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

McCain made 'huge mistake,' Huckabee says

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/26/art.huck.gi.jpg 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. SONGBIRD MCCAIN

    Today this progressive liberal is supporting the fiscal conservatives in congress.

    The Bush bailout is a farce. It is not necessary and will in fact weaken the dollar and create even more debt. How can anyone believe anything this President says? He has no moral authority! He seems incapable of telling the truth. While he said the economy was solid just a month ago, he was working behind the scenes on this power grab bailout!! Liar! He talks doomsday and great depression and economic crisis, but its all rhetoric just like Iraw, just like the constitution shredding patriot act. And the whimpy congressional Dems just swallow it up, falling over themselves to do his bidding. We are a nation of industrious, creative, smart, motivated people who can easily overcome this current fiscal mess. Rewarding bad behavior is exactly the wrong thing to do! Those greedy Wall Street perpetrators should be in jail, not receiving a bailout! Do not continue to artificially inflate housing values – that was part of the problem!!

    So whether it is because you don't trust this president to tell you what time it is, or whether you feel that the free market needs to stabilize itself at its true value without government interference, today we are united against this power grab. NO BAILOUT!!!

    Call or email your congressperson today!!

    September 26, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  2. Ken

    Wow, you know you're in bad shape when somebody of the ilk of Huckabee can correctly poffer criticm of your actions. When a dimwit can look down on McCain and legitimately call McCain a dimwit, I think the implosion of the "campaign to nowhere" has started.

    September 26, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  3. geen

    gawd..I watched CNN last night photo ops of that 'meeting of GREAT minds' at the white house...what the hell was THAT about...in the center, we had the moron looking just about as dazed as that now-self-proclaimed-economics-expert ,mccain at the end, did...seriously...is there anyone, repube or other, who believed that, with such 'great' minds as bush and mccain–neither of whom have a clue about much of anything except invading sovereign coutries for their oil at the expense of nearly 2 americans a day–were, together, going to offer anything at all of value to this debate...come on folks....!

    September 26, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  4. J.D.

    EVERBODY...McCain is already running ads the he "won the debate" HE just decided to attend the debate an hour ago. It wont happen for like 10 hours!!!!! This guys is insane. His campaign is out of control. Checking out the Washington Post this morning, Friday morning, again, hours BEFORE the debate will even happen!!!!!

    September 26, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  5. Steve - St. Louis, MO

    What the.... ???
    When McCain canceled his debate appearance, it was because there was no bail-out deal, even though there WAS the early thought that a deal had been made.

    Then, when the deal actually falls apart, he says he WILL debate now, because he feels sufficient progress has been made.

    This man is confusing me.

    September 26, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  6. Stacy from Loudoun County, VA

    Governor Huckabee brings you a moment of serenity. Now, back to the madness....

    September 26, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  7. Sorensen

    McCain has again made a huge mistake. This is as bad for him as
    Palin.
    This is the beginning of the end of freewheeling capitalism.
    This is the end of McCain/Palin. (Not that there ever was a beginning!)
    The Bush/McCain legacy:
    2 lost wars
    4500 soldiers killed.
    28.000 soldiers mamed.
    Financial chaos like never before.
    Foreclosings at record high.
    Total anger and frustration.
    America the laughing stock of the world.
    Mr. Axelrod, what more do you want?

    September 26, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  8. Bob Indianapolis IN

    Grandpa got run over by his hubris
    Going back to DC on debate night eve
    You might think it was drama and a cheap ploy,
    But Koolaid drinkin' PUMAs, they believe!

    September 26, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  9. Frank the Tank

    Wow,
    It looks like all the angry haters spend their day just waiting for the next update... Didn't realize the liberals were nasty individuals spreading their venom on the internet... I haven't anything nice to say about obama so I'll close for now...

    September 26, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  10. Vincent, Great Lakes Illinois

    He made a huge mistake in picking Sarah Palin for his running mate. She has too much baggage in her personal life. I believe he should have gone with Heidi Klum she's better looking in a swinsuit...

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

    I cannot believe that I am saying this but Huckabee is right.

    September 26, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  12. larry from minnesota

    McCain always shoots from the hip. When one shoots from the hip, sometimes it's hard to figure out where the shot was intended to go. I don't think even McCain knew where his shot at delaying the debate was suppose to go.

    September 26, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  13. dbacchus

    So... Do we have the bill? He said YESTERDAY that he will not debate unless they have the bill signed. Did he take his words back?

