February 11th, 2008
12:30 PM ET
15 years ago

Huckabee: Washington State vote like the Soviet Union


Watch Huckabee on American Morning Monday.

(CNN) - Mike Huckabee continued to cry foul Monday over the results in Saturday’s Washington State GOP caucuses, saying the state party chairman's decision to call the race there early for John McCain is reminiscent of elections in communist bloc nations.

"That is not what we do in American elections," Huckabee said on CNN's American Morning Monday. "Maybe that's how they used to conduct it in the old Soviet Union, but you don't just throw people's votes out and say, 'well, we're not going to bother counting them because we kind of think we know where this was going.'

In a statement released Sunday, Huckabee's campaign said Washington's GOP Party Chairman Luke Esser called the race for McCain when Huckabee was only losing to the Arizona senator by 242 votes and over 1,500 votes remained to be counted. Esser has said he remains confident he made the right call.

Speaking on CNN, Huckabee said the campaign has sent lawyers to the state to formally challenge the result.

"I was just stunned," Huckabee said. "It's the kind of thing that Republicans across America, not just in Washington State, ought to be outraged over."

The former Arkansas governor also brushed aside McCain's claim of being the presumptive nominee, citing his wins in Kansas and Louisiana over the weekend.

"As long as my guys are waving their pompons, we'll stay on the field," he said of his White House bid.

Meanwhile, speaking with reporters on Monday morning, McCain said he is confident he won the Washington caucuses, but said Huckabee has the right to challenge the result.

"I think it is pretty clear that we won. And some of these are close - there was a couple of close races that we had with Gov. Huckabee, but he certainly has the right to challenge if he choses to," McCain said. "But I honestly don’t know enough about details except that I know that state parties declare elections when they have sufficient evidence as to who has won and who has lost."

- CNN Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Mike Huckabee
soundoff (444 Responses)
  1. Jerry

    That is disturbing. Moves like that is what discourages voters from casting their ballots. Every voter deserves to have their vote counted. Especially when it wasn't a landslide.

    February 11, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  2. Trish

    Only 242 votes behind with over 1500 left to count! Come on! It is clear to even a preschooler that Huckabee could be the vinner of Washington State! Washington State is disenfranchising and insulting the intelligence of their voters and the rest of this country by prematurely calling this race! This disgraceful conduct is not convincing Americans that their government can be trusted! COUNT THESE VOTES!!!

    February 11, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  3. Kerry, Not the last name

    Several here have made the claim that this is the same as the 2000 Presidential election where the vote was stopped. I would like to remind you of something. Gore payed lip service to counting all the votes, then filed suit to have only three of the six precincts recounted and challenged the votes of American soldiers in a war zone. Anyone claiming that the vote counting was stopped by the Supreme Court (which was liberal, not Republican) is practicing hypocrisy. Gore didn't intend to count all the votes or his legal challenge would have included the three more conservative precincts as well.

    What was supremely rich was that, according to Paul Krugman (someone on the left), the New York Times editor that was involved in the after election multi-paper recount, Gore needed all six to win. There was one little caveate to this. You would have had to count chads in undervotes that you would have to ignore in the overvotes, and that with the most liberal of interpretations. They would not have survived any real challenge regarding fairness. Al Gore lost, even according to Paul Krugman. Gore lost because of undervotes and overvotes and Al Gore lost because he did not seek to count ALL the votes. His challenge was confined to the three more liberal precincts, which did not put him over the top. The Supreme Court was right to stop the unfair recounting only in certain precincts, but it gave the conspiracy believing left ammo when the conspiracy believing left dishonestly ignore the fact that Al Gore gave lip service to counting all votes but did not seek to count all the votes. What would the Supreme Court have done if he had sought to count all the votes?

    Al Gore lost. He lost in all counts and recounts. He messed himself over by not seeking to count all votes. That was his only shot. Then it would have come down to ballot challenges. Al Gore lost on ballots that that Florida voters couldn't understand but fourth graders could. Al Gore lost when certain Florida voters did not properly go get new ballots when they made a mistake. Don't blame the supreme court. Blame Al Gore and his supposed Florida voters.

    If the Florida voters had voted in Seattle, Gore would have won with more votes than residents, living or dead.

    February 11, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  4. Holly, Kansas City, MO

    So what does the republican party plan on doing? Just not counting the rest of the votes in Washington? I am not a republican but this absolutely deplorable. They called this race with 13% of the vote yet to be counted and McCain up by only a thousand or so votes. He had been trailing before. It's like they decided to wait until he was in the lead and then just stop counting.

    February 11, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  5. Venetia

    Throwing out vote??!! What possessed Esser to think this was okay? Since when does one man get to say that 1,500 peoples votes aren't worth counting? Sounds like Mr Esser is either afraid to count all the votes because he knows there is a valid chance McCain won't get them or he has totally over stepped his bounds as a Chairman people can trust with their votes. Either way he needs to be replaced. NOW!

    February 11, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  6. Mati

    obvious February 11, 2008 1:43 pm ET

    there was no voting in the soviet union, huckabee. learn you friggin history. it's a communist country, not a democracy."

    You are the one to learn some history. It was voting, but it was unanimous .. a la Obama's caucuses..

