Huckabee explains Romney criticism
February 27th, 2011
12:18 PM ET
11 years ago

Huckabee explains Romney criticism

Washington (CNN) - Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee says so-called "RomneyCare" should not disqualify former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney from running for president in 2012.

"I don't think it disqualifies him," Huckabee said on "FOX News Sunday". "I think the purpose of states are always to be laboratories of government."

In his new book, Huckabee criticized the health care plan Romney implemented while governor of Massachusetts. There are similarities between Romney's plan and the current health care law signed by President Barack Obama, including the individual mandate that requires all residents, with some exceptions, to have health insurance or pay a tax penalty.

"I don't have a problem with a governor in any state taking a risk, trying something bold," Huckabee added. "But if it doesn't work, for heaven's sakes, let's not put it in all 50 states."

Huckabee repeated criticism from his book of Romney's plan as a form of socialized medicine, saying "that's what it is when the government runs the program."

But Huckabee, also a potential Republican presidential candidate, was careful in his personal critique of Romney. Asked if he was violating President Ronald Reagan's "11th commandment" to never criticize a fellow Republican, Huckabee said that "policy differences are legitimate."

"If we start attacking each other on integrity and character, I think that's a problem, which I haven't done," he said.

Filed under: 2012 • Health care • Mike Huckabee • Mitt Romney
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. Obama is, always will be my President

    Sure just attack President Obama.

    February 27, 2011 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  2. Juni

    Except, Huckabee, it DOES work. Those of us here in Massachusetts love our healthcare plan. It's great. The whole nation deserves to be treated as well as we are.

    February 27, 2011 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  3. OneMoreTime

    AND, he defended Mrs. Obama's attempt to get children to eat healthier, smacking down the question regarding
    Palin, Bachmann and Limbaugh's criticisms of her. He said more young people are not qualified to join the
    military because they do not meet the basic weight requirement to do so. Same defense from Gov. Christie on
    another show, who stated he has had weight problems all of his life and has no problem with Mrs. Obama's
    healthy eating programs. Take that, fat head, fat mouth, and fat radio talk show dunce.

    February 27, 2011 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  4. kat

    bho will NEVER be my President. He is ruining our country. Can't wait for 2012 to get this clown out of the White House.

    February 27, 2011 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  5. John

    He is courting the ignorant masses and "birthers" with this "socialism" crap. How entertaining.

    February 27, 2011 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  6. Darryl Schmitz

    Nice, Mike. And while you're complaining about "socialism lite", tell us all about the virtues of "fascism lite".

    February 27, 2011 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  7. Larry L

    This Republican offering is nothing more than a third-rate preacher bought and paid for by Faux News. He's not quite crazy enough for the Tea party endorsement but he's working on it!

    February 27, 2011 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  8. John

    "I think the purpose of states are always to be laboratories of government." This from a conservative?

    February 27, 2011 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  9. janetlaw

    Of course – he wouldn't DARE fully disagree with a fellow white republican male's health program – so instead he can disagree with a black democratic president's – it simply "plays" better.

    February 27, 2011 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  10. kd

    Romney doesn't stand a chance for a hundred reasons. But this 'socialism' outcry is just so much Chicken Little silliness. I'm getting really bored and tired of the right-wing screaming 'socialism' every time a non-Republican (or one of their own opponents) says or does any little thing. Reagan is a socialist by their standards today. And yet they hold him up as an icon. That's how dumb the right wing voters are today. They are being played like fools by their own leaders.

    February 27, 2011 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  11. Will

    Can this southern bigot just disappear?

    If another one of these Southern "aw shucks" yokels wins the presidency, I'm going to push for the secession of my state from the union. I live in a good state; neither I nor the people who are smart enough to vote responsible people into office deserve to be dragged down by these ignoramuses.

    February 27, 2011 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  12. Frankie

    Ahhhhh! Nothing like talking from both sides of your mouth, eh, Mike?
    @kat. You say Obama will never be your president? Unless you renounced your citizenship and moved to another country, Obama IS your president, like it or not. And if you did renounce your citizenship and move to another country, good riddence. We need true America loving patriots here, not fair weather citizens who like the country only when their guy is president.

