Huckabee's Flip-Flop On The Human Life Amendment

By Spunky Posted in | Comments (27) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »

Mike Huckabee is now out stumping for votes using various versions of the question, "If you can't be honest before the election, can we trust you to be honest after the election?"

It's a good question and standard, so let's apply it to Huckabee.

From Mike Huckabee's official website we read,

"I support and have always supported passage of a constitutional amendment to protect the right to life. My convictions regarding the sanctity of life have always been clear and consistent, without equivocation or wavering." (emphasis added)

Sounds strong and convincing. But there's one problem, it's not true. Huckabee has not always supported a constitutional amendment to protect the right to life. In the spirit of "federalism" Huckabee once lobbied to bridge the divide between pro-choice and pro-life Republicans by revising the party platform on abortion.

Read on . . .

In 1995 Huckabee said,

"The issue divides strongly committed pro-life and pro-choice Republicans but is not a central issue to most other Republicans. A possible platform revision long under discussion would say the Republican Party, 'unlike the Democratic Party, does not stand for abortion on demand and is basically a pro-life party.' In the spirit of federalism, the proposed GOP revision also would replace the abortion amendment with a statement saying the issue should be left up to the individual state legislatures to deal with as each sees fit. 'That's exactly what we have looked for, and if it's left up to the states, more of them are going to put some restrictions on abortion,' Arkansas Lt. Gov. Mike Huckabee said in an interview after appearing on a conference panel yesterday." (Ralph Z. Hallow, "Conservatives Hold Fire On Abortion," Washington Times, 2/12/95)"

More recently in 2006, Huckabee was interviewed by John Hawkins and said,

"[I] think Roe v. Wade is based on a real stretch of Constitutional application -- that somehow there is a greater privacy issue in the abortion concern -- than there is a human life issue -- and that the federal government should be making that decision as opposed to states making that decision. So, I've never felt that it was a legitimate manner in which to address this and, first of all, it should be left to the states, the 10th Amendment, but secondly, to somehow believe that the taking of an innocent, unborn human life is about privacy and not about that unborn life is ludicrous."

So up until 2006, Huckabee saw abortion as an issue that should be left up to the states not a federal issue. Now watch as Huckabee talks to Chris Wallace about his position as opposed to other candidates on Fox News Sunday, November 18, 2007.

So one year later, in an attempt to distinguish himself from the other candidates, he said he's never changed his position, that a federalist position was "not good enough" and on moral issues you can't have 50 versions of right and wrong. He is openly critical and amazed that Thompson does not support a human life amendment because it had been part of the Republican platform since 1980. He never mentions that up until last year, he held the same position or that he once sought to change the party platform in to reflect a state's rights position.

Clearly, Huckabee has switched his position on a constitutional amemdment despite what he said to Chris Wallace or his website now claims.

"If you can't be honest before the election, can we trust you to be honest after the election?"

Can we trust Huckabee to be honest after the election? I suppose the answer hinges upon your definition of the word "always."

Call Romney a flip-flopper again after this Huckafiasco. Huck is unbelievably unscrupulous! can NOT claim that Huck is any better.

“.....women and minorities hardest hit”

Clear the decks, wait for the Hucknuts to come out firing all guns. It won't matter, they will follow their man to the gates of ...........

Here's my thing. Mitt Romney admits that he has changed his positions. Huckabee changes his positions and lies about it. That's the problem. I hope he gets destroyed in Iowa today.

"Politics is the business of trying to convince fools to do the right thing."
-Braden Pace

This is a truly weak argument and counts on the reader wanting to see something bad about Huckabee.

Huckabee is Pro-Life, he's always been Pro-Life and he's always thought abortion was wrong. I see these points as a strength of Huckabee. He realized, as others, that changing the law on abortion will have to come in steps. A good first step, is to leave it to the states. That was the original Pro-Life argument in the 70's. It was a principled legal stand. In the 70's, had the issue been left to the states, many, not all, would have banned abortion. The same would have been true in the 1990's.

Huckabee realized that being Pro-Life is a black or white issue, but you have to convince folks over time that it is wrong. You cannot do it in a day. Much like equality was not reached when freeing the slaves, it took 10 more decades to start banning racist activity by law. Getting rid of abortion will take a long time and will not be saved by one fell-swoop law. You must move the sentiments on abortion, you can't just force it on folks, otherwise you'll never get enough states to pass the amendment.

This argument is just a ridiculous attempt to slander Huckabee. It's dirty and dumb and you'd have to be kind of slow to think it means that Huckabee is a "flip-flopper" on abortion. Good Grief!

For purposes of fairness here, I'm for Fred. I was with the Huckster for a while, but I have decided to vote for the only guy who is meets all three pillars, pro-life-guns, anti-tax and a hawk. No one else comes close.

