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. no more liberal hypocrisy

    As a Republican and an American, I am sick of Huckabee. He single-handedly allowed the annointing of the obamessiah to take place.

    If he would have dropped out when it was apparent he had not shot, Romeny would have won the nomination. Imagine if we had someone in the White House who actually:
    a) ran a business
    b) ran a government
    c) rescued a scandal plagued operation (the Utah Winter Games) and made it accountable

    Ah, we can only think of the possibilities. And languish while the fraud and his lackeys try and wreck this country. People have no idea what they elected. They went for change, but are getting an inexperienced hack instead.

    February 26, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  2. honeychild

    Huck-a-who? Beeeeeeee Gone!

    February 26, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  3. marilynmdaniels@aol.com

    We now know for sure that the only thing he did in college was to cook animals in a pop corn cooker. I think he's had too much lard that has clogged his main artey to the brain.

    February 26, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |

    hey huck that is NOT what sunk the mcsame's campaign. the gop shenanigans for the LAST 8 YEARS is what sunk the gop point.

    February 26, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  5. thomas

    What happens when the free market system drives the government policy on corrections.
    – The US gets 264 private prison facilities in just the last 20 years.
    – The US creates the largest prison population in the world.
    – The national prison population rises from 300,000 to 2,3000,000 in just 30 years.
    – State prison costs increase from $10.8 billion to $49 billion.
    – California judges declare prison conditions unsafe and unhealthy and order the release of up to 50,000 inmates due to overcrowding.
    – Judges in Pennsylvania take kickbacks to sentence innocent juveniles to private detention centers at the expense of their parents.
    – Private prison operators like CCA and The GEO Group are major contributors to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a Washington, D.C. based public policy organization that develops model legislation that advances tough-on-crime legislation and free-market principles such as privatization.

    February 26, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  6. RAJ

    I think every Republican is trying to fill the leadership vacuum. I disagree with many of Mr Obama's recent socialist overtures but unfortunately no one else has any other idea. I have not seen a more idea-bankrupt party than the Republican party of today. They have become so repetitive in their old and failed ideas that no one even bothers to listen to them except Rush Limbaugh's radio audience.

    I hope Republicans will come up with some good and NEW ideas that can be blended with some good ideas from this adminsitration and we all will benefit.

    To his credit Obama is doing mostly what he said he will do during the campaign. Translated into deficit numbers now those ideas do create some scare.

    February 26, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  7. Blatherskite

    If only this guy was not a right wing extremist religious nut case. He is intelligent, witty, actually understands the issues, and comes across as a warm, genuine and sincere person, with a great sense of humor.

    But, there's that fundamentalist Jesus fixation that tends to ruin everything good about a person the way extreme fundamentalism does to anyone in any religion.

    February 26, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  8. Cynthia - Arkansas

    Can these people ALL just give it a rest. It is WAY TOO EARLY to be talking about 2012. P. S. Huckleberry was a terrible governor.

    February 26, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  9. Pepou

    Ah, socialism ! The great new word. Well, what about "worn-out capitalism" for a change ? These people don't know what they are talking about. I am sick, sick, sick of their "Capitalism."

    February 26, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  10. Hog Fan

    I truly don't understand people. I thought Bushes only problem was that he went along with the bailout in the end and he and other Republicans didn't call out Democrats on the ridiculous Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 that started this attibuted to this crap in the first place. If you can't afford a home, you can't afford it. Work harder. As long as there is the IRS the goverment will be able to control you. Democrats think Big Government is the answer and history will tell you that is has never been the answer. Obama is doing some of the same things that Carter did and it was a disaster. Why call yourself a liberal and want more big government? Doesn't make sense. Also, I work in the medical community and if you think Government run healthcare will work then you are simply ignorant. Success is being punished in this country. I pray there is an america left when my son grows up.

    February 26, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  11. Oregonian

    I am a liberal through and through in most ways. However I do feel that financial conservatism is what worked well in the ........dare I say it......Clinton Administration (Oh horror of horrors.) And if we had practiced it during the last eight years of the borrow and spend Republican administration, not to mention the 12 years of Republican debauchery before that (propaganda aside Reagan grew the government more than any president before him and when borrowing wouldn't do enough he cooked the books.) Which is why the national doubled during his eight years, doubled again during Bush senior, shrank a little during Clinton then almost tripled during juniors reign.

    Now we have gone so far down the rat hole that simply saving won't fix it. I'm pretty scared of the additional debt we are building now but we are at a place that we HAVE to invest or lose it all. It is a huge risk but we know the old ways aren't working.

