August 6, 2007

Huckabee In Motion?

The Politico reports that Iowans have warmed up to a second-tier candidate in the Republican presidential primary race, one with executive experience and conservative bona fides. Governor Mike Huckabee has pulled into a fourth-place tie with John McCain among likely caucus voters, perhaps signaling a move from the pack to the frontrunners:

Going into Sunday's Republican presidential debate, most of the Iowans noshing on English muffins in the sun room of the neon-bedecked Drake Diner had never heard of Mike Huckabee, or knew very little about the ex-preacher and former governor of Arkansas.

But by the debate’s end, they knew a lot more — and liked what they saw. ....

Fetters and Holland were among 29 GOP voters from the Des Moines area assembled here by Frank Luntz, a Republican pollster and political consultant, and by Fox News.

“Huckabee is hitting it out of the park with these people,” Luntz, a Fox contributor, said as he listened to comments from this small but influential group of voters, whose reactions will be featured on Fox News.

Interestingly, Governor Huckabee mentioned Luntz in our interview on Thursday. The transcript appears at Heading Right this morning, and he talked about how the debates have helped his visibility:

GH: Unfortunately the only thing that has been the criteria, up until now, has been money raised. I think the bigger issue is how money has been spent; what we’ve done with it. I think we’ve have done more with less which is, frankly what people would like to see out of their government. But what has happened is the debates clearly put me in a position that folks were able to see that I have a message that I could articulate it. That really was a huge boost and I think that every analyst who viewed the debates felt that I helped myself the most. Frank Luntz, in fact, tested that with an audience and actually was able to quantify that for Fox News Network and that’s been good for us.

Huckabee's upward momentum in Iowa comes as a surprise. The Romney campaign has worked hard and spent a lot of money in Iowa to maintain a lead over Rudy Giuliani, but as the Post reports, that lead isn't bolstered by a great deal of enthusiasm. Only 41% of his votes feel very committed to Mitt at the moment. Rudy is only a point ahead of Fred Thompson in the race, and both McCain and Huckabee come five points behind Fred.

For Huckabee, this looks like the first step of a breakout from the second-tier pack. His experience as Governor made him the most likely candidate to stretch towards the front-runners, and his gentle manner and conservative philosophy makes him an attractive candidate. Huckabee could make himself the conservative alternative, especially if Fred takes too long to get started and McCain can't turn his campaign around.

Make sure you read the transcript at Heading Right. He gives a clear-headed view of the war and its scope and consequences, and still feels comfortable enough to tease his interviewers about Billy Jack as a response to Barack Obama's Pakistan statements. It's easy to see why he may be making a breakout.


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Comments (19)

Posted by ted in bed | August 6, 2007 9:54 AM

For the gun nuts out there, check out Mike's gun position ..... "The Second Amendment is primarily about tyranny and self-defense, not hunting. The Founding Fathers wanted us to be
able to defend ourselves from our own government, if need be, and from all threats to our lives and property." Like Fred, he gets "it".

Posted by Jeremy | August 6, 2007 10:21 AM

Ted, I agree with you except for the fact that Huckabee "gets it" way more than Fred.

Posted by LuckyBogey | August 6, 2007 10:35 AM

After watching several debates, I honestly thought Huckabee distinguished himself the most. I don't give him a chance at winning the nomination however he would make an excellent VP to either Mitt or Giuliani.

If Fred's the man, then either Mitt/Giuliani as VP. Either scenario, we still beat Hillary and her Kos friends....

Posted by treehugger | August 6, 2007 10:51 AM

You might want to check out his position on illegal immigration.

It is the same as Hillary and Obama.

As someone who lives in an area that is innundated with illegals (aka Mexico North)....the election of any presidential candidate that does not support strong borders, interior enforcement, and attrition through enforcement will be fatal to this country.

When the immigration reform bill was in Congress, did natives in my area see the American flag being displayed by the folks who have come here illegally?

No, it was the flag of Mexico.

