September 26th, 2008
02:12 PM ET
14 years ago

McCain made 'huge mistake,' Huckabee says

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Huckabee thinks McCain made a big mistake."]

(CNN) - Former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee said Friday the John McCain made a "huge mistake" by even floating the possibility he would not appear at the first presidential debate as planned.

“You can’t just say, ‘World stop for a moment. I’m going to cancel everything,” Huckabee told the Associated Press Thursday.

Huckabee, who vied with McCain for the GOP presidential nomination long after it appeared McCain was the party's presumptive nominee, has been an on-and-off critic of the Arizona senator. Earlier this summer he took part in a Washington, DC rally calling on McCain and Obama to highlight more evangelical issues on the campaign trail. He also criticized McCain's campaign when it alleged Obama's "lipstick on a pig" comments was an intended slight at Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin.

McCain abruptly announced Wednesday he would travel to Washington in hopes of striking a deal on the economic bailout deal, and said he would not attend a debate unless an agreement had been reached. Late Friday morning campaign aides said McCain felt sufficient progress had been made on the and he would attend the debate.

But the bill itself appears very much up in the air. After what was described by members of both parties as a "contentious" meeting at the White House Thursday afternoon, congressional leaders are still trying to hammer out a compromise on the Bush administration proposal. Speaking to reporters Friday morning, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said McCain's presence on the Hill helped stall negotiations.

"All he has done is stand in front of the cameras," said Reid, who has long had a chilly relationship with McCain. "We still don't know where he stands on the issue."

soundoff (363 Responses)
  1. R.M.

    Yea Huckabee, exactly my sentiment.

    September 26, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  2. Kevin

    I see so much hate and nasty rhetoric. Rather than attacking McCain, maybe some of you Dems or Liberal Independents can begin to define your candidates positions. As a Libertarian minded independent, I find nothing agreeable with either candidate because they both abuse the Constitution and attempt to gain emotional momentum rather deeply roouted principles.

    September 26, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  3. Kelly

    So true. McCain, as usual, wasn't thinking straight. Maybe he's slipping back into his war days and thought he could pull an AWOL on the American people. Nice try, dimwit.

    September 26, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  4. Pete

    To all those who said McCain showed leadership with his stance to suspend his campaign and postpone the debate - the deal is still in limbo - why is he having the debate? Only goes to show his rash judgement in a crisis. Folks, he is a "good" Senator but would NOT make a good commander-in-chief. A commander-in-chief needs to be
    level-headed. The Plain pick is another example. Her interviews are just plain SCARY!!!

    September 26, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  5. AA

    Huckabee, although a bit of a whack job is far more sane and logical then the two that the RNC have right now. He at least thinks.

    Let me tell you what will happen next in the RNC world, since plan A, B and C have not worked...

    Palin will drop out stating that she really needs to be with her family.
    And it will happen right before or right after her first debate, and the phyco Romney will be appointed.

    Mark my words, the last interview that she gave showed even the most die hard GOP supporter how she is in over her head (I'm being very polite). Country first? Ya OK.


    September 26, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  6. April in Texas

    Im an independant but geez I am liking Huckabee even more each day..

    September 26, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  7. Ken

    Hey Truly American, you need to change your name to Pathetic American. You have harmed America with your past two presidential votes, and you wish to continue your pathetic mistakes with yet a third moronic presidential vote. This country would not have made it beyond 1800 if it had had too many such 'Truly Americans'. That these electoral dimwits think they can persuade others to continue to vote for failure is a sad comment on the current state of our nation.

    September 26, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  8. Bottom line: Obama has NO resume, even for change!!

    Maybe it was a mistake, but as usual he DID WHAT HE THOUGHT WAS RIGHT. Nobama did not want to even show in DC, and was content to keep studying for his debate. He took a shot despite the political consequences, and you morons think Nobama has courage!! Makes me sick......

    September 26, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  9. Independent Fred

    I like John McCain.

    My problem is his mindset and means of handeling adversity is too 1980's. I'm confident he'd be a good commander and chief but POTUS requires a grasp of all the problems we face economic, energy & environmental in addition to international.

    Feelings aren't facts and gut reactions (Palin VP pick, campaign suspension) are moves that must be thought out. Gut reactions don't cut it.

    Being an american hero & a good man doesn't automatically = a visionary, pragmatic great leader.

    That's what america needs now.

