Mike Huckabee

The People Have Spoken: Palin in 2012

Gary Bauer reports the shocking news that Sarah Palin is the Religious Right's choice for President in 2012:

My Inbox was overflowing this morning with responses to yesterday’s question on preferred presidential candidates in 2012 – and they are still pouring in. But as my staff worked furiously to sort through the barrage of e-mails, two things stood out.

First, I was surprised by the wide range of names that came back. Granted we asked a very open-ended question, but folks obviously are thinking outside the box and willing to consider many options. Quite a few people insisted on a fresh face, such as Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana, who tied for fifth place with Gov. Tim Pawlenty. Other suggestions included Senators John Thune and Jim DeMint, as well as General David Petraeus.

Nevertheless, the final results were quite surprising. There was a spirited contest for second place with Mike Huckabee edging Mitt Romney, while Newt Gingrich finished fourth. But to say there was a clear favorite is an understatement. In fact, one individual got more votes than the other 23 names combined. If my emails and her book sales are any indication, Sarah Palin has a very bright future indeed!

And it's not just emails to Bauer that Palin dominates, as she's also running away with this OneNewsNow poll:

I think the GOP should just do away with its primary process entirely and simply pick its next presidential candidate based solely on the contents of Gary Bauer's email inbox. 

Of course, in 2000 and 2008, Bauer was John McCain's biggest (and pretty much only) Religious Right supporter... and that didn't work out too well for McCain either time.  

Right Wing Round-Up

Some Things Never Change

Another day, and another warning from Randall Terry that there will be violence if healthcare reform covers abortion:

Nationally known abortion opponent Randall Terry told supporters Tuesday in Granite City that if Congress passes a health care bill that includes federal funding for abortions, it "could trigger violence against people."

Terry is the founder of abortion opposition group Operation Rescue. He spoke outside the Hope Clinic abortion provider in Granite City.

"We fought a war over slavery. We fought a war over a tea tax," Terry said. "What will happen if they take our tax dollars to murder innocent babies?"

And another comparison to the Holocaust from Mike Huckabee:

According to Huckabee, if a culture begins to devalue human life in any way, it becomes harder to draw the line of whose lives are more important. Huckabee said life issues aren’t just issues about abortion. He mentioned end-of-life issues, saying human life needs to be valued “until the moment a life is naturally ended.”

Huckabee drew comparisons to the Holocaust, saying that when Nazis began exterminating Jewish people, “educated scientists, sophisticated and cultured people looked the other way because they thought it didn’t touch them.

“This is why every person must get involved – you have to stand up and speak up or this is what can happen,” he said. “Once a culture begins to devalue human life, it begins to deteriorate.”

Huckabee: "I Regret That I Ever Saw the Name of Maurice Clemmons"

Mike Huckabee has taken to the pages of Newsmax to defend himself against the criticism he has come under, primarily from the Right, over the handling of Maurice Clemmons back when Huckabee was Governor of Arkansas:

There are some glaring facts that some conservative talkers seem to miss:

1. He was never pardoned. Amazingly, that word has been used to describe my actions 9 years ago. He was never even considered for a pardon.

2. The commutation didn’t release him. It made him parole eligible. He had to meet the conditions of parole for the parole board, who in fact paroled him. He had been in prison for 11 years at the time of his release.

3. Despite news reports, there are no records that the prosecutor, law enforcement, the Attorney General, or victims objected to the commutation. The only responses my office had record of during the public comment period were support letters from the trial judge, and members of the community.

4. He was back in prison by 2004 and would have remained there until 2015 due to his parole violations had the prosecutor chosen to properly file the paperwork.

5. The Clemmons of 2000 did not exhibit traits of psychosis and the kind of behavior that he would later express during several arrests in Washington state during the past year.

6. Religion had nothing to do with the commutation. It’s been erroneously expressed that my own personal faith or the claims of faith of the inmate factored into my decision. That is simply not true and nothing in the record even suggests it. The reasons were straightforward -- a unanimous recommendation from the board, support from a trial judge and no objections from officials in a case that involved a 16 year old sentenced to a term that was exponentially longer than similar cases and certainly longer than had he been white, upper middle class, and represented by effective counsel who would have clearly objected to the sentencing. (His race, economic status, or education level are not excuses for his behavior because many people of color who are uneducated and living in abject poverty are civil, trustworthy, and honest to a fault and many well-educated, wealthy, white people are dirtbags -- think Bernie Madoff). But sadly, Arkansas has had numerous instances of disproportionate sentencing in which a probation and fine would be meted out to white upper class kids whose parents were able to obtain the services of excellent defense attorneys, while young black males committing the same crimes and represented by public defenders would end up with inexplicably long prison terms. Blacks comprise 15% of the state’s population, but 50% of the inmate population, some of which is due to the fact that their sentences are often longer and they are less likely to be paroled.

