February 22nd, 2010
12:36 PM ET
4 years ago

Huckabee nails CPAC after dismal straw poll finish

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee criticized CPAC Saturday following his sixth place finish in the conference’s straw poll.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee criticized CPAC Saturday following his sixth place finish in the conference’s straw poll.

Washington (CNN) - Following his disappointing sixth place finish in this weekend's Conservative Political Action Conference presidential straw poll, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee criticized the conference as increasingly irrelevant to the conservative movement and accused its organizers of conducting a "pay for play" event.

Texas Rep. Ron Paul, a libertarian icon, won Saturday's straw poll with 31 percent of the vote. Huckabee and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich each took in 4 percent, earning them a tie for sixth.

Huckabee, who has never fared well in the poll, said the results did not surprise him. "CPAC has has become increasingly libertarian and less Republican over the last years, one of the reasons I didn't go this year," he said Saturday on Fox News, where he is a paid contributor.

The 2008 GOP presidential candidate said the "truly grassroots" energy on the right lies in the Tea Party movement.

"Where CPAC was historically the event, the Tea Parties now are having their own events all over the country and a lot more truly grassroots people are getting involved because of the Tea Parties," Huckabee argued.

He added: "Because of the way that [CPAC] solicits sponsors it has almost become a pay-for-play. It's almost like, who will pay money to be able to be a sponsor and get time on the program. It's one of the things that has hurt it's credibility in recent years."

A CPAC organizer did not respond when asked to comment on Huckabee's observations.


Filed under: CPAC • Mike Huckabee • Popular Posts
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. Vote for me, I'm rich!

    Funny, lobbyists and K-Street in general work exactly the same way.

    Anybody who actually believes this is some type of grass roots movement is either stupid or gullible.

    February 22, 2010 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  2. Nevada dude

    What part of "VOTERS ARE MAD AT BOTH PARTIES" dont you understand??

    GOPhers thought we were just mad at the dems. man are they misreading the political landscape. I dont agree with everything Ron Paul believes in, but he would be the better option than all the worhtless GOP backsliders vying for the ticket.

    February 22, 2010 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  3. An 8 year old ELEPHANT dung heap, does not transform into compost in just 1 year!

    So, after 3 days of bashing, CPAC cons and tea baggers call President Obama an “apologist for America’s might”.

    Ok, I will take the challenge!

    I say little Dick is a “five time draft dodger” that now revels in using OTHER American parent’s kids as cannon fodder!

    “You, you, you, you. Tell me why, I cannot seem to face the truth, I am just a little not over [killing] you! I just cannot face the truth”.

    February 22, 2010 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  4. Bob of Lompoc

    Good News: I hear a signal from The Huckster: "I am done. Stick a fork in me".

    Bad News: A little more power switches over to Palin.

    Good News # 2: She might get the Republican Nomination for President in 2012. Yiiiipppppeeeee for the Democrats. How about Coulter for V-P?

    February 22, 2010 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  5. Doraine Gordon

    There were supposedly 10,000 people at this Conference. Only 2,395 voted in the straw poll. Why didn't everyone there participate in the straw poll? We heard alot of exagerated numbers last summer on how many people attended certain events. Is this what happened this time around? I'm just curious. Were there really that many people attending or is this some more wild tales from the Dark Side?

    February 22, 2010 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  6. Dean

    It's kind of fun watching these guy's turn on each other

    February 22, 2010 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  7. Stop the Nonsense

    Mikes a bit too conservative for my taste but seems like a good guy, so maybe this was a good thing for him!
    And aside from all this- this is 2010- the primaries are two years away. alot can change in that amount of time- check that- alot should change in that amount of time.

    February 22, 2010 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  8. Lynn

    As I live in Arkansas, I feel qualified to let Huckabee in a little secret. He's not even well liked in his own State. As politicians in general are opportunists, Huckabee is king of the hill.

    February 22, 2010 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  9. Chris

    Sore loser...maybe Mr. Huckabee should ponder whether it is he who may be irrelevant.

    February 22, 2010 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  10. Bill

    The Republicans are very busy trying to figure out which crazy group to suck up to next.

    Don't worry, Mike. By 2012, several more wacko groups will appear on the political right. And you'll win something from at least one of them.

    February 22, 2010 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  11. Tony

    Mr. Huckabee does not seem to pick up on the fact that people in both parties are dissolutute with the stalemate in Congress and inability of the Fed to get things done. The Tea Party that he so wistfully thinks will support him may very well have been well represented in the recent CPAC straw pole.

    February 22, 2010 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  12. Jeff W.

    Huckabee doesn't believe in evolution, which is all you need to know about this nutjob. Guess what, Huckabee? The Earth is round, not flat.

    February 22, 2010 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  13. proud conservative

    CPAC is for conservatives, not RINOS which is why no one would think to vote for him.

    February 22, 2010 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  14. Omavi

    Another warning shot from a loose cannon....

    February 22, 2010 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  15. roo2

    Huckabee:
    "CPAC has has become increasingly libertarian and less Republican over the last years, one of the reasons I didn't go this year"

    And this is bad how?

    Ronald Reagan said that the heart of republicanism IS libertarianism!

    February 22, 2010 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  16. Chris

    "Hurt its credibility" has no apostrophe. Come on, reporter.

    February 22, 2010 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  17. gt

    the huckerster need to keep his guitar and tv show,,, thats more his style ,,,entertainer,,,

    February 22, 2010 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  18. katiec

    Huckabee's description of the tea party as our grass roots, what the American people want, shows his stupidity. Course, with Fox, sponsoring, funding, leading the misguided, ill informed followers and as a spokesman for Fox, what he says does not have much creditbility.
    And, the fact that they support the republican party is further proof of how irrelevent they are. They are supporting politicians who almost destroyed our country with their irresponsible spending, backing two unfunded wars, grew government to the largest ever and are now obstructing anything and everything that would help lead us out of the diasters they created. What are they thinking? Or, are they?

    February 22, 2010 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  19. Danny

    Huckabee says "Because of the way that [CPAC] solicits sponsors it has almost become a pay-for-play. It's almost like, who will pay money to be able to be a sponsor and get time on the program. It's one of the things that has hurt it's credibility in recent years."

    Isn't that very much like politics in general? Don't the largest donors get more "time on the program", or access to the representatives, in hopes of influencing their decisions than everyone else?

    February 22, 2010 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  20. Dale

    But isn't Huckabee also describing the "for profit" and libertarian-leanings of the Tea Party as well? While he is spot-on about some aspects of CPAC, it doesn't sound like the Tea Party is offering anything other than a change in name alone.

    February 22, 2010 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  21. Jimmy

    Sore loser. Mitt Romney isn't exactly a libertarian, and yet he came in second. Huckleberry is merely trying to downplay what is a devastating blow to his presidential ambitions.

    Chuck the Huck!

    February 22, 2010 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  22. Aunt Bea and Opie

    Come on home Huck,I will bake you a pie and help you get your old job as dog catcher back.Opie even has a crying towel ready fer ya.

    February 22, 2010 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  23. james

    that's because libertarians are true conservatives and republicans are just neocon communists

    February 22, 2010 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  24. If it walks like a duck.....

    "...increasingly irrelevant ..." Truer words were never spoken!!

    February 22, 2010 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  25. The lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    Bye Bye Rev. Mike sorry but common sense has taken hold here among the voters. The people just want their Liberty back. The people want a return the principles of the founding fathers as written in the U.S. Constitution.
    Thank goodness you have that multi million dollar job with Fox news to help pay your bills.

    February 22, 2010 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
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