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. Greg

    Here's what could save the Republican Party.

    1) Begin acting like you care more about this country than The Party and being reelected. The United States of America is made up of more than corporations, more than millionaire/billionaires; it's comprised of men and women of all colors, of all religions and they need to be able to have some hope in their futures.

    2) Work at solving problems rather than advancing your agenda. We don't care whether you're conservative; we care where our next meal is going to come from and whether we'll still have a house this time next year.

    3) Stay our of my religion. Telling me which God to worship and how to worship is none of your business.

    4) While we're on the subject of your telling us what to do, stop telling women that they are not in control of their own bodies. I find abortion repulsive but I AM NOT A WOMAN. Kinda makes me unqualified to make a judgement just as it makes every Republican (and Democrat) man unqualified. Or perhaps you would like women legislating when you should have your vasectomy.

    5) Stop lying to us. Stop talking down to us as if we're children. You work for US, remember?

    You want to win again, show us that you care more about us than yourselves.

    Oak Park, IL

    February 26, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  2. Joe - Chicago

    Yet another raving lunatic. Its very sad that they make up a big percentage of our political leaders.

    February 26, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  3. smilek

    A stranger listening in could easily conclude that Democrats can't handle dissent. Even when they win. I feel like "when they win" should be stated more like "now that Democrats will always win cause finally we all think the same except for those two or three remaining radical right-wing idiots out there".

    Not sure what system of government you Democrats want but based on the volume of comments stating that Republicans should basically just disappear, it appears that democracy has fallen out of favor with you folks.

    February 26, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  4. TCM

    The crash of the stock market in the days since Obama took power (indeed, from the moment he won the election) can increasingly be attributed to his own failure to lead us in the right direction, his failed policies in addressing the recession and his own spreading of panic and fear. The market collapse makes it evident that it is Obama who is the problem, where he should, instead, be the solution.

    These were the words of a former Clinton appointee.....nuf said

    February 26, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  5. Linda in MS

    Missed the timeframe for Gene Taylor, so i'll comment here. Mr. Taylor, you live a few blocks from me, so how can you not see the need for spending some money to get people back on their feet?
    Bay St. Louis and Waveland are barely making it even 4 years after Katrina, you know that, you've been fighting your insurance company that long. How can you call yourself a Democrat, any way?

    You just lost my vote, Bubba.

    February 26, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  6. Earl Barnett

    To Justin from New Haven, CT. You have made a comment with no background explanation as to why. What is funny and otherwise basis of your opinion? There is a proverb that "a fool delights in expressing his own opinion" – opinion here meaning one in which there is no common sense or factual substantiation.

    February 26, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  7. Deb

    We need to get rid of these people and just START OVER!!!

    February 26, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  8. Paul

    Okay... when you say "this country is headed toward socialism," please finish the statement by saying, "and this is bad, because of ____." Because, really, I don't know why that is so bad. Are people in Europe really worse off than we are?

    February 26, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  9. Ed

    I am not a big Huckabee fan. However, he is right on the money here. Americans are going to be profoundly, profoundly sorry for the national tragedy of bailout spending that has befallen us since October.

    We had a golden opportunity to shrink, rather than expand the government millstone around our necks in response to this recession, and we blew it big time.

    Government taxation, like hyper-toxic mold, is going to worm its way into the cost of everything we pay for, for many, many years to come, tragically.

    Democrats and Republicans are both to blame for this debacle of unintended-consequences over-regulation and deep intrusion into the earning and spending power of every common American.

    February 26, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  10. AB

    After this is all over,
    my prayer is that the Republicans will elect Sara Palin as the running mate for 2012.LOL
    after all she done do er did for that spot and deserves to be palin around in the White House

    not in a million years
    no barbie doll in the White House

    February 26, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  11. It's Me!

    “If a man will not work, he should not eat.” II Thessalonians 3:10.

    "You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it."

    – Dr. Adrian Rogers

    February 26, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  12. Obama-mama

    what' you liberals fail to realize is....you're a minority.
    Obama won the election for two reasons; MSM liberal media flooding the airwaves with misinformation, and the corrupt antics of ACORN and other ballot-stuffing cronies. Come 2012, the republicans, with new members, will have to rescue the country from the clutches of careless spending and selfish power-hungry socialists. Obama will suffer a crushing defeat at the hands of the republican party; in fact, his approval has slid over 25 points after being in office one month! That's a record!

    February 26, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  13. Lenin

    Before anyone counters an argument of policy with "We won the election" is pretty hypocritical. Especially when I'm certain that those on the left did not adhere to this type of thinking when Republicans and Bush won elections. To Huckabee's credit, he is correct regarding the close ties between Washington and Wall Street. Obama is no different than Bush on this front. This is something that is lost among those Obama worshippers on the left and Bush/McCain types on the right. In the end we'll all lose as our economic power is continuously being debased and eroded with too much spending at home on pork/government expansion, abroad propping up weak foreign governments and on Wall Street.

