November 25th, 2007
06:58 PM ET
13 years ago

Huckabee questions Romney’s conservative credentials

Huckabee says Romney has been "all over the board."

(CNN) - Mike Huckabee questioned GOP rival Mitt Romney’s social conservative credentials Sunday in an interview on CNN's "Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer."

“Mitt has changed his position,” the former Arkansas governor said. “He’s been all over the board. But my conservatism has been consistent. When he was pro-abortion, I was still pro-life and always have been. When he was for gun control, I was against it. When he was against the Bush tax cuts, I was for them. When he was against Ronald Reagan's legacy and said he wasn't part of that Bush-Reagan thing, I was a part of that Bush-Reagan thing.”

Romney has long been the frontrunner in most Republican polls in Iowa, but surveys in the past two weeks indicate that Huckabee has closed the gap with the former Massachusetts governor. Huckabee told Blitzer that Romney’s changing views were a major reason why the polls have tightened in the Hawkeye State, which is the first state to vote in the presidential primary season.

Romney has been under attack from his Republican rivals for what they consider a shift on his stance on such conservative issues as abortion, gay marriage, taxes, illegal immigration and gun control.

Huckabee, who’s the only minister among the presidential candidates, added to that chorus today, saying that it’s “not just about where we are now, it’s where we have been and can be expected to be if elected president. It’s not just authenticity, but consistency.”

The Romney campaign fired back, saying “Governor Romney is only being attacked by other campaigns because of his growing support from Republican voters who believe he has the vision, the experience and the values to lead the nation.”

The campaign went on to say, “There are big differences between Governor Romney and Mike Huckabee on taxes, spending and immigration. Mike Huckabee has a very troubling record of raising taxes, increasing spending and advocating that taxpayer dollars for in-state tuition be provided to illegal immigrants. Mike Huckabee is wrong on those issues and he has found himself entirely at odds with many Republican voters as a result.”

With three days to go before the CNN/YouTube Republican presidential debate, it appears the race for the GOP nomination is getting even testier.

Click here to see CNN's new political portal:

- CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser

Filed under: Mike Huckabee • Race to '08
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Tom, Charlottesville, VA

    Puh-leeze. Both of these guys are rightwing extremists who would impose their own narrow morality on everyone else while pursuing the many of the same old tired policies Bush has given us. Here's the movie title for these two: Bad and Badder.

    November 25, 2007 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  2. Todd, Evansville, IL

    There's one thing that Mitt Romney has been consistent on:

    Lying about his record.

    Mitt Romney is a bonefied liar.

    November 25, 2007 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  3. Garrett, Provo, UT

    Huckabee is a wolf in sheeps clothing, and this is coming from someone who has always voted Republican. If you want another Bush with tax increases instead of cuts, which would destroy our already fragile economy, elect Huckabee. If you want someone with the intelligence, judgment, and experience to turn around the nation economically, elect Romney.

    November 25, 2007 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  4. Newt G. Chicago, Ill.

    Ron Paul= Innovative ideas but is he presidential? I don't think so.
    Senator McCain= Certainly has made the sacrafice to serve country. High integrity and character. age may be an issue.

    Rudy= Great public relations skills, could provide nice balance between Republicans and Democrats.

    Romney= Commanding presence and articulate. Incredibly fiscal minded which is what the country is really going to need over the next 4 years. Some level of mistrust with public due to him being a mormon and his changed positions. Probably the most qualified.

    Thompson = Belongs as a Senator. No Presidental Qualities about him.

    Huckabee= Would make a great President for late night TV purpouses. President Huckabee? change his name maybe. He is Jimmy Carter all over again. Again he is not someone I view with a commanding presence and seems to whine too much.

    I think ROMNEY/RUDY OR RUDY/ROMNEY will be the Republican ticket. Either matchup will beat the Democratic nomination and probably the only chance the Republicans have. Anything with Huckabee, Thompson or Paul will get the Republicans Slaughtered.
    Voters in Iowa and early voting states need to remember the primaries are not who will be President but who will beat the Democrats. If you worry about Romneys or Rudy's switch in positions just think if Huckabee wins the nomination but lose to Hillary/Obama. Then what will your worries be?
    It is time for the non-contenders to step aside and get behind the people who can beat the Democrats

    November 25, 2007 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  5. Bill, Streawmood, IL

    Boy is Mike clueless.

    Someone should tell Huckabee that being a conservative is no longer something of which to be proud.

    Announcing that one is a conservative is a little like masturbating. It should be done alone and one should wash their hands afterwards.

    November 25, 2007 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  6. Daniel, NY

    Huckabee is now ranked THIRD in these just updated detailed rankings and analysis of where the Republican presidential race stands today - and he is now trying to contest Romney's first place in Iowa, which explains this new attack.

    November 25, 2007 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  7. Paul Thompson

    Flat tax, secure borders, respect for life, fiscal responsibility, proven leadership. Governor Huckabee is the best candidate. The USA is doing good if he is elected.

    Go Huck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    November 25, 2007 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  8. William Courtland, Waterford, Ontario

    Stances on positions which should only matter should a bill pass the house; and now traits emerge to reinforce character which does carry relevance.

    How about true mental abilities, please rate them and give the people track recorded evidence.

    November 25, 2007 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |

    Bill, Streawmood, IL:

    Let Mike H. go ahead and tout his conservative politics, it's the best way to keep him out of the WH, isn't it?

