December 17th, 2007
09:10 AM ET
12 years ago

Huckabee: 'I don't have anything to apologize for'

Huckabee told CNN Sunday he does not feel the need to apologize to President Bush for his 'arrogant' comment.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Mike Huckabee shot down calls from fellow candidate Mitt Romney that he apologize to President Bush for a recent critique of administration foreign policy, telling CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Sunday that his Republican presidential rival “needs to read the article."

"It would really help if he would do that. Because if he did, he would see that there's no apology necessary," said Huckabee.

The former Arkansas governor said he has been a firmer supporter of the president than Romney, backing White House positions on the troop surge in Iraq, tax cuts, gun control, abortion rights and same-sex marriage when the former Massachusetts governor had not.

“I was with the president on the legacy of the president's dad and Ronald Reagan when Mitt Romney wasn't,” he added. “So, you know, I don't have anything to apologize for. But I'm running for president of the United States. I've got to show that I do have my own mind when it comes to how this country ought to lead, not only within its own borders but across the world.”

Romney had called for Huckabee to back down from a Foreign Affairs article he had written. In the piece, released this weekend, Huckabee accused the Bush administration of an “arrogant, bunker mentality.”

On Sunday, former White House spokesman Ari Fleischer, who is remaining neutral in the GOP primary race, called Huckabee’s Foreign Affairs comments “unwarranted and unwise.”

“There is much to like about Mike Huckabee. But he will serve Republican primary voters, and our nation, better if he focused his criticisms on the Democrats who will run against our eventual nominee and not on the President who has kept us safe,” said Fleischer.

Programming Note: Catch Huckabee tonight on CNN's Larry King Live, 9 p.m. ET

In the interview on CNN's Late Edition, Huckabee also brushed off Sunday’s Des Moines Register endorsement of Arizona Sen. John McCain in the Iowa caucuses. “You're right, I would love to have had that endorsement. It would have been disingenuous for me to sit here and say it, oh, doesn't mean anything. I would have loved to have had it. I didn't get it. They don't know me as well as they know Senator McCain,” he said. “And all I can do is congratulate him and say I wish it were me.”

And he blasted National Review editor Rich Lowry for a recent article in which he compared his candidacy to that of failed Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean. “Well, should I get my towel out and start crying now or wait until when I win the entire nomination, and then everybody suddenly loves me?” he said. “I mean, look, the reality is, I'm not the choice of the chattering class, never have been, don't really care if I am.”

–CNN's Rebecca Sinderbrand


Filed under: Mike Huckabee • Mitt Romney
soundoff (221 Responses)
  1. Aaron, Indiana

    "As a Christian, I and many of us here in Texas have pulled our support of Huckabee due to his hatefull comments regarding our President.

    God commands us to pray for our leaders, not stab a fellow Christian leader in the back.

    Posted By R. G., Dallas, TX : December 16, 2007 3:33 pm"

    Come on R.G. from Dallas TX. You don't really mean that do you? As a fellow Christian I am shocked you would say that. So if a member in your church was, for arguements sake, having an affair, you would go up to him and say "Good job buddy, keep up the good work"? I sure hope not. Just because someone in the wrong happens to be a brother doesn't mean they should get a pass. What does Paul say about expelling thy immoral brother, or even sparing the rod. You have to point out their flaws so they can turn from them. That's what the Huckster is doing.

    December 17, 2007 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  2. Aaron, Indiana

    "1 – He is sexist. Women should be submissive to their husbands? Good bye women voters"

    You are obviously not a Christian or have any knowledge of the Bible. The greek word for submit means to "line yourself behind." Women should line themselves behind their husband. Don't go and undermine their husband. But in turn, men have to love their wife like Christ loves the church. If you know Christ love you would know that it is perfect. You know, love is patient, love is kind,...When husbands love their wives like they are suppose to even the femenist of women would "submit" to their husband.

    December 17, 2007 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  3. The Hot Potato

    Huckabee needs to apologize to the mother of the woman who was raped and killed by the convicted rapist that Governor Huckabee pardoned and released from prison.

