Mike Huckabee

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 11/16/10

Newt Gingrich

Obama: Calls President’s policies “very dangerous” but believes “he loves this country” (CBN News, 11/15).

GOP: Says Republicans can “replace the left” with a ten-year plan (CBS News, 11/12).

Mike Huckabee

Congress: Like Romney, launches petition to support earmark ban (HuckPac, 11/15).

Defense: Open to cutting defense spending to reduce the deficit (Think Progress, 11/15).

Religious Right: Confusion over form of Huckabee’s speech to Iowa Family Policy Center (RWW, 11/11).

Sarah Palin

Reality TV: Premier of new show draws close to 5 million viewers (WSJ, 11/15).

Alaska: Lisa Murkowski criticizes Palin’s leadership capabilities (CBS News, 11/15).

Language: “Refudiate” declared the year’s best new word by the New Oxford American Dictionary (LA Times, 11/15).

Economy: Reuters analyst explores Palin’s “free-market populism” (Reuters, 11/12).

Book tour: Releases schedule for latest book tour with focus on “the heartland” (LA Times, 11/12).

Tim Pawlenty

Health Care: Files amicus brief to support lawsuit calling health care reform unconstitutional (Gov Monitor, 11/15).

Electability: Nate Silver dubs Pawlenty a “league-average politician” (NYT, 11/15).

New Hampshire: Writes anti-spending Op-Ed for state’s foremost conservative newspaper (Union Leader, 11/14).

Mitt Romney

Congress: Like Huckabee, launches petition to support earmark ban (The Hill, 11/15).

Fundraising: Has edge among early fundraisers (NYT, 11/12).

Tea Party: Tea Party Express leader says conservatives “not going to let go of the health care” law in Massachusetts (ABC News, 11/11).

Rick Santorum

2012: Building infrastructure in key states for 2012 run (Sunshine State News, 11/12).

Tea Party: Dubs himself the only authentic Tea Party presidential prospect (Politico, 11/10).

Huckabee Going To Iowa To Deliver Political Message Because He Hasn’t Been a Pastor for 20 Years

We noted the other day that Mike Huckabee was heading to Iowa to raise money for the Iowa Family Policy Center, which is now being overseen by Bob Vander Plaats who recently orchestrated the removal of three state Supreme Court justices in order to carry out "God's will."

In anticipation of Huckabee's visit, Pastor Dean Schmitt of Cedar Falls was featured in a video produced by IFPC explaining that Huckabee was "coming not as a politician but as a pastor" so he can "share his heart about the needs for the church to be energized and engaged in our culture":

But today Huck PAC Executive Director Hogan Gidley released a statement clarifying that Huckabee is not, in fact, attending as a pastor but is going there to deliver a political message:

“Governor Huckabee is excited about the opportunity to travel back to Iowa, see his friends and speak at the IFPC’s event. However, after seeing recent communications and comments made by the Iowa Family Policy Center and its representatives, Huck PAC would like to clarify the purpose of the message Governor Mike Huckabee will be delivering on November 21.

The Governor often speaks openly and unapologetically about his own personal Christian faith, but he doesn’t want there to be any confusion as to the nature of this invitation. The speaking request was made through Governor Huckabee’s Political Action Committee. The Governor was invited to speak about the political issues of the day and how they shape the culture of our country. His message will be political, but not partisan.

Governor Huckabee served honorably as Lieutenant Governor of Arkansas for three years, as Governor of Arkansas for ten and a half years and remains one of our nation’s strongest political leaders. While Governor Huckabee is grateful to have been an ordained minister – he hasn’t been a pastor of a church for about 20 years.”

Bob Vander Plaats Now Running The Religious Right Show In Iowa

Earlier this year, Bob Vander Plaats made an effort to secure the GOP nomination for Governor in Iowa and lost to Terry Branstad, prompting the right-wing state affiliate of Focus on the Family, the Iowa Family Policy Center, to announce that it was going to sit out the race.

Vander Plaats went on to head Iowa For Freedom and team up with national groups like the Family Research Council, National Organization for Marriage, and American Family Association, as well as the Iowa Family Policy Center, in carrying out "God's will" by removing three state Supreme Court justices over the marriage equality ruling.

Fresh off that victory, Vander Plaats has now been placed in control over IFPC and its affiliated Marriage Matters and is bringing in Mike Huckabee to help raise much needed funds:

Even before the votes were counted last Tuesday, Vander Plaats already had his next move mapped out. Last month, the Board of Directors of the Iowa Family Policy Center (IFPC) named Vander Plaats the CEO of an organization called The Family Group, which oversees IFPC and Marriage Matters. A source told TheIowaRepublican.com that Vander Plaats signed a three-year contract that will pay him around $120,000 annually.

...