Vote Fred.

Romney supporters usually go to great lengths to find the flip-flops in other candidates.

I recall when Romneybots were claiming Fred Thompson flip-flopped on abortion. Sounds ridiculous now.

a comment rather than the entire article?

Jeremiah 17:9.

Huckabee supporters have haranguing everyone from Fredheads to the minute number of moRons still remaining that support for the HLA (banning abortions nationwide) for the entirety of one's political career was the only yardstick by which to measure a candidate's fitness for the Oval Office.

Now we're finding out that not even Huckabee meets their exacting standards. He's now no better than any other pro-lifer running for President on our side.

Well, not really. I'm only surprised someone didn't find it a long time ago.

Thompson / Romney

==== 13 ====

That is just silly. He was talking about a possible comprimise language, not saying that this is what he supports, but what the GOP could put in the platform as a compromise. Plus, that language was still what everyone would consider as pro-life.

Huckabee has his issues, but he is not pro-surgical abortion.

But they are pointing out that he has changed directions on the need for a Human Life Amendment to the constitution, something that his acolytes continuously wield as a litmus test to judge a candidate's "conservativeness". This is yet another in a long string of Huckabee inconsistencies that further prove that the guy is not acceptable for POTUS.

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“You are not only responsible for what you say, but also for what you do not say. ” - Martin Luther

Beyond the primary flaming ball throwing, will all this "flip flopping" labeling stick to the party? In further explication, we made it stick to Kerry will it now be a Dante's Hell for us?

I certainly don't mind pointing out inconsistencies to better describe a candidate. For me, Huck is not a great candidate based on his record, period. Regardless of explanation, Romney's position shifts are well documented and really not worth repeating. In fact, I am having a hard time finding anyone that has not changed their position on something, n'est ce pas?

Gee, I wonder how this all compares to the Democrat candidates? Well, I don't know, since that blog has yet to be written. Ah, perhaps I am just old fashioned and accustomed to Primaries as venues for screening, not shrilling.

"Nec Aspera Terrent"
bene ambula et redambula
Contributor to The Minority Report

We've already discussed the Hawkins interview :

Regarding the 1995 Washington times quote, please give me the link so that I can assess proper context. I think the goal of that panel was to bridge the gap between pro-lifers and pro-choicers by revising a GOP plank. Remember that candidate Dole did not support such a GOP plank when he was running, and so there had to be some bridging done beforehand. So it does not have bearing on Mike's personal view.

But I'd like to see a link to that quote to assess context; please post it.

Oh, I get it now. The Dope from Hope is willing to sell out his personal view on an issue that is your MOST CRUCIAL talking point, adopt a position that you've said is completely unacceptable to real SoCons and real prolifers but because it's The Dope, you're really fine with that because of the context.

You're simply amazing.
CongressCritter™: Never have so few felt like they were owed so much by so many for so little.

Raising taxes. Shooting down school choice. In-state tuition for illegal immigrants. Taking gifts meant for the Governor's office. All these and many others are conservative.

So long as Huckabee has its name on it, Huckabee supporters would call it "Conservative."

...and how to bridge the gap between the two factions at that time. Can you give me a link to the article?

If you really want to read it, access is $2.95 per article and can be found via this page:

The Unofficial RedState FAQ
“You are not only responsible for what you say, but also for what you do not say. ” - Martin Luther

I'm for a pro-life amendment. I would settle, for now, for passing the decision to the states. That would be a step in the right direction. I'm arguing that the initial description as this being a "flip-flop" is just thin, if not all together just ridiculous. I just think you're trying to suggest he's not always been for the amendment, which he has. At one point, he shared that'd he'd settle for now on that position.

The problem for us "R's" is that we believe things real things called principles (well the real conservatives do at least, I can't speak for Romney or Rudy supporters). The left does not. They believe in hugs and giving stuff away based on feelings and touchy stuff and being allowed to speak when you have the "talking stick" and so on. It is in our nature to find a solution to our problem, e.g. we're against abortion, an amendment protecting the unborn would fix that. We don't do well with compromise on issues of life and death. I really believe the Huckster was just trying to get the party to bend enough to start getting new people to listen to us on the issue, and then we can begin to slide back up the slippery slope towards the pro-life amendment. I just think this whole original argument is more to slander Huckabee than it is to point out anything worth knowing about the guy.

Even as a Fred supporter, Huckabee impresses me that he was working to move the nation in the right direction by taking a hard stand on our side. The guy, in some ways, is good. He has his weaknesses, but he's not the bad guy, or idiot, that some here portray him as. We may be nominating this guy, I think it's time we try to find some good in him.

Fred in 2008.


