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. um....

    Why is he bringing this up now? Isn't this old news? Get on with your life Huckster.

    May 12, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  2. Bill in Austin

    Let the self destruction continue.

    May 12, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  3. ch

    Huckabee is just another GOP whack job who could never get above 40% of the vote in a national election.

    The GOP is running out of time – unless they moderate and tone down their hate, intolerance and self righteous blabber they are doomed to extinction! Just like the dinosaurs!

    Obama '2012
    Hillary '2016

    May 12, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  4. elana

    Now if Huckabee had been the one who had this so called "brilliant idea", then he'd be the FIRST ONE to endorse it! The Republicans had better get their act together, soon and VERY soon! 2010 will be here sooner than we could ever imagine! Instead of acting like "children", and "pacmen", and eating each other alive, it might be a good idea to get a handle on the word REALITY!! So many choices, Republicans - AND SO LITTLE TIME!!

    May 12, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  5. right here

    Nice guy, fair guitarist, weight loss success, NOT presidential material. BUT he is a nice guy, cant say I agree with his ideas AT ALL, but I dont have a thing bad to say about him personally. I try to not like him, but he is SO different from the other GOPers, hes not hateful, hes not mean spirited, hes not condisending, and he really seems to care. AGAIN, though, my neighbor has the same qualities, but I wouldnt want him to be president. I think he would be in over his head...

    May 12, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  6. Pioneer

    ~~BANG~~~ another shot in the foot!!!

    May 12, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  7. Matt Shine

    I'm not a Republican or a conservative, but I do find it kind of odd that many of the 'real' conservatives in the GOP, rather than necessarily burning Obama at the stake seem more interested in watching their party go down in flames itself. Huckabee, Ron Paul, Romney... they seem to not be trying to crucify the Dems like their so called 'leaders' are.

    Pelosi was right, the REAL Republicans who are not just spitting into the wind OUGHT to take control. As it stands now, I don't see how they are going to get back on track, because having Rush and Cheney as the loudest voices does no help.

    May 12, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  8. Bob Dog

    Are there no Republicans unwilling to rip into a teammate? Since the next election is literally 43 months away, America is in for some fine entertainment over the next 3 1/2 years!

    It is so much fun to watch Republicans tear huge chunks of flesh off each other. The brawls in the mud, the melees, the fracii (how do you spell the plural of fracus?), and the donneybrooks,... its all great to watch.

    The complete lack of ethics, decency and team spirit, combined with cheap, superficial and most of all self-serving behavior, means that there is no depth to which a Republican leader won't sink. Its absolutely wonderful to watch.

    May 12, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  9. Kevin in NJ

    He's right... the "Listening Tour" seems more like a PR stunt than actually listening. Just pay attention – you'll get the message. Remember the Tea Parties from a few weeks ago? That was a few hundred thousand people speaking and making their unhappiness with the current direction known.

    May 12, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  10. Aspen Professor

    Way to go Mike Huckabee!

    The Republican leadership(????) does not have a clue regarding the dramatic moderate swing of the voters. The Party's focus on "trickle down" economics and their huge losses at the voting booths is proof of that.

    Now, if Mike can just rid the Party of the roaring right-wing extremists like Rush, Rove, Cheney, Hannity, O-Reilly, and the FOX news channel reporters of non-facts, the Party may(?) have a chance for revival. Doubtful but possible.

    But, as long as these fools keep goose-stepping their way across the country, the voters will keep laughing at them.

    May 12, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  11. Lynn in NM

    The problem is not listening. The problem is doing what you want to do, regardless of what your constituents want you to do, so that you reap personal rewards (such as campaign contributions from Wall Street, AIG and big banking). Term limits folks. Vote for them once. Vote them out the next time. Doesn't matter whether it is Republican or Democrat. Get 'em out!!! They're all the same.

    May 12, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  12. Ted

    Huckabee is right on. But the republicans won't listen to him either. They think they have the answers when it is clear they don't have a clue what the questions are. They got so dumbed down by Bush that they will stay dumbed down. The GOP has a leadership vacuum that won't be filled with Steele, Limbarf, or Faux news.

    That's OK.

    Obama/Biden 2012

    May 12, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  13. Neil

    The Republicans can't criticize anything the current administration is doing, or not doing. All they can do is criticize themselves. Whoever opens their mouth for Republicans these days seems to just add another nail to the coffin. No ideas. No plan. No ethics. No morals. No leaders. RIP GOP.

    May 12, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  14. SDG

    It sounds like Mike is unhappy about not being a part of the new change. It's sad that there are so many power hungry people in both political parties.

    May 12, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  15. Ursula

    Maybe his arrogance is why he didn't win the primary....

    May 12, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  16. jj

    Go Gov. go ...go get them, u tell them what is on ur mind, Idaho loves u, run Gov. run...

    May 12, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  17. Mike S., New Orleans

    What Huckabee is speaks so loudly I can't hear what he's saying.
    Isn't this the man who ran on the "I'm more Christian than the other candidates" platform?

    I love watching the Hypcrisy Party destroy itself.

    May 12, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  18. Michigan

    Good for Huckabee...very few Republicans are speaking openly and honestly about the party these days. I found it interesting with the few sound bites from their "listening" tours...very little listening but a lot of talking on their listening should cause change on their part...?

    May 12, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  19. Time For a Third

    20% of Americans are die-hard Republicans who would follow the party to the gates of hell if Rush told them to. Probably 20% of Americans are similarly disposed on the left. What we need is a third party that represents the 60% of us in the middle; social moderates and fiscal conservatives.

    May 12, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  20. Chris from Va. Beach

    Mike Huckabee has spoken the COMPLETE TRUTH..... Where was all the so called Republican leaders when Georgr Bush and his administration spent 700 billion dollars half of which they don't where or whom it went to, then accuse President Obama of spending too much. He had to spend to help get this country back on it's proverbial feet. I'm a middle class taxpayer and I APPROVE of President Obama's performance so far.

    May 12, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  21. Joe

    "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."

    It's the non-moderates like Huckabee that caused the GOP to become irrelevant to begin with. Keep up the good work. We like being in charge again.

    May 12, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  22. Randolph Carter

    Do you think their next listening event will be in the Haliburton boardroom? Or perhaps the country club? These cats need to go to a poor neighborhood community center (black or white, it doesn't matter) and get an earful. Oops, I forgot, there are no poor people in America. I meant to say "working families" or whatever they're calling them this week. Have a nice day!

    May 12, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  23. peb

    That's a shame...we really could use a two-party system in this country. As a Democrat, I'm sure I will be called patronizing, but this GOP direction is not good for anyone.

    May 12, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  24. donttreadonme

    True Huckabee if the Repubs could have run a younger candidate they would have had a chance. I want a conservative period. I don't care about the individual hot button issues we need a straight shooting, small government minded, resposible spender to get us out of this hole!

    May 12, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  25. Gman

    Of course Huckabee finished what, third? Fourth? Fifth in the GOP primaries? Consider the source.

    May 12, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
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