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. Philip Grant

    It's such a shame, Mr. Huckabee used to make some sence at one time during his run for president. Now he in with the "lets cut of our nose to spite our face" club. I wonder if we will ever get to a place where we will have an intelligent exchange of ideas again. If we don't, then GOD help us.

    May 12, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  2. Gman

    I agree that the GOP is at risk of becoming irrelevant as the Whigs, but it's not because of moderation. That's where the majority of voters are and always have been. It's because of being too hard line and not listening to anyone but themselves. But in a decade or so, when they're mostly gone, we can all say, "We told you so."

    May 12, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  3. Reg

    To Listen is to Learn if "God" willing! Mr. Huckabee is a hypocrite
    to maxx. Please someone tell me what makes this individual's prior
    behavior of being a Governor and still out of touch with the people
    who provided a charmed life for his family relevent? Not to mention the run for Presidency and the shameless answers to questions during the debates. Duh Evolution etc......

    To "Conserve" is relevent to lfe, liberty , and the pursuit of happiness.

    Liberal is derived from LIBERTY! Now we have the facts!


    May 12, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  4. Steve

    I love the last comment!
    If one believes the studies most Americans are moderate middle in their politics.
    So I guess it is lose lose for the Republicans.
    What they need are more Dick Cheney's?
    Whigs here we come!
    Both parties need to accept that their extreme left and right members are in the minority.

    May 12, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  5. Paul

    None of the Republicans seem to listen to the voters who put Obama in office. Listen to this GOP: WE DON'T WANT TO DO IT YOUR WAY!

    May 12, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  6. Peggy - TX

    Mike Huckabee has difficulty understanding why a political candidate would want to “listen” to the needs and concerns of the people.
    Huckabee is not accustom to listening, rather he is accustom to preaching.

    If he did take the time to listen to the people, he might find out that the GOP is now irrelevant.

    May 12, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    Huckabee has a harsh and harrowing tone that can heckle and harass his own partymen's humbling efforts to rehash the party itself. Now we find it extra-hard to understand his hilarious messages let out in a herky-jerky manner.

    May 12, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  8. Once You Vote Black

    Wow, this is wild. I have never seen a party so bad off. You guys are like a herd of cats. And cats are not herd animals. Where is your dignaty? You guys are not fit for public. Find a cave, figure out your plan and come out swinging. Get Well Soon GOP.

    May 12, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  9. Larry

    At least one Republican with a brain ...

    Couldn't have said it better myself Mike ...

    The Listening Tour ...

    Romney is a JOKE ...

    A Ken doll ... with really bad hair

    May 12, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  10. Will-South Dakota

    The GOP only want to keep it in "safe" areas. They don't want to hear from beltway, rust belt, heartland, farmland, mountain area's and plain folk, god forbid they have to come all the way out here in the middle of no where, there ain't no starbucks here.

    May 12, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  11. Pam Eugene Oregon

    The infighting is really funny. They are selfdestructing and they can't seem to help themselves. Who are the Republicans and what is their collective message.
    Is Rush Limbaugh the leader? I know his voice is the loudest.

    May 12, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  12. Audrey

    FYI, the problems with the republicans did not start with supporting the
    TARP bailout bill. Your problems began 8 long years ago when Bush
    and Cheney were not keeping America safe before 9/11!

    May 12, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  13. Bill

    Let's see–Gov. Huckabee says the Republican Pary will "become
    irrelevant as the Whigs if it moderates it policies" Well, what did he think the last election proved?

    It proved that the US polulation is becomeing more moderate and as this happens, they are not listening to the strident voices that represent the Republican Party.

    May 12, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  14. Hoosier

    The GOP continues to self-destruct from within. The radicals, talk-show hosts, and Faux News reps like Huckabee continue to tear down legitimate attempts to revitalize the party. Hey GOP....get rid of the extremists and I'll listen to your ideas! Until then......

    May 12, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  15. dj

    Yeah, what was up with that "listening tour" description anyway? I mean, someone in the Republican Party finally came to their senses, and said, Hey wait! We're Republicans! We don't listen!!! We already know everything worth knowing, and these peasants aren't going to be able to tell us anything useful.

    Go for it, Guys! And make sure that you take Mike Steele along with you on the tour. He's totally deaf!

    May 12, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  16. The People Rule

    Typical Idiot. "Conservative Conviction" eh? That's why the Re-thugs are not in the White House now. Mike Huckabee or Mike Wannabe? Whatevah...stick a fork in all of these guys...they're done.

    May 12, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  17. Zach K

    Huckabee's right. The GOP must take a different approach to gain back voters.

    May 12, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  18. BrandonR

    Apparently Governor Huckabee doesn't realize that 2/3 of that listening tour are from people OUTSIDE "the bubble of the Beltway", considering two of them (Bush and Romney) are former governors.

    May 12, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  19. Casey, NY

    Huckabee is IRRELEVANT, and irritating.

    May 12, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  20. Matthew

    Romney > Huckabee

    May 12, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  21. joe

    Mike Huckabee is hilarious! By far the most likeable Republican on the national stage...he just keeps it real! Eric cantor is very obviously trying to set himself up as a people's man for the 2012 presidential race, but Huckabee's point about NOW trying to "listen to the American people" by going to the suburbs of D.C. shows that the party is in shambles being reactive rather than having a focused unified proactive strategy and message. The "tour" is about as reactive as the election of Michael steele to RNC presidency. The rationale is transparent "Obama is black...that seems to be what the country is going for, so the RNC needs a black president to balance and match Obama." Only one problem: has anyone heard Michael Steele?!! LOL!

    May 12, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  22. anthony

    It is sad that some people in the GOP make fun of people from their own party who want to listen to the voters, or criticize Obama for planning to appoint someone with empathy to the Supreme Court. Then again, maybe this is the reason the GOP is losing elections, they don't care about what the voters want.

    May 12, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  23. Reality

    These so called leaders can just stay home and retire. We need new true conservatives, not this "left" over has been's. What a joke. The Republicans require true anti-tax, anti big government back to the Constitutional basics type of leadership. These guys are just rusty nails that will surely pound the lid shut on the coffin of the Republican party.

    May 12, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  24. B.H.

    Blind leading the Blind.......
    These people just do not get it!

    May 12, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  25. Mike in Vancouver

    A "listening" tour might not be a bad idea, but you've got to send out good listeners. Right now, the GOP doesn't have any. The republicans are in a long overdue free-fall from grace. Their arrogance and ignorance (as so aptly demonstrated by the likes of Limbaugh and Cheney) is biting them in the behind. They need to take a giant step back and watch and learn.

    May 12, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
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