June 11th, 2010
03:11 PM ET
8 years ago

Huckabee takes aim at Daniels' comments

Mike Huckabee (right) is slamming Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (left) over his recent comments suggesting the next president should focus exclusively on fiscal problems at the expense of social issues.

Mike Huckabee (right) is slamming Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (left) over his recent comments suggesting the next president should focus exclusively on fiscal problems at the expense of social issues.

(CNN) - In what could be an early preview of the 2012 race for the GOP presidential nomination, Mike Huckabee is slamming Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels over his recent comments suggesting the next president should focus exclusively on fiscal problems at the expense of social issues.

"Let me be clear…the issue of life and traditional marriage are not bargaining chips nor are they political issues," the former Arkansas governor and 2008 Republican presidential candidate said in an e-mail to supporters Friday. "They are moral issues. I didn't get involved in politics just to lower taxes and deficit spending though I believe in both and have done it as a Governor. But I want to stay true to the basic premises of our civilization."

Daniels' comments came in an interview with the Weekly Standard, during which the Indiana Republican said the next president "would have to call a truce on the so-called social issues" so he or she could focus on the fiscal problems facing the country.

The comments have riled several prominent social conservatives, including Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, who called them "astonishing."

Daniels, the popular Indiana governor and former OMB head under President George W. Bush, is widely considered to be a potential presidential candidate.

In his e-mail Friday, Huckabee said Daniel's sentiment was "heartbreaking."

"For those of us who have labored long and hard in the fight to educate the Democrats, voters, the media and even some Republicans on the importance of strong families, traditional marriage and life to our society, this is absolutely heartbreaking. And that one of our Republican 'leaders' would suggest this truce, even more so," he wrote.

But Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, another potential 2012 presidential contender, was more tepid in his response to the criticisms, telling CNN's John King, "I wouldn't characterize it the way Mitch did. "

"I would say what makes it about - what makes campaigns about the issues are what are the issues on people's minds. And right now, you're right, it's not the social issues that are on people's minds.," Barbour said in an interview airing Friday on John King, USA.

Filed under: 2012 • Indiana • Mike Huckabee • Mitch Daniels
soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. American Patriot -- a "real" tea partier

    Why didn't you say anything when Bush was touting his nonsense back in 2000 and 2004?

    June 11, 2010 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  2. stay true to the basic

    so with you, we get the basic culture

    everyone either fits your mold of what should be, or they are extra

    June 11, 2010 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  3. kimberly

    hes 100% RIGHT! I would LOVE to have a republican in office that would keep his noise OUT OF MY PERSONAL LIFE! They need to worry about the economy and safety of my country, NOT my breeding and marital rights. I am sick to DEATH of the right, especially bored christian bible thumping gun totting housewives in the south, sticking thier OPINIONS in my face and trampling on my constitutional rights. STICK TO THE ECONOMY and SAFETY! your NOT there to be the moral police. For ONCE republian that MAY have a shot at gaining left votes

    June 11, 2010 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  4. kimberly

    and huckabee sounds like hitler, "educate" the democrats?? ITS YOUR OPINION, NOT FACT! SHUT UP you bible thumping ignorant fool!

    June 11, 2010 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  5. tek

    Taking nothing but these comments into consideration, a republican presents himself with sense and sensability. Assuming that the direction of his campaign doesn't change course, he may be a candidate worth voting for. Out of our bedrooms, and back to the blackboard please.

    June 11, 2010 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  6. Dylan

    I LOVE this guy! He's totally got it right.

    June 11, 2010 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  7. PalmReader

    "They are moral issues. I didn't get involved in politics just to lower taxes and deficit spending though I believe in both and have done it as a Governor. But I want to stay true to the basic premises of our civilization."

    God Lord, Huckabee . . .

    One can only cut taxes and reduce spending so much. Look at it this way, Mikey. When a belt becomes too tight, oxygen levels can't sustain breathing.

    Thanks to all of you conservative fools, we as a country are now on economic life support. Given that, I doubt very much our economy can sustain anymore *belt-tightening* antics.

    And, BTW, morals and GOPers aren't working so well for the conservative movement right now. Daniels is correct. It is time to put the holier than thou meme to rest. It reached it's peak in 2000.

    June 11, 2010 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  8. Dano

    Huckabee knows that using social issues to divide the lower and middle classes is the only chance the GOP has of getting elected to any state or national office. If Republicans were to focus entirely on important issues like the economy American voters would see just how much they favor the wealthy and corporations over average working class citizens and would throw the bums out of office.

    June 11, 2010 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  9. Libertyman13

    Ah yes, another conservative demonstrates how they only mean they support small government when the government is trying to help people. When it's forcing people to live a certain way, limiting personal freedoms, and coercing everyone into a certain traditional social order, conservatives generally love big government. This Mitch Daniels guy might have a brain, though.

    June 11, 2010 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  10. bennie new york

    Sound advice by Daniels- it's a shame that it falls on deaf ears with Huckabee. If Huck tried to pass Constitutional amandments banning abortion and same-sex marraige as President, there would be riots in Washington.

    June 11, 2010 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  11. Paul

    One of the major qualms most people have with the GOP is their unwillingness to abandon their outdated, illogical and irrelevant agendas on social issues that really amount to nothing more than a form of dominionism. How about actually living up to the philosophy of less government by reducing government's influence on social issues? Retards like Huckabee didn't get into politics to work on the economy though, they got into it to spread Christianity to normal, rational people who just want to be live their lives and have a decent economy.

