December 17th, 2007
09:10 AM ET
14 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. Mike, Land O Lakes, FL

    At least huckabee has the guts to speak his own mind unlike the flip flop Romney!

    December 16, 2007 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  2. TIM, Boston, MA

    fleisher will be sitting in a prison cell right next to george w and dick cheney's, sooner than he'd like to think, for his role in the crimes against humanity by the current gang in the white house. oh how badly he wish he could influence the outcome of the upcoming election and avoid the judgement of the world court! every single one of the murderous gang will be hunted down and put to rot where they belong! kick back and enjoy the drama unfolding slowly but surely!

    December 16, 2007 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  3. Mike

    Interesting the amount of face time Huckabee is getting after being tapped by the CFR. Curious, why would the oligarch's prop up this malleable evangelist?

    December 16, 2007 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  4. Albert, Sacramento CA

    American is as safe as it was before the Iraq war it is all GOP propaganda, the Bush Adm. took us to a war the was not necessary. Where were the WMD's?? hello everybody!! After he finished his dad's job, we should have pulled out.

    Huckabee has said the truth wether it is his own party or not. Everybody knows this is the worst administration in American history! why hasn't he captured Bin Laden? He hasn't solved any domestic issues. We've been ran by a corrupt mob for the last 7 years. We need a president of the people not the oil business.

    December 16, 2007 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  5. Axel, RKDA, California

    I almost like Mike Huckabee. If it wasn't for thet (R) thing...

    "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."
    How exactly is going around the world making everyone mad at the USA keeping us safe? I have never felt less safe in my life.

    December 16, 2007 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  6. Trollmaster, CA

    One of their own speaks the truth about Bush's failed foreign policy and they freak out.

    Like Bush being such a disaster is some kind of big secret. Denying this is like not admiting that dog crap stinks.

    December 16, 2007 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  7. Reality Check

    In the last week, Huck has had the following skeletons in his closet outed:

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

    2 – He is a homophobe and cruel to victims of disease. He wanted to isolate AIDS victims.

    3 – He is soft of rapists and murders.

    4 – He is a religous bigot.

    Give the news reporters another week or two to dig up some real dirt on Huckleberry and he will be flushed down the sewer like all the other turds. This guy is a loser. He deflects his lack of intelligence with humor. America needs to quit looking for the next "Last Comic Standing" and realize that we are voting for THE PRESIDENT OF THE US!!!

    December 16, 2007 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  8. Simon, IA

    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

    R.G. Dallas, you are not a Christian. You are a coward who follows like a dumb sheep.

    God has given you a mind of your own. You use it and stand for what is moral. If a fellow Christian is stupid and leading you to a mess, you need to stand up and say it.

    December 16, 2007 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  9. Raman, Plano TX

    :R. G., Dallas, 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."

    Please, you have the right to vote as a US citizen, and not as a Christian. I say this because religions cross national borders. It is as a citizen of the country you get the right to vote.

    So please use your rights as US Citizen and not your religious bigotry to support or oppose a political candidate.

    No wonder Republicans are so opposed to educational programs.

    December 16, 2007 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  10. Mike, New Braunfels, TX

    Please notice that Huckabee expresses a majority of support and respect for Bush and his record shows it. However, he refers to Bush's POLICY as arrogant....not Bush himself. Our policy as a nation has increasingly becoming arrogant and has led to increasing isolation in our efforts to fight the war on terror. I don't see how anyone here can deny this.

    December 16, 2007 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  11. gery joi okla

    mike is the best candidate out there, and if he wins the party's nomination he will be in good shape. the more hillary campaigns the more people will remember that they don't like her. she'll be fortunate to win her party. if obama gets the nod, people will seriously have second thoughts about his worthiness. mike huckabee is displaying class, intelligence, and good old fashioned values rooted in a faith that he doesn't maintain just for the sake of the cameras. of course there will be negative articles and comments about him; which candidate out there has been perfect in word or action? huck was not wrong to openly critcize bush's policy; the majority want a change, even the republicans. good job mike.

    December 16, 2007 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  12. Amanda, TX

    A vote for Huck is a win for Clinton. I just don't think he could serve well as president, foreign leaders would push him all over the place. He may make an excellent Governor though...

    December 16, 2007 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  13. isee, Richmond, Va

    Huck is a poor excuse for a Christian.

    December 16, 2007 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  14. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    Dumb, Huck.

    Publicly aligning yourself with W isn't going to win you many friends.

    December 16, 2007 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  15. Walt, Belton, TX

    The Huckster is as glib as slick Willie ever was. Unfortunately, he's dumber than dirt. He sure makes Hillary look good though..........

    December 16, 2007 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  16. Pedro A. Delgado Miami, Fl.

    Huckabee said that Bush is arrogant.

    I voted for him twice and the ones that did and the ones that did not, know that Mr Bush is one of the most arrogant presidents we ever had.

    That we have to close ranks behind the president.
    That is the no choice people have in Cuba, China, North Korea, etc.

    Christians which know The Bible know that arrogance is one of the most abominable sins a person can make in the eyes of the Lord.

    Unfortunately we Christians have allowed The Administration to manipulate us (laughing in our backs) and shut our mouths when we should have been talking the many things that have been done wrong.

    It is true that The Bible says that we have to pray for our leaders, but, that does not mean that we have to approve with our silence the things that are wrong and sometimes extremely wrong.

    The Republican Party, the Media, Academia and the left in general are extremely upset about Mr Huckabee getting pretty soon the Republican Party nomination.