The two professions I value most in our society are soldiers and police officers, with fireman and schoolteachers right behind. Soldiers and police officers are the line between us and anarchy. The death of the four officers in Lakewood should never have happened. I regret that I ever saw the name of Maurice Clemmons and that I commuted his sentence and made him eligible for parole. That is my responsibility and it was based on the evidence before me in 2000. If presented the same facts today, I would have acted in the same manner. But once he violated that parole and his second chance in 2004, he should not have received the treatment he appeared to have received from the Arkansas prosecutor or the officials in Washington, who failed to send him back to prison and who let him go free on bail even after repeated violent outbursts and a rape charge from this past year. I can take responsibility for my actions, but not for the actions of others nor the misinformed words of commentators.

The AFA Turns on Huckabee

Mike Huckabee is already receiving unrelenting criticism from conservatives for granting clemency to Maurice Clemmons back when he was Governor of Arkansas. 

Now it appears as if even the American Family Association has turned against him, judging by this blog post from AFA's Bryan Fischer

If a public servant cannot be trusted with this most basic of all moral responsibilities, how can he be trusted with any other?

We were rightly outraged when President Clinton issued an irresponsible pardon for fraudster financier Marc Rich. But at least nobody died.

The governor has tried to wash his hands of the affair by posting a statement on his website blaming it all on "a series of failures in the criminal justice system in both Arkansas and Washington State," as if he had little or nothing to do with it.

It appears that Governor Huckabee could not be trusted with the power of the pardon as governor. Perhaps he should not be trusted with the power of the pardon as president.

Back in 2007, the AFA's Don Wildmon was one of the first Religious Right leaders to endorse Huckabee's presidential campaign:

If you have not already made a commitment on whom to vote for in the January caucus, I hope you will consider Gov. Mike Huckabee. Let me share with you why I’ve endorsed Gov. Huckabee.

Gov. Huckabee believes in our values. He has spent a lifetime promoting them. We don’t have to go to bed at night wondering where he stands on the life issue or the marriage issue.

The next president will probably appoint three judges to the Supreme Court. With Gov. Huckabee as president, we don’t have to worry about the kind of judges he will nominate.

We will not be embarrassed by his personal life.

He is the person whom all social conservatives can rally around.

The End of Huckabee's Presidential Aspirations?

Over the weekend, Mike Huckabee suggested that he wasn't particularly interested in running for president in 2012, saying that even though he is leading in several polls, he really likes his job at Fox News:

WALLACE: Governor Huckabee, I want to show you a couple of polls that I suspect you already know about, but let’s put them up on the screen.

Seventy percent of Iowa Republicans view you favorably. That is more than any of the other mentioned likely presidential possibilities for 2012. And a national poll of Republicans last month had you in first place -- national poll -- ahead of Romney, and Palin and Gingrich.

So, Governor Huckabee, why wouldn’t you run for president in 2012?

HUCKABEE: Well, there’s obviously a lot of smart people in Iowa and the rest of the country. Let me acknowledge that. But the reason I wouldn’t is because this Fox gig I’ve got right now, Chris, is really, really wonderful.

And you know, it’s easy to say, “Oh, gee, don’t you just want to jump back in it?” But jumping into the pool -- you’ve got to make sure there’s some water in it. And there’s a whole different deal of saying some folks take a poll and whether there’s the financial support.

Howard [Dean] and I have both been there, done that. It’s a wonderful experience. But I am nowhere near ready to say that that’s what I want to do three years from now.

WALLACE: So let me ask you a silly question three years out. What do you -- would you say at this moment are the chances that you will run, 50/50, better, worse, what?

HUCKABEE: It’s hard to say. A lot of it depends on how the elections turn out next year and whether Roger Ailes continues to like my show on the weekends. And if all those things factor in, you know, it’s less likely than more likely, just because I would have to see that the Republicans would be willing to unite behind me.

The last time out, my biggest challenge was with the establishment Republicans who just never showed their support. And while I think a person can possibly win without them, the Republican Party needs to unite if it’s going to win in 2012. And anyone who thinks Barack Obama is an easy mark off, just remember Bill Clinton was just labeled politically dead and came back to win a resounding re-election in 1996.

