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. Cmmntr

    I guess Mr. Huckabee failed to notice that McCain lost Virginia for the Republicans for the first time in decades due to the shifting demographics in northern Virginia. Why bother listening to what people want when Rush Limbaugh is more infallible than the Pope?

    May 12, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  2. Paul in Miami

    The Republicans would have reasonable smart people available if the hardliners wouldn't have eliminated or silenced them all. That party is being run by a bunch of losers without reality. Until they jetison the hardliners, they will never recover from the conservative fiasco.

    May 12, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  3. RN in Ann Arbor

    It appears that the Republicans are becoming irrelevant, not because they are moderating their policies but because they refuse to. The age of small government and lower taxes may be passing because of the increasing complexity of our world. They like to say they are different than the democrats, but they have not shown themselves able to lead. More importantly, they have not shown a sincere commitment to family values they keep talking about: caring for those who need help, feeding the hungry, fighting for the oppressed, even kindness to those who are not republicans. They do not understand that the world changes and they need to change as well.

    May 12, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  4. Republican from NH

    Imagine! Mike Huckabee is considered a relative "Voice of Reason" in a political party that is in self-destruct mode!

    And yet, Mr. Huckabee is one of those morons that, when asked during the candidates debate, does not belive in Evolution, or stem-cell research. The Republican Party: The Party of Troglodytes.

    Alas, he's still is better than Mitt Smarmy.

    May 12, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  5. Tina

    Huckabee's point is stupid. Its better late than never. The fact that they didnt listen in the past doesnt mean they shouldnt listen going forward. Thats just not logical Mr Huckabee.

    May 12, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  6. Langston

    The GOP will have to face the fact that the new more effective system of government is something that does look similar to socialism. In order to manage large scale population, the government will have to exercise more control over our businesses, and yes, our lives. People in a free-market society have proven that they can not make the moral choice that is good for the society. Through the unions, President Obama can create a more centralized and manageable system of government and business. It has started with Chrysler and now can spread to GM, then to the banking system. This is what people want and this will help stabilize this system to prevent any future economic bubbles. This is the future and we need a system of government that reflects that.

    May 12, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  7. Chredon

    Funny, Huck. You deride the Listening Tour, yet continue to believe that the only way for the GOP to survive is to hold on to the right-wing principles that lost them the middle in the last election.

    So, no, Huck, don't listen, just keep on doing what you've been doing, and you will, for sure, become even MORE irrelevant than the Whigs. (In case you haven't noticed, the Modern Whig party is growing.)

    May 12, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  8. Tom

    Huckabee is too dense to realize he is just whislting past the graveyard. I am a life long Repub, and I see the party distintegrating before my eyes. Unless the leaders get the ultra religious right to shut up and listen to what people have to say and want, they are a doomed party. When I hear Republicans say they just need to re-energize their core (which means the hard line right) I have to shake my head in disbelief. If the Repubs were smart, they would start to distance themselves from the self appointed moral guardians of our society and focus on things that are important to America as a whole ... like the economy, wasteful spending, and the gradual socialization of our country.

    May 12, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  9. Joesph

    The though of Eric Cantor positioning himself for 2012 is scary but not surprising. What a cast of characters plus out of touch.

    May 12, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  10. OldUncleTom

    From a man who promotes a flat tax as "fair", I would expect no less.

    May 12, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  11. NVa Native

    Of course this sham king wouldn't listen. He still doesn't understand the science of evolution, and therefore doesn't "believe in it"!?
    As if fact based science was some religion of choice?
    Just another radical Repub shuckster fumbling around in the darkness of his mind.

    May 12, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  12. Larry Throcktonberry

    This has all gotten so bad that it's not even funny anymore; it's just repulsive. All these former Republican powerhouses now aggressively revealing how utterly repugnant they really are.

    I cannot wait for the next generation to show up and put these pigs out to pasture. New party, maybe?

    May 12, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  13. kylemasterson

    Huckabee should just shut up. I don't understand the point he's making except that he is trying to set the stage for his next run for president. I think the listening tour is a great idea.

    May 12, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  14. Moderate Democrat

    If they truly are out to 'listen', then we'll be able to judge how well they LISTENED by now. Most americans KNOW for a fact that "Lower taxes on rich people, hate the gays and non-christains, order women to do things and keep them in their place and if you aren't white, we won't hang you, even though we want to" are retarded policies. But the flat earth party will never get it. They will continue to regurgitate the moronic policies they have always tried to.

    Oh, and if you are for smaller government, then why are you running to work in government? The hypocrisy of the GOP is never ending!

    May 12, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  15. SR

    Rush 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 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  16. CitizenAJ

    The republicans are trying EVERYTHING to overcome what Dick and George did to their beloved, value and morals party. Yeah, they value wealth and power and will break all morals to get it!!!

    May 12, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  17. Jake

    if it's not Palin on the 2012 ticket, i'm praying it's Huckabee...i can't wait for the SNL sketches skewering him & that Mrs! it's going to write itself!

    May 12, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  18. Rick

    The repubs couldn't care less about what ordinary Americans think. That's why there is no need for a listening tour.

    May 12, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  19. Bob the Observer

    GMan - FYI Huckabee finished SECOND in the Republican primaries, and he did it on a fraction of what Romney and McCain spent.

    He's a genuine person of deep conviction and yet has sincere empathy for those who don't agree 100% with him.

    He's probably too much of a gentleman to actually survive four years of a presidency, but I would love to see him try.

    May 12, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  20. CitizenJane

    * sigh* Limbaugh didn't like the idea of a listening tour and therefore made Cantor come out two days after the tour began to say it wasn't actually a "listening" tour, but rather was a "we'll tell you what we want you to think" tour. These GOP aren't exactly displaying much in leadership, are they?

    May 12, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  21. Paula

    You ROCK Huckabee !!

    Huckabee/Palin in 2012 !!!

    May 12, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  22. Fed Up

    Politicians' ears are like office thermostats. You see them – they appear to work but actually are inoperative. The result is you are either too hot or cold – either way you end up with an something you don't want.

    May 12, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  23. Badger

    Stick with the hard line mentality Mike, it'll make Obama's second term much easier to win!

    May 12, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  24. ssanbra

    for years the republican party has used ultra conservatives voters to get elected by appealing to thier denial of civil rights in partucular. now they are stuck with them. It 's no better for them. But I hope that they can recover the party of Abraham Lincoln.

    May 12, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  25. Veronica

    What listening tour? Oh, you mean the one that Cantor and Company blathered on about? The same one that Lush Limbaugh ripped Cantor and Company about? The same one Lush said should be a teaching tour? The same one that Cantor and Company backtracked on, is no longer a listening tour, but a teaching tour because Lush told Cantor and Company what the tour should and shouldn't be?

    That one? Oh, well, no one's listening. And, no need for a teaching tour – most American's have already learned quite enough about the GOP. That's why only 21% of American's still cling to the Grand Old Party – LOL.

    May 12, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
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