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. David - Oregon City, Oregon

    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"

    So it was also OK for Bill Clinton to say “oral sex is not sex” and you approved his support of birth abortions. Never criticized him, did you?

    December 16, 2007 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  2. Daniel, Syracuse, NY

    **3rd attempt**
    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 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  3. Nat, Brooklyn, NY

    WHEN I LOOK IN HIS EYES AND I SEE: "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”, I'M SCARED TO DEATH. I THOUGHT, THAT "WE THE PEOPLE" HAVE TO DETERMINE POLICIES OF THE COUNTRY. HUCK IS TOO RELIGIOUSLY CHALENGED TO BE A LEADER FOR ALL "WE THE PEOPLE".

    December 16, 2007 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  4. Daniel, Sacramento, CA

    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 good decisions and poor decisions, as all leaders do. Gov. Huckabee has the guts to disagree with our president 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 him on all of his positions, but he will stand for what he believes, even in the face of opposition...PRINCIPLES over POLITICS. He has my vote!

    December 16, 2007 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  5. Mark R. Fort Lauderdale FL

    I don't know what to be more afraid of, Mike Huckabee or the significant percentage of America that supports him. These are terrrifying times when someone who says the things this man has said is looked at seriously. He wants to quarantine AIDS patients, people. He wants YOU to live by HIS morals; he;s willing to legislate them for you. For a few minutes I thought it would be good for him to win the republican nomination so that the democratic nominee would easily defeat him, but God help us if he actually won the presidency. You republicans need to take another look at John McCain; he's a good man with strong morals and a vision for America. He also has a little tolerance and wouldn't rule from the bible. Separation of church and state, people. Geesh.

    December 16, 2007 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  6. James, W-B PA

    As a progressive Democrat, who is voting for Kucinich, I find the honesty and integrity of Huckabee to be praiseworthy. He is certainly an example to the rest of the duplicitous Republican Party. But, he will never get my vote.

    Honestly, our country does not need another messianic president in office, unto whom God speaks. We have had seven long years of that, and we need to restore the separation. And, I say that as a person of faith.

    Let us get religion out of this election! The issues are more important.

    December 16, 2007 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  7. Gary Denson, Bloomington Indiana

    I dont think Huckabee will have a Howard Dean meltdown, After all with a genious like me offering him advice he is a shoe in for president. He has honest intentions and does not plan on selling corporate agendas to the public disguised as plans to help common citizens, the way our past two presidents have.

    December 16, 2007 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  8. RB, from the bay state

    If this guy does get the nomination stock up on popcorn.

    The show will be something you won't want to miss..............

    December 16, 2007 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  9. Paul C, Palmetto Bay, FL

    The right wing zealots have difficult distinguishing the President from the country. GW is not the U.S. and it is perfectly alright to criticize him. In fact...it is definitely called for.
    Blind loyalty to this idiot has led us down a dark and lonely path that we will have a hard time finding our way out of.

    December 16, 2007 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  10. Victor F, El Paso, Texas

    Mr. Huckabee speaks for more of us than the media would think. I truly believe the media is going to be shocked more than they have been already. America has a conscience. Most of us realize that there is a God and we want a godly leader.

    December 16, 2007 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  11. Brian, Eastham MA

    Did you know they call him Tax Hike Mike in his home state?

    Vote Ron Paul. Donate to Ron Paul tonight, and be part of history, the highest one day political donation total ever! We're already over 5 million!

    December 16, 2007 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  12. Jeremey, Casper, Wyoming

    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.

    December 16, 2007 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  13. Bill, Streamwood, IL

    Good for Mike Huckabee!

    At least we have one Republican willing to denounce WPE Bush on some of his actions/policies.

    It also says something about Mitt Romney being too stupid, too partisan, or too afraid to overtly criticize the current White House occupant.

    Go for it Mike!

    December 16, 2007 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  14. rick Austin Texas

    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.
    ============================
    God also said that there would be a one world government, it was a warning, Bush seems to think it is a map. We now pay taxes to the UN through the global warming scam.
    No taxation without representation is gone. If Bush is a Christian than I am a liberal commie pinko meathead.
    That is sarcasm for yall in rio linda

    RUSHBABAYFROM TEXAS HUCKABEE/PAUL 08

    December 16, 2007 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  15. Walt, Belton, TX

    Sorry Mike, one loser from Hope, Arkansas is more than enough.