Given the other tragic event over the weekend, it looks like Huckabee's decision about whether or not to make another run in 2012 might have been made for him:

The man whom police are seeking as a "person of interest" in the slaying of four police officers was released from an Arkansas prison nine years ago after a controversial decision by then-Gov. Mike Huckabee to commute his sentence.

Maurice Clemmons, 37, was identified late Sunday by the Pierce County Sheriff's Office as a man sought for questioning . Clemmons has pending charges in Pierce County Superior Court for second-degree child rape and third-degree assault for an attack on a police officer. He was released from custody in those cases after posting a $150,000 bond, according to the Lakewood Police Department.

Long before coming to Washington, Clemmons was serving a 35-year prison term in Arkansas for armed robbery but his sentence was commuted by then-Gov. Huckabee, who unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination in his 2008 presidential bid, according to the Arkansas Times Web site.

After his release, he committed two armed robberies and other crimes and was sentenced to 10 years, but was later paroled, according to this column in the Arkansas Leader.

HuckPAC has released this statement, saying that if Clemmons is responsible for this crime, laying that fault of the "criminal justice system": 

The senseless and savage execution of police officers in Washington State has saddened the nation, and early reports indicate that a person of interest is a repeat offender who once lived in Arkansas and was wanted on outstanding warrants here and in Washington State. The murder of any individual is a profound tragedy, but the murder of a police officer is the worst of all murders in that it is an assault on every citizen and the laws we live within.

Should he be found to be responsible for this horrible tragedy, it will be the result of a series of failures in the criminal justice system in both Arkansas and Washington State. He was recommended for and received a commutation of his original sentence from 1990, this commutation made him parole eligible and he was then paroled by the parole board once they determined he met the conditions at that time. He was arrested later for parole violation and taken back to prison to serve his full term, but prosecutors dropped the charges that would have held him. It appears that he has continued to have a string of criminal and psychotic behavior but was not kept incarcerated by either state. This is a horrible and tragic event and if found and convicted the offender should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. Our thoughts and prayers are and should be with the families of those honorable, brave, and heroic police officers.

Right Wing Round-Up

Huckabee: A Repeat Performance in 2012?

After his loss in the Republican Primary, Mike Huckabee blasted various leaders in the Religious Right movement for failing to support his campaign, which was really just a continuation of what he had been doing during his campaign.

Since then, in addition to maintaining his relationships with the various second-tier (and increasingly radical) leaders who did support his candidacy, he had been slowly making in-roads with those who had withheld their support.

The underlying issue that had plagued Huckabee during his campaign was that he was opposed by the economic conservative groups like the Club for Growth, which had soured the Religious Right on his prospects.  For all of the influence that the Religious Right wields within the GOP, the fact remains that it is the support of economic conservatives that can make or break a candidate and without that support, essentially no candidate can win the nomination, no matter how strong they may be on the social issues upon which the Religious Right power-brokers stake their claims. 

With that in mind, it looks like Huckabee, should he decide to run for president again, will find himself in the very same situation this time around:

But authenticity isn’t enough, and he’s also been giving thought, and some effort, to the part that failed him in 2008: political organizing.

“It would have to be far more organized and extensive than last time,” he said. “I would not try to go out and operate without the financial support.”

He’s also been meeting, he said, with some of the evangelical and Republican leaders who rejected him before. “In some of their cases, there’s a very different attitude to me now,” he said.

But some attitudes don’t change. Huckabee met in the spring with Pat Toomey, then the president of the Wall Street-backed Club for Growth, which had attacked him during the 2008 campaign for raising taxes in Arkansas.

“It wasn’t very productive,” he said of the meeting. “I realized then that these guys are just what I thought they were — they’re pay for play, and they do it anonymously on behalf of people who don’t want to be known as the funders of these hit operations. I find that repulsive.”

If Huckabee runs again and can't win over groups like Club for Growth, it will be a real test for the Religious Right: will they back the candidate who most closely shares their views and even brags that while other candidates come to them for support, he comes from them, or will they once again waffle and refuse to support him out of fealty to the economic conservatives and fears that he can't win, leaving Huckabee to settle for the fringe second and third stringers who made up the bulk of his support the last time around? 

Right Wing Leftovers

Marco Rubio: The New Doug Hoffman

It looks like the Right, fresh off its "victory" in backing Doug Hoffman in New York, is now focusing its attention on the Florida Senate primary race between Gov. Charlie Crist and right-wing darling Marco Rubio.