    June 11, 2010 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  12. jbakaregit

    You know what, Mitch is right on the mark. (and by the way, Obama will be re-elected in 2012; the GOP has got nobody that can beat him).

    If the GOP wanted to overturn Roe V. Wade, they would have done it when they had control of the House, the Senate, the WH, and 2 conservative appointments on the Supreme Ct. It's still the law of the land. Why did the GOP leave it in place? B/c it is such a nice wedge issue to rile up the stupid come election time.

    The GOP uses social issues to (again) distract the stupid from their economic agenda, which is to take care of the rich at the expense of everybody else. Their record (especially during the Bush years) prove it.

    The social issues the religious right harps about are played out. The country, especially in this time of economic turmoil, is moving forward. The GOP should look to history (if they can put down their dislike for education and facts long enough) in the 1930s when the country turned it's back on the social issue of the day: anti-alcohol. During a depression, nobody gives a rip who drinks and who doesn't. Legalizing it brought in much needed revenue to cash-strapped states during the Depression.

    Huckabee, you and the religious right culture war crap is over.

    June 11, 2010 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  13. Shucks

    The man truly has something against gays. It is his number one diatribe all the time. Mr. Huckabee, are you hiding something?

    June 11, 2010 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  14. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    Let me be clear: My morals are none of Mike Huckabee's business, nor are the morals of any other American citizen.

    Morality is not the business of government! Never!

    And it's people like Huckabee, the narrow-minded thieves of the once-good name of the Republican Party, the neo-cons, who've made "life and traditional marriage" into political issues by repeatedly trying to impose their self-righteous bigotry on American citizens.

    Governor Daniels is absolutely right: The most important concern of government these days is the American economy.

    June 11, 2010 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  15. Linda

    Glad to see Haley Barbour alive and well. He has been MIA after his statement about the oil spill being under control and there were enough assets that they wouldn't have to ask for government help. So much for that lie.This was when the spill first happeed.

    June 11, 2010 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  16. joeb

    Mitch is correct. The Huskster is just that, a huckster!

    June 11, 2010 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  17. Joe

    God forbid we should focus on the real problems when there are knee jerk fund raising "issues" like flag burning, gay marriage, and bad books on library shelves to get folks foaming at the mouth over. Hell, if
    we can just take away the women's right to choose and strip gays of their civil rights, the economy will fix itself, the divorce rate will decline, the air pollution will disappear, and our schools would work just fine.

    June 11, 2010 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  18. Larry

    The Republicans are eating their own.

    This will be fun to watch!

    June 11, 2010 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  19. ART

    Really don't care what most Republicans have to say, but in regards to Tony Perkins. This man is the biggest racist xenaphobe wrapped in a religion, he is hateful and poisonous

    June 11, 2010 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  20. Joe

    "the issue of life and traditional marriage are not bargaining chips nor are they political issues"

    Oh, I'll remember that next time the right wingers start screaming about these things at their POLITICAL events!

    June 11, 2010 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  21. Justin

    Good for Mitch Daniels. Don't let the religious right nutjobs bring you down. Stand up for what you believe.

    June 11, 2010 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  22. Brian

    Hey Huckabee and Perkins, here's a message for you:

    Stop trying to control society based on what your small mind thinks is moral, ethical or American. Your ignorance and narrow-mindedness is clearly boxing in your mind and you are incapable of knowing what is right and wrong for this country. Your thoughts are outdated and laced with bigotry and hatred. Stop talking immediately and let the world continue without you.


    June 11, 2010 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  23. Dan

    But, there are issues to emphasize and unite around even if on some issues there are slight differences, and fiscal irresponsibility by democrats is certainly something to allow all types of republicans to move ahead together...

    June 11, 2010 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  24. keeth in California

    "But I want to stay true to the basic premises of our civilization."

    If that's the case, then homosexuals can get married in Christian and Catholic churches for love, and heterosexuals can only get married for property, business, control of women and children, and procreation. Heterosexuals cannot marry for love.

    Read "Same-Sex Unions in Pre-Modern Europe" by John Boswell.

    The notion that marriage has always been "one man, one woman" is entirely false. Try reading more than just the Bible, which was written by man, not God, and man is inherently fallible.

    God blessed the unions of Ruth and Naomi and David and Jonathan. In addition, the section of the Leviticus Laws in which people cite "man shall not lay with man as with woman" all have to do with prohibited acts in the temple. So why should this one oft-cited law not apply to the temple only as the others do, but instead to all men everywhere? It's selective reading and interpretation by modern day Christian Evangelicals who are trusting in the bastardized King James version.

    Edumacate yourselves. Homosexuals are here by the will of God. God does not make mistakes. God is not BP.

    June 11, 2010 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  25. John in Brooklyn

    Wow....a REAL Republican...FINALLY! I thought they had already been purged from the party. (Although I'm still not sure whether the conservative conservative social engineering crowd will let him stay much longer.)

    Sadly, today's Republican party CLAIMS that it supports a small federal government that has little power over individuals' lives. YET it promotes federal regulation of a woman's body and ability of indivual states to determine who they will allow to get married. In fact, Republicans have proposed constitutional amendments that would DIRECT the government to actively manage these issues.

    The Republicans can't have it both ways. They can't simultaeously call for libertarian style smaller government AND call for an active role of the government in very very personal issues like individuals' decisions about what to do with their bodies or who they should love.

    June 11, 2010 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
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