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. hey allons,tn

    hey mike huckaee little late with the arrogant thing about the bush-whacker one of the same only good republican if you could say good is sen. chuck hagel he said bush the most arrogant administration he every seen.Clinton 08

    December 15, 2007 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  2. anon, new york, NY

    I have disagreed with Huckabee on many many issues and do not like his flip-floppings. But his current opinion on Bush is absolutely correct.

    December 15, 2007 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  3. Neil, Iowa City, Iowa

    Edwards is such a slimeball. Check this out...

    December 15, 2007 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  4. David Steinman, Meeker, Colorado

    Come on, Huck, the raft is beginning to go.

    Read all about it by Mark Twain.

    December 15, 2007 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  5. Bobkale,nyc,ny

    Hillary Clinton represents what I despise most about politics. She is phoney, manipulative, opportunistc, scheming, deceptive, two-faced, and simply the wrong person to lead this country and the world now. Barack Obama is the right man for the job. He has vision and understanding and profound good judgement and is honest and straightforward - a rare characteristic in a politician these days - especially missing in Hillary Clinton. I think Huck and Obama are good for us America!

    December 15, 2007 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  6. Lee, Mays Landing, New Jersey

    "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!"

    Posted By John, Tallahassee, FL : December 15, 2007 1:40 pm

    haha John, that was good but sad... no John, Bush didn't "know" about 9-11 ahead of time but he should have. The CIA was plenty worried and tried to get him to pay serious attention and even gave him a specific warning about using hijacked planes but he didn't care about Al-Quada and went on vacation, 6 months on the job.

    Meanwhile the FBI was tailing hijackers in San Diego, arrested a would be hijacker at a Minnesota flight school a couple weeks ahead of time but Bush never put the FBI on notice as to what the CIA was warning him about and just never bothered to put all our intellegence and police people on alert.

    We had enough to at least prevent and likely bust most of those 20 hijackers 2 weeks before 9-11 unfolded. Bush didn't know because he was too stupid to bother to know. Subsequent disasters, like Katrina etc., just kind of illuminated that is part of his "management style".

    But as bad as that is, there is nothing more sickening than seeing right wing republican hacks, in the name of partisanship, excuse these personal failures and resulting national disasters with absolutely no one being held accountable.

    Every republican still making excuses for Bush should be held accountable and should be tried and made to pay off the national debt and the future medical bills of all the young men who lost their limbs for Bush's mistake in Iraq.

    December 15, 2007 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  7. debee,ny

    Talking about crossing over to the dark side. No more pretense of outsider, breath of fresh air politics. Rollins is the definition of corrupt, divisive campaigns

    December 15, 2007 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  8. permlink

    It is clearly much easier to take the moral high ground (as you define it) when you are a minor candidate. Power corrupts, and even the scent of it is enough to do it. Now that he thinks he has a shot, it will be an attempt to win at any cost.

    He has recently also taken a very un-christian stance on illegal immigration. Has he forgotten that Jesus was an immigrant? He and his family fled from Judea to Egypt to avoid Herod's "slaughter of the innocents". Would be a different world if they were stopped and turned back at the border, now wouldn't it?

    December 15, 2007 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  9. Gary,boston,ma

    Rollins is sort of a Republican Bob Shrum...suggests that Huck just doesn't have it!

    December 15, 2007 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  10. red33,cedar rapids, ia

    Mike Huckabee thinks he can become president by making little quips,& being a 'likeable' all around guy. This,I think,is to take the focus off his consistent 'taxing' in Ark.Did he ever see a tax he didn't agree with? Bush was left with a mess from the previous admn.When will people want to admit that?In re: to Iranian intel,there are other opinions out there about their nuclear prog.that prove these 'Bush=haters'in the CIA wrong.

    December 15, 2007 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  11. Mike, Cleveland, OH

    Jonathan, Westboro KS

    Are you from the Westboro Baptist Church? You know the same people who protest Military Funerals and listen the bigoted hate-monger, Fred Phelps. You need serious help Jonathan if you want a theocracy, seeing as it is unconstitutional and unamerican. Please take your Christian-Taliban, world domination views away from this country...

    December 15, 2007 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  12. Jack, Richmond, VA

    The fact that Huck finally gets it is surprising, and while politically motivated, welcome. The only people who think the Iraq policy is working also believed in "Vietnamization" – dopey neo-con diehards.

    The fact that the violence is being reduced is because we're paying the same people who killed Americans from 2003-to mid-2007 (the Sunni tribal-based insurgents and former Saddam loyalists) not to kill Americans. That's what goes for progress.

    December 15, 2007 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  13. Albo, Philadelphia

    Hey people, take the time to read the whole essay before you make a comment. Be an "educated voter", will you?

    I voted for Bush and I agree 100% with what Huckabee has to say about our foreign policies. And as of now, he is the best candidate the republicans and the country has in this election year.

    What he has going for himself is not a "political campaign" but a "political movement". It will take some time for the media and the pundits to realize this.

    December 15, 2007 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  14. Andy, New York, New York

    Huckabee should also have slammed Bill Clinton whose tepid response to terrorist attacks on the WTC in 1993, followed by the USS Cole and the embassies in Tanzania and Kenya, emboldened the terrorists to keep planning and hitting us. Bush, though not perfect, did better than Clinton because when we look at the current state of affairs in Iraq and the wider Middle East, we can see things have simmered. Even Iran has toned down under pressure from us. We re-established our position in the world as the superpower we are, and refused to take crap from loosely knitted barbaric groups waging jihad. History will vindicate Bush as a hero, especially given what our enemies are still intent on doing to us.

