Saturday, December 29, 2007
Friday, December 28, 2007
"On MSNBC's Morning Joe, Gov. Huckabee again demonstrated his foreign policy inexperience by claiming that Pakistan’s 'eastern borders' are 'near Afghanistan':
"GOV. HUCKABEE: People who questioned my view of foreign policy probably need go back and read the speech that I delivered back in Washington in September. I talked about Pakistan and the delicate situation and the fact that at that time when the three people, Sharif, Bhutto, and Musharraf all in the bid for the leadership position, how delicate it was and how while Bhutto probably brought the most pro-American position, both she and Sharif brought essentially centrist and secular perspectives to the government. We have seen what happen in the Musharraf government, he has told us he does not have enough control of those eastern borders near Afghanistan to be able go after the terrorists. But on the other hand, did he not want us going in.
"Marc Ambinder, as always, sums it up best:
Not to pick on Gov. Huckabee, but -- again -- in times of crises, little details count. Pakistan shares its western border with Afghanistan ... Not an eastern border. "
"Boston, MA - Governor Mitt Romney today announced that Dr. Robert Wolgemuth, former Chairman of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association and best-selling author, has endorsed his candidacy for President of the United States. Dr. Wolgemuth will play an important role in sharing Governor Romney's message of strengthening the American family with voters across the country.
"'I am very pleased to have Robert's support,' said Governor Romney. 'He is a respected social conservative author and leader who understands the most important work being done in America today is the work being done inside the four walls of the family home. With his help, we will work to share our message of true conservative change with Americans across the nation.'
"With today's announcement, Dr. Wolgemuth said, 'Governor Romney has demonstrated that he is the one candidate in both parties who can represent the three pillars of the Reagan coalition - a strong military, a strong economy and stronger families. Most importantly, he has laid out a vision for strengthening American families through championing a Federal Marriage Amendment and defending the sanctity of human life. Governor Romney has the experience, vision and personal values to lead our county as we face ongoing and new domestic and global challenges, and I am proud to support his candidacy.
Background On Dr. Robert Wolgemuth:
"Robert Wolgemuth Is The Former Chairman Of The Evangelical Christian Publishers Association. A former high school and family counselor, Dr. Wolgemuth has been in the publishing business for more than 30 years. He has served in executive positions in the magazine and book business in Illinois and Texas, served as president of a large Nashville, Tennessee, book publisher and co-founded a publishing company. His company, Wolgemuth & Associates, Inc., exclusively represents the writing work of approximately fifty Christian authors. A best-selling author himself, Dr. Wolgemuth has written over twenty books.
"He is a 1969 graduate of Taylor University, from which he received an honorary doctorate in May, 2005. Robert Wolgemuth is the father of two grown daughters, two sons-in-law, and five grandchildren. He and Bobbie, his wife of over 37years, live in Central Florida, where he serves is an elder at the First Presbyterian Church in Orlando."
"I altered the date on this post to keep it at the top of the blog entries until caucus day (by popular demand)Huckabee and his supporters always seem to point out that Romney's attacking him.
"The already nascent Huck-a-bust will undoubtedly be blamed on Romney by Huck and his supporters. However . . . I don't think that Romney had anything to do with the fact that essentially every conservative with a microphone or blog has been railing against Huckabee for the last few weeks. Need some evidence?:
Ann Coulter (new one here)
Bob Novak (others here & here)
Sean Hannity (not frontal attacks, but plenty
of concerns about him being the nominee)
Joseph Farah (Founder/CEO/Editor of World Net Daily also expresses concern
for homeschoolers who support Huck)
George Will (these comments
too on a TV news show)
Glenn Beck (semi
"reconciliation" ---- but then he's still not too impressed)
David Limbaugh (another here)
Matt Drudge (it's obvious that he has a bone to pick with Huckabee given his coverage of late)Pat Buchanan
John Fund (an interesting video here)
Kathryn Jean Lopez (another here)
James Taranto (here too, don't miss, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 of "No Truck with Huck")Clarence Page
Rich Lowry (this one too)
Victor Davis Hanson
Hugh Hewitt (and another)
Walter E. Williams
Frank Gaffney (who Huck claimed was one of his Foreign Policy advisors)
Paul Mirengoff ( here and here too)
The Editors of National Review (Oh yeah, this one too and both were written BEFORE the NR endorsed Romney)
The Club for Growth
The Cato Institute (Huckabee's F grade for fiscal issue . . . 46th out of the 50
governors ranked. Yes, that's worse than the vast majority of Democratic
Mitt Romney :)
Ron Paul :)
Fred Thompson :)
Rudy Giuliani :)
"You can just hear and feel all of these conservative/GOP icons pleading with the voters: "PLEASE DON'T MAKE US TRY TO DEFEND THIS GUY!!!" (should he be the nominee).Conclusion: Huckabee's not a full-spectrum conservative and the GOP would be unwise to give him the nomination. Romney has had to point out the un-conservative spots in Huck's record because the MSM/DNC axis sure hasn't been (they want him as the GOP nominee) and because McCain and Rudy want Huck to win Iowa to stifle Romney's path to the nomination. However, Romney is hardly alone in pointing out Huckabee's worrisome record.Update: This post has attracted some attention! Hugh Hewitt's Townhall.com blog linked to my cross-posting over at MyManMitt. Also, Quin Hillyer's recent article "The Republican Party: All Hucked Up" contains a list that is interestingly familiar to mine."