Ironically, the organization that Vander Plaats is taking over doesn’t look anything like the one that aided him in the Republican gubernatorial primary. Mike Hartwig, who has headed up Marriage Matters since its creation was shown the door. Likewise, Tom Steen, who was appointed by the Board of IFPC to be the organization’s Chief Operating Officer in March of 2009, is gone. So too is IFPC’s communications director, Bryan English.

Vander Plaats is now charged with turning around the organization. His chief responsibility will be raising money for the organization. Not only will he have to raise the necessary funds to pay his $120,000 a year salary, but he is also going to have to raise the funds to pay the salaries of longtime IFPC President Chuck Hurley, Vander Plaats will also have to fund the two staff positions that he created following the departures of those listed above.

All of this may explain why Vander Plaats didn’t use Mike Huckabee’s celebrity to aide with Iowa for Freedom’s campaign. Instead, Huckabee will headline a fundraising event for IFPC on November 21st at First Federated Church in Des Moines. The funds raised at this event will go towards covering IFPC’s operating expenses.

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 11/02/10

With the midterm elections taking place today, tomorrow is the unofficial beginning of the race for the 2012 GOP nomination.

Haley Barbour

Tea Party: Claims that Tea Party candidates will find a home in the GOP (AP, 11/2)

GOP: Says that Party will have to earn trust since voters are “not saying ‘Hey, we love you Republicans,’” (CBS, 11/1).

Newt Gingrich

2012: Tells WaPo that a 2012 bid is becoming “increasingly” practical (WaPo, 10/29).

Florida: Holds “Jobs Here Jobs Now” rally in Florida (Florida Times-Union, 10/29).

Mike Huckabee

Alaska: Making robo-calls on behalf of Joe Miller (AP, 11/1).

Iowa: Making robo-calls against the retention of three Iowa judges (Daily Caller, 10/29).

Mitt Romney

Health Care: Defends MA health care program, says national reform law is “unconstitutional” (GOP 12, 11/2).

Maine: Stumps for congressional candidate Dean Scontras, who is challenging Rep. Chellie Pingree (News 13, 11/1).

Iowa: Campaigns with GOP gubernatorial nominee Terry Branstad (Des Moines Register, 10/27).

Sarah Palin

2010: Find out how Palin-endorsed candidates perform on election day (WaPo, 11/2).

GOP: Says that the “good old boys club” is working against her (Politico, 11/2).

Colorado: Making robo-calls on behalf of Tom Tancredo (ABC, 11/1).

Media:  Floats Breitbart-linked conspiracy theory (Media Matters, 11/1).

West Virginia: Stumps with John Raese and praises “Mountain mamas” (LAT, 10/30).

Tim Pawlenty

Minnesota: Low favorability numbers may hurt GOP chances of retaining the governorship (City Pages, 11/1).

Palin: Defends Palin over Twitter over claims that she is unelectable (TPM, 11/1).

Mike Pence

GOP: Calls on his Party to focus on deficit reduction if in power (National Journal, 11/2).

2012: May leave GOP leadership to seek presidency or governorship (Indy Star, 10/31).

Right Wing Leftovers

  • After speaking at Liberty University, Newt Gingrich met with Jim Garlow, Tom Minnery, Craig Parshall, and others.
  • Mike Huckabee has apologized to Karl Rove.
  • Antonin Scalia has no use for those who "reject a priori, with no investigation, the possibility of miracles in general and of Jesus Christ’s resurrection in particular."
  • Is there anything more terrifying than a book entitled "Why Am I Conservative?" aimed at children that contains a foreward by Bryan Fischer?
  • Well, maybe the people who call into Fischer's radio program:

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 10/26/10

Newt Gingrich

2010: Campaigns with GOP gubernatorial candidate John Kasich in Ohio (Columbus Business First, 10/25).

Iowa: Holds “American Solutions” rally in Sioux City, Iowa (Sioux City Journal, 10/22).

Mike Huckabee

GOP: Defends Christine O’Donnell and hits “elitist” establishment (Raw Story, 10/25).

Religious Right: Sarah Posner looks into Huckabee’s ties to anti-gay groups (Religion Dispatches, 10/25).

Economy: Defends the “Fair Tax” on Fox News (Fox News, 10/25).

Sarah Palin

2010: Slams Lisa Murkowski, lauds Joe Miller, in facebook post (Facebook, 10/25).

Arizona: Sheriff Joe Arpaio presents her “pink underwear” as gift (Washington Independent, 10/25).

2012: New York Magazine says that Palin is gearing up presidential campaign (New York Magazine, 10/24).

Tim Pawlenty

Iowa: Has donated over $114,000 to Iowa Republican candidates (Des Moines Register, 10/26).

2010: Stumps for gubernatorial candidates in eight states before election (CNN, 10/25).

2012: Trails Obama in Minnesota in hypothetical race (GOP12, 10/25).

