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. Rafi, NY NY

    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.

    Posted By Jeremey, Casper, Wyoming

    I forgot, what was it Jesus said about guns again?

    December 17, 2007 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  2. Thomas, Portland, OR

    Wait, he thinks that SUPPORTING Bush would be a good way to win the election?

    Wow...I would fire my campaign manager, were I Huckabee...

    December 17, 2007 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  3. Ryan Indianapolis

    Not smart Huckbee,,, not smart at all, you may think this president is unpopular but you dont make those comments....Sorry sir you just lost my vote....

    December 17, 2007 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  4. x X

    Who cares? Huck lies.

    So where is the headline: Ron Paul sets new 24 hour fundraising record with the help of ordinary Americans who are sick and tired of the status quo?

    December 17, 2007 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  5. Martin, Castalia North Carolina

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

    This made me laugh.

    This guy thinks its better to say something naive and foolish then to carefully consider the issues and when appropriate change positions.

    Huckabee speaks from the top of his head, and oversimplifies foreign affairs. Romney, Thompson, or Mccain will at least take time to consider and counsel with others before making an important, and complex policy decisions.

    Its better to be pragmatic rather than dogmatic. When the Huckabee supporters look those two words up, it will make more sense.

    December 17, 2007 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  6. John Ardmore, PA

    I'm a Democrat, and I really think Huckabee comes across as real and honest.

    Some say he would be crushed if he were the nominee, but in contrast to the calculating Hillary Clinton, he might do better than expected.

    December 17, 2007 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  7. Tom, Anaheim, CA

    After reading about Huckabee's close alliance with 2 Bush's and "The Gipper" it makes me absolutely certain he is unfit to lead America into the second decade of second millennia. Mainstream Americans need leadship support which they didn't get with any of these guys. Sorry Mike, I crossed you off my list.

    December 17, 2007 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  8. Sheree, Gastonia, NC

    Does Fleisher really believe Bush has kept us safe?

    December 17, 2007 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  9. Zack S Royal Oak, MI

    You said; “God does command us to pray for our leaders, assuming they share our Christian beliefs” Could you point out that Bible passage to me? I am not familiar with it.

    You also state that “If you're not pro-life, pro-gun, pro-marriage, then you're not worth praying for.” So Jesus was pro-gun? Auto, semi-auto or single shot only? I bet that Jesus was a muzzle load fan but that is pure speculation on my part. Is that in the Sermon on the Mount? I must have missed that somehow. Are only guns OK? Is it ok to use bombs to blow-up abortion clinics? What does the Bible advise on that? Do you get you information from some updated Bible?

    Since Republicans seem to like to
    start wars based on lies, that is OK with Jesus too? Jesus is pro-war! Imagine my surprise. I will be spending the evening looking for a passage on that in the Bible too!

    Bush seemed to like having people executed while the gov of Texas. Hmm, I wonder where Jesus would stand on that issue.

    My favourite quote of yours is” Only Republican Presidents have the unique Christian qualities.” Is this in their DNA? If someone was once a Dem and became a Republican do they magically get those “Christian qualities? So Regan never had them? If one was a Republican and became a Democrat would God revoke those qualities?

    Please advise me Jeremy. It looks like the country (well the whole world) has a lot to learn from you!

    Zack S

    December 17, 2007 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  10. Joseph, Grand Rapids, MI

    Huckabee, Republican? Huckabee is sounding more and more like a Clinton or an Edwards than ever. Romney once again hit the nail on the head. The reason Romney will beat Huckabee, because he cares more about this country than about being running for President. Huckabee is now starting to show his true colors and they look more blue than red to me.Romney will win IA, NH, FL, MI! Go Romney!

    December 17, 2007 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  11. Nelson Colorado Springs Co

    This is a good man. Hold your ground. What make people think Mr. Huckabee need to apologize. Anybody with a brain know the bush administration has a arrogant, bunker mentality Republican or Democrats go Mr. Huckabee I will watching tonight. You got one vote

    December 17, 2007 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  12. Arlen - Fort Worth, TX

    I would bet my next paycheck that 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.
    Saddam Hussein was a terrorist and was legally at war with one of our sworn allies. Look it up. President Bush did not have to have any other reason for going to war. If Saddam Hussein didn't want war he should have signed the cease-fire agreement after the last war with Israel. He chose war and our President bravely has tried to finish it.
    Free trade is not propaganda it is the basis of wealth and what the worlds economies have been built on.