Sunday, December 23, 2007
"Huckabee and his supporters always seem to point out that Romney's attacking him. The already nascent Huck-a-bust will undoubtedly be blamed on Romney by Huck and his supporters. However . . . I don't think that Romney had anything to do with the fact that essentially every conservative with a microphone or blog has been railing against Huckabee for the last few weeks. Need some evidence?:
George Will-- ( these comments too on a TV news show)
Sean Hannity (kind of . . . not frontal attacks, but plenty of comments expressing concern with him as the potential GOP nominee)
Glenn Beck (semi "reconciliation" ---- but then he's still not too impressed)
Matt Drudge (it's obvious that he has a bone to pick with Huckabee given his coverage of late)Jim Geraghty
Kathryn Jean Lopez
Paul Mirengoff ( here and here too)
The Editors of National Review (Oh yeah, this one too)
"Conclusion: Huckabee's not a full-spectrum conservative and the GOP would be unwise to give him the nomination. Romney has had to point out the un-conservative spots in Huck's record because the MSM/DNC axis sure hasn't been (they want him as the GOP nominee) and because McCain and Rudy want Huck to win Iowa to stifle Romney's path to the nomination. However, Romney is hardly alone in pointing out Huckabee's worrisome record."
ISSUE: In 1992 Huckabee made it known that he FAVORED isolating AIDS patients and OPPOSED increased funding for AIDS research. In defending his position Huckabee stated recently that, “In 1992 we weren’t clear how AIDS was transmitted.”
OOPS: In 1984 Ryan White was diagnosed with AIDS and garnered national media attention for the issue. By 1988 the CDC, the NIH, and Surgeon General C. Edward Coop had made clear public policy statements and even sent information to every household explaining that you could not contract AIDS from “kissing, tears, sweat, or saliva.”
ISSUE: Huckabee said that his 1033 clemencies in 10 years “was in line with other governors who have served the state.”
OOPS: Bill Clinton, Frank White and Tucker granted 507 clemencies in the 17 1/2 years they served as governor.
ISSUE: Huckabee said he had proposed to make children of illegal aliens eligible for Arkansas scholarships if they “had been in our schools their entire school life.”
OOPS: Actually, the proposal required only three years in Arkansas schools.
ISSUE: When confronted with a YouTube video in which he called for tax increases as Arkansas Governor he said that the tax hikes were in response to “a supreme court order that we had to fund education at a higher level.”
OOPS: Fox news investigated and found that not to be true. In fact the tax hikes were to cover a general revenue shortfall as a result of increased state spending.
ISSUE: On numerous occasions in debate and on the stump Governor Huckabee cites as justification for raising the gas and fuel tax the supposed fact that 80% of Arkansans voted to support it.
OOPS: On April 1, 1999 Huckabee signed the gas and fuel tax hikes into law. The tax hikes began taking effect that day. On June 15, 1999 (some two and a half months later) 80% of Arkansas voters approved a bond issue, which DID NOT include the gas tax increases.
ISSUE: Governor Huckabee’s son, David, was involved in the hanging, cutting of the throat, and stoning to death of a stray dog while employed as a counselor at a scout camp. He was fired from the camp because of the incident.
OOPS: John Baily, who was the Director of the Arkansas state police (the top law enforcement job in Arkansas) said that he was pressured by Governor Huckabee’s Chief of Staff and then the Governor’s family lawyer to write a letter to the prosecutor saying that the state police would not investigate the incident, but he refused. Baily claims that he was later fired because Huckabee said, “I’ve lost confidence in your ability to do your job.” One reason cited was “I couldn’t get you to help me with my son when I had that problem.”
OOPS: The head of the Arkansas FBI office said at the time that without question Huckabee was interfering with a state investigation.
ISSUE: Huckabee claimed that his son was being unfairly singled out because such animal cruelty cases were not regularly prosecuted. This argument appeared in an article in the Arkansas Gazette on April 27, 2007 (reporting on a separate incident in which David Huckabee was stopped for taking a gun through airport security).
OOPS: Prosecuting Attorney Tim Williamson of Mena, Arkansas said cruelty to animals is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a $1,000 fine and up to a year in jail. “We regularly charge cruelty to animals. That’s kind of my pet peeve,” he said.
ISSUE: Governor Huckabee was asked if he had pressured the parole board to release Dumond. Governor Huckabee: “No. I did not. Let me categorically say that I did not. And it’s really interesting, if people want to really look into that record.”
OOPS: According to Murray Waas’ prize-winning expose of Huckabee’s clemency record entitled “Special handling: How the Huckabee administration worked to free rapist Wayne Dumond” new sources, including an advisor to Gov. Mike Huckabee, have told the Arkansas Times that Huckabee and a senior member of his staff exerted behind-the-scenes influence to bring about the parole of rapist Wayne Dumond, who Missouri authorities say raped and killed a woman there shortly after his parole.
"A sad anti-endorsement came out from the Concord Monitor today attacking Gov. Romney on the same old issues that he’s faced for the past year. It’s something of a bother, but I’ll take down point after point and weep that these people have a job on a respectable newspaper, but can’t bother to get their stories straight.
As a candidate for the U.S. Senate in 1994, he boasted that he would be a"Gov. Romney made clear in 1994 that he was opposed to gay marriage.
stronger advocate of gay rights than his opponent, Ted Kennedy. These days, he
makes a point of his opposition to gay marriage and adoption.
