Mike Huckabee

Donald Trump, Mike Huckabee And The GOP's Phony Populism

Although former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has built a career on a folksy brand of Christian conservatism, it wasn’t all that surprising that he was quick to get behind the presidential candidacy of thrice-married New York billionaire Donald Trump.

While many Religious Right leaders have expressed concerns about Trump’s rise to the top of the Republican Party, Huckabee was quick to embrace his former presidential rival, particularly after Trump vanquished Ted Cruz, whom Huckabee had repeatedly attacked as a phony Christian.

Despite appearances, Huckabee and Trump have plenty in common.

Like Trump, Huckabee is a huckster. And it couldn’t have hurt that the presumptive GOP nominee hired Huckabee’s daughter on his campaign staff.

The two also have a similar pitch to voters. While both claim that they are standing up for the working man against a corporate, ultra-wealthy elite, both of their main economic proposals include deep tax cuts for the super-rich.

Huckabee told the Guardian today that before Trump’s rise, the GOP was on the verge of becoming “a wholly owned subsidiary of the financial community and globalists/neocons,” when the party really needed “to refocus on the American worker, the American infrastructure and rebuilding America.”

“They have created favors for the donor class at the expense of the working class,” he said.

Huckabee, however, has for years promoted an extremely regressive “Fair Tax” proposal to replace the progressive income tax with a national sales tax.

Former Reagan administration adviser Bruce Bartlett has said that under Huckabee’s proposal, “there would be an enormous shift in the tax burden from the wealthy to those with lower and middle incomes.”

Richard Phillips, senior policy analyst at Citizens for Tax Justice, wrote last year:

A study by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) found that under the 'Fair Tax,' the top 1 percent of taxpayers would receive an average annual tax cut of $225,000. Meanwhile, the plan would increase taxes by about $3,200 on average on the bottom 80 percent of taxpayers. In other words, Huckabee’s tax plan would significantly increase taxes on the overwhelming majority of Americans to pay for huge tax cuts for the very wealthiest Americans.

Since “very high-income households spend only a fraction of their income, while low- and middle-income people spend all or most of what they make,” wrote Leonard E. Burman of the Tax Policy Center, under Huckabee’s plan, “tax burdens on middle-income households would surely rise while high-income families would get a big tax cut.”

Despite such a radical proposal, Huckabee still markets himself as the defender of the working class against the wealthy elite, even as he promises to raise taxes on the working class and deliver a massive tax cut the rich.

Trump is no different.

Trump claims that he wants to raise taxes on the rich, when in fact his tax plan does the exact opposite.

Under Trump’s massive $12 trillion tax plan, “the top 1 percent of Americans will receive an average tax break of $227,000 per year while the bottom 20 percent will receive an average tax cut of only $250,” according to Citizens for Tax Justice, which found that “the majority of Trump’s tax cut would go to the top five percent of taxpayers.”

But the biggest winners of Trump’s tax cut won’t be the top five percent. They won’t even be the top one percent.

“[T]he benefits would be overwhelmingly skewed to the highest-income taxpayers, with those in the top 0.1 percent (who make $3.7 million or more) getting an average tax cut of more than $1.3 million,” says Howard Gleckman of the Tax Policy Center.



The supposedly populist candidate also promises to pay off the entire $19 trillion national debt in just eight years — “very easy” — but one estimate found that his huge tax cut for the rich alone will grow the debt by almost 80 percent.

Just fulfilling his pledge to balance the budget would be mathematically impossible under the proposal he has laid out to do so.

Trump also boasts that he is boycotting Apple, Ford and Nabisco for building factories outside of the U.S., often bragging that he will never eat an Oreo ever again. And yet Trump has personally invested in all of those companies.

Huckabee and Trump, nonetheless, continue to claim the “populist” mantle. 

It may be their greatest swindle yet.

Steve Deace Promises To 'Troll Like A Mother' Against Mike Huckabee And Other Trump Endorsers

Iowa talk radio host Steve Deace, who has become a vocal player in the state’s Republican politics, renounced his Republican Party membership following Donald Trump’s apparent victory in the party’s presidential nominating contest, and is determined that none of his former Religious Right allies will get away with backing the thrice-married mogul.

On Wednesday, after Deace’s chosen candidate, Ted Cruz, dropped out of the presidential race, Deace blasted former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee — whom he campaigned for in Iowa in 2008 —  for endorsing Trump.

“Donald Trump has done us a favor, it appears, in pruning off all of the rotten fruit off of the tree,” Deace’s cohost Aaron McIntire said.

“I am going to troll like a mother the next few months, though, I’m going to do that,” Deace promised. “I am. Huckabee and all these guys, I’m going to scorched-earth them all and I’m going to enjoy doing it, actually. Maybe more than I should.”

True to his word, Deace spent several minutes on his program today trolling Huckabee for backing Trump.

In 2008, Deace said, he helped pick the former governor “up off the dirt floor at negative nine percent, when nobody knew how to pronounce your name or that funny-sounding Baptist college you came from” and “risked my job, put my family on the road, became a six-month infomercial on your candidacy.” He claimed he also did the opposition research that “you didn’t have the balls nor the money to do” on Mitt Romney, who came in second to Huckabee in that year’s caucuses.

“So I think it is only fitting, gentlemen, it is only poetic that Mike Huckabee brought me into this world and is now ushering me out,” he said. “We have come full circle.”

Huckabee, Deace said, is pandering to Trump in a futile hope “to get a sell-out, which makes it all the more pathetic”

'Stupid Party' Slayer Bobby Jindal Endorses Donald Trump

In 2012, then-Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal urged the GOP to “stop being the stupid party” and end its embrace of “dumbed-down conservatism.”

Last night, Jindal endorsed Donald Trump for president.

Before announcing his support for Trump, Jindal declared that Trump is a “narcissistic,” “dangerous” and “unstable” “egomaniacal madman” who is lying about his conservative and Christian beliefs.

