charlatans. Extremists. Fundamentalists. And dangerous. I'm done with you pathetic excuses for concerned citizens. I'm ready for the civil war you will inevitably start. And I know the TRUTH about why I'd be there.

    February 26, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  5. Frank

    Jesus DID want to help the poor and the sick. He encouraged poeple to do it on their own. He never endorsed taking it away from who he thought had too much in order to give it to who he thought had too little.

    That's the difference between liberals and conservatives.
    Conservatives give with their own money because they want to.

    Liberals give with other people's money because they know better than you how to spend it.

    February 26, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  6. Erik from Real Pennsylvania

    Huckabee in 2012?!?!?! What a laugh. He's now just a has-been leader and Fox News talking head.

    February 26, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  7. Linda in MS

    Socialism, once again the boogey man in the closet, the big bad wolf, the monster under the bed. Sorry guys, I was born in 1950, I remember all that Red Scare crap, and it ain't going to work any more.

    February 26, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  8. jace

    i'm praying he is the new face of the Republican party.....so Obama can be guaranteed another four years in office!

    February 26, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  9. STFU

    Earl Barnett

    February 26, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  10. Where is the OUTRAGE when in 2001 GW BUSH gave 1.35 trillion dollars in TAX CUT to the RICH & CORPORATE AMERICA

    socialism is the new republiklan slogan....instead of offering new ideas, they throw tantrums like 3yr old!!!!!

    February 26, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  11. Justin from New Haven, CT

    This is hilarious! The Republicans kill themselves more and more every day.

    February 26, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  12. bags

    Surprise! The Huckster attempting to trash another fellow Republican. Fortunately, The Huckster is going no where fast. His petty, mean-spirited and vindictive ego is turning off other republicans. Palin, Jindal, Romney - any one but Huck!

    February 26, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  13. Ex-GOP Gal

    Socialism in this case would be alot better than the chaos that would incur should we go along with the Republican solution – or should I say non-solution.

    February 26, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  14. Where is the OUTRAGE when in 2001 GW BUSH gave 1.35 trillion dollars in TAX CUT to the RICH & CORPORATE AMERICA

    Huckabee is a joke on the FALSENEWS SNL show; he is just trying to stay relevant!!!!

    February 26, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  15. Jody

    Go Huckabee!!!!!!!!!

    WE LOVE YOU!

    February 26, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  16. John

    I see that Mike Huckabee wants to stick to his conservative principles but, what he won't spell out honestly is exactly what that means.

    The conservative principles demonstrated over the years since President Regan have been give to the rich and dump on the rest of us. You would think that such a religious person as the huckster would at least own up to his rich people come first principles.

    February 26, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  17. Len in Washington

    It wasn't "the Bailout vote" that sank his (and your) campaign, Mike, it was "The whole package" submitted for our perusal.
    We said "no" and we meant it.
    And by the way, enough of the "Socialism" garbage. We're not buying that either.

    February 26, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  18. Jason

    And the campaign for 2012 begins........sigh.......

    February 26, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  19. Mary

    Keep leaning further to the right gop, the Dems will be in power for a long, long, time.

    February 26, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  20. Fred

    I wondered what ever happened to paying your fair share values? The huckster and others on the far right of the republican party believe that even after their values brought us this current depression we will still keep voting against our own prosperity.

    Fool me once shame on you but, fool me twice shame on me! I'm not buying what your selling Mr Huckster, no more free lunch for the rich, pay your fair share.

    February 26, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  21. Ric in NY

    LIBERAL KOOL-AID DRINKERS are pathetic. At least Huckabee is an AMERICAN, unlike the foreign born Barack Obama who's birth certificate is a fraud !!

    February 26, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  22. jeff

    Go Mike! When people in sports can make 10 to 50 to even over a 100 million in chasing balls and the average american joe is losing there job by the thousands something is very wrong. If Jesus was here right now he would not be happy of how money hungry and how we turned away from him.. when Obama gives 900 million to HAMAS in the Gaza strip a terrorist organization who has american blood on there hands something is wrong

    February 26, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  23. Linda

    I don't think Mike Huckabee is on the same planet as the rest of us with his head so stuck in the sand. I wondered what ever happened to paying your fair share values? The huckster and others on the far right of the republican party believe that even after their values brought us this current depression we will still keep voting against our own prosperity.

    February 26, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  24. Kurt C.

    What sunk McCain's campaign is the liberal media that overlooked the hundreds of missteps, gaffes, and just downright lies Obama told and overplayed minor missteps my McCain and Palin.

    "Stand up, Chuck! Stand Up!"

    If Bush had done that, they would have literally tarred and feathered him.

    February 26, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  25. Annie

    My sister is dating a guy who is the father of 6 children from 3 different women. He choose not to work so does not have to pay child support. All his children receive aid money and free health care. He does not pay income taxes but gets a tax refund! He has a car, computer and better cellphone than I do.
    This is the kind of people my hard earned money is going to!

    February 26, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9