There was a time that he said he wanted to make contraception more available -"Gov. Romney vetoed the morning after pill, which can prevent implantation of an embryo. This action was 100% in line with his campaign pledge to not change Massachusetts abortion laws.
and a time that he vetoed a bill to sell it over-the-counter.
The old Romney assured voters he was pro-choice on abortion. “You will not see"Gov. Romney has faced this issue a thousand times already and explained his change of heart. If you do not believe him, it is up to you.
me wavering on that,” he said in 1994, and he cited the tragedy of a relative’s
botched illegal abortion as the reason to keep abortions safe and legal. These
days, he describes himself as pro-life.
There was a time that he supported stem-cell research and cited his own wife’s"Completely false. Gov. Romney opposes tax-payer funded research that destroys embryos to create new stem-cell lines.
multiple sclerosis in explaining his thinking; such research, he reasoned, could
help families like his. These days, he largely opposes it.
He has followed the science and research of stem-cells closely and been ahead of the curve in proclaiming that alternative methods would soon be available that would make the controversy moot.
As a candidate for governor, Romney dismissed an anti-tax pledge as a gimmick."Actually, Gov. Romney made an anti-tax pledge as he was running for governor (which he honored). He only refused to sign that specific pledge.
In this race, he was the first to sign.
People can change, and intransigence is not necessarily a virtue. But Romney has"Actually, he has. Time and again he’s faced these questions and answered them with calm dignity. As someone who follows Gov. Romney it’s actually quite boring because I much prefer listening to him answer questions of substance than deal with this nonsense in interview after interview.
yet to explain this particular set of turnarounds in a way that convinces voters
they are based on anything other than his own ambition.
If the Concord Monitor can’t get a hold of the transcripts for any of these interviews, their research staff should be summarily fired.
In the 2008 campaign for president, there are numerous issues on which Romney
has no record, and so voters must take him at his word. On these issues, those
words are often chilling. While other candidates of both parties speak of
restoring America’s moral leadership in the world, Romney has said he’d like to
“double” the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, where inmates have been held for
years without formal charge or access to the courts.
"And, for the record, most Republican candidates agree that Gunatanamo Bay needs to remain open.
He dodges the issue of torture - unable to say, simply, that waterboarding is"This, of course, presupposes that waterboarding is torture. A view not widely held before President Bush walked into office.
torture and America won’t do it.
If we’re going to define down torture to include waterboarding, Gov. Romney is correct. It’s best to not let our enemies in on that change of policy."
~~~Thomas (blogger for ComMITTed to Romney and also for Florida)
Friday, December 21, 2007
By: Mike Allen Dec 21, 2007 05:45 PM EST
"Shirley Basore, 72, says she was sitting in the hairdresser’s chair in wealthy Grosse Pointe, Mich., back in 1963 when a rumpus started and she discovered that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and her governor, George Romney, were marching for civil rights — right past the window.
"With the cape still around her neck, Basore went outside and joined the parade.
"'They were hand in hand,' recalled Basore, a former high-school English teacher. 'They led the march. We all swung our hands, and they held their hands up above everybody else’s.'
"She remembered the late governor as 'extremely handsome.' Until this week, that was just a vivid memory for a sweet retiree who now lives in Pompano Beach, Fla.
"But Basore’s memory became important this week when news accounts questioned the recollections of the late Michigan governor’s son, Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts governor.
"News stories suggested that Romney was exaggerating. It turns out that he may not have attended the Grosse Pointe march, but it certainly happened.
"The campaign posted citations quoting one author as writing that 'George Romney made a surprise appearance in his shirt sleeves and joined the parade leaders.'
"Stephen Hess and David S. Broder also wrote about the march in their 1967 book, 'The Republican Establishment: The Present and Future of the G.O.P.' Basore said she was very angry about how the issue has been covered on cable television.
"'This very arrogant guy on TV questioned Mitt Romney, and I marched with them,' Basore said. 'I hope that the campaign demands an apology. I want him to publicly apologize to me. That was a personal insult, and an insult to Mitt Romney.'
"Basore said she called the campaign, and the campaign supplied her contact information.
"Another witness, Ashby Richardson, 64, of Massachusetts gave the campaign a similar account.
“'I’m just appalled that the news picks this stuff up and say it didn’t happen,' Richardson, now a data-collection consultant, said by phone. 'The press is being disingenuous in terms of reporting what actually happened. I remember it vividly. I was only 15 or 20 feet from where both of them were.'"
"The Romney campaign has announced three more Congressional endorsements, bringing his total of Congressional endorsements to 38 - more than any other candidate (McCain is the next closest with 30):
Representative Wally Herger (R-CA)
Representative Virginia Foxx (R-NC)
Representative John Carter (R-TX)
"Some good pickups for Team Romney - Herger was one of the leaders on the 1996 Welfare Reform bill, Foxx has been rated as the most conservative member of the North Carolina delegation and has focused on the immigration and spending battles, and Carter is the “sixth most powerful Republican” in the House.
"And it just goes to show that even though we’re only 13 days away from Iowa, the endorsement game hasn’t stopped yet. An updated Endorsement Race chart will be coming sometime late next week."
Thursday, December 20, 2007
(Click on image to see an interactive)
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Two weeks ago, Huckabee held a seven-point lead over Romney and Thompson. A month ago, Romney and Thompson were tied for the top spot and Huckabee was nine points behind in fourth place.
