November 18th, 2007
12:54 PM ET
13 years ago

Huckabee: I am only true conservative in race

Mike Huckabee maintains he is the true conservative in the GOP race.

(CNN)–Following a week when a leading pro-life organization endorsed his competitor, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee insisted he is the only true conservative in the GOP race for the White House.

"Well, I've never switched my positions, for one thing. I have a record that doesn't just talk about what I said I was for," Huckabee said in an interview on 'FOX News Sunday' reacting to the National Right to Life Committee's endorsement this week of former Tennessee senator Fred Thompson. "Fred's never had a 100 percent record on right to life in his
Senate career. The records reflect that. And he doesn't support the human life amendment which is most amazing because that's been a part of the Republican platform since 1980."

Thompson also hit the airwaves on Sunday and burnished his own conservative credentials on the abortion issue.

"All I know is that I've had a pro-life voting record my entire career on every conceivable issue that came up before us for almost a decade," Thomspon said on ABC's 'This Week.' "I have said that nothing would pass my desk that would promote or finance or fund abortion without my veto. But you've got to be within the realm of whatever the law is at the time. And if you don't think the law is correct, the best thing that a president can do is try to get judges who will follow the law and follow the Constitution instead of making it up as they go along."

Huckabee also disagreed with the notion that the endorsement raised doubts about his own electability. "My numbers are far better than his, especially in Iowa. So I think I'm pretty doggone electable." Recent polls have shown Huckabee on the rise in Iowa.

Huckabee also sought to draw a sharp contrast with Thompson, and fellow GOP hopeful, Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, over Thompson's and McCain's talks of leaving the issues of abortion and gay rights up to individual states to decide.

"If morality is the point here, and if it's right or wrong, not just a political question, then you can't have 50 different versions of what's right and what's wrong," Huckabee said. "But for those of us for whom this is a moral question, you can't simply have 50 different versions of what's right."

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Filed under: Fred Thompson • Iowa • Mike Huckabee • Race to '08
soundoff (66 Responses)
  1. Shawnie Cannon, Grants Pass OR

    Huckabee is not a fiscal conservative nor a foreign policy conservative nor an immigration conservative. Voting for him his sure failure.

    November 18, 2007 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  2. jw, canadian,ok

    A true Conservative? – Dunno if I'd want that label, kinda sounds like a 24% approval.

    November 18, 2007 11:13 am at 11:13 am |

    If Huckabee runs against Al Sharpton, I'll vote for Huckabee, otherwise, he's a scary choice!

    Let's not vote on terms of Morality here, puh-leeeeez! It is the slipperiest slope to climb for any candidate.

    November 18, 2007 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  4. Thaddeus Columbus, OH

    Mike Huckabee has all the momentum, now he just needs a bit more funds to win. That's why I'm donating $100 for Children's Day, November 20th. Will you join me? Together we can win.

    November 18, 2007 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  5. Daniel, NY

    Check out this detailed analysis of where the GOP race stands in Iowa after yesterday's news that McCain is moving out and Giuliani is moving in, and what that menas for Huckabee. Link.

    November 18, 2007 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  6. Andrew, NJ

    he is a social conservative, but thats it. His fiscal conservatism is laughable, and he is pro-immigration.

    And no, sorry buddy but you are not electable, this country will never elect a person who thinks the world is flat and there is no such thing as evolution.

    And he may take Iowa, but he'll flail everywhere else because the rest of the country is not as religious

    November 18, 2007 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  7. James, Boston, MA

    One of the biggest problems Republicans in general are going to have to face is that the American people want change. Being labeled a true conservative is not going to win anyone an election. Republicans and Democrats alike need to acknowledge the actions of the past are mistakes and a new direction needs to be taken.

    As for morality issues, I don't think any candidate should be up on a soapbox.

    Incidently, only a handfull of comments here while liberals and conservatives continue to bash the Democratic candidates. People turn into the negative news. For once the Republicans aren't involved (too deeply) with negative campaigns.

