May 12th, 2009
03:36 PM ET
6 years ago

Huckabee slams Republican leaders' 'listening tour'

Huckabee isn't a fan of the GOP's new 'listening tour.'
Huckabee isn't a fan of the GOP's new 'listening tour.'

(CNN) - Former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee is continuing to deride his party's leaders in Washington, saying Monday he has trouble keeping a straight face over the GOP's newly-launched "listening tour."

"It's hard to keep from laughing out loud when people living in the bubble of the Beltway suddenly wake up one day and think they ought to have a listening tour; even funnier when their first earful expedition takes them all the way to the suburbs of Washington, D.C.," the former Arkansas governor wrote in a column on Fox News' Web site.

Earlier this month, Rep. Eric Cantor, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney kicked off a campaign by party leaders to reshape the GOP's image, gathering at a restaurant in northern Virginia for the first of a series of town hall meetings.

The goal of the initiative, the National Council for a New America, is to connect Republican leaders with voters across the country to help get the party's electoral fortunes back on track.

"If some of these leaders had been listening already, they wouldn't need to form a group to start listening now," wrote Huckabee. "Some of the ones who have decided to start listening sure weren't listening last fall when they were supporting the TARP bailout bill that pretty much discredited any semblance of conservative conviction."

Huckabee echoed a similar sentiment last week, telling a California newspaper the GOP was at risk of becoming "irrelevant as the Whigs" if it moderated its policies.


Filed under: Mike Huckabee
soundoff (302 Responses)
  1. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    Reverend Hucksterbee is a strong ally of the fringe elements who just might drive a long Democratic majority. Pander on, dude!

    May 12, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  2. Diane

    It would be refreshing if the GOP started listening to the American people and our wants and needs. For the last 8 years they have been trying to tell us what we should think, believe and do. I think it is too little too late, but let them "knock themselves out."

    May 12, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  3. Brandon

    This man is just a nuissance. I wish he would just go away.

    May 12, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  4. Bob the Observer

    If there were more Republicans like Huckabee, they would have more people on their side, including me.

    May 12, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  5. Comradio

    I'm so sick of hearing how the decline of the economy is the dems fault because they had a congressional majority bush's last two years. Easy for you to say that they got nothing done when any piece of substantial legislation they put forward that might have changed the course the Repub's put us on was filibustered and obstructed from a vote(70+ times, more than three times the amount used between the founding of America and Reagan)and anything that wasn't stopped by that got vetoed by Bush(also more than any other time in history). So shut up. A majority is not a VOTING Majority and you guys obstructed anything and everything, then you want to play the, "dems were in control why didn't you do anything" card. Liars and manipulators. It's your fault and you are obstructing our system. American Taliban.

    May 12, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  6. Dan Holiday

    I think it is funny how people dismiss the GOP as-doomed to failure-just because they lost the Presidency for the first time in eight years. Granted, they lost congress as well, but that is a trend that happens to both parties during the waning years of a Presidency. By the logic of the democrats, they should have been irrelevant many times over since they have only had the Presidency for 12 of the last 40 years. Word of advice to you liberals out there, "Do not get overly anxious. You dog has just entered the fight and it is a long way off till the next election cycle." Polls already have the GOP even or ahead in the generic congressional ballots and Obama's numbers have been declining ever since he took the oath of office. Acting as though the GOP is done may make you feel like things are going well for your party, but the reality is much different than you think. Keep that in mind when you feel like flaming every little thing that happens on CNN's threads.

    May 12, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  7. Jefe

    I would vote for the Whigs if they came back. Especially if they wore powdered wigs while in session.

    May 12, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  8. Mike in NYC

    If the GOP "moderates," in other words, becomes Dem lite, they'll accomplish the double whammy of alienating their base while earning only the scorn of the Democrat voters they'd be trying to convert. Why vote for imitation Dem when you can have the real thing?

    The neo-con wing of the GOP, which unfortunately still controls the party, has to go. It combines the worst of both worlds - a pig-headed foreign policy that ultimately serves the interests of another state, and a domestic social agenda that is barely distinguishable from that of the Dems.

    May 12, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  9. Clay

    If Jeb Bush was really listening then he would have no doubt that the vast majority of Americans are shouting at the top of their lungs: "No more Bushes, ever. No way and no how."

    May 12, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  10. Todd

    mike,another religious moron who will never get elected just like Romney!

    May 12, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  11. David

    While the implementation of the listening tour hasn't been stellar, it's the only new idea I've seen from the GOP since January. Listening to their constituents is a pretty reasonable idea.

    I don't like the idea of bailouts but had the banking system completely collapsed, we would be in far worse shape than we are now. Huckabee is just trying to make political hay over anger. It's too bad that anger isn't directed towards the deregulation that caused the near collapse in the first place. Had the regulations remained in place, there wouldn't have been any need for bailouts.

