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. Doug

    This is so refreshing to hear from a Republican candidate. Although I may agree with some basic tenets of the moderate Republican party, I will never vote for any of them as long as they continue to support this president that has done irreparable damage to our country. And that includes being silent about things.

    December 15, 2007 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  2. Mark C, Asheville NC

    *** 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" ***

    What's going to be fun is watching the Ron Paul retards shut up when he never gets more than 3% in any state.

    December 15, 2007 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  3. Paul Denver, Colorado

    Huckabee is a phony who will say anything if he thinks it will get him elected.

    Ron Paul is the only candidate who isn't pandering for votes, thats integrity!

    December 15, 2007 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  4. Jack Sommer

    Funny how liberal CNN is running biased story after biased story about Huckabee! Keep it up, CNN, and everyone will realize just how much of a "Real Deal" Huckabee actually is!

    Can't believe how the smear campaign is out in full force against Huckabee. Liberals are realizing that this nation really is a God believing, conservative country after all! Just such a majority is going to rule the country, and rightfully so because liberals and their relative morals and values are worthless.

    December 15, 2007 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  5. LT, C'ville, TN

    He is just another, among the many, lying politician. They will all say and do anything to keep sucking their portion (their salary & benifits) of the government dole for life.

    Term Limits are what America needs, from the federal to the local level. No more than two terms in any office!

    Change is what we need and we have no chance under the present system of insuring we get change.

    December 15, 2007 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  6. Ben Franklin

    I dont trust one thing coming from the CFR. Its a treasonous institution that needs to be exposed for its global ambitions.

    Huck can try to steal the spotlight. I bet the CFR didnt count on the truth being able to spread FOR FREE over the INTERNET.

    Advertisements contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper.
    Thomas Jefferson

    December 15, 2007 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  7. Lani, Delaware County, Pennsylvania

    Isn't this the Pot calling the Kettle black?
    A man who speaks of the arrogance of others, yet at the same time has the arrogance within himself to stand up to the american people and proclaim that woman are inferior and should be submissive towards men....

    Am I missing something here?

    In the 21st Century?

    He is an Evangelical Republican Hypocrite..

    Just like all of the Closeted Republicans out there who claim to be straight, yet have sex with men and are against equal rights for lesbians and gays...

    Just like the Small Government, Fiscally responsible Conservatives who have increased the government more in the last 7 years than any government since FDR !

    The list goes on and on....... The pot calling the kettle black!

    December 15, 2007 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  8. Camille, CT

    George W. Bush said in a debate before he was elected that nation building wasn't in our country's best interest. How'd that turn out? Huckabee will say whatever needs to be said to get elected. The question is what will he do if elected. I'm glad though that he had a snappy commercial memorized to address questions regarding his foreign policy experience.

    December 15, 2007 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  9. The Admiral St. Augustine Fl.

    Gore won, Bush stole the election.. blah blah blah. Bush knew about 9/11 before it happened… blah blah blah.. Bush knew Saddam didn't have WMDs but wanted revenge for the planned assassination of his daddy.. blah blah blah.. No blood for oil.. blah blah blah.. Global warming is Bush's fault.. blah blah blah.. Hurricane Katrina is Bush's fault.. blah blah blah.. Unemployment is Bush's fault.. blah blah blah.. Subprime mortgages is Bush's fault.. blah blah blah.. Bush is a dummy.. blah blah blah.. Neocon this, Neocon that, Rah Rah Rah!

    Wipe the hatred away from your eyes and get a grip on reality, please!

    Posted By John, Tallahassee, FL

    You're right John, it's not Bushes fault. It's the Republican's. That's why that Party is on it's way out. America has wiped it's eye's and they don't like what they see. Maybe you should hope they go back to sleep.

    December 15, 2007 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  10. Walt, Belton, TX

    The "Huckster" reminds me so much of Jimmie Carter, good intentions, good speaker, but just dumber than dirt, and he'd rather run from a fight than win it!

    December 15, 2007 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  11. Blayze Kohime, Columbus Ohio

    Electing a minister would be dangerous. I agree, as soon as he thinks that God wants him to do something, all his actions are written in the sky and he thinks he can get away with anything.

    December 15, 2007 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  12. Mike, Fredericksburg, VA

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

    As Mike Huckabee said in a debate many months ago, he would listen to the advice of people in uniform to make decisions, and not just those in a suit and tie.

    December 15, 2007 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  13. Matthew, Naples, FL

    If Huckabee really said this, he does not deserve the republican nomination. He has broken the rule of Reagan's 11th commandment, thou shalt not attack another republican. If he said this it really shows that he is a bumbling idiot.

    December 15, 2007 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  14. ANDROLOMA, Commerce City, Colorado

    Must be a shared christian thing, this inevitable, infallible, arrogant attitude. Every divergent denomination a schismatic heresy; it's a wonder the entire supernatural myth didn't destroy itself centuries ago. History teaches us that it certainly tried.

    December 15, 2007 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  15. Red Los Angeles

    Carol in Camarillo...You want an UNFORMED opinion to lead us forward??? Did you read the entire article...where he admitted not even knowing about the most recent news regarding Iran and it's nuclear weapons until he was informed by *journalists* a day later????? I'm a stay at home Mom and I was more informed than that!! Typical Republican....uneducated and needing to validate their own cluelessness by voting for someone just as uneducated.

    December 15, 2007 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  16. Evan, Nashville, TN

    Go Huckabee!! Stand up to the extreme cons and Bush. I'm startin' to like this guy. If he were a Democrat, I'd definitely vote for him but Huckabee seems to be the more moderate Republican, which I like; not an extreme christian wanting to blow up the middle east because they think Jesus will come rescue them from reality!

    December 15, 2007 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  17. Dan C, Venice, FL

    Mike Huckabee is offically not getting my vote. The more I learn of him the less I like him. Turns out, he's as liberal as they come on taxes and immigration. Also, I recently learned that he gave over 1000 commutations and pardons as Governor..including the pardon of 12 people convicted of murder. This guy may sound good but has a terrible record. For me, this Bush comment is just one too many pieces of politcal baggage.

    December 15, 2007 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  18. John, Encino, California

    I'm no George Bush fan, but I have question for the Huckster. Does he think that if we had gone to Osama Bin Laden back in 1990 and simply asked what we could do as a country to help Muslims, does he think that the two attacks on the Twin Towers would never have happened? Doe he think that if we had gone to Saddam Hussein and asked what we could do to help the Shiites and the Kurds in Iraq, does he think Saddam would have never invaded Kuwait and never used chemical weapons on his own people?

    December 15, 2007 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  19. rita,boston,ma

    I personally think another republican would not be any good!

    December 15, 2007 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  20. Pete El Paso, Texas

    “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,” I said that 20 years ago. Where the heck has this guy been?

    December 15, 2007 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  21. Nick, Chester SC

    Huckster sounds like Ron Paul more and more every day. Maybe he can be Paul's VP.

    December 15, 2007 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  22. Aguair


    For the best Club Penguin news, go to



    December 15, 2007 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  23. Michael Hastings MN

    The closer we get to Nopvember the more " I am not Bush " we will hear from the GOP – but I think they tied there fortunes to him the last 6 years and I hope those that supported him blindly do not get elected – re-elcted

    December 15, 2007 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  24. Jerry Holly Springs NC

    What a breath of fresh air to hear Huck's comments. Compared to flip/flop Romney and Guilliani, maybe honesty is back in the Republican party.

    December 15, 2007 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  25. Alexander, Washington, DC, USA

    Chilling account on Huckabee's Record. This is a must see! He's a scary guy.

    December 15, 2007 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
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