Mike Huckabee endorsed Rubio months ago and he's already received support from the National Review. Now the Club for Growth is getting involved in the race:

The Club for Growth took a major step Thursday toward backing Marco Rubio in Florida’s GOP Senate primary, launching an ad against Gov. Charlie Crist.

The ad criticizes Crist for saying this week that he didn’t, in fact, support President Barack Obama’s stimulus plan.

“Since Charlie Crist helped pass Barack Obama’s spending program, nearly 200,000 Floridians have lost their jobs,” the ad states. “Unemployment is the highest in decades. Personal income’s down. And the deficit in Washington is three times larger.”

The ad is not yet on TV but is slated for an ad buy, a Club spokesman said.

And today, the Family Research Council Action PAC officially endorsed Rubio as well:

Today FRC Action PAC, the political action committee connected to Family Research Council Action, is endorsing Marco Rubio for the U.S. Senate representing Florida. Tony Perkins, President of FRC Action, made the following statement:

"Marco Rubio has been a true friend of the family and the culture of life as a state legislator in Florida. Senators who will fight to defend the family against the radical leadership in the Senate are crucial to the future of our country.

"Rep. Rubio has fought to protect mothers and their unborn children. He supported pro-life legislation that would require doctors to complete ultrasounds before performing abortions thus giving the mother an opportunity to assess the consequences of her actions. Rep. Rubio also understands the importance of adult stem cell research in treating patients. He also endorsed legislation to ensure that taxpayers aren't forced to fund embryonic stem cell research.

"Rep. Rubio knows how taxes and out-of-control government spending burden our families. We believe he will stand up to the White House and Senate leadership as they attempt to saddle our children and grandchildren with an overwhelming mountain of debt.

"Rep. Rubio's many years of advocacy on behalf of pro-family causes will serve him well in the Senate. FRC Action PAC believes that Marco Rubio will be a true advocate for the issues that best uphold and strengthen families. We are proud to support his candidacy," concluded Perkins.

Ralph Reed Is Back In Business

Yesterday we noted that Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom Coalition has been extremely active in mobilizing conservative voters ahead of Virginia's election and had even gotten Sarah Palin to record a robocall on its behalf.

Today, via the Brody File, we find out that Reed has also gotten Mike Huckabee to do the same:

We told you yesterday that former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin recorded a phone message encouraging Virginians to get out and vote on Tuesday.

Now, we have learned that a conservative group affiliated with former Christian Coalition founder Ralph Reed asked both Palin and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee to make calls to nearly 700,000 voters in Virginia.

The Huckabee calls were made Saturday and the Palin calls were made Sunday and today.

You can hear the Huckabee calls here:

Hello, this is Mike Huckabee and I'm calling to urge you to go to the polls Tuesday and vote for the candidates who reflect your values. Virginia, and America, are at a crossroads. The future of our nation is at stake, and on the issue of taxes and spending, the sanctity of life, and marriage, there are very clear choices.  Be an informed and educated voter and be sure and vote your values this Tuesday.  Thank You. Paid for by the Virginia Faith and Freedom Coalition.

At the Last Minute, Huckabee Suddenly Becomes a Hoffman Booster

Last week we noted that while just about every right-wing leader had endorsed Doug Hoffman's campaign for the House seat in NY-23 over the Republican candidate Dede Scozzafava, Mike Huckabee was one notable exception. Huckabee's refusal to take sides on this issue was not playing well with conservative activists, but now that Scozzafava has dropped out, Huckabee has suddenly become an ardent supporter of Hoffman's campaign:

We commend Dede Scozzafava for stepping aside and in light of her very unselfish announcement, we join the RNC and other Republicans in urging support for Doug Hoffman.

And his HuckPAC has announced that getting Hoffman elected is one of its top priorities:

This Tuesday voters will head to the polls and cast votes for three very important candidates: Bob McDonnell (candidate for Virginia Governor) and David Harmer and Doug Hoffman candidates for Congress in California and New York. We need to help get each of these fine men elected.

We are past the point where a donation to their campaign will matter that much, what we need now is to reach as many voters as possible within the next 36 hours and let them know Americans are focused on helping elect elect Bob McDonnell, David Harmer and Doug Hoffman.

Today I am emailing to ask if you will take a moment now to make phone calls to voters. We have set up phone banks for Bob McDonnell and David Harmer and you can begin calling voters immediately. Tomorrow we will launch a phone bank for Doug Hoffman. Even if you can only make a call or two, you will help make a positive difference in the final hours before votes are cast on Tuesday.

