Huckabee rallies Missouri pastors to Akin's side, attacks GOP establishment
August 24th, 2012
09:04 PM ET
8 years ago

Huckabee rallies Missouri pastors to Akin's side, attacks GOP establishment

Tampa, Florida (CNN) - Mike Huckabee participated in a conference call Friday night with hundreds of Baptist pastors and Christian talk radio hosts in Missouri that was organized to coordinate a robust defense of Rep. Todd Akin as he faces pressure from Washington Republicans to drop his Senate bid against Democrat Claire McCaskill.

Akin told reporters in St. Louis today that he would not quit the race.

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Speaking harshly about establishment Republicans who have tried to force Akin from the Missouri race, Huckabee at one point compared the National Republican Senatorial Committee to "union goons" who "kneecap" their enemies.

The former Arkansas governor said party bosses were "opening up rounds and rounds" of ammunition on Akin and "then running over with tanks and trucks and leaving him to be ravaged by the other side."

“This is unprecedented, to see to this orchestrated attempt to humiliate and devastate a fellow Republican,” Huckabee said of Akin, who has deep ties to the Christian conservative movement. Akin spent Thursday in Florida meeting with evangelical leaders and evaluating his political future.

Huckabee said he spoke directly with NRSC officials this week and was assured that they would begin to dial back their offensive against Akin. He said party officials specifically told him they would stop pressuring Akin’s consultants and campaign vendors to drop the congressman as a client.

A Republican source provided CNN with the dial-in information for the call, which was convened by Don Hinkle, the editor of ‘The Pathway,’ a publication of the Missouri Baptist Convention.

Also speaking on the call were David Barton, the influential Texas pastor; former Oklahoma Rep. J.C. Watts; Baptist pastor David Baker; and Dick Bott, the founder of a Christian radio network based in Missouri.

Huckabee, who was speaking from his Fox News office in New York, said the actions of Republican leaders in Washington threatened to "discourage" Christian conservatives and activists from going to bat for the GOP in November.

At one point, Huckabee mused about whether Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney affected his poll numbers in Missouri by not coming to Akin's defense. Romney encouraged Akin to leave the race after his "legitimate rape" comments set off a political firestorm earlier this week.

Acknowledging the political damage done to Akin, Huckabee encouraged the pastors and radio hosts to aggressively defend Akin to their congregations and listeners.

"The poll numbers need to come back up," he said. "Todd needs to show that he can raise money and be competitive. That will be a game changer. If not, the pressure will still be there for Todd to exit the race and clear the field for somebody else."

A spokesman for the NRSC, Brian Walsh, took issue with Huckabee's comments Friday.

"We have a great deal of respect for Governor Huckabee and regret that we do not see eye to eye with him on this race," Walsh said in an email to CNN. "It's important to set the record straight though that the types of tactics he describes simply did not happen and further, no one at the NRSC has even spoken with the Governor this week."

Filed under: 2012 • Mike Huckabee • Missouri
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. drake mallard

    Paul Ryan and his wife married in 2000. the fact that only three children have emerged in 12 years of marriage is puzzling

    Ryan is a co-sponsor of a federal “Sanctity of Human Life Act,” which among other
    things, would prohibit many forms of birth control, and he has been a
    firm opponent of family planning programs.

    Mitt Romney, a decidedly awkward aspect for him with respect to his large number of grandchildren is that, as the New York Times reported, at least three of them were born to his son, Tagg, through the use of in vitro fertilization (IVF) and surrogacy. Furthermore, according to Mother Jones,

    Mike Huckabee, a favorite of the religious right, asked if he
    would support a constitutional amendment declaring that life begins at
    conception—an amendment which, if passed, would not only outlaw abortion
    and many forms of contraception, but would also criminalize IVF, the
    very procedure by which some of his grandchildren came into being.

    August 24, 2012 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  2. AK_steve

    These are Christian values? Making a mockery of woman's health and defending a shameful and atrocious comment about rape? I am absolutely disgusted with the these "holier than though" christian bigots.

    August 24, 2012 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  3. Marshall

    I'm not religious so I have no right to invoke the name of the Lord, but thank god that Huckabee is not a candidate for president.

    August 24, 2012 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |

    "political damage done to Akin".....he did it to himself...

    August 24, 2012 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  5. T'sah From Virginia

    ♫ Huck-A-Bye's AKIN and all of his Tea-Pots
    When the wind blows, Akin's number's would not
    When it's all over – Akin will fall
    McCaskill will win – And we'll have a great ball!! ♫

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!!

    August 24, 2012 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  6. Kenny K

    Is Huckabee still going to speak at the convention?

    August 24, 2012 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  7. enuff

    Me thinks Huckaby is not impressed with the republican candidate for president. I say go Huckaby.

    August 24, 2012 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  8. hollywoodog

    The GOP leadership, including Mitt Romney, made the obligatory noises of condemnation and is now fully prepared to embrace any Neanderthal into the Party - as long as money and votes follow them into the Party.