Over the past two weeks, Romney has gained five percentage points while Fred Thompson has lost six. McCain gained three points and nobody else moved more than a point or two.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
I don't want to spend all of my free time bashing another candidate, but Huckabee gives me so much material that it would be irresponsible for me not to help inform the public. Here are some of the articles that are great reads, but I just don't have time to comment on them all--Huckabee has been making me work overtime.
Huckabee Critique of Bush Un-Republican
Huckabee Slams George Bush
Huck’s Spectacularly Unpersuasive Defenders
Huckabee’s Assertion that he Doesn’t Know Much About Mormonism is False
Huckabee is the Anti-Mormon Candidate
Another Huckabee Clemency—Pardons Criminals Based on Political Contributions
Huckabee Lying About Immigration Record
The Huckabee Trap
Why Many Conservatives Will Vote Dem Over Huck
Huckabee and Criminals: It’s Worse Than Just Wayne DuMond
Huckabee’s Honeymoon Is Over
Faith as the Sole Determinative Issue in Politics is Not Progression
Huckaboom to Huckabust
Huckabee’s Boom May be About to Bust
Huckabee: The None of the Above Candidate
Real Minutemen Do Not Support Huckabee!
Huckabee’s Support Derives All from “Religious Lemmings”
More Huckabee Embarrassments
Huckabee Playing the Religious Card
Huckabee Flip-Flops on Cuba
Huckabee Questions Mormon Beliefs
Huckabee: The Biggest Big-Government Conservative
Thursday, December 13, 2007
This was pretty classic........It's amazing that the moderator didn't want a response with content. It reminded me of lawyers asking witnesses to answer only yes or no.....as if complex issues are always that simple.
I'm glad my man Romney got a kick out of Fred as well.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
"In the editorial posted on the conservative publication's Web site Tuesday afternoon, the magazine's editors praised Romney for his executive experience and called him a full-spectrum Republican. . . . Romney is an intelligent, articulate, and accomplished former businessman and governor. At a time when voters yearn for competence and have soured on Washington because too often the Bush administration has not demonstrated it, Romney offers proven executive skill," the editors wrote. "He has demonstrated it in everything he has done in his professional life, and his tightly organized, disciplined campaign is no exception." (CNN-Ticker)
As opponents self destruct attacking Governor Romney's faith or his choice of who should mow his lawn, Romney continues to surge forward with his experience in executive leadership and success. As concern for the American economy continues to grow it is evident that we need a competent, intelligent and proven leader with executive skills and leadership success.
For those business and investment minded people check out "Mad Money’s" Cramer on his Job Interview with Mitt Romney.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
By ANDREW DeMILLO, Associated Press Writer 22 minutes ago
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -
"The U.S. shouldn't try to kill Saddam Hussein in Iraq, Mike Huckabee declared when he first ran for office. No women in combat anywhere. No gays in the military. No contributions in politics to candidates more than a year before an election.
"His statements are among 229 answers Huckabee offered as a 36-year-old Texarkana pastor during his first run for political office in 1992. In that unsuccessful race against Sen. Dale Bumpers, Huckabee offered himself as a social conservative and listed 'moral decay' as one of the top problems facing the country.
"Now that he's a front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, he's being asked anew about some of the views and comments he expressed in the survey by The Associated Press. Over the weekend, he said he wouldn't retract answers in which he advocated isolating AIDS patients from the general public, opposed increased funding for finding a cure and said homosexuality could pose a public health risk — though he said today he might phrase his answers 'a little differently.'
"Some of the words in his answers to the questionnaire are indeed strong.
Asked about gays in the military, for example, he didn't just reject the idea but added: 'I believe to try to legitimize that which is inherently illegitimate would be a disgraceful act of government. I feel homosexuality is an aberrant, unnatural and sinful lifestyle, and we now know it can pose a dangerous public health risk.'
Earlier this year, Huckabee said, 'Nobody's going to find some YouTube moments of me saying something radically different than what I'm saying today.'
"The full questionnaire offers in written form a chance for voters to see what he was saying as he began his political career.
In the questionnaire, he:
• Called for the elimination of political action committees and campaign contributions from lobbyists. He also said candidates should not be allowed to receive contributions until one year before an election and said there should be limits on the amount of out-of-state money they could accept. As Arkansas governor, Huckabee formed a political action committee based in Virginia to raise money for non-federal candidates that allowed him to travel and raise his profile for a potential presidential run. The Hope for America PAC shut down earlier this year as Huckabee entered the White House race.
• Said he would not support any tax increases if elected to the Senate. Huckabee's record of raising some taxes as Arkansas' governor has drawn fire from fiscal conservatives in the presidential race.
• When asked whether the U.S. should take any action to kill Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, Huckabee replied: 'The U.S. should not kill Saddam Hussein or anyone else.' The U.S. military captured Saddam, an Iraqi court convicted him and he was hanged last December."
Click here to read the article in its entirety
I don't think, however, that people want to be in happy ignorance and regret it later during the general elections.
I might support Huckabee if he wins the nomination, I'll need a couple of months to get over my disappointment, but my main concern is for the Republican party.
Who has the best chance to beat Hillary or Obama? For the casual American, there's no difference between the parties, all politicians are corrupt, and it's a lose-lose situation no matter who's in office. For the Republican idealist, like myself, this election means a lot more to me.
I worry for our nation under a Democrat presidency. The average American is contributing 40% of their income to our government, religious freedom is being challenged, many deny the threat of terrorism, poor people are given incentives to remain poor, un-wed mothers are given incentives to have more children, our moral culture is being denigrated at every turn, we're on the verge of having a government takeover on healthcare, and millions of illegal immigrants keep pouring in. Having a Democrat as president, I believe, will amplify these issues that I stongly want to fight against.