Jindal may be excited about the fact that Trump has embraced much of his extremist fiscal policies, such as his massive tax cuts for the top 1 percent that left Louisiana in disarray, and that the two share conspiracy theories about Common Core, the supposed persecution of Christians in America and Islam.

Joining Jindal in supporting Trump is former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who went after Ted Cruz for failing to tithe to his church and obfuscating about his marriage position during his White House run, and even including one last dig against Cruz in his statement supporting Trump.

Donald Trump broke the code, owned the media, and inspired the masses. I will be all in to help him defeat Hillary Clinton and I call upon all fellow Republicans to unite in defeating Hillary and abandoning and repudiating the hapless “Never Trump” nonsense. The dirty little secret is that the Never Trump movement was more about providing high dollar work for the political consultants than stopping the disaster of an Obama third term which is the result of electing Hillary Clinton.

Is Donald Trump as pro-life as me? No. Is he as solid on the marriage issue as me? No. Does his position on Israel come from a deep conviction both politically and Biblically? No. But neither did Ted Cruz’s. And much to my chagrin, the voters didn’t accept my message, but his. I withheld an endorsement during the heat of the primary because it was the job of the voters to select the person they wanted more than me.

All of the giddy speculation from the media about a “contested convention” is for naught. We will go to Cleveland with a presumptive nominee, and we will realize that whatever squabbles we have among people in the GOP, it’s nothing compared to the chasm between us and the socialist, big government approach of the Democrats.

Ted Cruz ended his campaign and it’s time to end the strife in the party. That can start today with our unifying around the people’s choice, Donald Trump. I went into the race knowing Hillary better than the other 16 candidates. I left still knowing her better, but also knowing the other GOP candidates. I’m convinced that Donald Trump is our best hope of turning the tide of the insider political nonsense that has left people seething and being able to defeat Hillary.

Ted Cruz was half right in his campaign speeches when he said that “conservatives are coalescing.” In the end, they coalesced, all right, but around Donald Trump.

Who Could Trump Pick As His VP? There Are So Many Terrible Options!

With Ted Cruz announcing yesterday that Carly Fiorina will be his running mate in his increasingly difficult path to the GOP presidential nomination, we thought it might be time for Donald Trump to start thinking about who he wants as his vice president.

Here are just a few options:

1) Chris Christie

Following his victory in five states on Tuesday, Trump suggested that he would consider naming New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who was standing by his side and trying his best not to look like a hostage, as his running mate.

Trump would have to overlook the Fort Lee highway lane closure scandal, better known as Bridgegate, that weighed down Christie’s unsuccessful presidential campaign.

As we noted before Christie jumped into the presidential race, under his leadership “New Jersey experienced multiple credit downgrades, regular budget shortfalls, a failed pension reform plan, fiscal mismanagement that benefited political donors, anemic job growth, a transit funding scandal and mishandling of Hurricane Sandy recovery money.”

Trump would also have to try to restrain himself from continuing to insult the governor, something he has had a problem doing even after Christie endorsed him.

2) Scott Brown

Trump has also floated former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown as a potential running mate.

“Vice president — hey, that sounds like it could, hey, hey, very good,” Trump said. “Hey, you know what? And he’s central casting. Look at that guy. Central casting.”

Brown, who lost his race for re-election against Elizabeth Warren and later ran unsuccessfully against Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in New Hampshire, was one of Trump’s most prominent endorsers and media surrogates before the New Hampshire contest.

His colleagues at Fox News — which has frequently run glowing profiles of the former senator — have also encouraged Trump to pick him as his running mate.

Brown has at least one thing in common with Trump: they have both pushed quack medical cures; Trump with his failed multilevel marketing company and Brown with his email list, which once promoted “an outlet that touts shady products like Alzheimer's disease cures and Social Security tricks.” Brown later said that he did not approve of the email although, as Media Matters reports, he also rented his list to a dubious group “promising to show readers a ‘Weird Trick’ that ‘adds $1,000 to Your Social Security Checks!’”

The two also have a tendency to create anti-immigrant conspiracy theories (Brown once warned of Ebola-infected immigrants easily walking across the U.S. border with Mexico), going to great lengths to avoid answering basic questions and creating awkward situations with women.

One problem for Brown, however, is that he is pro-choice, unlike the famously pro-life Donald Trump.

3) Scott DesJarlais

Scott DesJarlais is one of the few members of Congress to endorse Trump, and the Tennessee Republican will surely help Trump win over women voters.

Before running for Congress as a “pro-life” and “pro-family” Republican, “DesJarlais, a physician, pressured a patient who was his mistress to get an abortion. It was later revealed that the pro-life congressman had approved of his first wife having two abortions, and that he’d had sex with at least two patients.” He also had affairs with “three coworkers and a drug representative,” and was later fined for violating medical ethics.

DesJarlais’ ex-wife also accused him of “dry firing a gun outside the Plaintiff's locked bedroom door, [admitting] suicidal ideation, holding a gun in his mouth for three hours, an incident of physical intimidation at the hospital; and previous threatening behavior ... i.e. shoving, tripping, pushing down, etc.”

4) Jeff Sessions

Trump has said that he would like to pick an insider as his vice president, so why not go with his sole Senate endorser and “Washington gatekeeper” Jeff Sessions?

The Alabama Republican helped craft Trump’s plan to deport all undocumented immigrants living in the U.S., as well as his proposal to destroy the Mexican economy by blocking remittances in order to force Mexico to pay for the border wall.

Sessions has also defended Trump’s proposal to ban the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims from entering the U.S. and similarly expressed doubt climate science with his own bizarre reasoning.

5) Mike Huckabee

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has been a relentless defender of Trump throughout the campaign, frequently attacking Ted Cruz while praising the billionaire mogul. Trump even hired Huckabee’s daughter as an adviser after the former governor’s own presidential bid ended.

The two have their differences: While Trump mostly directs his bigotry towards immigrants and Muslims, Huckabee keeps LGBT people as his main target.

While the folksy Southern Baptist minister may not share many of Trump’s personality traits, he does at least share Trump’s proclivity for anti-Obama conspiracy theories and patronizing language towards women .