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

    Did I hear "FLIP-FLOP". I totally disagree with Navarette. McCain's stunt was a gimmick. Do you think he really cared about the American people? I don't think so!!! Obama was the one who reached out to McCain...Obama brought up the idea of joint message to be release...Obama understood that you should not inject politics into the negociations....Obama was right and McCain was wrong.

    September 26, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  15. John Wilson

    McCain is a loose cannon. Singing about bombing Iran, pulling cynical political stunts like this and picking the incompetent Sarah Palin for VP in exchange for extreme right-wing votes. I don't want this guy's finger on the nuclear trigger.

    September 26, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  16. faye, NV

    McCain trying to scare people as thou nothing can happen unless he is involved in it. The debate should for Friday should have not came out of his mouth attempting to postpone it only made him stupid.

    This world does not stop for anyone and life does go on. For one tning congress was reaching head way and all McCain did was mess it up.

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

    McCain is trying to do the job we're paying our senators to do. Is having another debate more important than saving our economy ?Enough mud-slinging and finger-pointing. Let's not forget to do our jobs......

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

    What are the Christian values related to "lying? If John and Sarah could get their stories straight we might be able to tell who they are but no they have to make up the story on the fly to suit the polls.

    If Sarah Palin's nose grew every time she told a lie, we would have a bridge to Russia!

    September 26, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  19. James L

    McSame. ... what a joke !!!!. Anybody voting for this guy other than his family members is . ... well . ... I just say it, You are Stupid !

    September 26, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  20. Richard

    McCain: DIDN'T TELL THE TRUTH when he said he'd shut his campaign down (ads and spokesmen never stopped); DIDN'T READ the bailout proposal for at least 3 days; LIED to Letterman; didn't accomplish anything in Washington except for photo ops; and DIDN'T KEEP HIS WORD to stay until the mess was fixed. But he still had a better week than Palin.

    September 26, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  21. IWASP!-Intelligent Woman Against Sarah Palin!

    Hucklebee is not the only republican to speak out against mccain either. There are quite a few of them trying to distance themselves from the lunatic.

    September 26, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  22. SONGBIRD MCCAIN

    Today this progressive liberal is supporting the fiscal conservatives in congress.

    The Bush bailout is a farce. It is not necessary and will in fact weaken the dollar and create even more debt. How can anyone believe anything this President says? He has no moral authority! He seems incapable of telling the truth. While he said the economy was solid just a month ago, he was working behind the scenes on this power grab bailout!! Liar! He talks doomsday and great depression and economic crisis, but its all rhetoric just like Iraq, just like the constitution shredding patriot act. And the whimpy congressional Dems just swallow it up, falling over themselves to do his bidding. We are a nation of industrious, creative, smart, motivated people who can easily overcome this current fiscal mess. Rewarding bad behavior is exactly the wrong thing to do! Those greedy Wall Street perpetrators should be in jail, not receiving a bailout! Do not continue to artificially inflate housing values – that was part of the problem!!

    So whether it is because you don't trust this president to tell you what time it is, or whether you feel that the free market needs to stabilize itself at its true value without government interference, today we are united against this power grab. NO BAILOUT!!!

    Call or email your congressperson today!!

    September 26, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  23. Jerome (Toronto)

    Didn't McCain state he would never lose a war to win an election but he would be willing to dump the economy to win an election. If americans are that stupid to vote for this guy, well all I can say is good luck, you will need it.

    September 26, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  24. David

    Let's face it, even if McCain thought he should go back to DC, all that talk about "I am suspending my campaign..." was just a political stunt. All he really did was, maybe, skip a town hall meeting or two. He didn't pull any ads, and he didn't stop Palin or any of his cronies from their pettiness.

    He could have come out with flying colors just by saying something like, "This is important legislation, so I'm clearing my schedule and heading back to the Capital to see if I can help...." Where he screwed up was with his self-aggrandizing pompous over-the-top silly "suspend my campaign" nonsense. What, does he "suspend his campaign" every time he takes a nap?

    September 26, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  25. ric

    Huckabee is a moron...

    What some of you people say about McCain / Palin is just plain horrible. Democrats are so hateful and I’ll never vote for a Democrat again after how I’ve see all of you act. The despicable personal attacks I read on here from all you democrats are shameful and it shows how dangerous the left is...

    September 26, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
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