This is why I think it is important not to look through rose-colored glasses when we evaluate someone like Huckabee. Despite being a social conservative, the man is a Liberal. There is a reason the msm is soft on him--they see a victory in sight. Mitt Romney once said if we have two candidates running like Democrats, the real Democrat is going to win--and that, my friends, is why Huckabee is going to lose.
Democrat party officials are avoiding any and all criticism of Republican presidential contender Mike Huckabee, insiders reveal.
The Democratic National Committee has told staffers to hold all fire, until he secures the party's nomination.
The directive has come down from the highest levels within the party, according to a top source.
Within the DNC, Huckabee is known as the "glass jaw -- and they're just waiting to break it."
In the last three weeks since Huckabee's surge kicked in, the DNC hasn't released a single press release criticizing his rising candidacy.
The last DNC press release critical of Huckabee appeared back on March 2nd.
[DNC Press Release Attack Summary:
Governor Mitt Romney (R-MA) – 37% (99 press releases)Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R-NY) – 28% (74)
Senator John McCain (R-AZ) – 24% (64)
Senator Fred Thompson (R-TN) – 8% (20)
Governor Mike Huckabee – 2% (4)]
In fact, as the story broke over the weekend that Huckabee said he wanted to isolate AIDS patients back in 1992, the DNC ignored the opportunity to slam the candidate from the left.
"He'll easily be their McGovern, an easy kill," mocked one senior Democrat operative Tuesday morning from Washington"His letting out murderers because they shout 'Jesus', his wanting to put 300,000 AIDS patients and Magic Johnson into isolation, ain't even scratching the surface of what we've got on him."The discipline the Democrats have shown in not engaging Huckabee has earned the praise of one former Republican Party official: "The Democrats are doing a much better job restraining themselves than the GOP did in 2003 when Howard Dean looked like he was on the brink of winning the nomination."A close friend to Huckabee explains: "Look, Mike is Hillary Clinton's worst nightmare. They should be squirming." Developing...
Friday, December 7, 2007
By LIBBY QUAID, Associated Press Writer
DES MOINES, Iowa - Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee, unaccustomed to the national spotlight, is squirming under the glare.
With his bare-bones campaign, the former Arkansas governor has been considered an also-ran until recently, when he surged to a share of the lead in Iowa GOP surveys. Now he is in second place nationally among Republicans, behind Rudy Giuliani, according to an Associated Press-Ipsos poll on Friday.
The added scrutiny and pressure have resulted in a series of what look like beginner's mistakes:
• Huckabee made a joke of his skimpy foreign policy experience, telling radio host Don Imus, "I may not be the expert as some people on foreign policy, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night," a play on the hotel chain's commercials.
A spokesman for rival Fred Thompson sniffed that people want a commander in chief, not a court jester.
Huckabee said he'd been campaigning so hard in Iowa, he hadn't had time to read the newspaper or be briefed. And he said that probably would happen again.
Yet Huckabee had questioned whether DuMond was guilty, had met with DuMond's wife before and after becoming governor and had written DuMond, on the day the state parole board freed him: "Dear Wayne ... My desire is that you be released from prison."
Missteps are natural as Huckabee experiences what it's like to be a first-tier candidate, said Dennis Goldford, a political science professor at Iowa's Drake University.
"Even though he's been a governor of Arkansas, that's minor-league compared to the big leagues of presidential politics, and he's learning the big leagues are a lot tougher than the minor leagues," Goldford said.
"So he's genial, he's got a sense of humor, but he's running for commander in chief, not comedian in chief. People after a certain while are going to look deeper than his clever responses," he said.
Not that Huckabee should abandon his sense of humor. The former Southern Baptist preacher's corny jokes and dimpled grin have helped elevate him in Iowa, where he is tied with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in polls.
But the jokes aren't his only appeal with Southern Baptists and other evangelical Christians who share his faith. Many of those voters have decided he is the most authentic conservative in the race. That is important because evangelical Christians carry considerable weight in the Iowa caucuses, which start the nominating process on Jan. 3.
To stay at the top level, Huckabee needs to be a quick study, learning to be more judicious with his humor. Expanding his staff and getting daily briefings on the issues of the day — as other candidates do — would seem wise.
And he needs to find concise, accurate answers to criticism. Huckabee spent more than six minutes describing the intricacies of the DuMond case when asked about it at a news conference Tuesday, and his answer implied that he opposed the rapist's release all along when he did not.
Huckabee's rivals are combing through his Arkansas record, which includes ethics complaints, tax increases and support for children of illegal immigrants, among other things.
On occasion, Huckabee has grown testy under the increased scrutiny, as when Thompson criticized his foreign policy joke. Huckabee, who is known for sometimes being thin-skinned, got personal, making cracks about Thompson being lazy and not regularly attending church.
"The most activity we've seen out of the Fred Thompson campaign are the relentless press releases coming from his campaign about me. There were six before 10 o'clock Sunday morning," Huckabee said at the news conference, where he was surrounded by pastors.
"Most of us were in church. He was cranking out press releases that morning," Huckabee said as the pastors chuckled.
And he flared when a reporter asked about schools teaching evolution rather than creationism. He insisted his belief in creationism was beside the point. "That's an irrelevant question to ask me," he admonished.
The scrutiny and missteps are similar to what Thompson, another Southerner with a sense of humor, went through earlier this year.