The ideal of the reconquista is alive and well out here.

As a Californian, all I can say to those of you in other states that might be less impacted by illegal immigration is that they are not here to become Americans. Nor are they law abiding as the crime statistics in my county readily show.

I for one am sick and tired of walking into a doctor's office and seeing noncitizens getting free health care paid for by my taxes, while as a US citizen I must pay my own way.

In Southern California, many new immigrants from other cultures are now learning spanish rather then English. That should tell you something.

Borders, language, culture.

Posted by Jeremy | August 6, 2007 11:03 AM

treehugger, Are you talking about Huckabee? If not, disregard. If so, you have no clue what you are saying.

Here is Mike's stance on Immigration. It is nowhere near Hillary or Obama's.

Posted by Chukmaty | August 6, 2007 11:14 AM

I would love to see Fed and Mike share a ticket... Mike seems to have a strong moral and historical foundation that is the source for his platforms... I believe that he would be a great president for all Americans and not just the Christian ones. He respects all life and has a strong vision for an America not controlled by the whims of the tax code.

Posted by Progressive | August 6, 2007 11:53 AM

Oh give it up already you wingnuts! Hillary cannot be denied her rightful and well deserved ascension to the presidency. After eight years of the Rodham-Clinton administration, there will be no more fascists in the United States.

You are going extinct, wingnuts.

Posted by AnonymousDrivel | August 6, 2007 12:49 PM

RE: Jeremy (August 6, 2007 11:03 AM)

When was that plank adopted by the Huckabee platform? Before or after the the public's anti-illegal alien amnesty debate handed the establishment its collective head?

Yes, I agree that Huckabee is probably better than Obama and Hillary! on this issue since, by default, the conservatives will hold him more responsible for his position wrt illegal aliens; however, Huckabee has not been a strong advocate of curbing illegals.

I'll list just two links that should make you question his sincerity though Lonewacko has done a marvelous job of recording contemporaneous behavior of all the politicians, Huckabee included. Do perform a search on Huckabee there and read about him and the other presidential wannabes.

Huckabee and Mexican consulate
Mike Huckabee disses Americans, Mexicans, promotes illegal immigration

Since this is one of those litmus test issues for me, he'll not be getting my vote during the primaries. I'm glad a second tier candidate is getting a second look; however, conservatives should do a better job of considering the "unelectable". I'm just generally disappointed it's this one that's being reconsidered.

Posted by treehugger | August 6, 2007 1:35 PM

You can just read the campaign website, or you can look at past history.

Here are some quotes from an interview with Mr. looks like his position was pretty much the same as the "bipartisan" recently defunct amnesty bill.

Interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC's This Week (Feb. 11, 2007)

Stephanopoulos: But you've also said we're going to be judged by how we treat the illegals who are here right now.

Huckabee: We shouldn't have amnesty where we just say, "Fine, everybody's good, we're going to let it go." We should have a process where people can pay the penalties, step up and accept responsibility for not being here legally. But here's the point. The objective is not to be punitive. The objective is to make things right. Right for us. Right for them. And what I have objected to in the past is when we are punishing the children for the laws that maybe their parents have broken. I do have a problem with that.

Posted by treehugger | August 6, 2007 1:51 PM

One of Mr. Huckabees memorable quotes....I'm not worried about somewho who slips across the border to make bed and pluck chickens (or close to that).

Here is the DEA's most wanted list for SoCal...please note that these aren't chicken pluckers, Mr. Huckabee. Apparently being a murderous drug running thug is just another one of those jobs that (with a few exceptions on the list below) Americans won't do.

After watching this get worse and worse for years, I'm out of patience with pandering pols who won't face reality. My little town just has it's first MS13 drive by shooting thanks to folks like Mr. Huckabee. I'm sure we can look forward to many more.