Mitt Romney

Tea Party: Hopes to pursue economic message with Tea Party activists (WSJ, 10/25).

Fundraising: Mega-donors line up behind Romney (Politico, 10/23).

Rick Santorum

Iowa: Campaigns for a GOP majority in the Iowa State House (KTIV, 10/25).

Religious Right: Speaks to Tennessee Right to Life Convention (Knoxville News, 10/21).

Judges: Joins bus tour with NOM, FRC, others to oppose retention for judges who backed same-sex marriage (On Top, 10/21).

The Company Huckabee Keeps

Earlier today I noted that Mike Huckabee seemingly has no problem associating himself with fringe right-wing and Religious Right activists, regardless of how radical they may be.

Now Sarah Posner brings to our attention another connection that I had not realized: Gary Glenn, president of the American Family Association of Michigan.

As Sam Stein reports, Glenn is targeting Democratic state House candidate Toni Sessoms with robocalls that use the word "homosexual" ten times:

Liberal Democratic lawyer and openly homosexual statehouse candidate Toni Sessoms, doesn't share our values. Michiganliberal.com boasts that Sessoms is 'independently wealthy, and if elected would become the first openly lesbian state representative.' Sessoms is endorsed by the homosexual newspaper in Detroit, by Detroit's homosexual equality Michigan PAC and by the Michigan Democratic Party homosexual and transgender caucus. Sessom's campaign manager is the openly homosexual Central Michigan University faculty member who lost the statehouse race two years ago. Her deputy campaign manager was co-president of CMU's homosexual student group -- an openly homosexual candidate with a campaign run by homosexual activists. But, of course, in a district where voters strongly supported the marriage protection amendment none of this is disclosed on Toni Sessom's campaign material. With homosexual activists in the Michigan Democratic Party pushing to repeal our marriage amendment, our families deserve a state representative we can trust shares our values. Not a candidate with a hidden agenda, homosexual activist agenda, not Toni Sessoms.

Poser notes that Huckabee and Glenn have a long history and points to this video in which Huckabee positvely gushes about the work being done by Glenn and the AFA Michigan:

The following year, Huckabee provided a videotaped speech to Glenn's group's annual fundraiser, in which he called Glenn "a very special friend. . . one of the stalwart, key people who absolutely has not flinched or wavered in his commitment to pro-life and pro-family values." He continued, "If we had leaders like Gary Glenn across America, our work wouldn't be so hard. . . . [they] have been committed to maintaining a solid course for truth."

The Company Huckabee Keeps

Earlier today I noted that Mike Huckabee seemingly has no problem associating himself with fringe right-wing and Religious Right activists, regardless of how radical they may be.

Now Sarah Posner brings to our attention another connection that I had not realized: Gary Glenn, president of the American Family Association of Michigan.

As Sam Stein reports, Glenn is targeting Democratic state House candidate Toni Sessoms with robocalls that use the word "homosexual" ten times:

Liberal Democratic lawyer and openly homosexual statehouse candidate Toni Sessoms, doesn't share our values. Michiganliberal.com boasts that Sessoms is 'independently wealthy, and if elected would become the first openly lesbian state representative.' Sessoms is endorsed by the homosexual newspaper in Detroit, by Detroit's homosexual equality Michigan PAC and by the Michigan Democratic Party homosexual and transgender caucus. Sessom's campaign manager is the openly homosexual Central Michigan University faculty member who lost the statehouse race two years ago. Her deputy campaign manager was co-president of CMU's homosexual student group -- an openly homosexual candidate with a campaign run by homosexual activists. But, of course, in a district where voters strongly supported the marriage protection amendment none of this is disclosed on Toni Sessom's campaign material. With homosexual activists in the Michigan Democratic Party pushing to repeal our marriage amendment, our families deserve a state representative we can trust shares our values. Not a candidate with a hidden agenda, homosexual activist agenda, not Toni Sessoms.

Posner notes that Huckabee and Glenn have a long history and points to this video in which Huckabee positvely gushes about the work being done by Glenn and the AFA Michigan:

The following year, Huckabee provided a videotaped speech to Glenn's group's annual fundraiser, in which he called Glenn "a very special friend. . . one of the stalwart, key people who absolutely has not flinched or wavered in his commitment to pro-life and pro-family values." He continued, "If we had leaders like Gary Glenn across America, our work wouldn't be so hard. . . . [they] have been committed to maintaining a solid course for truth."

The Bitterness Remains: Huckabee Lashes Out At GOP "Elitism"

Among the characteristics that define Mike Huckabee are a willingness to associate with fringe right-wing figures and a remarkable bitterness that fuels his resentment against the GOP "elite" who did not support his presidential campaign last time around.

