May 12th, 2009
03:36 PM ET
11 years ago

Huckabee slams Republican leaders' 'listening tour'

Huckabee isn't a fan of the GOP's new 'listening tour.'

Huckabee isn't a fan of the GOP's new 'listening tour.'

(CNN) - Former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee is continuing to deride his party's leaders in Washington, saying Monday he has trouble keeping a straight face over the GOP's newly-launched "listening tour."

"It's hard to keep from laughing out loud when people living in the bubble of the Beltway suddenly wake up one day and think they ought to have a listening tour; even funnier when their first earful expedition takes them all the way to the suburbs of Washington, D.C.," the former Arkansas governor wrote in a column on Fox News' Web site.

Earlier this month, Rep. Eric Cantor, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney kicked off a campaign by party leaders to reshape the GOP's image, gathering at a restaurant in northern Virginia for the first of a series of town hall meetings.

The goal of the initiative, the National Council for a New America, is to connect Republican leaders with voters across the country to help get the party's electoral fortunes back on track.

"If some of these leaders had been listening already, they wouldn't need to form a group to start listening now," wrote Huckabee. "Some of the ones who have decided to start listening sure weren't listening last fall when they were supporting the TARP bailout bill that pretty much discredited any semblance of conservative conviction."

Huckabee echoed a similar sentiment last week, telling a California newspaper the GOP was at risk of becoming "irrelevant as the Whigs" if it moderated its policies.

Filed under: Mike Huckabee
soundoff (302 Responses)
  1. Rod

    "Huckleberry" is just another one of the close minded dinosaurs who just do not get it. In all of my years a s aregistered member of the party... I simply have a hard time understanding how bad the party has gotten. I guess it's all in who you pander to and the close minded monster you create. You would think people in this part of the nation would understand the "reap what you sow" concept.

    May 12, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  2. Gene

    Huckabee is 100% right. They shouldn't need a "listening tour".. they should've been listening the whole time.

    I still don't understand of the whole "changing the face of the party". It's still the same people there.. so what are they saying? "We're going to drop our belief system and say we believe something totally different to bring you back to us" ?

    Sorry.. if it's all the same people... it's the same beliefs.. with some lipstick.

    May 12, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  3. Danny E. Gonzalez

    Gov. Huckabee is wrong about the listening part, I do believe the GOP needs to listen and listen well to the people are will become their followers, they need to garnish good conservative values that will not supress the values or standards of the American public. they must become more populist and to dedicate themselves to better efficiencies in the government rather than to just slash taxes. they also need fresh ideas and new faces... that will help them, but until then listen to Rush Limbaugh he is doing a find job of sinking you even further in... good luck!

    May 12, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  4. Ted Tartaglia

    This Republican soul searching is better than a three-ring circus. I have a tip for Huchabee since he hasn't seemed to notice; Republicans are already irrelevant!

    May 12, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  5. Why all the hate?

    I would not have voted for Huckabee, but it sounds like he has a better sense than the current "Republican" clowns. At least his support of the Fair Tax is a welcomed different idea than the travesty we now have called the income tax. Liberals wanting the rich to "pay their fair share" should be behind this–it ensures that they pay their fair share as opposed to your precious "progressive tax." Support the idea of the Fair Tax and bring fairness back to America.

    May 12, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  6. SN

    Huckabee is a cartoon character. How could he be taken seriously?

    May 12, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  7. PULEEEZZZ!! lets tell some truth

    Thank you Mike Huckabee.., How unusual: a republican actually telling the truth! In fact, this party is in self destruct mode. Bring it on!!!

    May 12, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  8. Tom Eyemdaman

    A-men reverand!

    The term republican applies to a way of thinking and a set of principles that guide decision-making – you can't change those principles and still be called a republican. If you think the republican position needs moderation, then become an independent rather than trying to drag the party down the wrong road. That's the problem the republicans have at the moment – getting back to the core values that DO define republicanism, not this blended populism that rejects principle based on popularity.