AGREDANO, Jose Jesus JR. JIMENEZ, Mario Antonio Jr. AGREDANO, Jose De Jesus SR. JABER, Ghandi Jasser AGREDANO, Omar JIMENEZ, Pedro AGUIRRE-ORDUNA, Elizabeth JOHNSON, Dwayne Eugene
ALDANA-IBARRA, Miguel Daniel LANDA, Abraham Villasenor ALVAREZ, Celso Toledo LIZARZABURU, Sayra Miroslava
ALVAREZ, Jose Manuel LOPEZ, Efrain Angiano ANGULO, Abraham Casarez LOPEZ, Silvestre ARCE, Jorge Higuera LOPEZ-GARCIA, Jose Antonio
ARELLANO-ENCISO, Luis Octavio LOPEZ-PEREZ, Jose ASSOULIN, Sanny Telbee LUCATERO, Santos Sanchez
AVILA, Nicolas, Jr. LUGO-TORRES, Jose De Jesus AVILES-PEREZ, Francisco MACIAS, Marcelino AWAD, Hamed Suleiman MARTINEZ, Carlos BALSHEH, Ibrahim MENDOZA, Carlos BARASHY, Sasson MENDOZA, Ricardo BELTRAN-AVITIA, Ismael MONTANO-Gonzales, Jose Luis
BEN SHITRIT, Moshe MORALES-Febles, Ivirson CADAVID, Jorge Ivan NUNEZ-PENA, Florentino CADENAS, Cipriano ORNSTEIN, Roman CAMPOS, Carlos ORTEGA, Oscar
CASTILLO, Avimael PAVON-REYES, Jorge Armando CASTILLO, Francisco PEREZ, Adelaido Lopez CAZARES-FELIX, Cesar PEREZ, Gustavo Ayon CAZAREZ-ASTORGA, Gilberto PEREZ, Juan CHAVEZ, Jorge Alberto Perciado SOLANO, Perciado V. Xochitl CHAVEZ, Martin Legoretta PETKOV, Ivaylo Anguelov CHAVEZ, Oscar PULIDO de Santiago, Jose Jr. CHAVEZ-IRIGOYEN, Arturo RAMIREZ, Jesus Sanchez
CORRALES, Victor Manuel Jr RAMOS-Torres, Aristides CORTES-SILVA, German RANGEL, Alonzo Saenz CORONA, Erica Patricia RANGEL, Felipe DeJesus CORTEZ, Alma Delia RENDON, Manuel DEGEN, Brian John REUVEN, Nissim DINH, Tung Minh REYES-GALLEGOS, Carlos DUARTE-TORRES, Rafael RIOS, Daniel Omar Martinez
EL-AL, Yoram RIVERA, Luis Martinez
EL-KHATEEB, Mohammed RODRIGUEZ-De Jesus, David ELIMELICH, Simon Shaked ROMAN, Erasmo Rios ESPINO-VERDIN, Sergio ROMERO, Jamie Cuevas
ESPOSITO, Salvatore ROSALAS, Felipe
FELIX-GALLARDO, Miguel Angel ROSALAS, Sandra Yadira FLORES, Manuel SADRI, Iran FLORES, Victor Manuel JR. SALAS, Alcelia Quiroz FONSECA-CARRILLO, Ernesto SALAS, Juan Antonio
GALINDO-ARAMBULA, Benjamin SANCHEZ, Gerardo GALLEGOS, Efrain SANDOVAL, Luis Armando GAMEZ, Bernardo SANDOVAL, Marta Gonzalez
GARCIA, Andres Orea SANDOVAL-OCHOA, Efrain GARCIA, Fidel Iniguez SANTANA, Saul GARCIA, Javier SAUCEDO, Ezekiel
GARIBELLO, Oscar Adolfo SILVEYRA, Graciela Torres GASPAR, Ruben Espinoza STEINBACH, Jon Michael GASTON, John Robert STOYANOV, Stefan Tzvetanov
GIL-BANDA, Francisco Javier TORRES-ORTIZ, Samuel GONZALES, Guadalupe Melgoza TRUGGELAAR, Wilhelm
GONZALEZ, David Bea URIBE, David Alejandro GONZALES-Encarnacion, German VALENCIA-LEYVA, Jesus Efren
GONZALEZ-MORA, Roberto VALENZUELA, Angulo Ricardo GUERRERO, Rueben Martinez VALENZUELA, Luis Armando Jr.
GUTIERREZ-AGUIRRE, Antonio VARGAS, Jorge HAMMAD, Hisham Saleh VASQUEZ, Cleto HAMMAD, Tariq Rushda VASQUEZ-OCHOA, Antonio HAN, Gang VEGA, Alfredo
HAZIZA, Yariv Nisim VELEZ-Sotomayor, Abdiel HERNANDEZ, Jose VERGARA, Juan Jose Martinez HERNANDEZ, Jose Enrique VERGARA, Marlene Martinez HERNANDEZ-MURILLO, Alfredo VO, Thanh Van HO, Tuan Anh YANEZ, Marcos IBARRA-HERRERA, Manuel ZAMBADA, Jorge IBANEZ-PERALIA, Juan Manuel ZAMORA-Aguirre, Hazel IVAN, Ezra ZAPATA-PADILLA, Marcelo