And both were on display this weekend when he joined WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein to lash out at the "elitism" of GOP leaders who refuse to support candidates like Christine O'Donnell ... and him

"Unfortunately, there is an elitism within the Republican establishment," Huckabee told Klein. "And it's one of the reasons the Republicans have not been able to solidify not only the tea party movement but solidify conservatives across America."

"It's about, again, to be blunt, the kind of country club attitude that we're not sure there are certain people we really want as members of the club and we're not going to vote them in. And we don't mind showing up to events to put up signs and making phone calls and going door to door making those pesky little trips that we don't like to do, but we really don't want them dining with us in the main dining room," he said.

Huckabee's resentments date back to his 2008 presidential bid, which drew dismissal and even paid attacks from a Wall Street-backed GOP establishment that favored Mitt Romney and others and saw Huckabee as suspect on taxes.

"I've been on the receiving end of some of that when I ran for president. A lot of the establishment types were very contemptuous toward me and treated me like some backwater," Huckabee said. "And that's one of the things that happens when you didn't go to the right school and you're not a regular [attendee] at the proper cocktail parties on the D.C. social circuit."

Mike Huckabee’s Hypocritical Ads For Rand Paul

Republican Rand Paul’s campaign just released robocalls and radio ads narrated by Mike Huckabee, who criticizes Jack Conway’s “Aqua Buddha” ad. Huckabee says that “the only thing worse than a politician attempting to parade his faith for the purpose of getting a vote, is a person who would falsely attack his opponent’s faith, and then lie about it.” The details of Conway’s ad have been confirmed as accurate, and Paul continues to avoid questioning about the “Aqua Buddha” story. But more importantly, we have to ask: is Mike Huckabee really telling other politicians not to use religious faith as an issue to polarize and win voters?

In 2008, Huckabee’s campaign ads called him a “Christian Leader” and he said that “Faith doesn’t just influence me; it really defines me.” Religious Right leaders flocked to support his campaign, and in another one of Huckabee’s ads, he said that “what really matters is the celebration of the birth of Christ.” And this is the same Mike Huckabee who condemns politicians that “parade [their] faith for the purpose of getting a vote.”

As Crooks and Liars points out, Huckabee hasn’t just paraded his faith for political purposes, he also fed into the anti-Mormon fervor that greatly damaged Mitt Romney’s campaign when he told The New York Times, “Don't Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?” Romney responded by saying that “attacking someone’s religion is really going too far,” and the National Review’s Kathryn Jean Lopez said that Huckabee attempted to win over “the anti-Mormon vote.”

In fact, the Religious Right constantly “parades” and “attacks” people’s faith to polarize and divide Americans, tactics that Huckabee has yet to condemn. Because for Mike Huckabee, it’s OK to use religion as a divisive campaign strategy only if it’s to benefit his campaign.

Pat Toomey: The Real Extremist in Pennsylvania

Watching his once formidable lead in the polls crumble, Pennsylvania Senate candidate Pat Toomey asserted, “It’s very clear. The person who is the extreme candidate that is so far out of touch with Pennsylvania is Joe Sestak.”

A huge part of Pat Toomey’s campaign strategy seemed to be based on remaking his image to come across as a moderate Republican. In an election year with the likes of Ken Buck, Sharron Angle, Christine O’Donnell, and Joe Miller, even solidly conservative Republicans could come-off as “moderate” due to the elevated extremism on the Right.

But Pat Toomey is certainly no moderate on either economic or social issues:

• Pat Toomey was rated one of the most right-wing members of Congress: “more conservative voting record than J.D Hayworth, Jim DeMint, and was about as conservative as Jesse Helms,” and “had a considerably more conservative voting record than Rick Santorum.” Toomey is so far to the Right that he even felt that Mike Huckabee was too moderate.

• An anti-choice zealot, Pat Toomey called for doctors to be thrown in jail for performing abortions. Furthermore, Toomey doesn’t just want a Constitutional Amendment to ban gay marriage, but even tried to prohibit gay and lesbian couples from adopting children.

• He led the Club for Growth for four years, a vehemently pro-corporate advocacy group that recently exclaimed: “Privatize Social Security? Hell Yeah!” Toomey himself has worked to privatize Social Security throughout his career.

• Back in 2006, Toomey described his pro-corporate advocacy as “all about protecting our Christian heritage” and “a culture that is under assault.” For Toomey, “protecting our Christian heritage” also includes preventing oversight on Wall Street’s reckless “derivatives trading.” Not only is Toomey a staunch opponent of Wall Street Reform, but worked a derivatives trader.

• He stood with Phyllis Schlafly, Tony Perkins, James Dobson and Tim LaHaye to support the Family Research Council’s Kenneth Blackwell to become Chair of the Republican National Committee. When leading Focus on the Family, James Dobson enthusiastically campaigned for Toomey when he ran for Senate in 2004.