Visiting Florida in September as he launched his presidential bid, Thompson stirred controversy when he said he didn't know oil drilling in the Everglades was an issue and he wouldn't rule it out, and when he said he didn't remember the details of the Terri Schiavo right-to-die case.
Huckabee's surge has come primarily at the expense of Thompson, the "Law & Order" actor and former Tennessee senator.
EDITOR'S NOTE — Libby Quaid covers presidential politics for The Associated Press.
"This was a tour de force, and it was delivered before perhaps the largest audience Romney will have for any speech before the January caucuses and primaries. It will be the subject of editorials and columns in coming weeks. And it is hard to see how Romney does not benefit hugely from what was a quintessentially "American" address.
To this writer, Romney is on unassailable grounds. Nor is he hurt by the fact that his wife and five children testify eloquently that he is a man of principles who lives by them."
"If Kennedy's speech was an important landmark in American political history, Romney's was surpassing. With heartfelt humility and poetic eloquence, he tracked the nation's struggle with and for freedom.
"He held up a mirror and, for the first time in a long while, Americans did not have to avert their gaze. They could see themselves reflected and be both proud and humbled by their country's unique beauty.
"Perhaps it took someone more recently persecuted for his beliefs to remind us that 'religious tolerance would be a shallow principle indeed if it were reserved only for faiths with which we agree.
"Indeed. Or, as they say, amen."
Wall Street Journal--
The Book of Romney The debate over his convictions--religious, and political.
Laura Ingraham--(Click here to listen to her comments.......here's a hint, she loved the speech)
"Mitt Romney's 'Faith in America' speech was simply magnificent, and anyone who denies it is not to be trusted as an analyst. On every level it was a masterpiece. The staging and Romney's delivery, the eclipse of all other candidates it caused, the domination of the news cycle just prior to the start of absentee voting in New Hampshire on Monday --for all these reasons and more it will be long discussed as a masterpiece of political maneuver."
"I want to start with Mitt Romney today, Mitt Romney's speech. Frankly, I thought what we saw today, folks, was a Republican candidate for president giving an inspiring speech. It was an inspiring speech about American values, including religion. Mitt Romney did this because he has been relentlessly attacked as something less than a true American. I watched this. I had seen some excerpts from the speech published before he made it. I thought he was inspiring, folks. I think he set exactly the right tone and I am stunned by some of the criticism I am seeing of this speech, particularly on some conservative websites. 'He didn't include atheists; he didn't include agnostics; he didn't say and reach out to Hindus.' I don't understand it. Of all things to take from this speech that Romney gave today, that he didn't reach out to atheists and didn't reach out to agnostics, is beyond me. I thought he showed today his ability to confront, to articulate, to persuade, and to lead."
"Someone wake me up! I could have sworn this was December 2007. But today in College Station, Texas, as I watched Mitt Romney deliver his long awaited faith speech with American flags draped behind him, it felt like January 2009.
"The speech was sweeping, lofty and presidential. He looked natural and spoke passionately. Mitt Romney didn't just look like a President today. He sounded and behaved like one too. It's not often a presidential candidate gets the limelight all to himself. But such was the case Thursday. "
PAT BUCHANAN: "I don't know how he could have done it better. I mean, I was very moved."
CHRIS MATTHEWS: "I have to say if he wins the presidency, it started here . . . For the first time in this campaign, and it's been a long campaign, I heard greatness this morning."
JOE SCARBOROUGH: "He hit this thing out of the park. It was a great morning for him."
Krauthammer Just Gave Romney Speech Big Thumbs Up.... (click Krauthammer to watch)
Rev Lou Sheldon--
"I've taken an enormous amount of criticism and hate from my fellow evangelicals for supporting Mitt Romney.
"There'll be a few who will pick the speech apart but most of America likes civil and religious rights. Ninety-something per cent of us believe in God. He is speaking to that broad spectrum.
"In my experience, it is Mormons that support family values and give money and time and put their shoulders to the plough. The root of the issue is religious liberty. Kennedy passed the test and Romney passed the test today."
Harball Discussion Part 1:
Harball Discussion Part 2:
Thursday, December 6, 2007
"Thank you, Mr. President, for your kind introduction.
"It is an honor to be here today. This is an inspiring place because of you and the First Lady and because of the film exhibited across the way in the Presidential library. For those who have not seen it, it shows the President as a young pilot, shot down during the Second World War, being rescued from his life-raft by the crew of an American submarine. It is a moving reminder that when America has faced challenge and peril, Americans rise to the occasion, willing to risk their very lives to defend freedom and preserve our nation. We are in your debt. Thank you, Mr. President.
"Mr. President, your generation rose to the occasion, first to defeat Fascism and then to vanquish the Soviet Union. You left us, your children, a free and strong America. It is why we call yours the greatest generation. It is now my generation's turn. How we respond to today's challenges will define our generation. And it will determine what kind of America we will leave our children, and theirs."America faces a new generation of challenges. Radical violent Islam seeks to destroy us. An emerging China endeavors to surpass our economic leadership. And we are troubled at home by government overspending, overuse of foreign oil, and the breakdown of the family.
"Over the last year, we have embarked on a national debate on how best to preserve American leadership. Today, I wish to address a topic which I believe is fundamental to America's greatness: our religious liberty. I will also offer perspectives on how my own faith would inform my Presidency, if I were elected.