6) Ben Carson

After endorsing Trump’s candidacy, Ben Carson has emerged as one of his worst campaign surrogates.

Nonetheless, there are numerousreports that Carson isactively lobbying for a slot on the ticket.

Carson, like Trumphas a gift for grifting and making mystifying, bigoted statements.

Trump may be wary, however, because Carson believes that God was behind his own, failed presidential campaign.

Bonus: Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin is one of Trump’s earliest endorsers and most loyal surrogates, thanking God for his candidacy and hailing him for standing up to “all that petty, punk-ass, little thuggery stuff.” She even defended him when he attacked John McCain, who named Palin as his running mate in 2008, for being a prisoner of war, saying that Trump is a hero for criticizing the Obama administration’s handling of immigration and economic policy.

It was also at a Trump rally where Palin suggested that President Obama shares some of the blame for her son’s arrest for domestic assault.

Trump has said that he would consider appointing Palin to a position in his administration because “she really is somebody who knows what’s happening and she’s a special person, she’s really a special person and I think people know that.”

Seeing that she already ran for vice president once before, Palin is clearly ready for the campaign.

After all, what could go wrong?

The 10 Craziest Right-Wing Attacks On Beyoncé

Following the release of Beyoncé’s new album “Lemonade,” far-right commentators went on the attack. For years, the singer has drawn the ire of conservatives from Mike Huckabee to Alex Jones, who have responded to her music with bizarre conspiracy theories and irrational anger.

In honor of Beyoncé’s new album, we’ve collected 10 of the Right’s craziest attacks on her.

1) Brain-eating CIA Plant

InfoWars host and Donald Trump ally Alex Jones made waves this week when he told his fans that Beyoncé is participating in a CIA plan to spur violence and mayhem in order to give the federal government a justification for taking over local police forces.

InfoWars dubbed the plot “the Beyoncé ‘urban terrorism’ psy-op.”

Jones told his listeners that Beyoncé is a “devil-worshiping” musician who “acts like a psychopath” and whose music is “designed to absolutely ruin [children’s] lives on purpose.”

He even went so far as to plead with black people to “stop killing your kids and get them in church, whatever, take them away from Beyoncé, who wants to eat their brain with the CIA, literally.”

2) ‘Toxic Mental Poison’

Before deciding to run for president, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee released a book titled “God, Guns, Grits and Gravy,” in which he criticized President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama for letting their children listen to Beyoncé, calling the musician out for her “obnoxious and toxic mental poison in the form of song lyrics.” He also compared Beyoncé to a prostitute.

Despite chastising Beyoncé for her sexual lyrics, Huckabee seemed to have no problem performing a sexually explicit song with Ted Nugent, a musician not exactly known for his wholesomeness, on his Fox News program, “Huckabee.”

Huckabee defended himself by falsely claiming that Nugent “changed the lyrics pretty dramatically when he sang it on the stage that time.” However, anyone who watches the program can clearly see Huckabee accompanying Nugent while he sings about how he can “make the pussy purr.”

3) Possessed By The Devil

American Family Radio host Bryan Fischer said that Beyoncé used “a number of Satanic symbols” in her 2013 Super Bowl performance, claiming that her “facial features changed” and “she had this look on her face — she went from being the girl next door and light and bubbly to something dark and malevolent.”

Fischer concluded that Beyoncé is possessed by the devil and that her alter ego Sasha Fierce is “a demonic spirit.”

4) Like Someone In An Insane Asylum

Kevin Swanson, the radically anti-gay pastor courted by Ted Cruz, arrived at a similar conclusion as Fischer, telling listeners to his “Generations Radio” program in 2014 that Sasha Fierce is a demonic entity.

“That’s multiple personality or that’s demon possession or that’s psychosis,” he said of Beyoncé. “People used to have to be taken off to insane asylums if they introduced other characters in their lives, these are people who are going to wind up in insane asylums, mental institutes for things like demon possession or psychosis.”

5) Like A Ku Klux Klan Member

When Beyoncé performed at this year’s Super Bowl, Fox News’ favorite sheriff, David Clarke of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, said that while he is someone who tries not “to overreact to things,” he was so upset by Beyoncé’s performance that he compared it to “a white band” performing “in hoods and white sheets.”

6) Race War

Tomi Lahren of Glenn Beck’s The Blaze joined the chorus of Beyoncé critics by slamming the musician for “ramrodding an aggressive agenda down our throats” at the Super Bowl.

“You’re just like President Obama, Jada Pinkett Smith, Al Sharpton and so many others just can’t let America heal, keep ripping off the historical Band-Aid,” she said. “Why be a cultural leader when you can play the victim, right?”

Lahren was particularly upset that Beyoncé tried to “perpetuate the great battle of the races” when her “husband was a drug dealer.” “Talk about protecting black neighborhoods? Start at home,” she said.

7) Paving The Way For The Antichrist

Sandy Rios of the American Family Association and American Family Radio was appalled by Beyoncé’s “Formation” music video, calling it “disgusting” and “crass, crass, crass.”

“It’s not only stoking the fires of racism, just stoking hatred, black hatred towards whites and towards policemen, it’s also just crass sexually. It’s like you need a bath. What is this beautiful girl doing, doing this?” she asked.

Rios eventually concluded that Beyoncé’s “in-your-face black racism” and “cop hatred” will “undermine the law and order of our country.”

And this descent “into lawlessness,” Rios explained, is “a sign of the Last Days” and the coming of the “Man of Lawlessness,” or the Antichrist.

“The Man of Lawlessness will reign,” she said. “Lawlessness, the breakdown in respect and honor. And so Beyoncé, who could be such an example to women everywhere, and I don’t care black or white, conducting herself with dignity with all that God has given her, her beauty and her natural talents, instead twisting it into something that is very ugly and very profane.”

8) An Attack On Police Officers

Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani couldn’t resist disparaging Beyoncé’s “outrageous” and “terrible” Super Bowl show, claiming that she was putting black lives and law enforcement officers at risk when she used the event “as a platform to attack police officers.”

