December 15th, 2007
12:08 PM ET
15 years ago

Huckabee: Bush administration has 'arrogant bunker mentality'

Huckabee had some sharp words for the Bush administration Friday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Republican Mike Huckabee is questioning the Bush administration's policy on Iraq, criticizing what he calls the White House’s “arrogant bunker mentality.”

“Much like a top high school student, if [the United States] is modest about its abilities and achievements, if it is generous in helping others, it is loved. But if it attempts to dominate others, it is despised,” he writes in the January/February issue of Foreign Affairs.

In the magazine, published by the Council on Foreign Relations, Huckabee says the president did not call for enough troops during the invasion of Iraq, and disregarded the advice of Gen. Eric Shinseki, who said several hundred thousands troops would be needed.

Huckabee also calls recent U.S. policy toward Pakistan a “setback” and a “waste” in the article, released Friday, and says that the United States “might be able to live with a contained Iran.”

The former Arkansas governor has poked fun at his own lack of foreign policy experience, saying earlier this month that while his grasp of foreign policy might be thin, he “did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night."

He faced criticism from campaign rivals last week for not being aware of an intelligence assessment released by the White House that said Iran had effectively ended its effort to create nuclear weapons in 2003 until he was informed of the report by journalists a day later. He told reporters he had been too busy on the trail to keep track of the development.

- CNN’s Rebecca Sinderbrand

Filed under: Mike Huckabee
soundoff (115 Responses)
  1. Tim

    He's just like Bush, who is he kidding, just go back and watch the past debates on youtube. Unreal how he is now trying to seperate from Bush. Typical politician trick. I'm going with Ron Paul he doesn't play games or distort things.

    December 14, 2007 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  2. Ryan

    Huckabee would be amiable enough until God told him to go on a Crusade or spread the word of capitalism to the unstable, oil-producing regions of the world. Then we'd start all over.

    Luckily, he's completely unelectable. The man's simply not qualified for the White House.

    December 14, 2007 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  3. Jon B Olathe, KS

    LOL, nothing like a Neocon trying to put on a Ron Paul suit.

    Seriously, lets play a game of "How many Ron Paul ideas can I steal today and butcher into meaningless lip service"

    December 14, 2007 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  4. Leo, NY, NY

    I was voting Democrat until I met Huckabee. He's the only candidate that is actually living in the now.

    December 14, 2007 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  5. Christian, Tampa FL

    This is very interesting. Suddenly, the new Republican frontrunner is attacking Bush as well. Is this what we will see in the general election? The Republican nominee AND the Democratic nominee attacking the President? That will be an intriguing thing to watch.

    December 14, 2007 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  6. Paul Thompson

    At least he's not fighting over drugs.

    December 14, 2007 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  7. Samantha

    Leo I hope I read your comment correctly when you posted that Huckabee is living in the now? Please tell me you're joking. This man couldn't be any further from the now.

    December 14, 2007 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  8. Matt, New York NY

    Surprisingly likeable, indeed Huckabee vs. Hillary would be a problem for the dems – not a guaranteed loss, but a problem. Huckabee vs. Obama – easy win for the democrats. Democrats need to think seriously about electability, and while I think Hillary could make a good president she is too divisive in all seriousness to win over enough votes. The republicans are shrewder than ever, using Bush as a the pure lone scapegoat while pretending they never supported any of his many failed policies.

    December 14, 2007 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  9. Indy in AZ

    "Hello Kettle, this is Hillbilly Huckabee... And, you're black!!!" This guy kills me!

    December 14, 2007 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  10. Jon, New York City

    Just another attempt by Huckabee to immitate you-know-who. (starts with Ron and ends with Paul)

    December 14, 2007 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  11. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    America wake up. If we don't understand why the whole world hates us and if we think GWB was our worst nightmare, we haven't learned anything if Huckabee is the best we've got. This man is a minister which is in total conflict with todays world issues. Let's not create terror on ourselves.

    December 14, 2007 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  12. New Yorker

    I don't agree with Huck on this one but perhaps the media is just putting there spin on it. I'll still vote for Huck.

    December 14, 2007 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  13. Val Davydov, Agawam, MA

    And remind me again why this guy is running in the Republican primaries. He is a clone of Jimmy Carter. America, beware!

    Since he is just like another Democrat, he will be squashed come general election by a comrade Democrat.