Also, if you know friends or family who will have a chance to vote on Tuesday for one of these candidates please make sure they do. Huck PAC volunteers have already made over 20,000 calls in Virginia and helped Bob immensely. I know if we make these final calls we can do more of the same.

Wow, what a bold, principled stance for Huckabee to take, throwing his support behind Hoffman just two days before the election ... and only after his Republican challenger has dropped out. 

Huckabee seems to be have been inspired by James Dobson and is now mirroring his feckless policy of making face-saving, self-serving, last-minute political endorsements.

NY-23: A Test of Huckabee's Conservatism?

Yesterday we noted that Doug Hoffman's campaign for the House seat in NY-23 had been endorsed by a veritable who's who of right-wing leaders and organizations.  In fact, endorsing Hoffman has become something of a test of one's conservative bona fides and so it was interesting that one name that was conspicuously absent from Hoffman's list of supporters was Mike Huckabee, and is appears as if Huckabee's refusal to endorse Hoffman is not going unnoticed by those on the right

“It’s very disappointing,” said Tom McClusky, vice president for government affairs at the Family Research Council. “You have names out there like Sarah Palin, Fred Thompson and Tim Pawlenty who are willing to take a stand. You’d think that would have pushed him to make a decision.”

“It concerns me. I think he should endorse. I think Doug Hoffman is his kind of candidate,” said Mike Mears, executive director of Concerned Women for America’s political action committee.

“I keep hoping that he is going to do it,” he said. “Conservatives are lining up behind Doug Hoffman.”

...

“When you’re a leader of the conservative movement, as Mike Huckabee is, you should make a bold statement,” said Mike Long, president of the New York State Conservative Party. “If you’re a leader, how do you not get involved?”

“If you want to show leadership, you’ve got to break away from the club,” Long added.

Politico speculates that Huckabee's reluctance to endorse Hoffman might be rooted in some sort of animosity he still holds toward Fred Thompson or the Club for Growth, both of whom have endorsed Hoffman, though that seems like a ridiculously unlikely reason for Huckabee to sit out this race to me.  But it does provide an opportunity for the Thompson, Club for Growth, and Huckabee teams to renew their rivalry and take pot-shots at one another: 

Both the Thompson camp and the Club for Growth gave evidence of those tensions by taking shots at Huckabee for his nonendorsement. 

“We’re very disappointed that Gov. Huckabee saw fit to come into the district for a Conservative Party event and then didn’t support or contribute to Hoffman,” said a source close to Thompson.

“He’s only hurting himself with his silence,” said Club for Growth Executive Director David Keating, who noted archly that “some people might conclude he supports Scozzafava.”

Sarah Huckabee dismissed the idea that Mike Huckabee had decided to stay out of the race because of any lingering tensions with Thompson or the Club for Growth, noting that he had thrown his early backing to Club for Growth favorite Marco Rubio in the hotly contested Florida GOP Senate primary.

“It’s absurd to say he doesn’t take sides,” Sarah Huckabee wrote in an e-mail. “He has taken a stand time after time for conservative issues. Where were all the conservatives when he was saying TARP was a bad idea?”

Staver Seeks To Moderate the Right's Stance on Immigration Reform

Last week I wrote a post based on Dan Gilgoff's article about efforts by Mat Staver and Samuel Rodriguez to moderate the Religious Right's position on immigration reform, noting that both were members of the Freedom Federation, which contains groups like the Eagle Forum who have been vehemently opposed to such reform in the past.

Now, Gilgoff has followed-up on this topic and appears as if Staver truly intends to try and get the Freedom Federation and its members to change their position on this issue:

"There was this rhetoric in the last immigration debate that was, frankly, harsh," says Mathew Staver, dean of the law school at Liberty University, founded by the late Jerry Falwell. "We need to understand that we are still a nation of immigrants, and we need to bring people out of the shadows and make them legal."

Staver, who is leading the effort to bring conservative evangelicals and other religious conservatives on board for comprehensive immigration reform, says he's motivated by biblical principles regarding the treatment of foreigners and by a desire to build bridges between the "pro-family" movement and growing ethnic constituencies. But the campaign may wind up dividing religious conservatives, some of whom helped lead the charge against George W. Bush's failed attempt at comprehensive immigration reform in 2007.

...

Now, Staver is trying to build support among Freedom Federation members for comprehensive immigration reform. Part of his goal is to bring Hispanics into the conservative Christian political fold. "The future of the conservative movement is at stake in the debate about immigration reform," says the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, who has been helping Staver lobby conservative evangelical leaders on immigration.