    September 26, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  10. Count VA 2008 ... were making it Officially BLUE

    McCain/Palin........deer in the headlights

    September 26, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  11. John

    as a supporter for Obama from the beginning, I saw Huckabee here in Iowa, and really liked him I think Huckabee should have been the nominee, we really liked both Barack and Mr. Huckabee here in Iowa. Too bad they chose McCain. Huckabee should definetly be the GOP's choice after Barack is done with his time in the white house.Obama 08'12 Huckabee 16

    September 26, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  12. Bill Charlotte,NC

    John McWayne is neither a "maverick" or a leader. He is just another desperate old out-dated politician who would do or say anything to be President. His antics, changing the campaign weekly with "hail Marys" presumes the stupidity of the American voter.

    Words to John... we are not stupid!

    September 26, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  13. Sam Benegal

    In suspending his campaign, Mr. McCain declared that he would not attend the debate unless a deal was worked out. There is no deal yet... What has changed for him to attend the debate. Can some one please educate me???

    September 26, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  14. bk

    At least we know who goes to the job we are paying him to do, and who just wants to talk. Obama didn't know what to do, so he does what he has always done talks and votes present. Obama is a follower not a leader.

    September 26, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  15. Vic of New York

    I don't know what to think of John McCain. He reminds me of a Chihuahua, barking and yapping and jumping on his hind legs for attention.

    The only impression I've gotten in that past two months of the campaign is that this guy is spastic. He has intuitive knee jerk reactions to shake off the opposition – but nothing of substance to offer himself.

    September 26, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  16. Chris

    I felt all along that he was making a big mistake, but thank God someone in the GOP is sticking their neck out and disagreeing with him. It was a good thing Obama said what he did that anyone running for president should show the nation that they can juggle more than one crisis at a time. Hopefully, Barack will mop the floor with McCrazy tonight and keep on rollin'.

    Chris from NC

    September 26, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  17. Pat

    The diversion tactic of "suspending his campaign" (which he didn't), and running to Washington to "save the economy" was unthinking, ridiculous, impulsive, and just shows the danger we would be in if he should be voted in to the Presidency. Being an egoist is bad enough, but since he can't back it up with good action, it's even worse. Tonight is going to be a lot of entertainment for which I don't even need to buy a ticket.

    September 26, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  18. NO mcNapoleon for AMERICA


    September 26, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  19. Burt

    When are people going to admit that Obama is just better suited for the job?

    Good decisions vs. knee jerks
    Capable VP vs. Palin
    Steady leadership vs. hail mary
    even keel vs. bad temper

    Let go of the petty stuff and the deep seated racism. the guy is a better leader for our country and as a 55-year old white guy in a solid red state I'm proud of him.

    September 26, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  20. Sarah kansas

    I feel sorry for McCain and Palin. It is said when you do not know what you are doing. I do not agree with Obama on everything, but he seems like the only right choice. There should be a test taken in before you even run. This is better than reality TV.

    September 26, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  21. Wrong Choice

    In regards to Cindy McCain! Who is at the top of the Republican presidential ticket? Is it Cindy or John? I have never in my life seen a wife of a presidential candidate under their spouse as much as Cindy is under John. This reminds me of Ronald and Nancy Reagan. Is Cindy feeding John anwers to questions like Nancy did for Ron??>

    September 26, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  22. Jack

    If John McCain is confused as to where he needs to be from day to day can you imagine what he would be like as President!

    Now, that's a scary thought with him and scary sarah in the White House we all better dig bomb shelters.

    September 26, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  23. Kate Fergus

    McCain thought he could dodge the issues and avoid being forced to speak to specifics on the ecomony. Well, the public demands he provide his position. He had no alternative but to speak, although a town hall meeting with Obama would have been very interesting.

    Obama = presidential
    McCain = panicky pandering

    September 26, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  24. Paula, Los Angeles CA

    This is one issue that me and Huckabee agree! I would only add that not only did McCain MAKE a huge mistake, but he himself IS a HUGE MISTAKE for AMERICA!!

    OBAMA/BIDEN '08!

    September 26, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  25. BB, San Diego

    Huckleberry is mistaken. It stopped the "Bama Movement" aka "BM". I think I will use Hukabee as a "Reverse Barometer". Why on earth would someone even listen to this guy? Especially since they almost had to come out and drag him off stage. Mike go home please, your 15 minutes of fame are over with.

    September 26, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
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