    But, we the people are going to do it because this time they will not be able to do as they normally do (spin, confuse and control) as history is witness.

    In the 45 years I been in this country, I never seen anything more beautiful, "The people defeating The Establishment".

    Thanks Lord for still having mercy on our sinful ways and allowing us to have a broken man far from perfect but still decent and straight.

    I am supporting Huckabee among other things because I believe that we are very close to a situation parallel to 1923 Germany or USA 1929.

    If that happens as everything seems to indicate, I want a man like Huckabee which when taking the incredible decisions he will have to take, will do it with compassion and respect for human values and not for the big corporations greedy needs.

    I anticipate that Huckabee will get the vote of many blacks and Democrats which is very much needed as The Republican Party is a minority Party.

    December 16, 2007 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    the only thing you should appoligize for is being th MSM tool to keep Ron Paul at bay.

    It is not working, looking at over six million in one day raised. More than Mr. Huckabee all put together. You folks are losing your battle for America.

    December 16, 2007 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  18. Jack Jett

    Perhaps he should apologize for the fact that his sons kill dogs and he covers up for them.

    BOY SCOUTS KILL DOG!

    ACTION NEEDED: DEMAND INVESTIGATION

    (Miller County, Arkansas) Two boy scout counselors, 17 year old Clayton Frady and 18 year old David litickabee, the son of Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, have admitted to catching a stray dog during their summer session at Camp Pioneer in Hatfield, AR, and hanging the dog by his neck, slitting his throat and stoning him to death.

    Camp officials, who did not report the crime to law enforcement officials, have admitted that the act did occur and have fired the boys from their positions. However, no charges have been filed against the young men.

    Arkansas State Police conducted a perfunctory investigation, but did not attempt to locate witnesses to the crime.

    WHAT YOU CAN DO:

    Corntact: Mr. Tim Williamson, Prosecuting Attorney, 18th Judicial District, West, P.O. Drawer 109, Mena, AR 71953; Fax: (501) 394-6173

    Please contact the prosecutor; request that the case be investigated thoroughly and that animal cruelty charges be filed against Frady and Huckabee. Cruelty to animals is a Class A Misdemeanor in Arkansas and if convicted, Huckabee and Frady could be sentenced to one year in jail and fined $1,000.00.

    Also Contact: Chief Scout Executive Jere Ratcliffe, Boy Scouts of America National Office, P.O. Box 152079, Irving, TX 75015-2079; Phone: (972) 580-2000; Fax: (972) 580-2502

    Demand that the Boy Scouts' National Office conduct an internal investigation of the killing.

    December 16, 2007 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  19. E. Harlowman, Salt Lake City, Utah

    When will the 'Christian Right' get a sense of 'reality'. George Bush & his daddy are no more 'Christian' than George Soros. They are 'internationlists' who use whoever and whatever is available to maintain power. All this nonsense about who said what about whom is a huge distraction from the real problem facing, not only Americans but every living person on the face of this earth. We are at a terribly dangerous crossroad in our history, and all candidates, with 3 or 4 excepted, are beholdin' to the very power we must destroy to bring the world to some form of equilibrium or, we will face a truly draconian version of Orwell's "1984". I fear Mitt Romney is not one of the 3 or 4, I can only hope that Huckabee is. One thing for sure...Ron Paul is the only candidate for those who are smart enough to see where politics of the past have taken us, and how and why, further, how to end it before we face financial armageddon and civil war.

    December 16, 2007 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  20. John

    Go away you socialist in Republican clothing!

    December 16, 2007 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  21. Matt Baker, Chanute Ks

    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!

    AND THIS IS WHO WE WANT REPRESENTING THE GOP?

    BUSHS" legacy? Nothing to apologize for? BACKING THE SURGE, BACKING THE WAR, BACKING SAME SEX MARRIAGE?
    WOW
    WAKE UP AMERICA, We have a PREACHER who doesnt hear with the spirit!~

    December 16, 2007 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  22. Daniel, Syracuse, NY

    At his Values Voters speech in Washington in mid-Oct., Huckabee encouraged us to "never compromise your PRINCIPLES for someone else's POLITICS." How true! I voted for our president twice. He has made some good decisions and some poor decisions, as all leaders do. Gov. Huckabee has the guts to disagree with our president's policy and he's called UN-American?! If anything, his courage to speak truth to power makes him even MORE American.

    I may not agree with this candidate on all of his policy positions, but this illustrates that he will stand for what he believes, even in the face of opposition. That, ladies and gentlemen, is PRINCIPLES over POLITICS. You have my vote, Mike Huckabee!

    December 16, 2007 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  23. Daniel, Syracuse, NY

    At his Values Voters speech in Washington in mid-Oct., Huckabee encouraged us to "never compromise your PRINCIPLES for someone else's POLITICS." How true! I voted for our president twice. He has made some good decisions and some poor decisions, as all leaders do. Gov. Huckabee has the guts to disagree with our president's policy and he's called UN-American?! If anything, his courage to speak truth to power makes him even MORE American.

    I may not agree with this candidate on all of his policy positions, but this illustrates that he will stand for what he believes, even in the face of opposition. That, ladies and gentlemen, is PRINCIPLES over POLITICS. He has my vote!

    December 16, 2007 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  24. billy-bayou

    President Bush may or may not have an arrogant bunker mentality, but it does not require rocket science to see thet Huck-ster-bee has no mentality.

    December 16, 2007 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  25. Ron Nebraska

    President Gomer Pyle

    December 16, 2007 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
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