    February 11, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  7. Gilbert Marv

    Yea for "MIKE" I love the fact that you believe in "Miracles" So Do I.
    The Lord watches everything. He loves everyone, Yes, I hope & Pray
    for you, Keep on "Fighting & Believing" God Bless U.

    February 11, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  8. Ennis, LA

    You people don't realize that caucuses are ways the politicians have invented

    to nominate whom they choose, whether or not the winner is popular with

    the voters. In some states, just 2,000 people decide whom gets the party's

    nomination! Washington has a governor who won her office by just 200 votes...

    many of them felons, dead people, or illegal aliens! WAKE UP AMERICA...


    February 11, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  9. wow

    uhh, there was no voting in the soviet union, huckabeast

    February 11, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  10. amk

    "That leaves, McCain and Huckabee.

    The old guy and the preacher.

    Which brings up the philosophical question: Which one is closer to God?" –Jay Leno.

    I loved it. (...for those religious nuts, aka, conervatives)

    February 11, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  11. Virginia Mann in Jax

    How wierd is this I watch Fox and they continue to push for Obama and push for Huckabee to give up. Yet in some strange twist of events CNN actually gives Huckabee a christian conservative republican a fair chance to speak up for himselves, in fact giving him more fair and ballanced reporting then Fox oooh its like stepping into the twigh lights zone. So since its clear that the pundits are trying their best to influence this election does this mean that Conservative leaning Fox feels that it would be easier for them to win if it were Mccain agianst Obama, and Left leaning CNN feels that they would have a better chance if it were Hillary versus a Huckabee. Does this mean that Fox feels its easier for them to win if they are competing against a Black guy, While CNN feels they would have a better chance at beating a Christian. Reading in between the lines of the messages both networks are telling is getting more and more disturbing.

    February 11, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  12. SteveM

    Florida Ohio, Ohio Florida, that's all you can think to say? Where are the lawsuits to back up your proof that the election was stolen? Where is the hard evidence. Here we have a man who decided to call off the count (according to the news) and you say Huckabee deserved it. What a bunch of idiots. Most of you shouldn't have the right to vote, and the way you think we won't have it for long. There isn't a glue strong enough to save this Republic. We sound like a third world nation waiting for the next dictator to overthrow the government. Don't worry about the world hating us, they are laughing to hard to care.

    February 11, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  13. Cindy, Nebraska

    I couldn't wait to get up Sunday morning to see if Huckabee beat McCain in the Washington Caucus. I was almost certain Huckabee was going to sweep McCain I still hope he does. Only to turn my television on and find out the vote count was stuck on 87% and McCain was called the winner I was furious. I hope the lawyers stick it to whoever was responsible and held accountable. We need more politicians like Huckabee.

    February 11, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  14. Bendo

    Boy as a true Democrate for all of my voting life, this party going on in Washington State over not counting the votes is music to my ears! Ted Olson, bring your lawyers to Washington for Huck, what? you wont do that? So you think the Dems nomination will be decided by lawyers and court action to split the party, but guess what Ted, its happening in your back yard, get a taste of Florida! This is what Obamba needs in November to beat the sleezy evil republicans. I hope to see a campaign commerical reminding independant voters how sleezy the Repubs are and vote Democrate in November!

    February 11, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  15. Ian

    If you're just going to rally behind the eventual nominee, why do you bother supporting anybody? They didn't share your beliefs at the beginning of the race but all of a sudden they do now?

    February 11, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  16. Ryan, GA

    Two words. West Virginia.

    February 11, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  17. SteveM

    to obvious:
    They do vote in Russia, google it and find out how you are obviously wrong.

    February 11, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  18. tsb

    I gave over 20 years defending freedoms and the right to vote, and to have all votes counted. There are many more like me, some who gave their very lifes while defending these same freedoms and rights. Those who take it upon themselves to decide that even a single vote does not matter and stops counting should not be practicing politics under our constitutional law. If Esser was so certain of a McCain vistory, he should have simply kept counting to prove his point. Huckabee may have been cheated politically (that's politics, suck it up) however, approximately 1500 voters (American Citizens) were cheated by their trusted public servant. McCain and Huckabee should stand together, with the people of Washington state and demand that every vote be counted and Esser be canned. The GOP should jump on this band wagon to save the peoples vote if for no other reason than to save face.

    February 11, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  19. Aaron, Indiana

    People actually think there's a difference between the Republicans and the "old USSR?" So sad, yet so funny at the same time.

    Hey mb....

    Did you know the USSR was for gun control, high taxes, big government, a multitude of socialized programs, radical change, etc. Wait a minute....that is the exact platform the Democrats are running on. Isn't that funny. the old USSR and the democratic party is in bed together. Let me guess, you are an Obama fan? I can gaurantee you that you can not name 3...2...that you can not name 1 thing he has accomplish. You follow like a sheep. He has not been specific about any "ideas" (he got from USSR and WWII Italy) In all of his speeches he only said the word change ( Does that mean I could make a good candidate if I write a speech and put in "Change" 50 times and "Move forward" 25 times? I better start campaigning right now. Bandwagoner

    February 11, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
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