    Neither advocates a strong national defense and neither served their country in uniform, and we saw how Clinton decimated the military.

    Electing two capitulating doofuses from Hope would be absolutely stupid!

    December 16, 2007 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  16. Matt Connelly Boston, MA

    A VOTE FOR HUCKABEE = 8 MORE YEARS OF HILLARY AND BILL

    December 16, 2007 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  17. Sensible Joe, Gainesville FL

    Huckabee's honest critique of the Bush administration is seven years too late. As for Bush being a "Christian leader," read the Gospels and one will see how his performance, behavior and attitude are far out of line with the teachings of Jesus Christ. Christians are supposed to pray for civil authorities, not endorse them blindly and uncritically in every little thing they do.

    December 16, 2007 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  18. Andrew, Long Island, NY

    Huck's big on that tired old anti-gay rhetoric. It's abnormal and sinful, and so on. He doesn't realize that all human sexual orientation, gay or straight, is predetermined and fixed, hence the word 'orientation.' So he alienates about 10% of the population right out of the gate because he's ignorant. But he sure scores points with the Jesus-freaks and other like-minded bigots with that kind of trash talk. The only trouble there is that when GOP politicians speak out against gays, they usually turn out to be self-loathing closet homosexuals themselves.

    December 16, 2007 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  19. Steve, Lyons, CO

    Yeah, you do have something to apologize for, Hick Boy: your religious obsessions and anti-science ignorance.

    December 17, 2007 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  20. K Wilkinson MG TX

    Huckabee calling Bush arrogant is the pot calling the kettle black!

    December 17, 2007 01:54 am at 1:54 am |
  21. E. C., Houston, Texas

    Huckabee should return to his 'tent revivals' along with Oprah and Obama. Huckabee has now proven to Voters and the GOP that he neither belongs nor will qualify as President of this great Nation. What goes up must come down....and that means Huckabee's numbers. His remarks are disgraceful toward President Bush, as well as those to Mitt Romney, both men of integrity and quality.

    December 17, 2007 03:31 am at 3:31 am |
  22. Jacob, Chattanooga, TN

    On Sunday, 12/16/07, Ron Paul broke campaign fundraising records set by two prominent Democrats - surpassing John Kerry's 2004 record of 5.7 million, as well as Hillary Clinton's [disputed] record of 6.2 million in a single day. If the GOP wises up, they will realize Ron Paul's viability against the Democrats - or , more importantly, his superiority to the hollow, pre-packaged choices being offered by both parties. The GOP may just have to view Dr. Paul as a "necessary evil". That's what I have had to do with my vote for the last eight years.

    RP08
    thejaykob@hotmail.com

    December 17, 2007 03:38 am at 3:38 am |
  23. K Wilkinson MG TX

    I don't mind Huckabee taking exception with the war. There have been many mistakes along the way. I do mind how he said it. Name calling of the Commander in Chief during a time of war shows a real lack of class on his part. No big surprise there.

    Romney was right to point that out. I agree with Romney when he said,

    "There were a number of errors made," Romney said. "But its very different to point out that there are errors and mistakes than to say the Bush administration should be accused of an arrogant bunker mentality."

    Huckabees response was very arrogant in my opinion. In essence he said, "There's nothing wrong with me, let me tell you everything wrong with Mitt Romney".

    Huckabee is totally lacking in character.
    No for 2008.

    December 17, 2007 04:35 am at 4:35 am |
  24. Mike

    Huckabee will do what the CFR tells him to do. His face-time is a result of being tapped by these Internationalists. Their job is to find the the likeable compliant one to fire through their policy. Meanwhile, while you bicker about Roe vs. Wade they continue to bridge the gap to the 14th century. With an abundance of lemmings the game continues to get easier for the Globalists.

    December 17, 2007 04:43 am at 4:43 am |
  25. Pickles, Monaca, PA

    R. G., Dallas, TX, Teddy Roosevelt said, "To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."

    I'm certain that you will pray for the president and give him/her your blind, sheeplike support, even if he/she is a Democrat.

    December 17, 2007 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
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