    May 12, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  9. rick

    Who is he to talk? One of the worst Presidential candidates in years – John McCain – kicked his butt. Next thing you know he will be telling us that Sarah Palin isn't qualifed to run for President.

    May 12, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  10. Jordan

    The irony is that the only people who would actually attend one of these rediculous events are people who are already going to vote Republican.

    May 12, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  11. Wasilla Hillbilly

    LOL! or as irrelevant as mike huckabee anyway.

    May 12, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  12. DaBird

    Congress, Democrats and Republicans, don't listen to the people that voted them into office, so why not try to listen for a change?

    May 12, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  13. Randall Arnold

    Hey Mike– are you at all familiar with what suburban DC looks like?

    May 12, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  14. Dustin Jones, Fort Wayne, IN

    This would be an opportune time for Mike Huckabee to learn to think critically rather than simply speaking critically.

    I think he has the right idea on some issues, and I was proud of him when he suggested earlier that the Republicans need to give President Obama a chance before criticizing him on everything.

    But then he made those ridiculous comments about "the Union of American Socialist Republics is being born," and now this...

    Please, Mike, follow your own original good advice and have some patience and a clear strategy.

    May 12, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  15. Paul

    If it makes the GOP look stupid and out of touch, I'm all for it. The longer they're out of power, the better. At least until they dump the evangelicals.

    May 12, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  16. KLK

    Listening is a good thing. They just need to listen to more than the religious right.

    May 12, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  17. BA in CA

    Good point Mikey, how'd the primaries go again? Stick to that strong base you've got there in Arkansas buddy – if it's broke don't fix it.

    May 12, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  18. Flush Rush

    Boss Limbaugh says NO LISTENING. He'll do all the talking. The party leadership needs to do the obeying.

    And so the Grand Obstructionist Party keeps shrinking - and getting more distilled - sort of like the Dead Sea.

    May 12, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  19. bob in LA

    What really is funny is the fact that Huckabee thinks two past governors of a three person group are beltway insiders!
    Talk about being out of the loop!

    May 12, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  20. Common Sense

    People should know by now that Republicans don't listen. They don't care about anyone except the elite 2%. Why they'd pretend to listen on a "listening tour" is beyond laughable. GOP = irrelevant.

    May 12, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  21. mike,texas

    Its amazing Huckebee forgets his partys past on why Obama or anyone has to use large somes of money to bailout the mess republicans created.We just need to go back to the corporate tax code of the 1960's when america grew the most.

    May 12, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  22. Alien8

    Man, is he still around? How sad.

    May 12, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  23. Lee, Mays Landing NJ

    Huckabee is right.

    Mitt Romney, Cantor and Jeb are ignoring the Republican "base".

    That base is so "base" in it's Talibangelical world view that people like Romnety (a Mormon) have no chance in the Repoublican Party.

    Republicans created their "base" through decades of hate mingering, fear mongering and catering to the most p[rofoundly stupid and atavistic inbred mountain people they could find.

    Now they are stuck with the monster they created. They used those people when it suited them. You have to almost respect people like Huckabee more than users like Romney, or fakers like Jeb and Cantor.

    May 12, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  24. Linda

    Huckabee is correct and the GOP needs to realize that his conservative views are what this country needs more of.

    May 12, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  25. Jeff E.

    By all means, Mike, continue down the same path that left your party in the dumpster of American politics. You ridicule people for trying to find answers, yet you offer nothing but the same old ideological bromides that no longer have any traction with mainstream America. You're like the knight in the Monte Python movie who despite having limb and after limb hacked off, kept asking for more.

    Look around, Mike. The GOP is quickly becoming a regional party of angry old white guys, religious fanatics and intolerant tea baggers. If you want to continue in that direction, by all means, have at it. But if you're interested in injecting your party with a dose of reality and common sense, perhaps a little more listening and a little less preaching is in order.

    May 12, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
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