    February 26, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  12. Jeff

    Global financial collapse and anarchy or let's get social? I'm not a socialist but a job, home/ plot of land, food, health coverage, clothing and little spending money isn't sounding so bad to me these days. No choices in that you say? Well, if you don't have these basics what choices for other crap to have (thank you George Carlin) matter?

    February 26, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  13. Glennis

    As a Republican, there was no one running for president that I could even get excited about, much less be happy about voting for. However, Huckabee is right on target with this one. The Obama administration is on track to curtail our freedoms faster than a speeding bullet. And for those of you who laugh and scoff at the notion, we'll see how amusing you find it in a couple of years.

    February 26, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  14. BS

    Huckleberry Finn should of also mentioned at the CPAC meeting that Sarah Palin, one of their picks for their 2012 list, is posturing herself real well "REPUPLICAN STYLE"!

    She has turned-in her Chevy Suburban back to the state as she hasn't been paying personal use of it. She has agreed to pay back the state for all the travel expenses for her family! She also is having to pay "BACK TAXES" for the per-diem she charged the state while staying in her home in Wasilla!

    Is Palin the "true authentic conservative choice" Huckleberry is referring to?

    Fact check @ adn.com

    February 26, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  15. Obama all the way

    McCain got to where he is by his RICH father-in -law and his Military father and Grandfather that covered for John's bottom on the grades list at the Naval Academy and his many screw-ups then being married to his wife while dating wealthy Miss Cindy then dumping his wife/children.
    He has a short stem

    February 26, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  16. Lisa T

    Wow, many of the republicans posting on these blogs really do believe in the "boogie man"! Why don't you stop trying to find problems with everything and START coming up with logical solutions (tax cuts are not it). America as we know it will continue to better itself over time – it is called progression. We will, as a society, weed out what doesn't work well and strengthen and grow what does. Our wonderful country is not coming to an end. Stop with your gloom and doom already – it is stressing you out and making you unreasonable.

    February 26, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  17. Steve (the real one)

    HBO February 26th, 2009 3:09 pm ET
    Calling all Evangelicals!!!! Please tell us was Jesus a conservative or a liberal (socialist)? And, please provide scriptures to support your views.
    Neither but he did pay his taxes! Matthew 17:24-27

    February 26, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  18. Marty, FL

    Oh brother, here we go with Republican fear-mongering "socialist" rhetoric again. Do Huckabee, Limbaugh, et al. even know what that term means??

    America already has many socialized programs such as veteran benefits, police, fire departments, education, military, post offices, etc. Oh, the horror.

    C'mon, these programs have been supported by Republicans, Democrats, and Independents alike. It is not a political absolute, no matter how much talk radio & Fox try to convince their followers.

    February 26, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  19. J. L. Wlker, Sr.

    With Obama's plan we are on our way to big government and a touch of socialism. Things got out of hand and need fixing but moving towards socialism and big government is not the answer.

    February 26, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  20. C


    February 26, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  21. Observant

    I think we need a new party, lets' call it the "Responsible Party" , Democrats, Republicans and Independents are welcome as long as they exhibit responsible actions. As my mother always say, 'Watch what they do, not what they say"

    February 26, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  22. John. Austin, TX

    Huckabee is so narrow-minded. His show on Fox is a completely one-sided soapbox.

    February 26, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  23. Andy

    Big Govt is back. The tax and spend liberal leads the Pelosi/Reid freak show spending money money than Bush ever did. This is about CHANGE and Yes WE CAN. We can Take your CHANGE and spend it how we want. God help us.

    February 26, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  24. Carolyn

    Liz: There is a very fine line between socialism and communism, most people don't even realize when its crossed and by the time they do it's to late.

    Abolition of Private Property.
    Heavy Progressive Income Tax.
    Abolition of Rights of Inheritance.
    Confiscation of Property Rights.
    Central Bank.
    Government Ownership of Communication and Transportation
    Government Ownership of Factories and Agriculture.
    Government Control of Labor.
    Corporate Farms and Regional Planning.
    Government Control of Education
    Read up on the above and then tell us what you think, we are very close, granted not all are from Obama but he is certainly moving fast.

    February 26, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  25. Vince, Jupiter, Florida

    Well it’s official – – “Socialism” is the new Republican gimmick word. I guess we are going to hear it everyday for the next 4 years from the party without a clue.

    February 26, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
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