Mike Huckabee redeemed on MTP [UPDATED]
By gamecock Posted in Archived — Comments (34) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
I am not bailing on Fred Thompson and won’t until after he completes his second term in office. But given that there is at least a 1% chance that Fred will not be our nominee, and since I like all our candidates, I want to accentuate the positive. (except for McCain…kidding)
I was very disappointed in much of Mike Huckabee’s Foreign Affairs essay, especially the part where he described President Bush’s foreign policy as “arrogant” with a “bunker mentality.”
The fact is that Bush spent too long at the United Nations but did get a large coalition of the willing to go to Iraq. Moreover, France and Germany have come to Bush’s position and the Democrats in this country have gone madly left due to no fault of the President.
I think most of the other criticisms of Huckabee on foreign policy have been overblown distortions.
I watched Huckabee face tough questions on all the above and more this morning and came away impressed and reassured that he would be a great Commander in Chief.
He sufficiently watered down the “arrogant, bunker mentality” claim against President Bush to make it seem more like a nuanced critique he could use to his advantage with world leaders. It was his “not 100%” for and against spin. He needed to do that. The fact is that France and Germany have come our way thanks to Bush’s persistence, and I would prefer that our candidates emphasize that, but it is useful to send a message that he would be MORE receptive to other ideas.
I agree with Huck on the connection between Pakistani dwelling jihadists and our open borders. I don’t care about the irrelevant mistake on the numbers arrested or the east or west error in the essay.
I want our enemies in Pakistan (and everywhere on Earth) to fear that we would use military force inside Pakistan to kill them and disrupt their safe havens even if the government there opposed it and even against CLAIMS our action would destabilize the country.
The situation is not stable now. It could be made stable if the Pakistani government waged full war on these same enemies that threaten them.
I don’t believe Huck would act recklessly, and I love it when our guys remind libs like Russert that protecting America is paramount and that killing terrorists in COUNTRIES THAT HAVE NOT ATTACKED US, is part of the GWOT!
Can anyone say Iraq?
Huck understands good and evil and the necessity of deterrence. This separates him from liberal Democrats and Ron Paul.
Huck also defended his Arkansas policies well.
And I thought he had toned down the class rhetoric and the anti-GOP rhetoric enough as regards reaching out to lower income families.
So now, its down to cigar smoking in bars!
On NBC's Meet the Press, host Tim Russert began by talking to Republican Presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee. The candidate had dropped nine points in an MSNBC/McClatchy poll of Iowans. Huckabee offered that the polls were "all over the place," some have him leading, others trailing. To his credit, he did not burst into laughter when Russert, with a straight face, uttered the name "McClatchy." Let alone MSNBC. Russert asked if the commercials regarding Huckabee's record might have had some influence. Huckabee said that with the relentless attacks – "and they were relentless" – and the fact that he was outspend 21-1, "it's pretty amazing that I am where I am."
Russert asked if Mitt Romney had said anything about Huckabee which was untrue. Huckabee started the list. Mitt claimed that Huckabee had reduced Meth sentences in Arkansas when the truth is that he signed a bill in 1999 which doubled Meth sentences, which are four times greater than those in Romney's Massachusetts. Huckabee said that Romney accused him of giving "special breaks" to illegal immigrants. Actually, it was a bill concerning the children of such people who had "earned" scholarships, and it never made the legislature. Romney accused Huckabee of increasing spending "by some ridiculous amount," and even the New York Times "took him apart" on this false claim. Huckabee said that Romney's claim about tax increases was wrong because the tax increases in Arkansas were either court ordered or approved by the voters, such as the one to improve roads. Huckabee said that he left Arkansas with good roads, while Romney's "were a mess" in Massachusetts. Romney claims that he did not raise taxes, when actually he did raise taxes in the form of fees by a half-billion dollars.
He said that he raised taxes for "educational purposes" and for roads. (I take it, then, that he opposes abolishing the Department of Education.)
Foreign affairs. Huckabee said that in light of the events of the past few weeks, some of his remarks regarding Pak seem "almost prophetic." Russert grilled him about his pledge to use military strikes within Pakistan to rid it of al Qaeda. Russert averred that he would then destabilize the Musharraf regime and turn Pakistan over to the Taliban. Huckabee said the strike would not an effort to destabilize Musharraf. He predicted that the past week's activities would lead to a greater accountability of how our aid checks to Pakistan are being spent.
Russert asked him if it was worth destabilizing Musharraf to capture Osama bin Laden. Huckabee challenged the assertion that the U.S. strike would destabilize Musharraf. He said that if he were President, he would weigh all the information to determine whether it were worth the risk of destabilizing Pakistan if we could possibly "save American lives" and "take out al Qaeda's number one operative."
Huckabee explained his "close the borders to Pakistani illegals" comment in reaction to Bhutto's assassination by saying that he was trying to make the point that what happens in the world affects us here in the U.S. and that he wants to stop Pakistanis from crossing our borders with shoulder filed missiles in their briefcases.
When asked for an example of the President's "arrogant bunker mentality," Huckabee said it was Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld ignoring the advice of the generals and "arbitrarily" sending too few troops into Iraq. Huckabee pointed out that he's been more consistent in his support of the President when they agree, such as with the Surge. He said that Mitt Romney has been a "latecomer" in supporting the surge.
Huckabee defended his faith nicely against Russert's attacks.
It went on for a while. Russert's questions, while not softballs, were not as tough as some of the questions I've seen asked here at RedState. Huckabee did not implode, by any stretch, and handled himself well.
I also need to remind that I do strongly disagree with Huck's "Fair Tax" proposal that I think is unworkable, too regressive and unrealistic given the impossibility of repealing the 16th Amendment.
I am also reminded that Foreign policy experience genius John McCain agrees with Huck that Gitmo should be closed and all the prisoners brought here so they can file lawsuits. Both are wack on that.