    February 26, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  14. Lu

    That's good, let the republicans keep fighting among themselves....they will destroy the party before 2012!

    February 26, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  15. Eyckie

    Repubs should stop making so much noise and get on-board with helping the country to recover. They've done nothing but whine and complain but they have no new ideas or proposals and all they are doing is slowing down the progress and recovery with their noise. This is typical anyway as they really don't want the country to recover, they just want their big tax breaks for their big bank accounts.

    February 26, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  16. TXCon1

    I pray a lot of Repubs will now stop being "good soldiers" and stand on the (only) principals that will save this great country from socialism – strong morals, limited government and economic incentives that actually incent business. I know, it's another way of saying one must be accountable and not "enabled" to receive freebies from the government (gee, where does that money come from?). Collecting your livlihood from government gets boring after awhile. Just ask those who do in France, Russia, etc. Better yet, if you love socialism why not just move to those countries? You lose your esteem and since of character when you trade your soul to the "government" for your livelihood.
    "O" lied, the market died.

    February 26, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  17. Dave H

    The article mentions not one word about anything remotely related to religion, yet a bunch of anti-Christian bigots have to spew their hatred and ignorance anyway. Tolerance? The left has reduced itself to a fountain of hatred for anybody who refuses to participate in their groupthink.

    It's nice to see that Huckabee realizes he needs to get up to snuff on economic conservatism (market capitalism) and political conservatism (limited government) as well as social conservatism if he's going to be a force in the Republican Party.

    We're not all toothless backwoods-types who can't make a move without asking what would Jesus do. I know what Jesus would do, he'd say " render unto Caesar what is Caesar's." Which is to say, "don't ask Me about politics, that's not my area."

    February 26, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  18. az pete

    Ever notice how many conservatives react to someone strongly disagreeing with them or their politicians? It's always labeled as "hate". If you can't handle a difference of opinion then you're pretty insecure. BTW I'm sick of hearing all the "socialism" comments. None of you know what it really means. What all of you labeled 'communism' in the USSR was actually closer to socialism. And don't carry on about "free market" — the U.S. hasn't had free market for decades, if ever. When industries and even specific companies receive specially legislated tax treatment and subsidies there can be no free market. Look at the oil industry having record profits and still getting government help! The fact is these industries can't be trusted to regulate themselves because they are all too greedy and don't care about long tem consequences. So when they whine about more government regulation, I say "You did it to yourselves!"

    February 26, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  19. Simmy


    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!
    What are you talking about?
    Are you the Financial Police of the country?

    Where was your indignation when Bush began construction on a $50,000,000 Bldg. in Iraq that was just left to crumble? It was never completed. Now that is "out of control spending."

    What about spending over a trillion dollars on a war than should never have been waged? Out of control and arrogant.

    What about Bailouts to Wall Street and other banks, that allowed their corporate heads to get out of this world bonuses, and left no one monitoring where the money was going, nor how it would be spent?

    Bush neglected to include the cost of war in his budgets (one of the reasons we are so deep in debt). That is another example or "out of control spending."

    Bush Bequeathed his "Axis of Power" to President Obama. Everything bad that happens in this economy goes back to him and his monarchial regime.

    It will take a lot of money to get US out of this mess. If you don't know what you're talking about, you need to ask somebody other than Limbaugh, Drudge, Huckabee, Steele, Hannity, McConnell, Boehner, Cantor, etc.

    If you want to rant and rave on the blogs, at least try to spell your words correctly. When you make statements like yours, you draw attention to yourself. Peace.

    February 26, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  20. john

    People the elections are over why do we still got this bad taste in our mouths, we need to stand by Obama these republicans needs to stop fighting and come up with solutions of their own, As for Mccain and Huckerbee he is a joke and all they are doing is digging a deeper hole for the GOP

    February 26, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  21. Debi

    They still don't get it.....Americans do not want your ideological, taken over by the religious right party.

    Please Republican's if you want to win in 2010 and 2012 find a candidate that is actually fiscally conservative.... the IS your base.

    Please sever your ties with the religious right starting with Huckabee, Palin, and Romney.

    February 26, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  22. The Night Manager

    "President" Obama has already been the worst president this country has ever known. I acknowlege that McCain ran a weak campaign, but Obama really isn't anything special. He's never led anything in his life, so the notion of him successfully leading America, and essentially the world, is plain ridiculous.


    February 26, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  23. ctmom

    There is a HUGE difference between Republicans and Conservatives. McCain is no conservative. Not sure Huckabee is either.

    February 26, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  24. Bea

    wow....the republicans are at it again......this socialism stuff..."Socialism. Law enforcement agencies, courts, prisons, legislative bodies — all of the key institutions that are supposed to produce justice are owned and maintained by the state." by Anthony Gregory....so you see, socialism is already at work in the States.....

    February 26, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  25. John Brown

    I have a question for all of the people who are not for Obama's bail out.

    What would you do if you were President?

    How would you get this mess under control?

    February 26, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
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