"There are some who may feel that religion is not a matter to be seriously considered in the context of the weighty threats that face us. If so, they are at odds with the nation's founders, for they, when our nation faced its greatest peril, sought the blessings of the Creator. And further, they discovered the essential connection between the survival of a free land and the protection of religious freedom. In John Adams’ words: 'We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion... Our constitution was made for a moral and religious people.'
"Freedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom. Freedom opens the windows of the soul so that man can discover his most profound beliefs and commune with God. Freedom and religion endure together, or perish alone.
"Given our grand tradition of religious tolerance and liberty, some wonder whether there are any questions regarding an aspiring candidate's religion that are appropriate. I believe there are. And I will answer them today.
"Almost 50 years ago another candidate from Massachusetts explained that he was an American running for president, not a Catholic running for president. Like him, I am an American running for president. I do not define my candidacy by my religion. A person should not be elected because of his faith nor should he be rejected because of his faith.
"Let me assure you that no authorities of my church, or of any other church for that matter, will ever exert influence on presidential decisions. Their authority is theirs, within the province of church affairs, and it ends where the affairs of the nation begin.
"As governor, I tried to do the right as best I knew it, serving the law and answering to the Constitution. I did not confuse the particular teachings of my church with the obligations of the office and of the Constitution – and of course, I would not do so as President. I will put no doctrine of any church above the plain duties of the office and the sovereign authority of the law.
"As a young man, Lincoln described what he called America's 'political religion' – the commitment to defend the rule of law and the Constitution. When I place my hand on the Bible and take the oath of office, that oath becomes my highest promise to God. If I am fortunate to become your president, I will serve no one religion, no one group, no one cause, and no one interest. A President must serve only the common cause of the people of the United States.
"There are some for whom these commitments are not enough. They would prefer it if I would simply distance myself from my religion, say that it is more a tradition than my personal conviction, or disavow one or another of its precepts. That I will not do. I believe in my Mormon faith and I endeavor to live by it. My faith is the faith of my fathers – I will be true to them and to my beliefs."Some believe that such a confession of my faith will sink my candidacy. If they are right, so be it. But I think they underestimate the American people. Americans do not respect believers of convenience. Americans tire of those who would jettison their beliefs, even to gain the world.
"There is one fundamental question about which I often am asked. What do I believe about Jesus Christ? I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior of mankind. My church's beliefs about Christ may not all be the same as those of other faiths. Each religion has its own unique doctrines and history. These are not bases for criticism but rather a test of our tolerance. Religious tolerance would be a shallow principle indeed if it were reserved only for faiths with which we agree.
"There are some who would have a presidential candidate describe and explain his church's distinctive doctrines. To do so would enable the very religious test the founders prohibited in the Constitution. No candidate should become the spokesman for his faith. For if he becomes President he will need the prayers of the people of all faiths.
"I believe that every faith I have encountered draws its adherents closer to God. And in every faith I have come to know, there are features I wish were in my own: I love the profound ceremony of the Catholic Mass, the approachability of God in the prayers of the Evangelicals, the tenderness of spirit among the Pentecostals, the confident independence of the Lutherans, the ancient traditions of the Jews, unchanged through the ages, and the commitment to frequent prayer of the Muslims. As I travel across the country and see our towns and cities, I am always moved by the many houses of worship with their steeples, all pointing to heaven, reminding us of the source of life's blessings.
"It is important to recognize that while differences in theology exist between the churches in America, we share a common creed of moral convictions. And where the affairs of our nation are concerned, it's usually a sound rule to focus on the latter – on the great moral principles that urge us all on a common course. Whether it was the cause of abolition, or civil rights, or the right to life itself, no movement of conscience can succeed in America that cannot speak to the convictions of religious people.
"We separate church and state affairs in this country, and for good reason. No religion should dictate to the state nor should the state interfere with the free practice of religion. But in recent years, the notion of the separation of church and state has been taken by some well beyond its original meaning. They seek to remove from the public domain any acknowledgment of God. Religion is seen as merely a private affair with no place in public life. It is as if they are intent on establishing a new religion in America – the religion of secularism. They are wrong.
"The founders proscribed the establishment of a state religion, but they did not countenance the elimination of religion from the public square. We are a nation 'Under God' and in God, we do indeed trust.
"We should acknowledge the Creator as did the Founders – in ceremony and word. He should remain on our currency, in our pledge, in the teaching of our history, and during the holiday season, nativity scenes and menorahs should be welcome in our public places. Our greatness would not long endure without judges who respect the foundation of faith upon which our constitution rests. I will take care to separate the affairs of government from any religion, but I will not separate us from 'the God who gave us liberty.'
"Nor would I separate us from our religious heritage. Perhaps the most important question to ask a person of faith who seeks a political office, is this: does he share these American values: the equality of human kind, the obligation to serve one another, and a steadfast commitment to liberty?
"They are not unique to any one denomination. They belong to the great moral inheritance we hold in common. They are the firm ground on which Americans of different faiths meet and stand as a nation, united. "We believe that every single human being is a child of God – we are all part of the human family. The conviction of the inherent and inalienable worth of every life is still the most revolutionary political proposition ever advanced. John Adams put it that we are 'thrown into the world all equal and alike.'
"The consequence of our common humanity is our responsibility to one another, to our fellow Americans foremost, but also to every child of God. It is an obligation which is fulfilled by Americans every day, here and across the globe, without regard to creed or race or nationality.