    December 15, 2007 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  15. Zac, Atlanta, GA

    Is this Huckabee's attempt to gain the center ground? Despite what most everyone else seems to think around the internet, I'd say he's doing a rather good job of that.

    If he is lying through his teeth as some would have you believe, he does a MUCH better job of it than Mitt Romney.

    December 15, 2007 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  16. Daniel 6 Harlem NYC

    There is not a republican candidate that can stand toe to toe with Joe Biden. On every issue from civil rights to the Iraq war. Joe Biden is the pinnacle leadership.

    December 15, 2007 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  17. J Weiss, Allentown, Pennsylvania

    Amazing. Huckabee is a brilliant strategist. He's got liberals and conservatives alike buzzzing all about him – all on his $2 million budget! I am a Jewish American, was undecided until two weeks ago – now a full supporter of Huckabee. Everything I read here reminds me of all the stuff that was said about Reagan. For all you who commented here on him – go back and watch ALL the debates IN FULL. Clearly you don't know WHY he is the frontrunner.

    December 15, 2007 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  18. sharon walker, Folsom, CA

    Dear "Friends":

    The snow is fallling in Kansas on the yellow brick road. Fallout Fallin, Who will win.

    Be sure to vote, but you have to register. Let not the snow, rain, fallen roads or trees or trips keep you away. Register for the absentee voter.

    The season is here let not the arguing party keep the market closed nor down nor construction. Run Running Bear for the weather is impacted by the China snow. Fallout keep it out it damages the air we breath. Four score and how many years are lost to cancer due to the gates of Hell being opened pandoras way from the Democrats. Huckabee sounds like the old promises of an expresident who is waving and flapping his jaws as though he were the candidate.

    Be not fooled he did us and you in all the way to China. Russia watch your back for the rain moves up your way.

    Fall out.

    who all did the wrong thing preacher man? Your history is not pure.

    visions of Jesus and Mary and God and the Holy Ghost where will you be come judgement day. Hippocrit!!!!

    Who and where and when are the seven gables. Oh Little town of Bethlehem how still we see the tonight.

    GOD BLESSED THIS NATION AND GAVE US A PRESIDENT GEORGE W BUSH JR with integrity. May he do this again.

    My vote is for John McCain.

    You are amoung those who I would not feel my children are protected.

    Little girls and boys. Good speakers are not always the loudest. Jesus did not yell but protected and was protected the born and unborn child.

    the current market is going to rise and all this rehtoric will dissapate and evaporate. When the cloud leaves and rises we do not want to be left with damage that the elephant must clean up again and again as it has in the past from the Demos of the C rats.

    You should feel embarrassment Bill Clinton and all who pretend. For this nation and its citizens are to be protected from spending outside this nation for another to put us under or on the street where you live.

    In this season and year men and women examine who they are and the meaning of the beginning and end. Create a market that is rising. Bring it home to the USA MCCain.

    If I were to say who on the Demo Edwards.

    President George W Bush Jr is a hero and time will historically judge him facing the enemy and the nature as the storm of Kansas, the cold war was ended civilly.

    The Baby in the manger be more than thine opponent. Huckaby nor Romney can this be.

    Make the banks good and encourage to save and Americans buy quality carefully. Citizens First!


    December 15, 2007 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  19. Phil, Memphis, TN

    Gee Mike, isn't that what we have been trying to tell yout party for 7 years now? The fact is that this is the best the GOP has to offer; and that is scary.

    December 15, 2007 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  20. LQ, Rochester MN

    I started to read this and first thought, wow, he is critical of Bush. Took a while, but better late than never. But then he didn't know about the latest intelligence report about Iran? And he thinks he can get away with this by quipping "I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night"
    Just what we need.
    Give me a break!

    December 15, 2007 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  21. Brad, from the great state of Texas

    What most of the lefties here don't want to understand is that Bush's failures are not because of his religion. Unfortunately, he let too many people (Cheney and Rumsfeld)influence his decision making in Iraq. Huckabee is just stating the obvious here.

    People need to quit assuming that Huckabee is "just like Bush" because they have similar spiritual views. That's like saying all Hispanics, or all African-Americans, share the same opinions, which sounds like prejudice to me.

    December 15, 2007 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  22. Matt- Atlanta, GA

    Well at least he has said one educated thing.

    December 15, 2007 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  23. erik

    this is old news. huckabee has these things on his website on the disagreements he has had with the president regarding the war and the handling of hurricane katrina. i for one find it refreshing that he isn't a loyal "bushie" and is willing to admit the administration made mistakes. it is however easy and play armchair president and say what he would've done different years later.

    December 15, 2007 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  24. Grant, Anchorage, Alaska

    If you're attacking Huckabee, you truly don't know much about the man. He's a solid, very electable politician with unwavering views on the issues (despite what liberal media tries to portray). The comments I've been reading about him are extremely uninformed. Listen to him speak. He's intelligent and passionate… and bringing up the Crusades only identifies you as an idiot. I’d personally like to see this country progress in all social, economic AND moral arenas.

    December 16, 2007 02:12 am at 2:12 am |
  25. Jonathan

    Westboro Baptist Church LOVES and hearts Huckabee!

    December 16, 2007 04:15 am at 4:15 am |
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