At a recent coalition meeting in Washington, Staver had former GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee discuss his immigration views, which have been criticized as soft by many conservatives, with dozens of representatives from religious conservative groups. "Huckabee was attacked in the presidential race because he didn't want to remove educational benefits for the children of illegal immigrants," Staver says. "But that's a biblical concept—you don't punish the child for what his parents did."

And it looks like Staver has his work cut out for him, as the Eagle Forum says it's not budging while other members are still making up their minds:

"Many of our members oppose comprehensive amnesty because of their faith," says Colleeen Holmes, executive director of Eagle Forum, the conservative group founded by Phyllis Schlafly. "But this is really about conservatism versus liberalism, and conservatism says you need rule of law." The Eagle Forum opposes a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants ... Some Freedom Federation members, however—like Eagle Forum—remain strongly opposed to comprehensive immigration reform. Others, like Family Research Council Action, are still determining their position.

Considering that many members of the Freedom Federation have openly opposed efforts at immigration reform in the past, Staver's effort to push this issue could end up causing a rift in the movement that, ironically, the Freedom Federation was created in order to heal.

Huckabee: Who Needs FEMA When We Have The Salvation Army?

Last night, Mike Huckabee spoke at the Salvation Army's Annual Appreciation Dinner and, before his address, told the press that he's like to do away with the federal government's emergency response system in favor of relying of charitable foundations and donations because that would provide "hugs" and "spiritual support" to those impacted by national disasters: 

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee used his address at Salvation Army's annual dinner in Jackson last night to criticize the role of government in assisting in emergencies such as Hurricane Katrina. "Frankly, I'd rather see the kind of help that people need come through a relief agency than necessarily just come in a check in the mailbox from the government," Huckabee told reporters before the dinner.

"Because behind every bit of help that the Salvation Army gives is not just sterile, cold and indifferent," Huckabee said. "It is also being delivered by somebody who has a heart filled with love and who wants to share more than just the basic human needs, but also the emotional support and the spiritual support. It's one thing to just give a person a sandwich, but sometimes a sandwich plus a hug means a whole lot more and makes the sandwich taste better."

Huckabee Still Leading The 2012 Pack

As always, you can't read much into polls conducted more than three years before the next election, but since Mike Huckabee keeps coming out on top of polls asking Republicans to choose their favorite 2012 candidates, we are going to keep posting them:

Twenty-nine percent (29%) of Republican voters nationwide say former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee is their pick to represent the GOP in the 2012 Presidential campaign. The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey finds that 24% prefer former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney while 18% would cast their vote for former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich gets 14% of the vote while Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty gets 4%. Six percent (6%) of GOP voters prefer some other candidate while 7% remain undecided.

These numbers reflect an improvement for Huckabee since July when the three candidates were virtually even. Huckabee’s gain appears to be Palin’s loss as Romney’s support has barely changed.

In head-to-head match-ups, Huckabee beats Romney by 5 points and Palin by a whopping 20 points.

Huckabee continues to insist that he had not yet made up his mind if he'll seek the nomination in 2012, but since just about every poll conducted has him either leading or among the leaders, it's hard to imagine that he'd pass by this opportunity.

But while he makes up his mind, you can rest assured that we will continue to monitor his ties to the most radical fringes of the right-wing movement.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Media Matters: Fox trumpets CAIR conspiracy theory charges made by author with anti-Islam history.
  • TPM: RNC Web Site Pays Tribute To Ronaldus Magnus. (See also "Meet The Writer Steele Used To Buff Party's Image.)
  • Steve Benen: Shadegg's "Soviet-Style" Stupidity.
  • Why does every endorsement in which Mike Huckabee is involved seem to carry a massive price tag?
  • Orly Taitz is not happy with the $20,000 fine she is facing.
  • SF Appeal: Stand For Marriage Maine complains that the opposition to the marriage ban now on the ballot in Maine comes from "mostly from the gay activist political elite from all corners of the nation, including Hollywood, Colorado, New York, Massachusetts" but the group displays a different attitude when it comes to sending its money out of state.

Huckabee: The Left Must Justify Obama's Nobel Peace Prize

Mike Huckabee releases a statement on the Nobel Committee to award the 2009 Peace Prize to President Obama:

There will be an outcry from those on the right who will say that Obama's nomination, made two weeks into his Presidency, is impossible to justify but I think such an outcry will sound like right-wing whining. The better response is simply to allow those on the left to explain what he did in his first two weeks as President that merited such recognition.

