February 26th, 2009
02:40 PM ET
14 years ago

Huckabee blasts McCain, warns of socialism

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/26/art.getty.huckabee.jpg caption="Speaking at CPAC, Mike Huckabee governor took McCain to task for voting for the financial bailout last October, a move the former Arkansas governor said betrayed the party’s core beliefs."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Mike Huckabee and John McCain got along famously during the Republican presidential campaign, but now Huckabee - possibly mulling another bid in 2012 - is putting some space between himself and the former GOP nominee.

Speaking at CPAC, the annual gathering of conservative activists, the former Arkansas governor took McCain to task for voting for the financial bailout last October, a move Huckabee said betrayed the party’s core beliefs.

“With all due respect, Sen. McCain dramatically suspended his campaign and flew back to Washington not to champion those conservative Republicans [in the House], but to join meekly with Barack Obama in voting for the bailout, a bailout most American opposed,” he said.

Huckabee said he went along with the Republican ticket because he was “a good soldier,” but that the bailout vote may have sunk McCain’s campaign.

“I tell you, that moment was not our best moment,” he said. “It would have been our best shot at winning the White House a chance to offer a true authentic, conservative choice rather than a big government echo, rather than a meek, ‘me too’ way of doing things.”

Huckabee frustrated some Republican primary voters during the campaign because he was perceived as being too supportive of government spending on social programs, but in his remarks Thursday, he stressed his opposition to the financial bailout and President Obama’s stimulus package. Those spending bills, he said, have given conservatives a chance to define themselves against liberal overreach.

“The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics may be dead, but the Union of American Socialist Republics is being born,” he said.

Still, Huckabee struck back at his critics, saying he was "prophetic" in warning during his campaign about the dangers of a "Wall Street to Washington Axis of Power that was out of control."

Filed under: John McCain • Mike Huckabee
soundoff (205 Responses)
  1. RJ-Ga

    Huckabee give me a break ! You are apart of everything that is Wrong in the Republican party, you guys need to stop telling everyone, you are the party of Lincoln ! The truth and fairness are two things which will never surface in your party !!!!

    February 26, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  2. The Huckabeast

    What do you mean "if" he's going to run for the presidency. We will see him run for the presidency over the next 4, maybe 5 elections. This man wants to be president, bad.

    He won't make it because he's a racist bragart, who like to ham it up at other's expense. Remember the joke he told about President Obama getting shot, as if that was funny. No, this man will never be president of America. Maybe he'll be president of the PTL.

    February 26, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  3. kathy

    Huckabee would have been a better running mate than the airhead McCain picked. Huckabee has fresh ideas...McCain is old and stale

    February 26, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  4. The Huckabeasts Are Not Moving To DC

    Why do you think this guy is keeping his ugly mug on the air for the next four years. Because he doesn't want people to forget about him, as if they could with that face.

    Republicans can talk all they want, this is not a man who will ever win the hearts and souls of most Americans. Why? Because he is a one noter. He couldn't care less about our agenda, just his own selfish ambition to be president.

    When he won Iowa or something to that affect, his cheese daughter-in-law was all smiles as if she were moving in the White House the next day. I was so happy he lost and I don't have to see that Chelshire Cat's grin any longer.

    February 26, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  5. Deanna in Denver

    That's not what sunk McCain's campaign.

    February 26, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  6. gingre

    Let them fight with each other. We have reached an era where the rich are getting richer and the poor poorer. What is the republican party intend to do with those who are poorer? If we don't fix the social issues of this country, mark my word, we are going to have such a riot. We are living an IT world. When other are making and wasting million and there are thos who can feed their children. Good luck! For such a rich country. It is apauling not to have universal healthcare. Kust keep in mind that our unborn death rate is higher than Cuba. And Iran has universal healthcare. That says something about us.

    February 26, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    I'd like to bop this guy on his noodle with a copy of On The Origina of Species. And seriously, this socialism blabber is getting really old. If capitalism and Randian trickle-down economics worked, we wouldn't be where we are right now. It's precisely because of the ABUSES of capitalism that it has failed us. We have only ourselves and those who wielded the most capitalistic power to blame. This is the analogy:

    GOP = cigarette producers
    cigarettes = trickle-down economics, trust corporate america, etc.
    American public = smokers
    Obama = doctor
    Bailout/stimulus/etc. = lung removal

    You don't get to blame the doctor that your lung NEEDS to be removed.