9) Promotes Sex Trafficking And Death

Conservative author Larry Tomczak published a rather negative review of “Lemonade” this week:

This idol is not a "role model" for our youth, and this misdirected honor needs to end.

Her new album Lemonade is scandalous. One song titled "Hold Up" features her as a rage-filled maniac brandishing a baseball bat while smiling children watch. In her rampage, she smashes car windows, destroys automobiles, explodes a fire hydrant, busts business windows and obliterates a police surveillance camera. Fires erupt as she spits out expletives in vengeful glee.

This is disgraceful conduct, and her placement in the "Parthenon of Superstar Idols" needs to come down. This isn't entertainment, it's an outrage, and it's idolatry if we justify it. Our impressionable children are at stake.

“Pray for Beyoncé as she spirals out of control,” he continued. “Let's learn lessons from the demise of American Idol, Bowie and Prince.”

Back in 2014, Tomczak claimed that Beyoncé’s music would “lead naive young girls on a dangerous path that could lead some even into sex trafficking” and ultimately “abuse, abortions and abasement — sometimes death.”

10) ‘Urban Terrorist’

Leave it to Matt Drudge to accuse Beyoncé of being an “urban terrorist” because of her music video “Hold Up.”

Mike Huckabee Praises Trump's 'Shrewd Plan' To Squeeze Mexico By Punishing Immigrants

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who after dropping out of the GOP presidential race started shilling for his former rival Donald Trump, is praising Trump’s “shrewd plan” to make Mexico pay for a border wall by cutting off the money that immigrants send to their families.

Huckabee told Newsmax’s Steve Malzberg yesterday that Trump’s plan was “shrewd” and that it is “entirely possible” that it would work.

To Trump’s haters, he said: “One thing you have to realize, Donald Trump has been very, very smart in his business career by winning negotiated battles over everything from zoning to construction. You don’t get to be who he is and where he is without having some really, really shrewd, clever ideas about getting what you want.”

Mike Huckabee Returns The Favor, Endorses Janet Porter For State Senate In Ohio

Back before he dropped out of the presidential race, Mike Huckabee spent an a lot of time blasting the Religious Right for failing to support his campaign as most of the movement leaders lined up behind Ted Cruz, while he was reduced to scrounging up endorsements from fringe candidates like Janet Porter.

Porter has long been an ardent Huckabee supporter, so it was no surprise to see Huckabee eagerly welcome her support, despite her radical views and long history of promoting bizarre conspiracy theories, ranging from warning that President Obama would orchestrate food shortages to starve conservatives to death to speculating that Obama would use swine flu fears as an excuse to lock conservatives up in prison camps.

She also released an insane anti-gay movie last year in which Huckabee was prominently featured.

Porter, of course, is currently running her own campaign for elected office in Ohio and Huckabee has now returned the favor by releasing a video endorsing her bid for a seat in the state senate:

Steve Deace: Cruz Campaign Overcame 'Spiritual Warfare' To Win Iowa

Earlier today, Sandy Rios and Steve Deace, two conservative talk show hosts who have endorsed Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign, spoke on Rios’ morning radio show about their candidate’s victory in last night’s Iowa caucuses.

Deace, who is based in Iowa, spent much of his time lashing out at Gov. Terry Branstad, Donald Trump, Sen. Marco RubioSen. Rand Paul, Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee for their criticism of Cruz.

Deace said “the extreme amount of bitterness” from the Huckabee, Paul and Santorum campaigns “toxified the atmosphere,” charging that their supporters were “calling people liars and, ‘You’re sell-outs,’ and ‘You’re not real Christians.’”

“I don’t want to necessarily get metaphysical but there was real spiritual warfare happening,” Deace said.

“This was more than just a political victory last night, this was a spiritual one,” he said, “and there’s a reason why Sen. Cruz, one of the first things when he took to the stage last night was ‘to God be the glory.’ I’ve never seen a candidate or a campaign have to wade through so much misleading and false material as he did the last few weeks.”

Deace said that the media, including Fox News, “fired every single bullet” at Cruz and accused Branstad of issuing “a kill order against Ted Cruz over ethanol.”

But Deace reserved his greatest fury for Huckabee, taking issue with the 2008 caucus victor’s efforts to question Cruz’s faith because the Texas senator doesn’t tithe and once seemed to downplay his opposition to gay marriage at a New York fundraiser:

Mike Huckabee ran ads in Iowa that literally called Ted Cruz a fake Christian. I’ve never seen anything like it. It was heinous, it was despicable and he ought to be ashamed. I don’t know what else to say. He’s a 60-year-old man and a former pastor and it’s just shameful. I understand being disappointed, Sandy, but the people of this state made Mike Huckabee a very wealthy man, they made him a very successful man, multiple New York Times best-sellers, five years in a row he was on Fox every night, built himself and his family a really nice beachfront home down there in Florida. And how did he do it? Because over 40,000 Iowans went through this for Mike Huckabee eight years ago. Fox and the machine said he couldn’t win and he wasn’t any good, and they did what they thought was right then and life has been pretty good.

And I say this as someone that knows Mike and likes him, I’ve been about as disappointed with Mike Huckabee and his antics for the last few weeks as I’ve ever been with a believer in the civic arena. Particularly in a small state like ours, Sandy, that has been a very huge blessing to him and to toxify the atmosphere the way that he did down the stretch — we saw a lot of men, from Mike Huckabee to Rand Paul to Rick Santorum, really reveal through adversity that the attacks they made on Sen. Cruz, ‘He’s not ready,’ ‘He’s immature,’ ‘He’s not authentic,’ that maybe we see through a mirror darkly and we ought to be looking at our own reflection first before we use a political campaign to cast aspersions on the spirituality of a fellow believer like that.

You want to rip each other’s spleens out over the issues? Hey, that’s why they play the games, and it’s good preparation for what you’ll face from the Democrats. But I thought that was just absolutely heinous. If you want to know why Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum and Rand Paul got a combined six percent last night among them? It’s because Iowans just really turned on them for the way they behaved.