Umm ... why exactly is it the responsibility of "the left to explain" why he was awarded this prize?

Wouldn't it make more sense to let the, you know, Nobel Prize Committee explain its own decision?

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009 is to be awarded to President Barack Obama for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples. The Committee has attached special importance to Obama's vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons.

Obama has as President created a new climate in international politics. Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play. Dialogue and negotiations are preferred as instruments for resolving even the most difficult international conflicts. The vision of a world free from nuclear arms has powerfully stimulated disarmament and arms control negotiations. Thanks to Obama's initiative, the USA is now playing a more constructive role in meeting the great climatic challenges the world is confronting. Democracy and human rights are to be strengthened.

Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future. His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world's population.

For 108 years, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has sought to stimulate precisely that international policy and those attitudes for which Obama is now the world's leading spokesman. The Committee endorses Obama's appeal that "Now is the time for all of us to take our share of responsibility for a global response to global challenges."

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Joseph Farah is not happy with Rep. Michele Bachmann's refusal to join in with the Birthers.
  • Mike Huckabee will be headlining the Viriginia Family Foundation's Annual Gala later this month.
  • The Apostolic and Prophetic Conference, featuring Rod Parsley and others, is currently underway in Miami, Florida.
  • Will the Right really sue over the passage of hate crimes legislation, as FRC suggests?
  • Speaking of FRC, its Virginia Values Voter PAC released its first ad against Creigh Deeds.

Freedom Federation Welcomes Huckabee

We've written several posts about the new right-wing supergroup known as the Freedom Federation over the last few months.  Consisting of various right wing groups including the Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America, Eagle Forum, the American Family Association, Traditional Values Coalition, Wallbuilders, Vision America, and many others, the group's mission is to create a unified political front for the Religious Right.

Today, Deacon Keith Fournier writes in Catholic Online that he was recently invited to attend a meeting of the Freedom Federation's steering committee but was reluctant to go ... until he found out that they were going to have a special guest speaker - Mike Huckabee:

I have made some inspiring new friendships with champions such as Rev. Sam Rodriquez and Bishop Harry Jackson. And, it is a joy after several years to renew old ones with my friends Ken Blackwell and Matt Staver. However, the drive to Washington D.C., even with good “beltway traffic” is at least four hours for me since I moved back to Chesapeake, Virginia. I am “swamped” these days, on every front of my life. So, let me be honest. I accepted the invitation because a special guest had promised to drop by and share his thoughts. That special guest is one of my favorite public servants, the former Governor of Arkansas and former Presidential candidate, Mike Huckabee.

I have long admired this genuinely good man. I had the privilege of interviewing him for Catholic Online during the last Presidential campaign. We have published those interviews as related stories under this article. When he entered the meeting, filled with dedicated people (mostly evangelical protestant leaders, though this time I was not the only Catholic) who themselves possess leadership gifts, he filled the room with his presence. Real leaders have a presence about them which just fills the room. His warm smile and attention to every person he greeted was impressive. His warmth toward me made the long drive worthwhile. However, it was his insights, shared over the course of a long and dynamic meeting which convinced me that this is a man who has not even begun to give his gifts to the service of his Nation.

I sat next to the Governor and, I must admit, I invited some of his responses through my own questions and observations. I could say he “had me” when he called my champion, the late Servant of God John Paul II, “one of the great spiritual and Christian leaders of our lifetime” and shared anecdotal stories from the late Pope’s life. However, there was much more to come in the rich content of his intelligent public policy positions. It was the substance of those deeply held positions on the issues which matter most which won the day and only deepened my admiration for the man. He breaks the molds of the empty political labels of “left/right”, “liberal/conservative.” He espouses truly human, just and concerned positions. I will be returning to them, I am sure, in future articles. However, permit me to share just one of his comments.

In the context of discussing the fundamental human rights issue of our age, the right to life from conception, to birth, throughout life and up to and including a natural death - what I call the “whole life/pro-life” position, which the Governor clearly embraces - he said these words: “To say that one person has value, but another does not, that one has human dignity but another does not, or somehow has less… that is the kind of thinking that slavery was built upon, and worse… . The dignity of every human person and the value of every human life must be the pole star of all public policy.” These words are not a slogan, they are a creed to the Governor, a deeply help vision of life and worldview. They flowed from the heart of a man who cares deeply about this nation and about our future together.