The issue isn't on whether the HLA or the federalist position is better (both are admirable views in my opinion), but whether or not Huckabee supported the "federalist" position before or not. Obviously, the answer to that question is that he did, even a year ago. Now, he's still more acceptable acceptable to die-hard pro-lifers than any of the other candidates (Romney had a more drastic and more visible flip-flop that Huck, McCain was apparently willing to sell out the lifers out of desperation in his last presidential bid, Fred is too federalist, and we won't even touch Rudy), but he is also the only candidate to run pretty much purely on his pro-life credential.

This is not a flip flop. First of all, you have a huck-hater writing about it, and the only folks agreeing that this is a flip flop have axes to grind because there mad that there guy has already flip flopped on this issue, or is just wrong on it...Rudy.

You can call Huckabee the Anti-Conservative all you want, but Rudy and Romney are both worse! We need a guy who stands for conservative principles, Thompson is the only one who is consitantly conservative on every issue.

Fred got my endorsement (for what it is worth) when he said his plan to fix illegal immigration is simple..."send the illegal ones home". I can't argue that it will be easy, but it's what is right. Fred will likely settle for something less than that, but he'll be on the right path. HUCKABEE was on the right path in being for the federalist option. You can be for both, as you can hope and work for the best, but compromise for now. If you gave the right to the states, think about how many unborn kids would be saved. That would be better than nothing.

You guys are just on a witch hunt. Hell, it's not like the video of Romney saying he's for abortion. Come on? How can you be for that guy? Your excuse is that he had to say it to get elected. Well then, maybe that's what he is doing now? Which was it? Maybe he doesn't care either way, perhaps that's a good reason to vote against him, because he just wants power.

This entire post is worthless.

Indeed, that is Mitt Romney's position. When the WaPo tried to claim that was a flip-flop it was absurd. I would guess virtually everyone who supports the HLA would like to see Roe struck down in the meantime. (It is likely to be a pretty long meantime, after all).

But Huckabee and his supporters have been condemning Fred Thompson for supporting the federalist option. You can hear Huckster, in his own words, saying that the federalist option is unacceptable. Yet the federalist option was his view in 1995 and apparently as recently as 2006. So square this circle.

1. Huck says the federalist option is unacceptable.

  1. Huck has previously advocated the federalist option.
  2. Huck says his views on this subject have never changed.

Quentin Langley
Editor of

International Editor of

When I posted about Huckabee's flip flops on immigration I thought I had seen this flip flop also and had it in my mind to get around to posting about it. But procrastination got the best of me, oops.

Seems to me that Huckabee can weasle this as some of his supporters have tried here, but treating language the way Bill Clinton did is hardly a positive character trait.


This was well covered earlier in the campaign season. The Romney camp would be good to bring this to light during this weekend's debates, it would "level" the flip-flop flap-jacks playing field a bit.

Here's my prediction. If Fred Thompson does not get the nomination and especially if by some unforseen non-MSM reason he drops out of the race, the GOP will be doomed into fighting an up-hill battle to win in November. Too many standard GOP voters will walk, even if the nominee is Romney or Giuliani or McCain.

Let me preface this by saying that I actually disagree with Mike Huckabee to the extent that I do not think a Human Life Amendment is the preferable solution to the abortion controversy. I actually side with Fred Thompson who argues that the Supreme Court should overturn Roe v. Wade and that abortion policy should be left up to the states. Huckabee would prefer an HLA, but will take reversal of Roe in the meantime.

With that said, you're wrong about Huckabee flip flopping on the quotes you've printed do not support that assertion. The first quote concerns a proposed amendment to the GOP party platform, which Huckabee would have accepted as a unity statement around which all Republicans could rally. You'll notice the proposed revision to the platform language did not oppose HLA, but rather spoke of the need to reverse the legacy of Roe. All pro-life people agree that Roe was a bad decision, but not all want an HLA.

The second quote, like the first, takes a strong stand against the reasoning and constitutional principles underlying Roe. Once again, Huckabee doesn't endorse the HLA in this specific paragraph, but he doesn't oppose it either. He's simply saying that, in lieu of Roe, the issue would automatically revert to the states (see, 10th Amendment), and that he would prefer that settlement to the current situation in which the abortion issue has been arbitrarily federalized by the Supreme Court.

If you look back at the broad sweep of Huckabee's career, he's always been at the right end of the social conservative spectrum. He's always been against gay rights, always for an HLA, etc. This much is not in dispute. IMO, Spunky, you would do much better to write a diary simply arguing that Huckabee is wrong to support HLA, and that the strict federalist approach is better. I would be with you on that one. But this argument is illogical and unsubstantiated.

Hang all traitors and secessionists! Hang them high!
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