November 26th, 2007
02:41 PM ET
15 years ago

Romney to Huckabee: You're no Ronald Reagan

Romney had sharp words for Huckabee Monday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney Monday dismissed rival Mike Huckabee's recent charge that he once stood against Ronald Reagan, and accused the former Arkansas governor of "getting a little desperate."

"I must admit that I find the vision and the direction that Ronald Reagan laid out for this country to be very powerful and very compelling," Romney told CNN's Wolf Blitzer. "I'll tell you, Ronald Reagan would have never raised taxes like Mike Huckabee did, Ronald Reagan would have never said let's give tuition breaks to illegals like Mike Huckabee did, Ronald Reagan would have never stood by and pushed for a budget that more than doubled during his term as president."

"Mike Huckabee as a matter of fact has a very different record than Ronald Reagan, and I'm pretty proud that my record stands up quite well."

Romney's comments come a day after Huckabee assailed Romney's conservative record on CNN's Late Edition, claiming the former Massachusetts governor had changed his positions on abortion rights, same-sex marriage, and gun control.

"He was against Ronald Reagan's legacy and said he wasn't a part of that Bush-Reagan thing, I was a part of that Bush-Reagan thing," Huckabee said of Romney Sunday on CNN's Late Edition.

Meanwhile, in a conference call with reporters Monday, Huckabee brushed aside criticism about his record on taxes - most notably from the anti-tax group Club for Growth.

"If Reagan were running today, the Club for Growth would be running ads against him because he raised taxes by a billion dollars in California, and that was one of the attacks on him when he was running for president," he said.

The back and forth comes shortly after a new ABC News/Washington post poll showed Huckabee trails Romney by just 4 percent among likely GOP caucus-goers in the crucial early-voting state of Iowa. With a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points, the poll suggests the two could be essentially tied.

Watch Wolf Blitzer's full interview with Mitt Romney on The Situation Room, 4-7 p.m. ET.

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Mike Huckabee • Mitt Romney
soundoff (48 Responses)

    EARTH to Romney:

    You're no Ronald Reagan either, nor are you a viable candidate. Now, please, sir, get on board and give your support to someone who can actually win, and stop trying to muck up the process with your own personal dreams.

    November 26, 2007 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  2. MS Johnson City, TN

    According to Romney, Hackabee "...raised taxes ..." gave "...tuition breaks to illegals..." and "...pushed for a budget that more than doubled during his term...".

    Thank you Gov. Romney.
    Although you have no chance whatsoever of winning 1st District TN, but your statements will come in handy to widen Ron Paul's margin of victory.

    Thanks again!

    November 26, 2007 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  3. Jim, Chicago

    Ronald Reagan granted amnesty to millions of illegal alliens in 1986. Who wants more amnesty?

    November 26, 2007 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  4. Aaron Smithsburg, Maryland

    I think Huckabee and Romney need to run for president in the United States of Jesuit Crackpots. Ronald Reagan was a good actor and that's about it. You whacked out neocons are worshipping a false idol. Reagan killed the unions, corrupt as they were, they were angels compared to the thugs running our economy now. Oh yeah Mikhail Gorbachof ended the Cold War not Reagan. Ask him he lives in the U.S. in the fancy home we bought him. Salamanders, Jesus and Indians, OH MY.

    November 26, 2007 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  5. dilmont

    One candidate complimenting another. Don't see that too often.

    November 26, 2007 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  6. Ann Boston, Ma

    It is becoming clear that Willard *family values man* Romney, will say & do everything to get where he thinks he belongs or wants. My question...Willard, how if you ever become president would you decide who's divorce you are going to testify in??? Why don't we ask him about Staples, grainbelt and the former CEO who he wanted to protect his "product & his investment" in the company.
    Even at the expense of a young mother with a three year old son. You didn't care about them...Why, should we think you would care our country?

    Mr. Romney, were you telling the truth then or now?
    Was the company Staples really going no where in 1986 or are you lying now and saying...Once, Tom Stemberg , showed you the invoices...It was the EURKEA moment for you. When do you ever speak the truth? WE THE PEOPLE HAVE A RIGHT TO KNOW!

    November 26, 2007 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  7. David, Los Angeles

    "Ronald Reagan would have never stood by and pushed for a budget that more than doubled during his term as president."

    Um...can someone tell Mitt Romney that Ronald Reagan increased government spending to an astronomical level and left office with a bigger budget deficit than any President in history (soon to be surpassed by Bush)?