Many of the leaders of the Freedom Federation's member organizations backed Huckabee's presidential bid back in 2008, but many others did not, for which Huckabee regularly and roundly blasted them as sell-outs.  Since then, he has been hard at work positioning himself as the Religious Right's most ardent defender and the effort has recently begun paying dividends.

Huckabee continues to insist that he has not decided on whether he will make another run for president in 2012 ... but he certainly seems to be working hard to win over and unify the Religious Right behind him in case he decides to do so. 

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Mike Huckabee Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Friday 02/28/2014, 5:30pm
Another leader of the right-wing Quiverfull movement is now in danger of losing his post over a sex scandal. Homeschooling advocate Bill Gothard has been put on administrative leave from the organization he heads, the Institute in Basic Life Principles, in response to allegations from thirty-four different women that he engaged in sexual harassment and failed to notify Child Protective Services about abuse claims. The allegations against Gothard are chronicled on the website Recovering Grace, which aims to expose the activist’s record of “emotional, spiritual, and sexual abuse.... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 02/05/2014, 6:38pm
Josh Feldman @ Mediaite: Stewart Tears into Obama Scandal Obsession at ‘Spite-Driven Anger Machine’ Fox News. Rachel Tabachnick @ Public Research Associates: Ted Cruz & ALEC: Seceding from the Union One Law at a Time. Luke Brinker @ Equality Matters: Washington Times Columnist: It's "Lurid Propaganda" To Teach Students That Homosexuality Exists. CJ Werleman @ AlterNet: 5 of the Christian Right's Favorite and Most Dangerous New Recruits Running for Congress. Ellie Sandmeyer @ Media Matters:  Laura Ingraham's Attacks On Sonia... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 01/24/2014, 6:34pm
Jacob Fischler @ BuzzFeed: Dinesh D’Souza Charged With Election Fraud. David Ferguson @ Raw Story: Conservatives blame Dinesh D’Souza’s indictment on ‘Nazi Germany’-like conspiracy. Eric Boehlert @ Media Matters: Shorter Glenn Beck: Media Matters Was Right About Me. Steve Benen @ The Maddow Blog: Huckabee vs. Huckabee. Zack Ford @ Think Progress: Focus On The Family: Nondiscrimination Protections Discriminate Against Christians. Alan Colmes: Victoria Jackson Wants To Throw Muslims Out Of The United States. MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 01/23/2014, 3:10pm
Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee claimed today that the GOP isn’t partaking in a “war on women,” and that it is actually Democrats who “insult the women of America” by making them believe they “can’t control their libido.” Huckabee, who is considering a 2016 presidential bid, made the remarks at a Republican National Committee summit just as the party has been stressing greater “sensitivity” to women voters. The Fox News pundit claimed, “Democrats think that women are nothing more than helpless and hopeless creatures... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 01/22/2014, 6:45pm
Looks like Glenn Beck has become the victim of his own chalkboard-style paranoia.  Ralph Reed will soon unveil a new book, which Mike Huckabee promises will contain “the ultimate answer to what ails America.”  Televangelist Rick Joyner is convinced that the “overwhelming evidence shows that the 2012 election was not a legitimate election.”  MassResistance’s Brian Camenker wants the three openly gay Republican congressional candidates out of the GOP.  Lastly, the Klansman who wanted to kill Muslims with a “... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 01/17/2014, 6:31pm
Tom DeLay says "it’s just unbelievable and scary who this president thinks he is and the tyranny that he is beginning to inflict on the American people." FRC prays for the passage of the State Marriage Protection Act "and that lawlessness will be restrained." Focus on the Family's Jim Daly predicts that votes in Colorado will eventually repeal the legalization of marijuana. Scott Lively declares that Martha Coakley "is complicit in the murders of these helpless children and unfit for public office.  I pray for her to repent from the evil... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Thursday 12/26/2013, 12:55pm
If you’re already tired of the Duck Dynasty flap, I have some bad news for you: Religious Right leaders aren’t going to drop it. On Christmas Eve, while millions of Americans were finishing Christmas preparations and gathering with loved ones, Janet Porter and Rick Scarborough were holding an emergency conference call to launch Porter’s latest gimmicky scheme: sending rubber ducks to A&E executives to protest the suspension of Phil Robertson. Porter has been warning about a war on American Christians for years – she even wrote a book called The Criminalization of... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 12/17/2013, 6:31pm
Mike Huckabee, fresh off of ending is radio program, will soon be launching a website called "Huckabee Post" early next year. Dennis Prager laughably claims that "no religion practiced in America – indeed, no world religion – has ever banned interracial marriage." MORE >