    December 17, 2007 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  4. Patty Atlanta GA

    never say you are sorry for saying what you believe. Romney is a grand wizard of a cult of alien worshippers and wants you to believe the Huck is a fink but The Huck is the only man who knows how to speak the truth and spread the word or the Lard Jesus Christ.

    December 17, 2007 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  5. Aaron, Indiana

    To K Wilkinson MG TX –

    Are you that PC when "arrogant" is name calling? You tell me what he should have said then because I don't know what else to call it.

    December 17, 2007 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  6. Kris in Atlanta

    I don't believe Huckabee should apologize for speaking the truth. However, its a shame that Huckabee-in typical politico fashion-decided to wait until thousands of brave American soldiers and innocent Iraqi civlians had to be murdered before he decided to speak out against the long-out-of-control Bush war machine. Political expediency once again takes precedence over values.

    December 17, 2007 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  7. gop4ever

    Huckabee should apologize for criticizing the sitting Republican administration. The line sounds more like something a democrat would say. In fact, when I took a closer look at Huckabee's record in Arkansas, he looked like a democrat then too!

    December 17, 2007 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  8. Lee, Mays Landing, New Jersey

    "God does command us to pray for our leaders, assuming they share our Christian beliefs. The Clintons and most Democrats do not, therefore, we have no duty to pray to them. Only Republican Presidents have the unique Christian qualities. If you're not pro-life, pro-gun, pro-marriage, then you're not worth praying for.

    Hunter in '08."

    Posted By Jeremey, Casper, Wyoming : December 16, 2007 10:27 pm

    In essence this is what modern republicanism and the American brand of "christianity"(which ceased being christian) has become. We didn't notice, but they declared "jihad" against everyone else some time ago and represent a far greater threat to our freedom than the Islamic fascist terrorist band they so resemble. Only the culture is different, but their thought processes are the SAME.

    December 17, 2007 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  9. Mary, Holland, MI

    Mike Huckabee DOESN'T STAND A CHANCE to win the Republican nomination. Do you know WHY? Because the Republican establishment won't allow it. They have already decided that it will be Mitt Romney.

    December 17, 2007 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  10. Sandra, Phoenix, AZ

    Apologize for making a critical statement??

    We are AMERICANS. We have a right and a duty and an obligation to criticize our elected officials, even the ones who weren't actually "elected." We have a right to speak out against policy. We have a duty to look at these people who are supposed to be doing a job in Washington and tell them they're wrong. We have an obligation to stand up to those who would rip our constitution to shreds and tell them, "We'retired of it, and we're not going to take it anymore!"

    December 17, 2007 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  11. Leeann, Salt Lake City, UT

    "1 – He is sexist. Women should be submissive to their husbands? Good bye women voters"

    You are obviously not a Christian or have any knowledge of the Bible. The greek word for submit means to "line yourself behind." Women should line themselves behind their husband. Don't go and undermine their husband. But in turn, men have to love their wife like Christ loves the church. If you know Christ love you would know that it is perfect. You know, love is patient, love is kind,…When husbands love their wives like they are suppose to even the femenist of women would "submit" to their husband.

    Posted By Aaron, Indiana :

    ~~~~~~~~~

    And for those of us living in the 21st century, in a more enlightened age and a better understanding of the sexist remarks being made, let's ask this question - why aren't the husband "submitting" to their wives? After all, the wives run the home. Stereotypically, they handle the finances, take care of the kids, organize multiple groups into various activities - let's face it, women are great at multitasking which is why they make such great leaders. Why aren't the husbands submitting to their wives?

    December 17, 2007 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  12. Richard, West Palm Beach, FL

    For those that don't "have any knowledge of the Bible", Huckabee's advocation that women should be submissive to their husbands is consistent with the Bible supporting the inferiority of women. Women are not to talk in church, not "to teach or to have authority over a man" (1 Timothy 2:1), and are only worth 60% of monetary value of a man.

    – Genesis 3:16 “Yet your desire will be for your husband, And he will rule over you."