"Americans acknowledge that liberty is a gift of God, not an indulgence of government. No people in the history of the world have sacrificed as much for liberty. The lives of hundreds of thousands of America's sons and daughters were laid down during the last century to preserve freedom, for us and for freedom loving people throughout the world. America took nothing from that Century's terrible wars – no land from Germany or Japan or Korea; no treasure; no oath of fealty. America's resolve in the defense of liberty has been tested time and again. It has not been found wanting, nor must it ever be. America must never falter in holding high the banner of freedom.
"These American values, this great moral heritage, is shared and lived in my religion as it is in yours. I was taught in my home to honor God and love my neighbor. I saw my father march with Martin Luther King. I saw my parents provide compassionate care to others, in personal ways to people nearby, and in just as consequential ways in leading national volunteer movements. I am moved by the Lord's words: 'For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: naked, and ye clothed me...'
"My faith is grounded on these truths. You can witness them in Ann and my marriage and in our family. We are a long way from perfect and we have surely stumbled along the way, but our aspirations, our values, are the self-same as those from the other faiths that stand upon this common foundation. And these convictions will indeed inform my presidency.
"Today's generations of Americans have always known religious liberty. Perhaps we forget the long and arduous path our nation's forbearers took to achieve it. They came here from England to seek freedom of religion. But upon finding it for themselves, they at first denied it to others. Because of their diverse beliefs, Ann Hutchinson was exiled from Massachusetts Bay, a banished Roger Williams founded Rhode Island, and two centuries later, Brigham Young set out for the West. Americans were unable to accommodate their commitment to their own faith with an appreciation for the convictions of others to different faiths. In this, they were very much like those of the European nations they had left.
"It was in Philadelphia that our founding fathers defined a revolutionary vision of liberty, grounded on self evident truths about the equality of all, and the inalienable rights with which each is endowed by his Creator.
"We cherish these sacred rights, and secure them in our Constitutional order. Foremost do we protect religious liberty, not as a matter of policy but as a matter of right. There will be no established church, and we are guaranteed the free exercise of our religion.
"I'm not sure that we fully appreciate the profound implications of our tradition of religious liberty. I have visited many of the magnificent cathedrals in Europe. They are so inspired … so grand … so empty. Raised up over generations, long ago, so many of the cathedrals now stand as the postcard backdrop to societies just too busy or too 'enlightened' to venture inside and kneel in prayer. The establishment of state religions in Europe did no favor to Europe's churches. And though you will find many people of strong faith there, the churches themselves seem to be withering away.
"Infinitely worse is the other extreme, the creed of conversion by conquest: violent Jihad, murder as martyrdom... killing Christians, Jews, and Muslims with equal indifference. These radical Islamists do their preaching not by reason or example, but in the coercion of minds and the shedding of blood. We face no greater danger today than theocratic tyranny, and the boundless suffering these states and groups could inflict if given the chance.
"The diversity of our cultural expression, and the vibrancy of our religious dialogue, has kept America in the forefront of civilized nations even as others regard religious freedom as something to be destroyed.
"In such a world, we can be deeply thankful that we live in a land where reason and religion are friends and allies in the cause of liberty, joined against the evils and dangers of the day. And you can be certain of this: Any believer in religious freedom, any person who has knelt in prayer to the Almighty, has a friend and ally in me. And so it is for hundreds of millions of our countrymen: we do not insist on a single strain of religion – rather, we welcome our nation's symphony of faith.
"Recall the early days of the First Continental Congress in Philadelphia, during the fall of 1774. With Boston occupied by British troops, there were rumors of imminent hostilities and fears of an impending war. In this time of peril, someone suggested that they pray. But there were objections. 'They were too divided in religious sentiments', what with Episcopalians and Quakers, Anabaptists and Congregationalists, Presbyterians and Catholics.
"Then Sam Adams rose, and said he would hear a prayer from anyone of piety and good character, as long as they were a patriot.
"And so together they prayed, and together they fought, and together, by the grace of God ... they founded this great nation.
"In that spirit, let us give thanks to the divine 'author of liberty.' And together, let us pray that this land may always be blessed, 'with freedom's holy light.'
"God bless the United States of America."
Inspiring. Unifying. American.
Many people wonder how the heck Mitt was going to pull this one off. Well, he did, and I think America is better now than it was half an hour ago........win or lose the election.
Huckabee is soft on crime and obviously doesn't believe in Mitt Romney's "One Strike, You're Ours" policy for sex offenders.
Huckabee made a mistake that resulted in the rape and deaths of two women in Missouri. In Huckabee's defense, he couldn't foresee the future and be certain that DuMond would strike again, but I find it really disturbing that Huckabee is lying about his role in setting free the rapist DuMond.
Say what you want about Mitt's religion, but no one can deny his integrity. Mitt takes responsibility for his actions, while Huckabee hides behind his cloak of "authentic Christianity".
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
“That Romney, an accomplished multi-millionaire businessman credited with saving the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics from financial ruin needs to address his faith at all, may say more about the United States than him.” (AFP)
“Barry Lynn, executive director of the Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, said Romney's speech is another chapter in a U.S. presidential campaign where religion has played a big role.
Huckabee has talked about being a Baptist preacher, Republican Fred Thompson was quizzed on how often he goes to church, and Democrat John Edwards was asked about his biggest sin.
"Frankly this whole election cycle is turning into some kind of theological beauty pageant instead of an electoral campaign for the presidency," he said. (Reuters)
Whether it be a theological beauty pageant or presidential campaign we may all benefit from a reminder that it is our interweaving faiths that make the fabric of this nation strong.