    May 12, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  12. Seattlejim

    It is very apparent the Republicans are conflicted and don't know how to connect with people who are outside there conservative club and refuse to make a legitimate attempt. They have formed circular firing squads among themselves and are steadily picking each other off. As a Democrat, it is really fun to watch. Anyone within the party who expresses alternative ideas or thoughts are immediatly shouted down and ridiculed.

    May 12, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  13. Mel of Alexandria

    We know that the Republicans, in general, do not listen well to the middle class.This is only an effort to change perception. After the tour things will return to normal.Mr. Huckabee is only sad that they are willing to admit the truth.

    May 12, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  14. John

    "If some of these leaders had been listening already, they wouldn't need to form a group to start listening now," wrote Huckabee. "Some of the ones who have decided to start listening sure weren't listening last fall when they were supporting the TARP bailout bill that pretty much discredited any semblance of conservative conviction."

    I have to say Mike Huckabee is right on with this one. The GOP's image is about to go invisible if it continues the way it has. But what Mike Huckabee fails to say also is, that he was and still is party to everything the GOP has done for the past 8 years. The almost total destruction of America. Being hated by every other country in the world. Alienating the USA from its allies. Driven our economy into the ground while making the 1% of the super rich in this country even richer, on the backs of the poor and middle class. Never openly admitting to the American public and apologizing for the mess they have caused. Americans may have short memories, but take away Americans lifestyles and savings and they will never forget who caused it. I have one thing to say to the GOP. It will be a long time before America ever forgive and forgets what you have done. And now all you seem to do is hope and pray that the one person in our time who can and will bring this country out of the quirkmire it is in, fails. Great way to kill your political aspirations and objectives.

    May 12, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  15. Argus the Watcher

    If they had been listening correctly, they would know that they need to get some real ideas that cannot be summarized in less than three letters – N and O.

    May 12, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  16. David

    You are Right! Don't ask the general public what they think. Why do you think there are so many conservative talking heads on tv every day. Someone has to be there to tell the public what to think, they would just get confused.

    The world is a very diverse place and if we are not careful, the public might begin to expand their minds, which is a bad thing if the focus is to maintain our core conservative beliefs. Before you know it, they will start second guessing what they are told to think and end up becoming moderates or even worse, democrats.

    May 12, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  17. Lisa B

    If leaving the ivory tower and "listening" to real people is a bad thing to Huckabee, he should just hang it up now. Shame on him.

    May 12, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  18. Ignorance is bliss

    It loks like the Republicans are still positioned in their circular firing squad. Maybe they need to call Lt. Dan to help them figure it our.

    May 12, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  19. jill

    They will not listen to anyone, they have thier own agenda, and the people of the United States are not part of it. They only care about themselves, and I for one want no party of the party of No.

    May 12, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  20. tom pittsburgh

    The present day radicals in charge of the Republcan party apparently don't know the history of what it once stood for.
    It was the party of Lincoln, T. Roosevelt, and Eisenhauer . It was the party of progressives until waylaid by the robber barons and Coolidge and hoover . It then gave up to progressives in Dem. party until it regained itself with Ike, even Nixon was a social progressive. It wasn't until Reagan again led the party into the hands of big business. Why not learn the lesson and again become a party not controlled by special interests.

    May 12, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  21. lucy2

    I don't think I could ever vote for him, but I do like the guy and he doesn't pull punches. "If some of these leaders had been listening already, they wouldn't need to form a group to start listening now." Exactly.

    May 12, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  22. Pat

    I wonder if for once before the Dems start attacking this article that they would just sit back and think if their party is guilty of the same issues? Both parties have brainwashed many a voter into thinking the other party is to blame, when actually both sides of Congress are to blame. Both parties are the party of 'no' Check the voting records for previous administrations and you will find both parties vote 93% or more with their party. I'm talking to Dems here because most of the postings here are from them and are hate filled. Do you hate me because I am a Conservative Republican? If so, please post a sign outside your place of employment so I know where not to shop because obviously I'm not welcomed.

    May 12, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  23. Josh

    They (GOP ) are the Deer and Obama the Headlight.
    This is fun – sit back and watch the show of the clowns.....

    May 12, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  24. New Day

    the man makes a good point.

    May 12, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  25. sean

    As a conservative democrat i like Mike Huckabee except for his views on science vs religion.He is personable he is funny and he isnt one of those silver spoon fed idiots that can count their testicles 10xs and not get the right answer twice.I find him warm and sincere and a man who wants to do right by america, the Gop needs more of these guys and less of the Mitt Romney types,the men who would sell their souls for a vote...Charlie Crist is a damn fine candidate and if the Gop had some sack theyd elect him and make him a 2012 candidate..Who else?Palin and Romney would eat each other up and Obama would pick their bones clean.

    May 12, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
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