    February 27, 2011 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  13. BassAckwards

    Mike Huckabee, a true American Christian patriot. He's against Iran and all those other theocratic nations, who rule their people by the tenants of the Koran. Wait a minute....... doesn't Huckabee and his far right Christian ilk want to rule America by the tenants of the Bible? Sounds like the pot calling the kettle black to me.

    February 27, 2011 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  14. Indy

    So what is worse, the socialism called for by McCain and Lieberman to offer up tax payers money once again to fight for democracy in the middle east or Africa, or help people in your own country get affordable healthcare ?
    By the way there is no country in the world that has a successful healthcare program that is run independantly by each state. It is the whole country that gets healthcare or a feeble run state program. Maybe after the Republicans completly destroy the middle class they will finally offer "Boner Care" for the American Elite only

    February 27, 2011 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  15. Patrick from Minnesota

    Unfortunately for Romney, one of his biggest accomplishments as governor of Massachusetts is also his biggest handicap. Romneycare has earned Massachusetts the title of best state-wide healthcare system in the U.S. But, when they drafted Obamacare (which closely followed Romneycare's model), Romney lambasted it because "it was a government takeover of the healthcare system" and "it will put millions of Americans off health insurance" and "it will raise the deficit." Obviously none of that happened in Massachusetts. Romney should've seized the moment and praise himself that a system he created was being modeled after. But instead, he put party before people and ran against it. Now he faces the consequences of his arrogant ways.

    OBAMA 2012

    February 27, 2011 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  16. Tam

    Uh, folks, socialism isn't all bad. Happy medium. It's bad until you and your family need help.

    February 27, 2011 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  17. billy

    Huckabee will never be President as he "CAN NOT" separate church from state affairs. All the voters know this very well by now.

    February 27, 2011 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  18. Charlie from the North

    Just because some blowhard Republican makes a statement does not make it newsworthy. Caution to liberals about this one in particular: don't wish for him to get the GOP nomination hoping that the people will see past his stupidity. Take a good hard look at the bozo who got elected gov in Maine. We sure take him seriously now. If thinking people would make the commitment to do these three things we will be un-stopable. 1) find 5 people who are not registered to vote and get them registered 2) make sure to vote 3) make sure everyone knows why you are voting and encourage them to as well. The guy we are stuck with in Maine got 38% of the 50% of the people who voted out of the 75% of the eligible voters who registered. The 11% of the voters who are the Tea Party had quite an impact here and could nation-wide if we are not careful/

    February 27, 2011 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  19. johnRJ08

    Huckabee's comment is ridiculous. The idea that programs that don't work at the state level couldn't possibly work on a national level is absurd. Romney's health reform in Massachusetts could have worked much better if he hadn't been afraid to insert some cost-control measures in his bill. But Romney didn't want to offend the insurance companies, several of which are headquartered in his state. The fact is, only a national program for health coverage makes any sense, where everybody participates, but too many companies can hide behind friendly state limits on regulation.

    February 27, 2011 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  20. Brad

    See, this is why I say im conservative, but no way in hell a Republican. Fools like Shmuckabee pander and continually spout double speak.

    February 27, 2011 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  21. vic nashville tn

    More to come

    I am waiting for the republican’s primary; I bet it will be fun

    I believe democrats will re-air all the GOP primary ads in general election in order to win

    February 27, 2011 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  22. keeth in cali

    Black guy "socialism" = bad. White guy "socialism" = well, i won't say it's bad cuz that might anger the base but i have reservations about it but i'm not going to be too harsh about it cuz if i start attacking this guy then his supporters will dig the skeletons out of my closet (Maurice Clemmons) and then it will be all over for me.

    February 27, 2011 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  23. russ from md

    Will== Why not move to Cuba were all your dreams will come true. I'll take Huckabee's intelligence any day other the ignorant coward that is letting this country go into the expletive any day.

    February 27, 2011 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  24. thomas

    it's going to be a crowded tract at the Derby,
    I'll bet on the Two year old, and let the old Nags fight for position on the slow rail !!

    February 27, 2011 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  25. CyndiR

    "If we start attacking each other on integrity and character, I think that's a problem, which I haven't done."

    Are you serious!? If you don't think integrity and charactor are important in a politian, whether it be POTUS or county dog catcher, we'd end up electing someone who has no business in government. Like George W Bush.

    February 27, 2011 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
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