Mike Huckabee Quits Presidential Race, Can Now Spend More Time Peddling Bogus Diabetes Cures

Mike Huckabee suspended his campaign last night after winning the support of less than two percent of Iowa caucus-goers.

But even before he officially dropped out of the race, the former Arkansas governor and 2008 caucus winner had begun lashing out at the Religious Right leaders who had almost completely coalesced behind Ted Cruz.

After all, Huckabee had vowed to outlaw abortion with a sweeping presidential decree, promised to defy the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling before it criminalized Christianity and destroyed America, and literally turned Kentucky clerk Kim Davis’ release from detention into a campaign rally, volunteering to go to jail on her behalf. The former Arkansas governor even pledged to boycott Doritos because the company released rainbow-colored chips benefiting an LGBT suicide prevention group and starred in a bizarre anti-gay film.

Nonetheless, Cruz captured most of the momentum on the Religious Right, offering similar promises to flout the Supreme Court on gay marriage and ban abortion, although Huckabee tried to attack him as a tithe-withholding phony.

But Huckabee’s loss won’t prevent him from leaving a legacy as a mean-spirited politician who tried to advance his political career by bashing gay peoplemocking transgender youth and spouting apocalyptic rhetoric.

At least Huckabee has a fallback career advertising fraudulent “cures” to diabetesAlzheimer’s and cancer.

Rand Paul Reintroduces Radical 'Personhood' Bill, Attempts To Sidestep Birth Control Controversy

Last week, Sen. Rand Paul reintroduced his “Life at Conception Act,” an attempt to ban all abortion by granting legal “personhood” to zygotes and fetuses from “the moment of fertilization,” all without needing a constitutional amendment or Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade. Paul has been a staunch backer of such personhood efforts despite once claiming that he didn’t support “changing any of the laws” on abortion “until the country is persuaded otherwise.”

The bill Paul introduced last week varies slightly from the one he first introduced in 2013, specifically stating that it shouldn’t be construed as “a prohibition on in vitro fertilization, or a prohibition on use of birth control or another means of preventing fertilization.” 

Personhood measures have been widely criticized for vague wording that could put legal birth control at risk, a concern that Paul appears to attempt to put at rest in the new bill. But that would all depend on what counts as protected birth control under the bill. Would IUDs, which could possibly prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg, be protected? What about the morning-after pill or hormonal contraception bills, which some anti-choice groups claim, with little evidence, could do the same thing? Some anti-choice activists claim that some or all of these constitute abortion, not birth control … notably the plaintiffs in the Hobby Lobby case, whose cause Paul enthusiastically supported.

It’s especially interesting that Paul attempts to avoid the growing controversy within the anti-abortion movement about in-vitro fertilization and the rights that should be granted to the excess frozen embryos that are often a byproduct of the process. It’s unclear if Paul is saying that embryos that are the result of in-vitro fertilization should not be granted the personhood rights that his bill would grant to all other embryos or if the bill would simply require that those embryos never be destroyed.

Both Paul’s 2013 bill and his 2016 version state that they shouldn’t “be construed to require the prosecution of any woman for the death of her unborn child,” an important exemption because under such a law, ending a pregnancy at any stage would be the legal equivalent of murder. Already, an experiment in personhood-style laws in Alabama has led to the arrests of hundreds of women for using drugs while pregnant or otherwise contributing to the “chemical endangerment” of a fetus.

All of this, of course, is purely hypothetical at this point. Paul's bill is the product of a theory, which is controversial even within the anti-abortion movement, that there is a magic loophole in Roe v. Wade that would allow legal abortion to come tumbling down if Congress were simply to define fertilized eggs as “persons” under the law. Most likely, however, such a strategy would collapse in the courts: One prominent anti-choice attorney has called the personhood loophole an “urban legend.”

That’s not to say that Paul’s strategy doesn’t have support. His fellow Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has been talking up the personhood strategy on the campaign trail, saying that he would simply issue a decree as president that there would be “no more abortion” in America. Ted Cruz has quietly pledged to support personhood measures and said late last year that a personhood strategy to avoid Roe would “absolutely” work. Marco Rubio has hinted at a personhood strategy, but not explicitly embraced it.

Paul’s bill has six Senate cosponsors and a similar bill (without the exceptions for birth control and IVF) has 132 cosponsors in the House.

Ted Cruz Discovers The Perils Of Running For President As God's Anointed Candidate

Ted Cruz has come under fire from Mike Huckabee and a super PAC linked to Huckabee’s campaign for his failure to tithe sufficiently, an awkward political attack at a time when Cruz is boasting of his own personal religiosity in an effort to coalesce evangelical support behind his candidacy.

Cruz has tried to portray himself as the official candidate of Christians whom God is using to save America, urging his followers to “strap on the full armor of God” and “awaken and energize the body of Christ” to elect him president.

He explained to David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network that he didn’t tithe because he was “newly married” and “just started a family.” However, as Mediaite pointed out, Cruz has been financially well-off for years.

One of the people who believes Cruz is on a God-appointed mission to become president is his father, Rafael Cruz, a top campaign surrogate and fiery preacher of bunk Christian nationalist history and anti-gay rhetoric who speaks about his son in almost messianic terms. Interestingly enough, as BuzzFeed pointed out, he has also “preached fervently to evangelical crowds about the blessings God will rain down on those who tithe mightily.”

Indeed, the elder Cruz has told crowds that God will withhold blessings from those who don’t tithe because they are stealing from Him. In a 2012 sermon dug up by Warren Throckmorton today, Rafael Cruz said that Satan would come after all those who fail to tithe and that financial struggle is no excuse not to do so.

The first thing I ask someone that comes to me and asks me, ‘Oh, I need you to pray for my finances because I don’t have enough, I can’t pay my rent,’ first thing I ask is, ‘Are you tithing?’ If you’re not, why should God bless you? You read Malachi 3:7, he says if you’re not tithing, you’re stealing from God. Why should God bless you?