Pat Toomey’s ultraconservative views have made him a darling of pro-corporate groups and the Religious Right. His plan to come across as a moderate is as absurd as it is scary.

Huckabee Announces Boycott of NPR, Calls on Congress to Cut Funding

Yesterday, National Public Radio fired Juan Williams for comments he made Muslims on The O'Reilly Factor:

The move came after Mr. Williams, who is also a Fox News political analyst, appeared on the “The O’Reilly Factor” on Monday. On the show, the host, Bill O’Reilly, asked him to respond to the notion that the United States was facing a “Muslim dilemma.” Mr. O’Reilly said, “The cold truth is that in the world today jihad, aided and abetted by some Muslim nations, is the biggest threat on the planet.”

Mr. Williams said he concurred with Mr. O’Reilly.

He continued: “I mean, look, Bill, I’m not a bigot. You know the kind of books I’ve written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous.”

Mike Huckabee has responded by defending Williams as "refreshingly honest and candid" and announced that he is heretofore boycotting NPR until it stops engaging in this sort of "censorship" and urges Congress to cut its funding:

NPR has fired Juan Williams as a result of comments he recently made on The Bill O'Reilly show. The comments were his personal admission that while he is certainly not a bigot, he said he was nervous when someone in Muslim garb and spouting Muslim doctrine got on an airplane on which he was a passenger. I know Juan and am proud to be a colleague of his as a fellow Fox News contributor. There isn't a more honest and fair-minded person in journalism. He is refreshingly honest and candid and unusually objective when it comes to analyzing the events in the news.

NPR has discredited itself as a forum for free speech and a protection of the First Amendment rights of all and has solidified itself as the purveyor of politically correct pabulum and protector of views that lean left.

While I have often enjoyed appearing on NPR programs and have been treated fairly and objectively, I will no longer accept interview requests from NPR as long as they are going to practice a form of censorship, and since NPR is funded with public funds, it IS a form of censorship. It is time for the taxpayers to start making cuts to federal spending, and I encourage the new Congress to start with NPR.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Mike Huckabee is outraged - outraged! - by Jack Conway's ad because "the only thing worse than a person attempting to show-off and parade his faith for the purpose of getting a vote is a person who would falsely and viciously attack his political opponent's faith and lie about it." I can't stop laughing.
  • Speaking of which, Rand Paul today trotted out a bunch of Christian leaders to complain about Conway's ad as well.
  • Lou Sheldon loves Carly Fiorina.  Lou Sheldon also runs a hate group.
  • Speaking of TVC, they are very concerned about Democratic "dirty tricks," which is apparently their phrase for electioneering and politics.
  • NOM's Brian Brown has launched a new political effort called ActRight.com.
  • I am getting the impression that Harry Jackson is just going to complain about any and every change to DC's marriage laws.
  • Sure, he may have written a book entitled "A Queer Thing Happened to America: What a Long, Strange Trip It's Been" that was rejected by 20 publishers, but do not call Michael Brown anti-gay.
  • Finally, I am glad that Janet Porter is back to spreading crazy conspiracy theories about President Obama: "I drove by what used to be a booming car dealership last week and saw nothing but a ghost town thanks to Obama taking over the auto industry and shutting down dissenters."

An Unwelcome Reminder for Mike Huckabee

Last year, Mike Huckabee's presidential aspirations took a serious blow when Maurice Clemmons murdered four Washington state police offices because it turned out that Clemmons, an Arkansas native, had been sentenced to 108 years in prison only to have his sentence commuted by then Governor Mike Huckabee.

Immediately, conservatives jumped all over Huckabee and declared that he could never be trusted as president while Huckabee began feverishly defending his actions, claiming that he had commuted Clemmons' sentence because it was disproportionate and blaming others for having dropped the ball.

Since then, the issue has more or less faded away ... or had, until the Seattle Times ran this long report about Clemmons' criminal history that landed him in prison and then kept him there, noting that "Clemmons racked up eight felony charges in seven months" and then refused to accept any plea bargains and ended up with a total of 108 years, though prisoners typically only served one-sixth of their sentence.

In 2000, Clemmons wrote to Huckabee seeking clemency and Huckabee, who had a history of granting such requests at a rate far greater than his predecessors, granted it seemingly without much investigation: 

Huckabee called himself a "grace" Christian, not a "law" Christian, and what was clemency but an act of grace?

In his 10 ½ years as governor, starting in 1996, Mike Huckabee emerged as a political force, an ordained minister who could draw votes from across the political spectrum.

He spoke in support of "restorative justice," and backed up his words. In 17 years his three predecessors approved 507 clemency requests. Huckabee granted twice that many: 1,033.

...

Clemmons wrote a letter to Huckabee, saying he was seeking compassion and mercy: "God Bless You ... It is so prayed!" Asked the grounds for his request, Clemmons checked a box for "excessive sentence." He also checked this box: "My institutional adjustment has been exemplary."