    August 24, 2012 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  9. stew

    A house divided will not stand, Huckabee must pray for Akin as his sins need to be forgiven, but not raise more money If God the Father doesn't want Akin in office than it isn't going to happen.
    Huckabee needs to remember Christ Jesus and not government as he needs to serve the Christ first and not the sin.

    August 24, 2012 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  10. ruemorgue

    Huck the Huckster supports Mr. Akin. Weeee !!!!!

    August 24, 2012 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  11. GaryOwen27

    How warped are these people?

    August 24, 2012 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  12. nothing new here

    Churches need to start paying taxes.
    That is all I have to say on this.

    August 24, 2012 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  13. Common sense grandma

    At one time I respected Mike Huckabee despite the fact that I did not agree with his viewpoints. Now I have lost respect for him. This is not about abortion nor is it about a misspoken word. It is about stripping women of dignity and respect and compassion for one of the worst of crimes. Bad enough to endure a rape, but to then have men like this demand that a woman prove it was not her fault is beyond reason–it is cruel.

    August 24, 2012 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  14. DENNA

    I cannot believe that the Republicans are this dense. Do they not understand that all rape is "legitimate"? Think carefuilly before giving them power over our lives.

    August 24, 2012 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  15. Tubby the Tuba Texas

    You know you messed up when your party says get out. Happened to Anthony Wiener earlier this year and he had to resign in disgrace. That was the democratic side. Now the republicans are running their stupid guy off. At least the two party now have a few standards! Go home Huckabee!

    August 25, 2012 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  16. Craig

    Huckabee's a secret Democrat.

    August 25, 2012 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  17. Elizabeth

    Brian Walsh needs to be fired from the NRSC for lying.

    August 25, 2012 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  18. J.V.Hodgson

    First off how two faced can a party get
    1) it announces platform to suport his positions on Rape abortion, no exceptions and pro life ideas
    2) still had son Republicans asking him to stand down... because he might risk the pick up of a senate seat.
    = never mind the people its our party religion and ideology that are important.
    It is now clear to me wht you are voting for Socially and religiously = extremely hurtful and painful to the poor especially, and also most of the middle class and Seniors; or Impending about (50-55 year old) to be seniors.
    Yes they might reduces taxes but not a single economist believes they can balance the budget, even with the Horrendous Ryan cuts.
    Watch your own back when voting come november... do noot trust either side in what they say socially or taxes jobs wise.

    August 25, 2012 03:09 am at 3:09 am |
  19. Marry

    The GOP/TP (Huckabee, Romney, Ryan, Akin, etc. etc.) are at a never seen level of hypocrisy!

    Akin (as do all others that support his and the GOP views) just goes too far in his disdain for the rights of women and established law (Roe v. Wade) and the privacy right of people (not just women)! They make it look like as if women “like” to get an abortion. There is no mention of the heart-breaking and soul-searching many women have to go through – often because a “man” takes more than he should and is irresponsible – to find themselves in a position that leaves them no choice.
    If the GOP were known for their relentless work and commitment to better schools and education, healthcare, housing, job-creation, good working conditions, environmental protection, etc. etc. one could say: Yes, they are really concerned about families and woman and want to make the decision FOR a child possible! But they are not doing that ever – after birth – you on your own! So, they should stuff all their religious concerns (or whatever other motivations they have), take care of their own souls and leave others to take care of theirs!

    August 25, 2012 03:09 am at 3:09 am |
  20. Iamnotfooled

    Mike Huckabee just can not admit when he is wrong. He is wrong about Akin. He is wrong about repealing Obamacare. I am sick of seeing him on that dumb commercial. How many times does it have to be repealed? Why can't you face it when you are wrong? Disgusting, Desperate and Pathetic.

    August 25, 2012 03:44 am at 3:44 am |
  21. Mack

    Mike Fox has corrupted you. You are now officially a Fox Christ less conservative.

    August 25, 2012 07:08 am at 7:08 am |
  22. dreucalypt

    The Democrats won't have to hang Akin around the Republicans' necks. Huckabee is doing it for them.

    August 25, 2012 07:16 am at 7:16 am |
  23. onlyfacts61

    Huckabee's actions prove the wacko conservatives will do and say anything so their "team" will win. No morals, no values when their victory is threatened. And these guys run around preaching how wonderful they are and how evil the "other team" is. They preach about how wonderful their America is, and how the "others" are destroying it. If this country ends up in the hands of these people who think this way, then I am out of here!

    August 25, 2012 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
  24. onlyfacts61

    Fact: the stock market is over 13k. Check the past 20 years! Corporations profits are at an all time high. Check the facts. Unemployment is steady, but if corporations profits are high without the additional employees, why would they hire more. Check out Paul Ryans 2002 speech on the stimulus Bush wanted. Huckabee is a religiuos man who has no problem telling lie after lie. It's very easy to research facts. You conservatives think you are so smart, then do some research for once and accept the facts!

    August 25, 2012 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  25. jesse james. take them to street and shoot them like the dogs they are

    Huck for potus. Akin vp

    August 25, 2012 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
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