So when you don’t have any money, that’s when it is the most important that the first thing you do is an offering unto the Lord because that offering sanctifies the rest and opens up the windows of heaven. As a matter of fact, Malachi 3:11 says that when you do that, he rebukes the Devourer. But you know, the opposite is also true. If you do not do it, the Devourer is going to eat everything you’ve got. And you know, ‘If God is for you then who can be against you?’

While whether or not a candidate tithes normally wouldn’t be a matter of discussion on the campaign trail, Cruz has forced the issue by trying to tell voters that they should vote for him if they want to be on the right side of God.

“By fashioning himself as the candidate of ‘the body of Christ,’ Cruz is trying to make it seem that he is the candidate of Christians writ large, when there are millions of American Christians who don't agree with Cruz's take on biblical values or politics,” our colleague Peter Montgomery has written. “This kind of rhetoric also sends a clear message to non-Christians that Cruz sees them as some kind of lesser Americans who have no real role in building our shared future.”

Mike Huckabee Touts Support From Another Extremist Pastor

Yesterday, Mike Huckabee tweeted an endorsement of his presidential candidacy from pastor Steven Andrew, which Andrew had posted on Christian News Wire:

While Huckabee thanked Christian News Wire, which just posts press releases from different groups and activists, the statement actually came from Andrew.

In his press release, titled “5 Reasons Why Mike Huckabee is #1 for Traditional Marriage,” Andrew warned that “Christians could be jailed with Donald Trump, Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, Carly Fiorina, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders or Joe Biden. The reason is they think same-sex marriage is law.”

“We know the founders made homosexual sin illegal so God would bless the USA,” he continued. “They would agree with Huckabee and no one else.”

Last year, Andrew suggested that God was supporting Huckabee’s campaign, explaining that “voting for Huckabee will bring God's economic recovery and protection, since God rewards obedience.” He claimed in 2012 that God was backing Rick Santorum because President Obama and Mitt Romney worship “demons,” elaborating in a “God’s State of the Union” address that he delivered last year that Obama wants “to follow Satan” by “forcing people to have death panels” and promoting “homosexual sin.” Andrew even called for a boycott of Nike, Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Starbucks because of their support for marriage equality, accusing the companies of “doing the devil’s work” and “leading people to sin and to possibly go to hell.”

He reacted to the Supreme Court’s “unAmerican and unconstitutional” decision to strike down bans on same-sex marriage by asserting that “the court is committing treason” and warning that “history shows that no homosexual societies remain because the Supreme Judge has destroyed them for rebellion.”

Andrew would make a great fit for Huckabee’s coalition of “Conservative Christian and family values leaders,” seeing that it already includes some of the country’s most radical anti-gay activists and End Times preachers .

Right Wing Round-Up - 1/27/16

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 1/27/16

  • Glenn Beck warns that Donald Trump is a "pathological narcissistic sociopath" and says that people should listen to him because he accurately predicted 9/11, the 2008 economic crisis and the rise of the caliphate.
  • Speaking of Beck, Alex Jones is convinced that Beck is trying to "get rid of me and steal my identity."
  • Mike Huckabee apparently thinks that making an Iowa-centric parody of Adele's "Hello" is going to boost him to victory in next week's caucuses.
  • On a related note, Steven Anderson says that only Huckabee can stop God from destroying America: "Voting Huckabee for president means God won't remove the USA in judgment for our sins."
  • In announcing his campaign for a state senate seat, Gordon Klingenschmitt claims that he is a college professor.
  • Finally, Klingenschmitt has thrown his support behind fellow radical right-wing activist Janet Porter in her own run for state office in Ohio.

Seven GOP Candidates Seek To Out-Pander One Another In Courting The Religious Right

Last week, we noted that several Republican presidential candidates were scheduled to participate in a "Free to Believe" broadcast hosted by notorious anti-gay activists Rick Scarborough, who claims that HIV/AIDS is God's punishment for homosexuality and that gay parents are sending their kids to hell, and Tony Perkins, who says gay people are pawns of the Devil who want to "recruit" children.

On her program last Friday, Rachel Maddow also took note of the fact that the leading 2016 Republican presidential hopefuls had no problem participating in an event organized and co-hosted by an extremist like Scarborough:

The event itself was broadcast on Saturday morning from the headquarters of the Family Research Council, the group led by Perkins, and wound up being four hours of sanctimonious self-pity and mind-numbing dullness interspersed by short videos submitted by Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, Marco Rubio, and Rick Santorum all blatantly pandering to the Religious Right.

After Bush kicked things off by providing a vague promise to be a "strong advocate of religious liberty" as president, Carson turned things up a notch by declaring that "the greatest threat to religious freedom in America today is secular progressivism," as demonstrated by the Supreme Court's gay marriage decision, and vowing that, if elected president, he will work with Congress to pass legislation exempting Christians from having to recognize this decision.

Carson was followed by Cruz, who insisted that Christians "face an unprecedented attack on our first freedom from an aggressive secular state that seeks to push faith out of the public square entirely" and likewise promised that, if elected president, he'll make it his first order of business to see that "the persecution of religious liberty ends today."

Later in the broadcast, Carly Fiorina told those watching that "religious liberty is under assault in our country" and that America needs a leader who will fight to "take our country back." And that leader should be her, Fiorina explained, because "my faith has been tested in good times and in bad and never found wanting."

She was followed by Huckabee, who trotted out his standard campaign promise to simply ignore the Supreme Court's rulings on gay marriage and abortion and essentially outlaw them both through executive action.

Up next, Rubio declared that "it shouldn't surprise us, this all-out assault on our liberties, because we have a president that, when he was a candidate the first time, he said that those of us that have traditional values are bitter people who cling to our guns and to our religion." He went on to promise that, as president, he will proudly "stand up for those" who are called "bigots and haters" for opposing gay marriage and abortion.

Santorum finally closed things out by decrying the "virulent assault" on religious liberty in America as demonstrated by "the lack of tolerance" for those who oppose gay marriage, promising that, as president, he will not only sign the First Amendment Defense Act, but "then we'll move further" and reverse the Supreme Court's gay marriage ruling.