    November 18, 2007 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  8. J Blaney, Dallas TX

    Huckabee does has some moderate views but remember he governed in a state that is 80% democratic, and he was reelected.
    I do support Mike because I’m sick of politics as usual and I think he means what he says and says what he means.
    So even though I don’t agree with 100% I do think he is earnest and Honest, a rare thing in politics.

    November 18, 2007 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  9. Michael Litzau - Baltimore Md.

    I like Huckabee. He is "Reaganesque" in the sense of being a straight-shooter who says what he means and means what he says. He is sincere and believable. He does have a clear consistent record on most conservative issues. He's also a great communicator. I'm so glad he is in this race!

    November 18, 2007 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  10. Tim Minneapolis, Mn

    I'm not sure if it was him, but bombing churches in the middle east is not conservative. Neither is going broke in the middle east.

    November 18, 2007 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  11. Don't vote for hate

    Huckabee: I'm the only conservative in the race.

    With the way the conserv atives have destroyed peace, the economy, the once balanced budget, human rights and our reputation around the world – I WOULD NOT be making that boast!

    November 18, 2007 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  12. Patrick, fresno Ca

    Conservative? hardly. Fascist? Possibly.

    You can not be pro-war, pro-Big Gov.spending, and Pro-intervenionist and call yourself a "True Conservative". Before the Dixie-crats infiltrated the GOP, Conservative meant staying out of foreign affairs, opposing limiting individual rights, and only using the military for defense.

    This Huckabee is nothing more than one of the Neocons whom usurped the GOP and turned them into a Hawkish version of the DNC. Public Entitlements, Patriotism as a weapon, interventionist War, oppression of natural rights, pandering to special interest groups....these are not conservative ideas...rather they are the ideology of Stalin, Hitler and Mao!

    Huckabee= National Socialist.

    Some choice we've got...Hard core Socialists on the left, or Hard core Fascists on the right.

    It's like Mises said..If you got Hitler and Stalin to sit down long as Economics was not brought up they'd have very much in common. Other than their pandering statements and press releases of FEAR there really is little difference between Hillary,Obama, Edwards, Huckabee, Giuliani, and Romney.
    This country is doomed to 4 more years of oppression, heavy government spending, and war.

    November 18, 2007 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  13. Walt, Belton, TX

    After the last fiasco from Arkansas that graced the White House, I think I'll pass. Claiming to be very conservative doesn't give him any more credibility in my mind, but rather much less. His only positive point is that he doesn't claim to come from Hope.........

    November 18, 2007 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  14. Jack, Fort Myers, FL

    Huckabee said: "If morality is the point here, and if it's right or wrong, not just a political question, then you can't have 50 different versions of what's right and what's wrong," Huckabee said. "But for those of us for whom this is a moral question, you can't simply have 50 different versions of what's right."

    Well sir, this may make you a great conservative, but it will not make you a great President. The freedoms inspired by our constitution does leave room for a multitude of philosophical opinions of what morality is. And I for one, do not want the government dictating to me what is moral and immoral. I believe the American people can decide that on their own. Obviously we will still have majority rule, and the law of the land so we will not dive into anarchy and chaos. But you sir, do not represent the majority of Americans when it comes to defining and legislating morality. If you intend to do so–you've already lost the election–and support of millions of moral Americans who do not desire to have any party or government entity defining what their moral code should be! My 4 cents.

    November 18, 2007 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  15. T. Tim, Lodi, WI

    What we need are more INDEPENDENTS, not more conservatives or liberals, Republicans orDemocrats! Statewomen and statesmen who put country and ALL people first instead of party. Partisanship is tearing the US apart and causing havoc overseas as well. Politics is NOT football, win or lose though it seems to have devolved into that here.

    November 18, 2007 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  16. John, LA, Ca

    True conservative? I think the GOP as a whole, including Huckabee, could use a history lesson Jefferson, Goldwater and Paul.