    People, use your noggin sometimes. I am really getting sick of this guy.

    December 14, 2007 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  14. Grey, Austin TX

    Clearly Huckabee understands the proper application of troop levels better than General Tommy Franks, and the entire Joint Chiefs of Staff.

    December 15, 2007 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  15. Carol, Camarillo, CA

    Huckabee is the only candidate that strikes me as anywhere near genuine. I am so tired of the over-handled, over-managed "personas" that present themselves as candidates! I don't WANT a president who checks the polls before he gives an opinion, I WANT a president whose informed opinions can lead us forward, and out of some of the messes we are in. Lead on, President Huckabee, lead on...

    December 15, 2007 01:10 am at 1:10 am |
  16. Karen, Des Moines, Iowa

    This is scary. Huckabee sounds like a real mental lightweight. We have been there and done that. Our country is in a mess today because 58 million people feel more comfortabe with a guy who is as dumb as they are. You would think someone running for President would at least read the news everyday.

    December 15, 2007 01:30 am at 1:30 am |
  17. Jonathan, Westboro KS

    You tell 'em, Huck! Bush is a false Christian on his way out of office. Only Huckabee can bring us to a true theocracy!

    Join us!

    December 15, 2007 02:35 am at 2:35 am |
  18. Trang, Fremont, CA

    Huckabee, you will be criticized by many for saying what you did – but I agree with you completely. The thing I don't know is why is he still in the White House. I suppose it's because we have a 'war' going on.

    I know you are a force of healing just like Obama, except you are on opposite parties. I hope both of you get the nomination from the respective parties.

    By using your words, you came from nowhere and launched into the top. Obama, despite his youth, he too launched into the top. And you know why, because both of you care, and we can feel that. Using words to turn things around is much better than military force. Good luck to both of you.

    December 15, 2007 03:42 am at 3:42 am |
  19. Alice Newman Center Harbor NH

    "I was voting Democrat until I met Huckabee. He's the only candidate that is actually living in the now.
    Posted By Leo, NY


    Your "now" is different than mine ... locking up people with aids, women graciously submitting to their husbands, 23% flat tax. You should check out his "gift registry" – you know the one he posted so people would know what to give as he left the governorship.

    Of course, you have survived Rudy as mayor that could account for a lot.

    December 15, 2007 05:42 am at 5:42 am |
  20. Tracey, Minneapolis

    This picture of Huck could very well be an prophetic image of court room battles,lawsuits and senate hearings in the future if he's elected. He's too clumsy to represent the republican party.

    Ron Paul is far and away the best the republicans have.

    December 15, 2007 06:15 am at 6:15 am |
  21. Eric, Tallahassee, FL

    Huckabee is a Neo-con who SUPPORTS THE WAR just like Bush! When will people figure this out!????

    December 15, 2007 06:43 am at 6:43 am |
  22. Paul C, Palmetto Bay, FL

    I an amused that it took 7 years for Huckabee to discover that the Bush Administration is a disaster.
    If he is that unaware imagine how he would perform as president.

    December 15, 2007 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  23. Karen Houston TX







    December 15, 2007 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  24. Homjett, Enid, Okla

    I dont see where slaming the President gains him anything. Libs won't vote for him, an those that would, seem to still like the President. He is trying to mix religion an politics, if he is the Repub nominee, the Dems will win. But it has been interesting, we have a Woman, Morman, Preacher, Black, Actor, Crime Fighter, Ambulance chaser, an a host of some serious candidates, which have no chance an are seriously wasting money, but helping the economy. Good luck to all.

    December 15, 2007 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  25. Virginia B., Rock Island, IL

    "We should lead the world by example, not at the point of a gun."

    Hmm, where have I heard that before? It was over six months ago, and the man saying it had been advocating that policy for decades. Oh, yeah, Ron Paul!

    Who criticized our sending millions of dollars to support a dictatorship in Pakistan on promises it would become a democracy – promises now broken? Ron Paul.

    Who pointed out that our enemy North Korea has nuclear weapons, there are nuclear weapons floating around former USSR states, and that a nuclear Iran is certainly not a top worry for U.S. security? Ron Paul.

    I believe what Huckabee is saying here is very insightful. I trust Ron Paul who came to this view decades ago would be a better person to implement it.

    December 15, 2007 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
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