    February 26, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  8. Deborah

    "Wall Street to Washington Axis of Power that was out of control."

    And our new Administration has become an even bigger Axis of Power then any of us thought possiable.

    This out of control spending has to stop!

    February 26, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  9. Concerned in MA

    Thank you, Governor Huckabee, for being a beacon of common sense in this country gone mad.

    February 26, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  10. tom

    The last time I checked Huckabee thought the earth was 6,000 years old.Perhaps he will rate National Geographic XXX. These people are scared or ignorant of the truth.They are America's Taleban.

    February 26, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  11. Cindy

    I still HEART Huckabee... but I think he and his party are dead wrong. And he's going to go down with his ship like a good soldier.

    Mr. Huckabee, there was a time, when you bucked your party line, and you told them to lay off Obama and Rev. Wright. That's the man I admired. This one? Not so much...

    February 26, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  12. ruty

    OMG- when EVER will these cry baby republicans stop whining. Just shut up-– YOU LOST. SHUT UP. By the way, I am a republican and I am sick of the whining.

    February 26, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  13. Pacific Resident

    Finally, someone is ripping at the McCain. McCain has been acting like a sore loser since he lost the election

    February 26, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  14. Simmy

    With all due respect sir, when you went over to Fox, you embraced the "dark" side. You are no stronger than McCain, or anyone else in your party. McCain lost mainly because of his poor judgments and a despicable campaign. His selection of Palin drove the nail into his political coffin. You sir, need to choose you this day whom you serve. And your claim to being "prophetic" is absurd. You are speaking after the fact. When you made your predictions, Most intelligent adults already knew we were in deep dung. I guess we were all "prophetic." Spotlight fades on this unrising star.

    February 26, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  15. liz

    You people do not even know what Socialism is... we are no where near it nor are we going to be. All you do is feed into ignorance and bigotry.

    February 26, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  16. July

    ” but that the bailout vote may have sunk McCain’s campaign."

    hhmmmmm NOPE. That was not it sweetie.

    It was young and very popular Sen. name Obama that sunk McCain’s campaign

    February 26, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  17. no corporate politics

    Why do conservatives flip over to the "socialist" cartoon fear tactic?

    It seems like the Republican conservatives now fling that word out to whip up anger at Obama. It is like they are playing to the extreme right wing blogger-nation out there. Like poking a hornet's nest.

    We are a sound-bite one-word nation now. I remember Obama doing this too. He knew there were bloggers out there calling McCain senile so he would fling out the word "confused" to describe him. Of course that would get people whipped up making fun of McCain.

    Why don't we all think about the complex issues facing the planet and not follow around the latest media hype.

    February 26, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  18. norb

    Keep smiling Mike. Your comment to the NRA in the past election process will not be forgotten. When a chair fell you made the comment of Obama running as if it were gunfire. Shame on you. You're about as religious as a snake.

    February 26, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  19. Freed_From_W

    This coming from a man who was convinced by hosts of a Canadian television show on American ignorance, to salute and congratulate Canada on the conservation of their national igloo. (No, idiot, there isn't really a national igloo in Canada...)

    Excuse me, sir? Would you like a grain of salt with Mike Huckabee's hot air?

    February 26, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    enough..no one over 50 should be elected to congress..the old blue bloods got us into this and they are now trying 2 figure which crow show lead us in 2012..please..wake up people now more of these idiots...please

    February 26, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  21. Truth Teller

    Hey Huck, Jesus taught socialist concepts. Feed the poor, share the wealth, etc. Didn't you know that? It's good enough for Jesus, it should be good enough for you.

    February 26, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  22. dallas female

    blah, blah, blah

    February 26, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  23. cheesehead

    seems that Obama pulled a fast one and fooled us all...

    February 26, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  24. gary, gpp

    And this is from someone who still thinks that dinosaurs roamed our planet only a few thousand years ago. Huckabee and Palin...president and vice-president of " The Earth is Flat Society ".

    February 26, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  25. Zach K

    I like Mike. I may disagree on his statements against Obama, but I have more respect for him now as he blasted that bitter old man. It should have been him against Obama this election.

    But still, Huckabee should stay with his program on Fox News. Its better to be in a party that will self-destruct in the next few years to come. 🙂

    February 26, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
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