    November 18, 2007 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  17. Don, Columbus, OH

    Moronic right to life people. It’s only a matter of time before your antiquated, pre-enlightenment period notions of souls, ghost and supernatural phenomenon fall by the way side. You don’t believe in evolution, you think embryos have feeling and souls, and consider intelligent design a scientific theory; we don’t need such mentalities running this country. I'm so sick of christians imposing their values on this culture. I think those who oppose stem cell research should not be allowed to benefit from all the other advances allowed by science. I mean, why should we tamper with gods creations to begin with? If you get a deadly virus, don’t treat it, let god decide your fate. Or, you could just carry on, picking and choosing your beliefs from the bible as you see fit. There is no end to the inconsistency, intellectual dishonesty, and rationalizations among some of these faith heads.

    November 18, 2007 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  18. JD Rugby ND

    From a GOP perspective, Huckabee is head and shoulders above Giuliani, Thompson, McCain, or Romney, but Ron Paul still has the better ideas, the clearer vision, and makes the best candidate.

    November 18, 2007 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  19. Eric Palmieri

    I agree. I don't know why more Republicans are not supporting Huckabee nationally. He seems to represent the party much more than Rudy does.

    -Eric Palmieri

    November 18, 2007 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  20. gilliganscorner

    A true conservative? You mean a real Republican? Republicans that are supposed to be non-interventionist and limited government. Like Thomas Jefferson? are a product of nanny state thinking...

    The only true Conservative in the race is Ron Paul.

    You need to sit at his knee and learn, Mike.

    November 18, 2007 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  21. Karen, Detroit MI

    Mike, you could be God's chosen heir to Ronald Reagan and you wouldn't win, you old fool. No one in their right mind will elect a President "Huckabee". Wake up. You are cursed with the stupidest name in politics, something that renders you completely unelectable. Hick-a-bee is more like it, at least in the minds of blue-staters. You're going nowhere fast.

    November 18, 2007 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  22. John, Detroit, Michigan

    scary picture!

    November 18, 2007 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  23. Don Alexander Carson City Nevada

    Huckabee is soft of sex offenders. I remember the Wayne Demond case. Demond was a high risk convicted sex offender while Huckabee was Governor. Huckabee struck up a close friendship with the Convicts wife and promised that he would get him out of jail. Demons was coming up for Parole and the Parole Board said in no way were they going to release this guy as he was a danger. Huckabee then threatened to commute his sentance if they didn't Parole him. The Parole Board didn't want him out under any circumstances but they had no choice. Atleast while on Parole they could monitor him if he was commuted he could just go free. They Paroled him and he brutally raped and murdered a woman. C'mon now this guy is a disaster. I am a Republican but if he gets the nomination I will either vote Democrat or not at all.

    Also he lies on his position on Immigration. While Governor he tried to get illegals scholarships over citizens. He still wont comment about that one.

    November 18, 2007 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  24. Alethia, SE Iowa

    Huckabee is not even in the conservative neighborhood. He's chomping at the bit for Giuliani's VP spot, and he'll use his sell-out preacher friend, Robertson, as a justification. Just wait and see.

    November 18, 2007 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  25. James, Boston, MA

    Don from Columbus, OH,

    There really is no need to start calling names. This is America, and by right we are all allowed to have our own opinions. I take it from your post that you are not spiritual; I am sorry for you if you think that what we are living in is the end all.

    I am a scientist, and a conservative. I believe in both evolution and a higher existence.

    The question of when does life begin is not easy, as is most things. You preach science, but one of the oldest questions in science is how small can a particle be and still keep its identity? How small is the smallest particle? Science has matured over the centuries, and we still do not have an answer. The smallest particles known may still have smaller constituents. The same can be said for life. Surely a baby is not defined as a human merely because its head is out of the womb? You want to go earlier in the pregnancy? Premature babies can be kept alive months before their due. How many months along should they be before a premature baby is saved because it is human, and when should it be discarded as not?

    Anger is not the answer, understanding is.

    November 18, 2007 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
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