Mike Huckabee: Hillary Clinton May Use Massive Voter Fraud To Win

Mike Huckabee, who in his quest for the GOP presidential nomination has been touting his record of having “consistently fought the Clinton machine” in Arkansas and “lived to tell about it,” spoke with Breitbart News yesterday about how Bill and Hillary Clinton are total liars and how only he has the expertise to defeat them.

After referencing the Monica Lewinski scandal and false and unproven claims about Hillary Clinton’s response to the Benghazi attack, Huckabee floated the prospect of Clinton using voter fraud in order to win the presidential election.

“I always said in Arkansas that I had to get more votes than normal because I had to overcome the cemetery votes,” he said. “One of the reasons I’m a committed Christian is because I believe in the resurrection. I saw it every Election Day, people coming out of the grave to go vote, and if you don’t think voter fraud and every trick and the book will be used, then you have never played in that arena before.”

Five GOP Candidates To Join Pastor Who Says AIDS Is God's Punishment For Gay People

In yet another example of what the Religious Right’s recent focus on “religious liberty” is really about, five Republican presidential candidates are scheduled to speak this weekend at a “religious freedom” event hosted by a conservative pastor who has repeatedly declared that AIDS is God’s punishment for gay people’s “immoral act” and has called for a “class action lawsuit” against homosexuality.

Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina and Mike Huckabee are scheduled to join a “Free to Believe Broadcast” on Saturday, hosted by the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins and Vision America’s Rick Scarborough, two of the most outspoken anti-gay activists in the country.

Both, even while attempting to curtail the rights of LGBT people, have claimed that it is their rights that are being violated by the LGBT movement: Perkins has said that the supposed persecution of anti-gay Christians in America is inspiring ISIS, and Scarborough has declared that he is ready to burn to death in the fight against gay marriage.

But neither Scarborough nor Perkins has ever been particularly interested in a “live and let live” truce with LGBT people.

Scarborough has declared that AIDS, “a homosexual disease,” is God’s “judgment as a result of an immoral act.” Just last year, he repeated his belief that AIDS is “God’s judgment on a sinful generation, adding that “God would probably give us the cure for AIDS today” if the U.S. stopped supporting gay rights:

He also said last year that marriage equality is part of Satan’s effort to “destroy this country,” warning that gay parents will lead their children “into an early grave called hell”:

Scarborough is so concerned about gay people that back in 2013 he brought up the idea of issuing a “class action lawsuit” against homosexuality, much like actions taken against the tobacco industry:

In 2014, Scarborough agreed with Islamic fundamentalists who call America the “Great Satan,” saying that God would be perfectly justified in sending a nuclear bomb to destroy the country because of such sins as President Obama’s appointments of a handful of gay ambassadors:

And that’s just Scarborough. Perkins has a vile anti-gay record of his own, which Brian summarized last month.

Also appearing at the event will be Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver, who has warned that gay people seek to “groom” and “entrap” children, and David and Jason Benham, brothers who became Religious Right martyrs when they lost a TV show they were set to star in after their anti-gay activism came to light.

Cruz might not mind appearing with an activist who has said that God is punishing gay people with AIDS — after all, he has praised Scarborough before and has David Barton, an activist who has said similar things, leading a super PAC in support of his candidacy. Cruz and Huckabee similarly showed their willingness to cozy up to the most radical people in the anti-gay movement when they appeared last year at a conference hosted by Kevin Swanson, who spent much of the event expounding on what he interprets as the Bible’s call for the death penalty for gay people.

But if any of the other candidates have an ounce more shame, they might want to think twice about appearing at Saturday’s event.

Right Wing Round-Up - 1/12/16

Mike Huckabee Touts Endorsements From Anti-Gay Extremists And End Times Fanatics

Just last week, Mike Huckabee was burning bridges with many Religious Right leaders by accusing them of being a bunch of sell-outs and frauds who don't really want to see an end to legal abortion and gay marriage and of having insufficient faith in God, all because they are not backing his presidential campaign. 

But apparently there are still a handful of Religious Right activists who have the virtue and moral fortitude to stand with Huckabee, despite his poor poll numbers, and endorse his candidacy, as reported by CBN's David Brody today:

It’s Iowa or bust for Mike Huckabee and with just a few weeks to go before the big Iowa Caucus, he’s trotting out some key endorsements from notable pro-family conservatives. The Brody File has the exclusive.

Among the group endorsing Huckabee are Dr. Tim LaHaye, minister and author of the New York Times best-selling Left Behind book series; Dr. Jim Garlow, Senior Pastor of SkyLine Church;” Art Ally, founder and president of Timothy Plan, America’s first pro-life and pro-family mutual fund company; Dr. Eric M. Wallace, President & Co-Founder of Freedom’s Journal Institute and Janet Folger Porter, Founder and President Faith2Action. It’s a solid list. 

Religious Right activist Tim LaHaye, of course, is the author of the Left Behind series and an End Times fanatic who has warned that President Obama is trying to destroy America and, as he told Huckabee, is bringing about the Armageddon:

Jim Garlow is an anti-gay activist who played a key role in the passage of California's Proposition 8. He has warned that gay marriage is a "demonic" and satanic force that will destroy America and force Christians underground where they will form a resistance movement in order to save America from the tyranny that is sweeping the nation. He has repeatedly declared that he is willing to die fighting against gay marriage:

Janet Porter, who has long been a vocal supporter of Huckabee's, is also a longtime radical right-wing activist who is now running for a seat in the Ohio state senate. An avowed conspiracy theorist, Porter has spent years warning that Obama would orchestrate food shortages in order to starve conservatives to death while using a swine flu outbreak as an excuse to lock them up in concentration camps. She has also suggested that Obama was raised by Soviet agents since he was a child, would personally negotiate with Osama bin Laden and make sure that people are denied "lifesaving treatment" based on "their political views."

Fortunately for Huckabee, Porter has repeatedly claimed that her prayers put George W. Bush in the White House.