Posted by Jeremy | August 6, 2007 2:04 PM

ADrivel and treehugger, much of this originates from a 2005 Immigration raid on a poultry plant in NW Arkansas and the consequences from that raid with which Huckabee, as Governor, had to contend.

Here is an editorial giving the background and situation ... and here is a complete rundown with updates of how it played out.

Posted by Neo | August 6, 2007 2:12 PM

Mitt Romney - 24 Hours On The Trail.
- Watch on YouTube (link)

Posted by Jeremy | August 6, 2007 2:15 PM

treehugger, thanks. By accrediting Huckabee with a MS13 drive-by shooting, you've shown me that you are beyond reason on this subject.

I live in south Texas and I'm fully aware of the problem ... as is Huckabee.

If you are going to quote someone, you should at least finish the sentence within the quote. But, I'll do it for you:

A physical border coupled with an electronic border, to me, is paramount. It's essential. And it's going to be expensive but it's probably less expensive than to continue to do what we're doing now which is to leave these borders open with no idea of who's coming and where they are and what they're doing.

I've never really worried about someone slipping across the border to pluck chickens or pick tomatoes or make beds, but it does worry me that somebody could also slip across the border with a shoulder fired missile launcher. That's pretty darn serious and we've just left ourselves vulnerable for that.

Posted by treehugger | August 6, 2007 3:14 PM

Simple fact, if the government had done its job, the problem would not have existed in the first place.

Politicians who have looked the other way as this situation has worsened over the years most certainly ARE tied to the drive by shooting in my town.

Political figures who encourage illegal immigration through their statements and policy decisions ARE responsible for the fact that we now have a completely out of control situation.

Apparently the word accountability and politicians are not allowed to be included in the same sentance.

But the main point is that Huckabee said one thing before immigration reform failed so miserably this he is saying another.

That means he is not to be trusted on this issue.

Jeremy, thanks for the background. However, kids whose parents are illegal should be sent back to the home country along with their parents. This basically should be a non issue-as parents are responsible for rearing their children to age 18.

This is just another way of dodging immigration law, using the kids as bait.

Posted by Jeremy | August 6, 2007 5:08 PM

treehugger, I definitely agree with your first statement about the government doing its job. That is precisely what Huckabee has said (before immigration reform and after) ... that he wants the federal government to do their job and protect the borders.

Btw ... your first quote from the Stephanopoulos interview left out what Huckabee had just said before the part that you quoted:

Huckabee: Well, first of all, I didn't mean that everybody who has some anxiety about immigration is a racist. And that was one of those things that suddenly blew up and people said, "Oh, he accused us all of being racists." Absolutely not. There are a lot of people who are concerned. I'm concerned. I'm concerned that our borders are porous and we're allowing people to come in and out without any real check as to who they are, where they're going, why they're here, do they have a communicable disease or a criminal background? We need to know those things.