But Clemmons' adjustment had been just the opposite. The same year he filled out this clemency application, the Arkansas Department of Correction reduced Clemmons' time in prison to this damning score sheet:

"Disciplinaries: 29 Times.

Achievements: None."

In May 2000, Huckabee granted Clemmons' plea for clemency, citing Clemmons' youth when sentenced. The governor commuted the sentences for four of Clemmons' eight felony convictions, making him immediately eligible for parole.

Huckabee is already hamstrung by right-wing activists who believe him to be insufficiently hard-line conservative ... and presumably this article recounting Clemmons' criminal history and Huckabee's role in freeing him is only going to reinforce that reputation.

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 10/12/10

Newt Gingrich

Extremism: Detractors condemn Gingrich’s increasingly heated rhetoric (Politico, 10/11).

Government: Calls Democrats “the party of food stamps” (AP, 10/7).

Health Care: Pushes repeal of reform law to business conference (The Bakersfield Californian, 10/9).

Mike Huckabee

2010: Solicits contributions for Alan Grayson’s opponent Dan Webster (Sunshine State News, 10/11).

Media: Coulter says Huckabee is the “only one true Christian liberal in the country” (Mediaite, 10/10).

Sarah Palin

Poll: Just 22% of Americans view Palin positively (CBS News, 10/6).

2010: Says midterm election represents a “Great Awakening” among voters (Politico, 10/11).

Media: Blasts the “lamestream media” and Tea Party critics at “Patriotic Gala” fundraiser (MSNBC, 10/11).

Foreign Affairs: Tells NewsMax that a nuclear Iran could “lead to an Armageddon” (News Max, 10/11).

Tim Pawlenty

Religious Right: Fundraises for Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition (Iowa Politics, 10/10).

Iowa: Visits three cities and hosts fundraiser with GOP gubernatorial nominee Terry Branstad (Radio Iowa, 10/11).

Health Care: Dubs reform law “one of the worst pieces of legislation in modern history” (Sioux City Journal, 10/9).

Ron Paul

Iowa: Speaking at University of Iowa and a GOP fundraiser later this month (Iowa Independent, 10/11).

Tea Party: Praises “Nullification” movement at Tea Party convention (Slate, 10/9).

Mike Pence

Religious Right: Tells Virginia Family Foundation that “the problems we have as a nation are not just political, but moral” (Richmond Times Dispatch, 10/10).

GOP: Headlines Reagan Day Dinner in Florida (Saint Peters Blog, 10/11).

Mitt Romney

Religious Right: Avoids comment on Mormon leader’s anti-gay speech (Salt Lake City Tribune, 10/7).

Health Care: MA Republicans don’t want Romney to denounce reform law he signed as governor (Boston Globe, 10/8).

Foreign Affairs: Knocks Obama for “apologizing for America” (The Bakersfield Californian, 10/9).

Rick Santorum

Iowa: Launches Iowa Keystone PAC to help state Republicans (Politico, 10/7).

Religious Right: Criticizes ACLU over reproductive rights (NewsMax, 10/9).

Iowa: Mobilizing Pastors To Remove Judges

Yesterday we noted how Rick Scarborough of Vision America was mobilizing pastors across Texas to help Republicans win the upcoming mid-term elections and now, via the Iowa Independent, we see that similar efforts are underway in Iowa as part of the right-wing effort to vote out three Supreme Court Justices who ruled in favor of marriage equality:

A pastor from Waukee is wading into the retention election for three Iowa Supreme Court justices, asking religious leaders around the state to inform their congregations about “out of control” judges. But some contend the effort is actually encouraging churches to violate federal tax law.

Jeff Mullen, senior pastor of Point of Grace Church in Waukee, has launched IowaPastors.com, a site that aims to “build strategic partnerships to mobilize Pastors and Congregations to pray effectively and to vote righteously.” The site, along with its sister site – IowaJudges.com — focuses almost exclusively on the judicial retention vote. A disclaimer on the sites says they are “not associated with any other organization.”

Mullen and church officials did not respond to repeated requests for comment. But in a video posted on the site, Mullen takes direct aim at the judges, pointing specifically at the Iowa Supreme Court’s unanimous decision in April 2009 that legalized same-sex marriage. And while he never specifically says pastors should encourage their congregations to vote “no” on retention, it’s clear he disagrees with the court’s decision.

“Our freedoms are in peril today because of judges. Not legislators, but judges,” Mullen said, later adding: “Inform your congregation about the importance of the judicial retention election and what it means to turn the ballot over and vote their values.”

Mullen is distributing voter guides put together by the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition, a state affiliate of Ralph Reed new organization, and also appears to have partnered with Iowa Renewal Project, which is an American Family Association-backed effort that supported Mike Huckabee during the GOP primary:

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 10/5/10

Newt Gingrich

Government: Bashes the welfare state in Texas speech (Dallas Morning News, 10/4).

