January 30th, 2008
10:00 PM ET
15 years ago

Schneider: The night's big winner: Huckabee

Huckabee, I think, stood out in this debate as the one who made sense, talked as ordinary people do, and rose above politics. They may have scored. He connected. And that’s a problem for Romney, who would like to become the alternative to John McCain among conservatives who oppose the Arizona senator. But he has very tough competition from Huckabee, who’s forcing people to re-think his run at a time when he was supposed to be out of the game.

But this has always been the way he’s worked: Romney uses money to stay competitive. Huckabee has debates.

Full story

- CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider

Filed under: Bill Schneider
soundoff (162 Responses)
  1. Donna B.

    Huckabee has my vote! I'm getting the word out and rallying around him. GO MIKE!!!

    January 31, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  2. Anonymous

    Very frustrating to watch adults behave like spoiled white kids. And where was the equal time! AC said twice (at least) that he was going to get back to Paul and Huckabee and give them a chance to respond or answer questions that were repeatedly only posed to McCain and Romney. What CNN did or allowed to happen was wrong.

    January 31, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  3. Robin

    Huckabee stood out in the debate. Ron Paul was almost ignored. I think that was a shame, and it does show the media bias. I do believe the exhange between Romney and McCain was important. Romney had a 6% lead over McCain on Friday and it was Friday that McCain started the lying. Florida has a large number of military bases – Pensacola, Fort Walton, Jacksonville, Tampa to name a few. Romney had to offset the Miami-Dade Hispanic vote with North and Central Florida. He did very well in North Florida, but not well in Tampa and St. Pete where MacDIll AFB is located. Miami-Dade alone gave him a 50,000 vote differential. McCain lied in order to sway the military vote – active and retired. He was effective. It is important for voters to know that a 20 year US Senator and true war hero can and does lie. I've always been taught that if someone starts a comment by saying "Well let me tell you the truth .." it should imply that the other stuff he said isn't true. After last night, I understand about the buzz word / code word "timetables". I now know that "Straight Talk" is a buzz word for Lying.

    January 31, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  4. Tim

    None of these candidates stands a chance in November.

    Romney: Hes too fake. He touts his business experience at every chance but how hard is it to succeed at business when you come from old money with Harvard business degree? The answer is that it's not hard because with money, connections, and that degree you dont have to DO anything. Also, hes a mormon. Mormons are crazy. All you have to do to defeat Romney is ask him if he personally believes that Jesus was resurrected and preached Christianity to the Native Americans. And when he doesnt answer, everyone will know that what he isnt saying is "yes, but I cant say that or I'll look crazy." And it is crazy.

    McCain: He mostly genuine and has bucked the party and Bush on key issues which appeals to independents. The problem is that he changed his mind and now he supports tax cuts and comes across as unwaivering on the war. If he tones down the warhawk rhetoric he might have a chance.Furthermore, hes been coming across as a befuddled cranky old pessimist lately. That is not attractive. He needs to go back to the fun loving, joke-telling, optimist. Be more like Obama. Everyone knows you are a warrior, you dont need to cram it down their throats.

    Huckabee: Evangelical born again crap. If theres anything nearly as bad as mormons, its evangelicals! Religion should NEVER play as big a part in a persons life as the evangelicals let it. Taking the Bible and church doctrine as FACT is absolute lunacy. Religion is at best a loose moral guide. Sorry Huck, the earth is not 6500 years old, dinosaurs are in fact real, and the bible is a collection of stories, not truths.

    The Republican party has lost it's way. McCain is the best choice but he needs to quit pandering to evangelicals and hard line conservatives. Why? Because those people are either greedy or stupid, and anything he says will turned on him come general election. When the greedy people convinced the stupid people to join them, Bush got elected twice. The problem is that in the past 8 years, the rational middle of America has wizened up to this crap. We need a return to fiscally conservative, strict constutionalist, morally rational agenda that be defended in all aspects. Urge McCain to see this light! PLEASE!

    Otherwise, you are left with a smart, greedy, lying, fake religious nut in Romney. Or an inept, stupid, honest, real evangelical in Huckabee. Neither stands a chance.