Both this interview and the one I quote from in my previous comment shows that he is
(and was before the base brought the smackdown on the amnesty bill) first and foremost FOR closing and securing the border. If and only if the border is secured, we can begin to talk about a "path to citizenship" for those already here and who are not violent criminals, etc. On the question of amnesty, in March of this year (interview with
RCP), he said:

I don't want to have an amnesty program. You can't let people break a law and say "hey we're going to look the other way, don't worry about it, we're going to let you in, no problem." People have to make restitution, there's got to be a penalty paid for the crime committed. But it ought to fit the crime; you don't put somebody in jail for ten years because they came across the border to make a living. You make them pay something, you make them go through a process, you may put them in the back of the line for the process, but you create a process that's realistic. You don't say the back of the line starts and for the next 12 years you're going to be filling out paperwork.

What you do say is you're going to pay the fine, we're going to have a system that can
be done in an orderly fashion, and you'll be able to be legal but we're not going to let you off scot free. That's important.

Take that as you will ... but, with a secure border in place, I think most Americans would be more apt to engage in dialogue about processes or paths to citizenships such as his.

As for your argument about the kids being sent back with the parents, I agree 100%. However, ICE did not do that ... and Huckabee, as Gov., was left with 30 essentially orphaned kids on his hands. So, at that point, what would you do as Governor? I, personally, would have dropped them off at the border of Oklahoma, but he is a better man than me. ;-)

Posted by Brian | August 6, 2007 8:42 PM

I interviewed Huckabee on Friday, face-to-face, and we talked about immigration.

He does not have the same position as Hillary and Obama at all.

Posted by Rose | August 6, 2007 11:45 PM

treehugger, Are you talking about Huckabee? If not, disregard. If so, you have no clue what you are saying.

Here is Mike's stance on Immigration. It is nowhere near Hillary or Obama's.

Posted by: Jeremy at August 6, 2007 11:03 AM

But in May '07, Huckabee made a statement to teens at "THE CALL" that he hoped that immigrants who gained citizenship, who he felt could be counted on to vote "family values", would turn out to be the KEY to overturning Roe V Wade.

Now, I am having a very difficult time comprehending what his position regarding illegal immigrants and amnesty really is, since I've never heard him make a similar apologist statement about illegal immigrants to any adult audience.

He makes me very uncomfortable.

So, how do we find out the straight dope on his position, NOW?

I'm in NO MOOD to find that someone is going to run on ONE STATEMENT and then get in office and switch bait so they can accomplish a different agenda.

I want Roe V Wade overturned as much as anyone in America - I guarantee - BUT NOT BY GIVING CITIZENSHIP TO ILLEGAL ALIENS on the preposterous hope that their IMAGINED VOTE will change a COURT RULING.

Yes, Huckabee and Fred sound like a perfect pair, to me! At this point, one I would NEVER CONSIDER voting for.

Posted by Rose | August 6, 2007 11:55 PM

Huckabee: We shouldn't have amnesty where we just say, "Fine, everybody's good, we're going to let it go." We should have a process where people can pay the penalties, step up and accept responsibility for not being here legally. But here's the point. The objective is not to be punitive. The objective is to make things right. Right for us. Right for them. And what I have objected to in the past is when we are punishing the children for the laws that maybe their parents have broken. I do have a problem with that.

Posted by: treehugger at August 6, 2007 1:35 PM

Thanks TONS, treehugger - as a resident of Texas not even two hours fromthe Mexico border, you don't know how much I appreciate this - first time I saw links that settled this issue for me.

This turkey is as unacceptable as Fred Thompson.

Posted by Rose | August 7, 2007 7:11 AM

Posted by: LuckyBogey at August 6, 2007 10:35 AM
Posted by: Chukmaty at August 6, 2007 11:14 AM


So you guys think these RINOS can get more DIM votes than Hillary & Co. ???

Well, you can bank on it if you want to, of course.

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