2010: Raising money for right-wing Minnesota gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer (MPR, 10/4).

Mike Huckabee

2010: Says that mid-term elections will be a “political tsunami” (The Page, 10/4).

Florida: Refuses to back Florida GOP gubernatorial nominee Rick Scott (Florida Times-Union, 10/4).

New York: Praises controversial New York GOP gubernatorial nominee Carl Paladino (NewsHounds, 10/1).

GOP: Claims that he backs the Tea Party over the Party “establishment” (The Page, 10/4).

Column: Knocks “Kleptocrats” in Fox News column (Fox News, 10/4).

Sarah Palin

Critics: Tells Mark Levin that she and her husband “bite our tongue” at critics (GOP12, 10/4).

2010: Holding GOP Victory rallies in California and Florida (HuffPo, 9/30).

Alaska: Ties to Senate GOP nominee Joe Miller go back to Troopergate (KTUU, 10/1).

Religious Right: Speaks to “pregnancy crisis center” advertising organization tonight in Houston (Houston First Baptist Church, 10/5).

Tim Pawlenty

Government: Receives an “A” grade from libertarian Cato Institute (Cato, 9/30).

New Hampshire: Campaigns in the Granite State for GOP candidates (NECN, 9/30).

Mike Pence

Religious Right: Speaks to Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition in Iowa (Caffeinated Thoughts, 10/3).

Mitt Romney

Poll: Leads all 2012 GOP presidential hopefuls with 19% of support from Republicans (US News, 9/30).

Iowa: Endorses 38 Republican candidates in Iowa (CNN, 10/1).

Rick Santorum

Iowa: Will visit Davenport’s GOP headquarters next week (Quad-City Times, 10/4).

2010: Talks midterm election with National Review Online (NRO, 10/1).

Right Wing Leftovers

  • It turns out that when it comes to religion, atheists and agnostics are more knowledgeable than most believers.
  • Dinesh D'Souza explains "Why Barack Obama Hates America" and Heather Mac Donald explains why D'Souza is a joke.
  • The Independent Women's Forum is calling on people to sign a pledge vowing to pressure others to repeal health care reform, which frankly seems to be a very convoluted strategy.
  • Mike Huckabee is very upset about Rep. Alan Grayson's ad against Dan Webster, whom he has endorsed, calling it "a sleazy, bigoted and Christophobic attack."
  • Finally, Matt Barber compares being gay to running headlong into a brick wall. So you can see why Liberty Counsel was so eager to woo him away from Concerned Women for America.

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 9/28/10

Haley Barbour

2012: Political work profiled by TIME Magazine (TIME, 9/23).

New Hampshire: Stumps with GOP gubernatorial candidate (Nashua Telegraph, 9/28).

Mitch Daniels

2012: Fundraising circuit points to presidential bid (Indianapolis Star, 9/28).

Poll: About 75% of Americans haven’t heard of the Indiana Governor (Journal Gazette, 9/28).

Newt Gingrich

Democrats: Calls Democrats “the food stamp party” (Chicago Sun Times, 9/25).

GOP: How Gingrich transformed the Republican Party (Salon, 9/24).

2010: Approves new “Pledge to America” (Politico, 9/23).

Mike Huckabee

2010: Campaigned with Rand Paul over the weekend (BluegrassPolitics, 9/22).

Health Care: Walks back on previous position on coverage for pre-existing condition (The American Prospect, 9/23).

Business: Huckabee-endorsed Goldline company sued by SEC (ABC, 9/23).

Sarah Palin

2012: New poll shows her growing unpopularity among voters (ThePlumLine, 9/27).

2010: Launches “Take Back the 20” campaign against Democrats who supported Health Care Reform (The Hill, 9/27).

Media:  Claims media "piles on" her endorsed candidates (GOP 12, 9/27).

Religious Right: Article looks into Palin’s relationship with Dominionism (Religion Dispatches, 9/26).

Tim Pawlenty

Foreign Affairs: Calls Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad “nutty” (City Pages, 9/24).

New Hampshire: Plans to fundraiser for GOP gubernatorial candidate John Stephen (Concord Monitor, 9/26).

Minnesota: Visits flooded areas of state (WCCO, 9/25).

Mitt Romney

2010: Endorses West Virginia Republicans (The Hill, 9/27).

Obama: Calls Presidency an “abject failure” to New Hampshire GOP (Salt Lake Tribune, 9/26).

Rick Santorum

Media: Santorum, Palin, Gingrich and Huckabee all on Fox payroll (Politico, 9/27).

John Thune

2012: Weekly Standard profiles South Dakota Senator John Thune (Weekly Standard, 10/4).

