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. FD

    Too bad Huckabee didn't go up against Obama – it would have been a much different race had he gone the distance.

    May 12, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  2. Common Sense 09

    Well I guess the truth finally comes out since he's not in office anymore; but a different story while he was running for the nomination....

    May 12, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  3. Jack

    He right they arent listening. This "tour" is just a ploy.

    May 12, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  4. DavenP

    Too bad Huckabee didn't go up against Obama – it would have been a much different race had he gone the distance.

    May 12, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  5. Steve, Columbia SC

    GO MIKE. Now I just wish the blinders would come off the eyes of all the Republican and Democrat leaders in the can only pray.

    May 12, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  6. S Callahan

    the second to last paragraph essentially says it all...

    May 12, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  7. blkrado

    Huckabee surprises me with his show on fox and his energy being put into politics instead of doing what God called him to do, which is to Pastor. Has he given that up for the riches of the world? one would think so. It's time for those who have been called by God to do what God has called them to do instead of allowing themselves to be deceived into politics and ignoring their Christian responsibility. Speaking out on social issues is fine but to become so engaged in them that one forgets their calling is a tragedy. by the way I'm a Democrat who use to like Huckabee, I'm a Christian also who prays Huckabee would get back to what his true calling is.

    May 12, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  8. CF

    This party is destroying itself. Not one person in the party knows what the party stands for or is about. There is no definition of the party that fits all of its members; its more like 4 or 5 fractured parties clumsily assembled under one heading. How anyone can associate themselves with this mess, or claim to be proud to be a Republican, is beyond me.

    May 12, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  9. Right Leaning Independent

    He is absolutely correct and I do not like Huckabee. If Congress listened to the public, there would be no TARP and we would not have wasted billions on automotive companies that have or will be filing bankruptcy! Funny how congressmen and woman believe they are smarter than the public!!

    May 12, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  10. grammy11

    This new "listening" group is a joke. They don't even listen to the residents of their state. They are all losers. Mike Huckaby is the only Republican out there that truly care about all of the people, both big and small.

    May 12, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  11. shoegazer

    Ah,it's real easy to laugh out loud Mike,go ahead,give it a try.........

    May 12, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  12. Minnesotan

    You can't "reshape the GOP's image" when you're not willing to change and adapt to the 21st century, better-educated citizens that don't swallow their outdated and irrelevant policies, or acknowledge that your party is so out of touch as to be irrelevant. I love the GOP right now and am eagerly awaiting its funeral.

    May 12, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  13. Marydoe

    Mike believes what he's saying, and he's right, but he's just revving up for 2012.

    May 12, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  14. BobbyC

    Sounds like the conservative movement in this country is about to implode. I would pit one question to all the conservatives out there – what do you stand for? What are your ideals? Because the only message I heard consistently from your end is that you disagree with what liberals are saying. Is that what defines you – you oppose anything proposed by a Democrat? I am interested in ideas – not just criticism, opposition, and blaming. Yes – the administration has made some bold moves and spent a lot of our money in it's short existence. A lot of conservatives oppose these actions. OK. What do you want to do? What would you do about health care, the economy, the environment, the energy crisis? Give us some tangible responses. Don't just stick out your tongue and tell the other side they stink. That's junior high school.

    May 12, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  15. Tex

    Don't they get it, Conservative Republican is now an oxymoron. If you can't even practice what you preach while you're in power then how can you have any credibility and be taken seriously? Who created the 10 trillion dollar hole(Reagan, Bush 1 & 2).

    May 12, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  16. Chip

    As well he should. He makes good points here, but his faith will bring the detractors out. Shoot the messenger, not the message.

    May 12, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  17. ran

    That is right keeping people like huckabee as any kind of GOP leader and the party will for sure become irrelevant. This guy is so far right that their is no shoulder to pull on to.

    May 12, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  18. Melissa

    Hell froze over. I actually agree with Huckabee on something.

    May 12, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  19. Mississippi Mike

    It's a good start but they need to be listening to the party's base, not loudmouths in Northern Virginia.

    May 12, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  20. John in Ohio

    Can the GOP survive in the 21st century, as a party driven by strife between different conservative ideologies, that doesn't allow any moderate voices?

    I think not, but I sure hope they keep trying. I'd rather have the Republicans as an ineffective fringe party, and have the Democrats split into a centrist and a leftist party. The Baby Boomers and their preceding generation are center-right. The generations following the Boomers, we are center-left. The Republican Party's time has come and gone.

    May 12, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  21. Dimslie

    Unfortunately, Huckabee made the deciding choice for his political future when he stayed in the race last year and gave us John McCain. Sorry, Mike, you aren't Joe Biden you only get one gaffe of that magnitude.

    May 12, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  22. Jason

    Right on Gov. Huckabee! Too bad the Republican establishment, the elite Washington insiders, will not listen to you. You sir, are a class act and one of the few Republicans who could actually win.

    May 12, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  23. Sharon Kitchen

    ya tell them.

    May 12, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  24. Peter E

    I agree that revamping the "image" of the GOP is nonsense. It is what got it into trouble in the first place, being all talk, while hypocritically becoming a party of spendocrats, interventionists, and privacy invaders. And while they try to blame the spending on democrats, they supported the bailouts not just last October, but even back in 2005 when they were in charge! These aren't conservative principles. When the GOP returns to ACTUAL conservatism, then it will be strong again. Until then, many of us are splitting away from the party of hypocrisy!

    May 12, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  25. Obama

    He will be the next told to go Democrat

    May 12, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
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