    November 26, 2007 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  8. Janice, Great Falls Montana

    I think Romney holds more potential than Reagan did, Reagan was a man for his time, but Romney in this new complex world is the man for the job now and women are warming up to his genuine compassion and concern for a better America, while the democrats play lip service to the real problems.

    November 26, 2007 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |


    November 26, 2007 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  10. YOU,LA.

    GIVE ME A BREAK , HE BETTER THEN YOU ROMNEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 26, 2007 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  11. Jake

    Maybe its just me but. What was so great about Ronald Regan. I keep hearing about him like was icon like Winston Churchill, or John F. Kennedy, Franklin Roosevelt

    November 26, 2007 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  12. D. Endo, Honolulu HI

    I'm amazed that the Republicans are striving to be like the man that took more naps in the White House than George Bush took vacations. Not to speak ill of the dead, but he was in a demented haze most of his second term.

    November 26, 2007 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  13. Hassan, Houston, TX

    Would Reagan wear that tie, Mr Romney?

    November 26, 2007 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  14. Ron Nebraska

    You know, when you consider that the great leader of the conservatives, Ronald Reagan, was the one who came up with the philosophy that ' government is not the solution to the problem, government is the problem', you have to say that electing a conservative to government makes no sense since their vested interest in their ideology is to see that government remains dysfunctional. If government functioned well in meeting the needs of our society the conservatives would not have any political leg to stand on. So to meet their vision of government they need to do all they can to make it as dysfunctional as possible. So again, why would anyone vote to elect a conservative?

    November 27, 2007 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  15. Melvin, Durham NC

    Mitt Romney (READ: not Ronald Reagan)

    ...enough said

    November 27, 2007 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  16. Bob, Brookfield, WI

    "scholarships for illegals again?" As someone said, Romney would rather take people out of college and keep them mowing the lawn...

    November 27, 2007 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  17. I. Dern (Fairfax, Va)

    "Moneybags" Mitt is sinking to new lows. He must be worried to start mudslinging in earnest

    November 27, 2007 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  18. apparently the last guy left from the 80s nowhere usa

    what is this reagan crap he wasnt that good of a president to begin with. Anybody remember the snl scandals, iran contra etc. "I dont recall" the crack epidemic all things brought to us by the reagan admin.

    November 27, 2007 03:36 am at 3:36 am |
  19. Alice Newman Center Harbor NH

    On Saturday in South Carolina, Huckabee said if there was an "imminent threat" inside Pakistan, he would take military action there, even if it meant violating Pakistan's sovereignty under international law.


    Can the country afford another Christian Cowboy – no country left unbombed ... ignore international law ... he makes Mitt look good ...and that takes some doing!

    November 27, 2007 06:38 am at 6:38 am |
  20. roger, cownway sc

    I respected Reagan because he was our president BUT only the republicans & the Reagan democrats think that he was the greatest president reality he was just a very very good smooth talking politican, he busted the unions, increased the debt, & looked out for the rich...sounds like most republicans...

    November 27, 2007 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  21. Frank, Destin, FL

    I am sooo tired of the "you're no..." line that Lloyd Bentson started. lets hope these candidates aren't carbon copies of past leaders and can stand on their own record.

    November 27, 2007 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  22. Freda, Greenwich, CT

    Romney, please follow the advice my dear sister Jane used to give me when I kept running my mouth: "Stop talking and just go somewhere and sit down, please."

    November 27, 2007 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  23. Mark

    In 1986 Ronald Reagan granted amnesty to 2.7 million illegal immigrants...

    Ronald Reagan also raised taxes several times during his tenure as President including a hike in the gasoline tax...

    "Faced with looming deficits, Reagan raised taxes again in 1983 with a gasoline tax and once more in 1984, this time by $50 billion over three years, mainly through closing tax loopholes for business. Despite the fact that such increases were anathema to conservatives..."

    "Reagan raised taxes a grand total of four times just between 1982-84."

    Using the definition of fiscal conservatives, Ronald Reagan was a liberal.

    Just imagine if Ronald Reagan were campaigning today on a platform of granting amnesty to illegal immigrants (which he did) and raising gasoline taxes (which he did). Would Reagan be called a liberal? Absolutely.

    Using the definition of fiscal conservatives, Mike Huckabee is more conservative than Ronald Reagan and George Bush.

    I'm voting for Huckabee.

    December 30, 2007 03:23 am at 3:23 am |
1 2