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Bryan Fischer says the GOP's "Pledge to America" is "better than nothing" but slams them for promising to prevent insurance companies from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions, saying it "stands out like a pile of dog doo in an otherwise pleasant landscape."
  • Rep. Mike Pence will probably seek higher office.
  • This weekend is the annual "Pulpit Sunday" where conservative pastors endorse candidates in a direct challenge to the IRS, and Richard Land does not approve of it.
  • The National Tea Party Unity Convention that was being planned for next month in Las Vegas has been canceled.
  • Kirk Cameron is releasing a documentary about God's role in founding America, so that ought to be exciting.
  • Finally, Mike Huckabee will be campaigning with Rand Paul this weekend in Kentucky.
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Mike Huckabee Posts Archive

Kyle Mantyla, Monday 03/23/2015, 1:07pm
As Peter noted in his write-up of the American Pastors Network conference in Pennsylvania last week, Mike Huckabee was unable to attend the event and instead sent a video greeting featuring him standing on Mt. Carmel in Israel, overlooking the valley in which the End Times battle of Armageddon is supposed to occur. In his message, Huckabee focused on another story involving Mt. Carmel as he highlighted the Old Testament showdown in which the Prophet Elijah called down the fire of God and then destroyed several hundred prophets of Baal, which Huckabee used to urge his audience to be willing to... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Friday 03/20/2015, 3:23pm
The American Pastors Network, a Religious Right group hoping to organize networks of politically active evangelical pastors in all 50 states, met with Pennsylvania pastors at Lancaster Bible College on Thursday. The day-long event featured several national speakers like “historian” David Barton, activist Paul Blair of Reclaiming America for Christ, and right-wing broadcaster Sandy Rios, who as Kyle reported yesterday, urged participants to prepare for martyrdom.  The threat of anti-Christian persecution was a frequent theme at the U-Turn conference, which took its name and... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 03/19/2015, 3:05pm
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee celebrated Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s campaign victory during an interview today with Newsmax’s Steve Malzberg, lauding Netanyahu as “a Churchill in a world of Chamberlains.” When Malzberg asked Huckabee why President Obama has “extraordinary disdain for Israel in general,” Huckabee responded that Obama has “an extraordinary sense of identity with and sympathy for many of the other Middle Eastern nations.” Huckabee added that the president also resents Israel and Netanyahu’s strength:... MORE >
Miranda Blue, Thursday 03/19/2015, 10:08am
On Saturday, roughly 2,000 activists gathered at Faith Assembly, a megachurch in Orlando, for the Awakening, an annual “Prayer and Patriotism event” organized by the Christian Right legal group Liberty Counsel. The Awakening, which Liberty Counsel organizes under the auspices of an amalgam of Religious Right groups called the Freedom Federation, brings together activists from the evangelical Right with the GOP politicians who want their votes. At this year's event, GOP politicians including Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal (via video) and RNC faith director Chad... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 03/17/2015, 4:33pm
Warren Throckmorton: Dear David Barton: Virginia Law Allowed Manumission of Slaves After 1782. Sean Mandell @ Towleroad: Jon Stewart Slams Anti-Gay License To Discriminate Bills. David Ferguson @ Raw Story: Roy Moore’s son blames his latest drug arrest on liberal plot to ‘destroy’ his family. Joe Jervis: Robert Oscar Lopez: Gay Parents Like Elton John Are Disgusting Terrorists. Andrew Kaczynski & Megan Apper @ BuzzFeed: This One Weird Trick Will Not Help You Get Elected President: Mike Huckabee’s “Free” DVDs. Kevin M. Kruse @ New... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 03/16/2015, 4:33pm
Mike Huckabee seems to have found some pretty unconventional ways to line his pockets. Last week, Rick Scarborough, James Dobson, Mat Staver, James Robison, and dozens of other pastors gathered for a conference call on the threat supposedly posed to "traditional marriage" by the Supreme Court. The Benham brothers will now be writing a regular column for WND. The NRA actually sent out a note to its members from Glenn Beck about his anti-Grover Norquist crusade.  Caleb Moore, the son of Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, was arrested once again for drug... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 03/16/2015, 3:10pm
Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee may have lost his 2008 presidential bid, in which he ran as a folksy “Christian leader,” but the heavy media exposure he got from it helped him to become a national Religious Right hero with his very own Fox News show. MORE >
Miranda Blue, Friday 03/13/2015, 10:20am
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, after teaming up with Christian nationalist extremists to host his “The Response” prayer rally in Baton Rouge earlier this year, is now continuing his project of endearing himself to the far fringes of the Religious Right by addressing an annual conference hosted by Liberty Counsel this weekend. Liberty Counsel’s “The Awakening” event will bring Jindal, along with fellow likely GOP presidential hopefuls Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum, together with some of the most unapologetically extreme Religious Right leaders, including Sen.... MORE >