    December 17, 2007 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  13. George, Chicago, IL

    Bush kept us safe? Ummmmm, excuse me, but not only did he not keep us "safe" from 911, he also just sat there like a dolt reading My Pet Goat when he first heard about it! We've been at war longer than we were in WII and we still haven't cpatured or killed Osama Bin Laden. Give me a break, you flat-earthers! It's bad enough most Bush supporters don't believe in Evolution, but could you at least deal with reality in this instance?

    December 17, 2007 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  14. Tim, Madison WI

    Well, even Huckabee can be right twice a day. Way to not bow to the GroupThink pressure of the Right.

    December 17, 2007 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  15. Kent, Charlotte, NC

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

    It's frightening that the type of person who wrote that is allowed to vote in America. People with such a simplistic mentality should be grazing in fields, not a voting booth! This country seriously needs a system where a comprehensive IQ test is required before one's allowed to vote! This is what happens when idiots stuff the ballot boxes!

    December 17, 2007 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  16. Frank, Dayton, Ohio

    The fact is, with President Bush's approval rating being as low as it is for as long as it has been, the Republican candidates had better make sure that people know that they do not blindly endorse his policies if the want any chance to win in '08. I respect Huckabee for laying it on the line. I doubt if I will vote for him because I want a Democrat to win. But, if he is the nominee, I will at least know that the next president (whether Democrat or Republican) recognizes that George W. Bush is NOT the example to follow.

    December 17, 2007 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  17. Frank, Dayton, Ohio

    This guy is starting to act like he really wants to be president.

    December 17, 2007 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  18. Francis Parente Boca Raton Florida

    Why apologize to a President that completely duped the public and the press into a war with the wrong person after 9/11. They sold a war with a country not involved in 9/11 and which had no weapons of mass destruction and used aluminum tubes as a reason, that the least information gathering on, would have revealed could not be used for centrifuges for making nuclear weapons. He's the one that should be aplogizing to us. He and his chief mouthpeice to sell the war, Cheney.

    December 17, 2007 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  19. Michelle D. - Atlanta, GA

    Excuse me...but Bush should be apologizing to US!!!!

    December 17, 2007 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  20. Sara M., Cleveland, Ohio

    "If you're not pro-life, pro-gun, pro-marriage, then you're not worth praying for."

    My, my...what a lovely Christian sentiment! Amazing how nitwits like the fool that wrote this call themselves Christian, but are in reality ANYTHING BUT Christian! In their sick view of Christianity, Jesus loves everybody, but shares their hatred of homosexuals and the Clintons! Buffoon!

    December 17, 2007 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  21. businesstoolz

    He should apologize for not believing in evolution.

    December 17, 2007 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  22. Zack S, Royal Oak, MI

    To the Moderator, I left out who I was commenting towards. It was the first line so I am reposting it to you.

    Thanks

    To Jeremy in WY.

    You said; “God does command us to pray for our leaders, assuming they share our Christian beliefs” Could you point out that Bible passage to me? I am not familiar with it.

    You also state that “If you're not pro-life, pro-gun, pro-marriage, then you're not worth praying for.” So Jesus was pro-gun? Auto, semi-auto or single shot only? I bet that Jesus was a muzzleload fan but that is pure speculation on my part. Do you get your information from the Sermon on the Mount? Where is the passage? I must have missed that somehow. Are only guns OK? Is it ok to use bombs to blow-up abortion clinics? What does the Bible advise on that? Do you get you information from some updated Bible most of us are not aware of?

    Since Republicans seem to like to start wars based on lies is that OK with Jesus too? Jesus is pro-war! Imagine my surprise. I will be spending the evening looking for a passage on that in the Bible too!

    Bush seemed to like having people executed while the gov of Texas. Hmm, I wonder where Jesus would stand on that issue.

    My favourite quote of yours is” Only Republican Presidents have the unique Christian qualities.” Is this in their DNA? Are they born with it? If someone was once a Dem and became a Republican do they magically get those “Christian qualities? Did Reagan have them? If one was once a Republican and became a Democrat would God revoke those special qualities?

    Please advise me Jeremy. It looks like the country (well the whole world) has a lot to learn from you!

    December 17, 2007 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  23. Jeff - Jacksonville FL

    Since when has Bush kept us safe? He's been starting wars, giving other countries reasons to hate us and ruining our credibility at the negotiating table.

    Good job Mr Protector. :p

    December 17, 2007 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  24. Brett Omaha,NE

    4 words: WHO IS RON PAUL?

    December 17, 2007 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  25. De, Lincolnton, NC

    I wonder if that means that if elected Romney will continue the arrogant bunker mentality of the bush administration.

    December 17, 2007 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
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