    December 17, 2007 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  13. College Grad / NYC

    most of the people that call our president an idiot have not graduated from college, much less Yale or Harvard. Just because you do not agree with someone does not make that person an idiot. Posted By Arlen – Fort Worth, TX : December 17, 2007 11:35 am

    are you really suggesting that Bush got into Yale and Harvard on his own merits? He was a legacy case and carried a 'C' average at that. To borrow a line from Ann Richards, Bush was born on Third and thought he hit a Triple. He's not an idiot b/c Democrats disagree with him but b/c reality has proven his arrogant policies so. Attacking a 3rd party (Iraq) who didn't attack you and then finding yourself in the middle of their civil war with no clear way out or to define victory is an idiotic move on the world's stage. Then again what did we expect from a man who had never left the country before he was President. If you think President Bush has been a good President with good ideas then well Arlen from Ft Worth, you're an idiot. Now you'll probably just brush that off but unfortunately for you it's true and unfortunately for the rest of us you vote.

    December 17, 2007 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  14. Pixie, Murfreesboro, TN

    omg...

    All hail supreme leader ayatollah Huckabee.

    Am I the only one that finds the prospects of a president/preacher a bit creepy? Can we please leave all the GOD Talk where it belongs - IN CHURCH– And discuss governing the nation please?

    December 17, 2007 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  15. Abm Habibullah Plano,TX

    I am a muslim American and and support democrates all the time. However, I see hope in Mr Huckabee. He sounds authentic, honest, humble and compassionate. I think I will vote for him if Hillary is the Democratic choice.

    December 18, 2007 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  16. JD, Syracuse, NY

    Huckabee does not have the brain power to understand that.

    December 18, 2007 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  17. Jay, Paducah, Kentucky

    I definitely agree with what Rafi from New York said. It IS scary when politicians are too afraid to criticize their own party. That just lets me know they are out to please the party and not the people, and yes Rafi, that is a very dangerous game.
    That being said, what's not to like about the Huckster? He has the guts to question the president, HUCKABEE IS A LEADER and will go down as one of the great presidents in US History.

    December 21, 2007 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  18. Ilyas, Los Angeles California

    "As a Christian, I and many of us here in Texas have pulled our support of Huckabee due to his hatefull comments regarding our President.

    God commands us to pray for our leaders, not stab a fellow Christian leader in the back."

    Posted By R. G., Dallas, TX : December 16, 2007 3:33 pm

    - RG Dallas, you give Christians a bad name. How is criticizing the President's policies "hateful" in any way?

    People like you are not evolving...and certainly not advancing your religion.

    Lemming.

    December 21, 2007 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  19. Paul, San Antonio, TX

    "As a Christian, I and many of us here in Texas have pulled our support of Huckabee due to his hatefull comments regarding our President.

    God commands us to pray for our leaders, not stab a fellow Christian leader in the back.

    Posted By R. G., Dallas, TX : December 16, 2007 3:33 pm"

    Wow, you say naughty things about one Texan and the rest don't like you? Well let me tell you something R.G., I am a Texan, fiercly proud of my state and my nation. A nation I proudly defend as a member of it's Armed Forces, and without hesitation, I consider the man in the White House to be the foremost EMBARASSMENT to the Lone Star State on God's green Earth.

    His arrogance, his inability to articulate a coherent thought from one end to the other, his blind acceptance of dogma and Judeo-Christian hegemonic inevitability... it all makes the rest of us intelligent, moderate, NORMAL Texans seem like fools.

    I pity any of you who call yourselves true Texans who continue to support a man who has trampled upon and forever sullied the good name of our state.

    As for Mr. Huckabee, bless him for having the personal fortitude to stand up and kick some dirt in the face of "the company line". I don't like Republicans for the most part (and I'm not all that terribly fond of many Democrats), but Mr. Huckabee has at least shown himself, in this instance, to be a man of honor and personal integrity.

    December 21, 2007 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  20. Brian, Brookfield, MO

    If anyone actually listen to meet the press on sunday, Romney wasn't supporting Bush's foreign policy. He just said it isn't right to attack an individual on such a personal way with such words and thinks huckabee should apoligize.

    It isn't very classy at all to do such things and make it personal. Just as with Romney, I agree that it is a mess in how the war was handled and I believe Huckabee should apoligize for his comment. Someone who is so Proudly standing as a Christian, shouldn't belittle another individual with remarks on thier character.

    December 21, 2007 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    You are right all the way. Don't back off.

    December 21, 2007 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9