    January 31, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  5. Katie

    After watching all the debates, news shows and interviews on different networks, and reading from a variety of sources over the past few months, I have concluded that John McCain is the worst choice of all the candidates for the Presidency. He lies and yet has the nerve to call himself a "straight talker". When "answering" questions about the economy, he fails miserably. He obviously has minimal knowledge about the economy which he himself has admitted (in Dec '07). And I am sick of hearing him answer everything about national securtiy with the same line about his military experience which, by the way, was decades ago. Electing John McCain would be a true disservice to this country!!

    January 31, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  6. Colin

    Huck supports the Confederate flag flying there because it's a state right AND it's a huge part of that state's history. He also has never said anything about changing the constitution to fit the bible. Even if he wanted to, no one would allow it. Get your facts straight before you act like you know what you're talking about.

    January 31, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  7. john williams san diego, ca.

    The biggest LOSER is Schneider. He reminds me of a political hack named Dan Blather.

    January 31, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  8. Dawn

    CNN did not post my comment on I-report.
    I felt the debate was just a pissing match between two grown men who want to lead our country? Give me a break!
    Mike Huckabee was awesome and down to earth. He made sense and was very clear. He is a leader and showed it. He did not give the snide smerks or roll his eyes like McCain and Romney did while each of them were talking. Mike listened without the snide immature looks like McCain and Romney gave.
    Maturity, leadership and respect. That are true indicators of leadership this is what this country needs. Way to go Mike!
    Too bad Anderson Cooper failed to clarify the question concerning the 100 year placement of our soldiers in Iraq, after the question was alreadyanswered by Mike Huckabee. What was that about? Shame on you Anderson Cooper!
    Media control nominations. That was not fair.

    January 31, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  9. Samantha

    Colin you get your facts straight before you comment as well. Huckabee's quote was exactly this; "I believe it's a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living god. And that's what we need to do - to amend the Constitution so it's in God's standards rather than try to change God's standards so it lines up with some contemporary view." If that isn't a clear analysis of his motives to change the Constitution I don't know what is!

    January 31, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  10. Joe in Naples FL

    Dawn, McCain was lying about Romney's record. Do you expect him to sit there and take it. Romney was dignified and restrained in his response. McCain looked like Captain Queeg, snickering away. No straight talk.....He even said he would not vote for his McCain-Kennedy Amnesty bill when just last Sunday he admitted to Tim Russert that he would when he was trying to evade the question.

    When Romney was talking issues he looked presidental and visionary. Seated next to McCain the contrast was stark.

    Yes, MikeH and Ron P did not get equal time but it is do or die time for the party and the country. When Mike did speak he was thoughtful and cogent.

    We MUST rally around one conservative with the broadest appeal and the best strength on the economy. Splitting the vote will only elect McCain. It is now or never. Huckabee supporters need to recognize this even though it is painful to shift support from someone you believe in to someone you connsider a second choice.

    Please see Mark Levin's article today calling for all conservatives to rally to Romney.

    Go Mitt. on Feb. 5.

    January 31, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  11. Timothy D Lynch

    Hey Joe, I have no problem with the Huckabee slip even if true. I still think Mike can do it and that their will be some surprises this Tuesday.

    Second choice for me. I am perfectly fine with Huckabee staying in the race and indirectly causing McCain to win.

    Anybody but Hillary except that Romney = Hillary. They are from the same moral cloth.

    By the way the only thing I don't have against Mitt is that he is Mormon. In fact the church should boot him for having such low morals.

    We would have had a very civil Repubican contest if it wasn't for Romney. I will never forgive him for that.

    January 31, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  12. Vicki

    I am a Christian and believer in Jesus Christ. I am with Mike Huckabee and what he stands for but is he strong enough to win?

    Go MIKE. Miracles do happen and nothing is imposible with God. Saying that, if
    it is not God's plan for Huckabee's to be in the Oval Office, I will have to vote for Obama just to keep another dishonest Clinton from running this country.

    I do pray that Mike Huckabee> His beliefs, his values, and faith and his integrity could lead this country to what it has gotten away from. GOD. Put God first and the rest falls into place.

    January 31, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
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