When she is not praying that God will give conservative Christians control over the government and the media, Porter has been busy warning that increasing acceptance of gay rights will turn Christians into criminals who will eventually be rounded up and tossed in jail. This culminated in an anti-gay film she recently produced called "Light Wins" that featured none other than Mike Huckabee, along with several  Republican members of Congress and anti-gay activists who warned that gay activists are "grooming" and endangering children, for which they should be held criminally liable. Huckabee told viewers that gay equality is putting the freedom of religion and speech in jeopardy, which Porter portrayed as a nationwide conflagration:

Mike Huckabee: If College Is Free, Students Will 'Probably Cut Class'

Mike Huckabee returned to the subject of greedy young people wanting government help paying for college in an interview with Iowa radio host Simon Conway yesterday, telling Conway that only he “can speak the common-sense language of the people” and tell them that if college education is free, they won’t appreciate it and will “probably cut class.”

When Conway asked Huckabee about voters wanting “free stuff” from the government, the presidential candidate responded by recalling a conversation that he had had that very day with a “young lady” who wanted “free college.”

I think, ultimately, we have to make the case to the American people. And this is one of the reasons, I feel like, that I would be the best candidate, because I can speak to the common-sense language of the people and explain to them, as I did to a young lady today who asked me, she said, ‘What can you do to maybe see that I can have free college?’

And I said, ‘I would never try to get you free college, because if we gave it to you free when you were 20, you’d be paying for it when you were 30, 40 and 50, and the fact is there’s no such thing as free.’ And I went on to explain to her that if we gave it to you for free, you wouldn’t appreciate it, you’d probably cut class. I’d like to give it to you with a way that if you were willing to serve your country, either in the military or some other way, we would give you credit for that and help you with your educational expenses. But rather than give it to you free, let’s ask of your generation to invest in this country and we’ll be willing to invest in you. But as far as just providing free books and free education and free everything, with $20 trillion of debt, first of all, we financially can’t do it, but it’s not a point of responsibility to do that at all.

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Mike Huckabee Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Thursday 05/19/2016, 12:20pm
Although former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has built a career on a folksy brand of Christian conservatism, it wasn’t all that surprising that he was quick to get behind the presidential candidacy of thrice-married New York billionaire Donald Trump. While many Religious Right leaders have expressed concerns about Trump’s rise to the top of the Republican Party, Huckabee was quick to embrace his former presidential rival, particularly after Trump vanquished Ted Cruz, whom Huckabee had repeatedly attacked as a phony Christian. Despite appearances, Huckabee and Trump have plenty in... MORE >
Miranda Blue, Friday 05/06/2016, 5:19pm
Iowa talk radio host Steve Deace, who has become a vocal player in the state’s Republican politics, renounced his Republican Party membership following Donald Trump’s apparent victory in the party’s presidential nominating contest, and is determined that none of his former Religious Right allies will get away with backing the thrice-married mogul. On Wednesday, after Deace’s chosen candidate, Ted Cruz, dropped out of the presidential race, Deace blasted former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee — whom he campaigned for in Iowa in 2008 —  ... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 05/04/2016, 1:15pm
In 2012, then-Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal urged the GOP to “stop being the stupid party” and end its embrace of “dumbed-down conservatism.” Last night, Jindal endorsed Donald Trump for president. Before announcing his support for Trump, Jindal declared that Trump is a “narcissistic,” “dangerous” and “unstable” “egomaniacal madman” who is lying about his conservative and Christian beliefs. Jindal may be excited about the fact that Trump has embraced much of his extremist fiscal policies, such as his massive tax cuts... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 04/28/2016, 4:20pm
With Ted Cruz announcing yesterday that Carly Fiorina will be his running mate in his increasingly difficult path to the GOP presidential nomination, we thought it might be time for Donald Trump to start thinking about who he wants as his vice president. Here are just a few options: 1) Chris Christie Following his victory in five states on Tuesday, Trump suggested that he would consider naming New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who was standing by his side and trying his best not to look like a hostage, as his running mate. Trump would have to overlook the Fort Lee highway lane closure scandal... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 04/28/2016, 1:55pm
Following the release of Beyoncé’s new album “Lemonade,” far-right commentators went on the attack. For years, the singer has drawn the ire of conservatives from Mike Huckabee to Alex Jones, who have responded to her music with bizarre conspiracy theories and irrational anger. In honor of Beyoncé’s new album, we’ve collected 10 of the Right’s craziest attacks on her. 1) Brain-eating CIA Plant InfoWars host and Donald Trump ally Alex Jones made waves this week when he told his fans that Beyoncé is participating in a CIA plan to spur... MORE >
Miranda Blue, Wednesday 04/06/2016, 12:37pm
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who after dropping out of the GOP presidential race started shilling for his former rival Donald Trump, is praising Trump’s “shrewd plan” to make Mexico pay for a border wall by cutting off the money that immigrants send to their families. Huckabee told Newsmax’s Steve Malzberg yesterday that Trump’s plan was “shrewd” and that it is “entirely possible” that it would work. To Trump’s haters, he said: “One thing you have to realize, Donald Trump has been very, very smart in his business... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 02/16/2016, 2:16pm
Back before he dropped out of the presidential race, Mike Huckabee spent an a lot of time blasting the Religious Right for failing to support his campaign as most of the movement leaders lined up behind Ted Cruz, while he was reduced to scrounging up endorsements from fringe candidates like Janet Porter. Porter has long been an ardent Huckabee supporter, so it was no surprise to see Huckabee eagerly welcome her support, despite her radical views and long history of promoting bizarre conspiracy theories, ranging from warning that President Obama would orchestrate food shortages to starve... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 02/02/2016, 4:40pm
Earlier today, Sandy Rios and Steve Deace, two conservative talk show hosts who have endorsed Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign, spoke on Rios’ morning radio show about their candidate’s victory in last night’s Iowa caucuses. Deace, who is based in Iowa, spent much of his time lashing out at Gov. Terry Branstad, Donald Trump, Sen. Marco Rubio, Sen. Rand Paul, Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee for their criticism of Cruz. Deace said “the extreme amount of bitterness” from the Huckabee, Paul and Santorum campaigns “toxified the atmosphere,... MORE >