    Apparently you and I aren't the only ones who are tired of extremist views and the policies they bring us. That's why Hillary is afraid to get nailed down on her views.

    November 25, 2007 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  10. Don IOWA

    Mike Huckabee is nothing but a liar!He raised taxes in Arkansas on gasoline,cigarettes,and a $5.25 per day bed-tax on private nursing home patients in 2001!Governor Huckabee hates the senior citizens!He lies to the media and America!Huck...your out!

    November 25, 2007 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  11. Kyu Reisch, Radcliff, Kentucky

    Sen. Clinton, I knew you have the best record, you have greater experiences than 16 other candidates. You are the only candidate to beat Republican, that's why Republican is so afraid of your nomination also support Obama, they knew Obama has no chance to win in General Election.
    Madam President, Hillary Clinton.

    November 25, 2007 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  12. ASHLEY< Foxworth, ms
    Politico :Huckabee rivals unearth ethics complaints
    By: Kenneth P. Vogel

    The ethics commission fined Huckabee $1,000 for failing to report that he paid himself $14,000 from his 1992 U.S. Senate campaign and $43,000 from his 1994 lieutenant governor's campaign.

    The latter payment — for the use of his eight-seat, twin-engine plane — was reported in a cryptic way that didn’t identify Huckabee and his wife as the owners of the plane.

    click on above link. Is this a guy that has any room to talk about ROmney?

    November 25, 2007 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  13. Chris, Chicago, IL

    Lets not question morals, yet. Lets first question reality. ((Dollar=Gold)+Bigdebt)My babies mommas 2 cents)=Submission to the folks that this mission tried to get the hell away from.

    You are all stupid. Oh, and Merry Christmas.

    Something big is going to happen.
    Someone's son or someone's daughter.

    November 25, 2007 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  14. Gordo - Flintridge, CA

    I once thought how great it was for Hillary to be in the running. But I've switched to Obama. Every time I see/hear Clinton talk I have flashbacks of R2D2 and newscasters who simply read from a script. I think Obama can bring the fresh air we desperately need in America.

    November 26, 2007 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  15. AJ; Montpelier, VT

    Of course Romney couldnt be nearly what Huckabee is. He hasnt always been a hate spewing Christian demagogue like Huckabee has.

    November 26, 2007 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  16. Surrealist, Fort Myers, FL


    November 26, 2007 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  17. David, Columbus, OH

    Yes, Garrett, I agree about Huckabee. I'm glad that it was pointed out that there are other issues besides the ones Huckabee highlighted that people should be afraid of this guy for. And I agree that Mitt is a more fiscally sound candidate than Huckabee but I am LDS and I cannot bring myself to vote for either when Ron Paul would be the clear choice here.

    November 26, 2007 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  18. Gary Glenn, Midland, Michigan

    Romney's a liberal. His own words coming out of his own mouth, in living color:

    Romney gubernatorial debate
    November 2, 2002


    Romney senatorial debate
    October 1994


    Mitt and Ann in 2002 interview:


    2007 interview on abortion flip-flop:

    WBUR Radio, Boston, Dec. 2005:

    November 26, 2007 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  19. Mike, U.S. Air Force, New Braunfels, TX

    To AJ in Montpelier, VA, or anyone else:

    I'm getting really really sick of hearing people refer to Huckabee as "hate-spewing". When has he ever spewed hate? I challenge anyone here to give me some real evidence that he has EVER spewed hate.

    November 26, 2007 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  20. A Windsor, TX

    whatever! The Romney's are so conservative it's painful...they would no more have an abortion or support abortion than give their fortune away.

    It's about choice, let people choose to screw up their lives or create a law that makes it harder to screw up their lives.

    Planned parenthood means planning and committing before you take out the baby-making tools....abortion has nothing to do with planning!

    Letting the law stand does not mean you promote what the law allows, it may only mean you agree people should choose for themselves.

    November 26, 2007 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  21. AJ; Montpelier, VT

    Mike – What, you cant take the truth about hate-spewing Huckabee?
    Pull your head out of your behind and do your research. I'm not going to do it for you.
    P.S. – I'm not impressed with your military signature on the post. I too am a veteran and am smart enough to know that the last thing we need in the White House is a Baptist minister. One can only hope that your IQ is larger than your hat size.

    November 26, 2007 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  22. April, Evanston, TX

    calling someone "pro-abortion" is like calling them a murderer! Romney has never been and never will be either! Just because you don't take away choices, however terrible they are, does not make you pro-anything! Nice try Huckster!

    November 26, 2007 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  23. Mike, U.S. Air Force, New Braunfels, TX


    Your hypocracy is amazing. You call Huckabee, and seemingly all Baptist ministers....or even more...perhaps all Christians?, "hate spewing", yet you are the very definition of what you are condemning. And you still didn't give any meaningful example of "hate spewing" by Huckabee, Baptist ministers, or Christians that YOU seem to be spewing hate about. You seem awfully angry about something or at someone. If you are specifically claiming that Huckabee spews hate, give me examples. If you are performing religious profiling and saying that all Baptist ministers, or all Christians are spewing hate, then that's like me saying that ALL Muslims, or ALL Democrats, or ALL Republicans spew hate. Even so, if you feel that way, give me an example if you wish. Let's see how large YOUR IQ is.

    November 26, 2007 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |