Mike Huckabee

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 1/4/11

Mitch Daniels

Social issues: Candidates for RNC Chair pan Daniels's "truce" proposal (GOP12, 1/3).

2012: Claims that a potential presidential bid scares his family "to death" (The Hill, 1/3).

Newt Gingrich

Religious Right: Bryan Fischer of AFA thinks his history of extramarital affairs will doom him among social conservatives (RWW, 1/3).

Fundraising: Confirmed to address, along with Mike Pence, Illinois GOP fundraiser celebrating Ronald Reagan's birthday (Chicago Tribune, 1/3).

Mike Huckabee

Arkansas: Enthusiasm builds for a second presidential run in his home state of Arkansas (Politics Daily, 1/2).

Poll: Two out of three Republicans said that they were "very or somewhat likely" to back Huckabee, leading the field (CBNNews, 1/2).

Jon Huntsman

2012: Still open to presidential bid despite his appointment as Ambassador to China (Newsweek, 1/1).

Sarah Palin

Social issues: Re-tweets Tammy Bruce, who said that "the more someone complains about the homos the more we should look under their bed" (Gawker, 1/4).

GOP: Conservative writer George Will and blogger Erick Erickson dismiss Palin's chances of winning the Presidency (Salon, 1/3).

Book: Reviewer of America By Heart finds that "there is no identity she embraces with more alacrity than that of victim" (Religion Dispatches, 1/2).

Tim Pawlenty

2012: With Mark Dayton's inauguration as governor, Pawlenty now "full-time candidate" (The Atlantic, 1/3).

Book: Will begin tour for new book, Courage to Stand (Minnesota Public Radio, 1/3).

Mike Pence

Indiana: Fundraising plans point to potential gubernatorial bid (TPM, 1/4).

GOP: Wins the endorsement of RedState's Erick Erickson (RedState, 1/3).

Fundraising: Confirmed to address, along with Newt Gingrich, Illinois GOP fundraiser celebrating Ronald Reagan's birthday (Chicago Tribune, 1/3).

Mitt Romney

Massachusetts: May have a "Willie Horton" situation from his parole board appointments as Massachusetts governor (UPI, 1/3).

South Carolina: Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) calls Romney "the most electable conservative" (Greenville Online, 1/3).

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 12/28/10

Haley Barbour

Mississippi: Uses private jet for political and entertainment outings, state spent over $500,000 for his air travel (Politico, 12/27).

Race: Controversy over Barbour’s Citizens Council “whitewash” continues (Christian Science Monitor, 12/22).

John Bolton

Government: Says government should not cut defense spending to shrink the deficit (TPM, 12/27).

Social issues: Denounces non-binding treaty on the rights of indigenous people (Fox News, 12/25).

Mitch Daniels

Social issues: Stands by his support for a “truce” on social issues (Politico, 12/27).

Education: Details private school voucher plan (Courier Journal, 12/24).

Mike Huckabee

GOP: Think Progress investigation ties Huckabee to “a firm notorious for defrauding families facing foreclosure with false promises and predatory fees” (Think Progress, 12/27).

Health Care: Huckabee and Palin’s own 2009 speech challenge Palin’s criticism of Michelle Obama’s anti-obesity efforts (The Hill, 12/27).

Sarah Palin

Language: Claims “Refudiate” was a typo, but she used the term in an earlier interview on Fox News (NY Daily News, 12/27).

Environment: Says conservationists are hypocrites for using pencils and paper (HuffPo, 12/27).

Foreign policy: Former Bush spokeswoman Dana Perino says Palin’s reality show and policy role give her an “authenticity” problem (The Right Scoop, 12/26).

2012: Peggy Noonan predicts that Palin won’t run for President but will have immense clout in the primary (GOP12, 12/26).

Tim Pawlenty

2012: Upcoming book tour could serve as “a test of his appeal” to Republican voters nationwide (Gannett, 12/24).

Religious Right: Sidesteps judicial nomination process and appoints Religious Right activist and deputy chief of staff’s wife to district court (RWW, 12/23).

Mike Pence

Religious Right: Leaders of Religious Right groups believe Pence can unite social conservatives with fiscal hawks (WSJ, 12/27).

GOP: Columnist believes Pence can successfully run for the nomination by “reuniting the Reagan Coalition” (Forbes, 12/23).

Mitt Romney

Health Care: Struggles to balance his criticism of coverage mandate with his support for a mandate in Massachusetts (HuffPo, 12/27).

2012: Holiday card asks, “Guess which grandchild heard that Papa might run again?” (Politico, 12/22).

John Thune

Government: Flounders in attempt to oppose earmarks while requesting more than $100 million (AP, 12/28).

Minnesota: Headlining MN GOP’s Lincoln/Reagan Dinner (Star Tribune, 12/22).

Right Wing Leftovers

  • With the repeal of DADT, Linda Harvey says Christians have lost "their rights to disgust."
  • Mike Huckabee defends Michelle Obama from Sarah Palin.
  • The Susan B. Anthony List is mobilizing activists to lobby for a pro-life RNC Chair, which seems rather unnecessary to me. 
  • David Brody is now CBN's "Chief Political Correspondent."
  • NOM is calling "on responsible LGBT organizations to return any donations raised as a result of this shock video, in which adults put profanities in the mouths of children and encourage what can only be called open hatred of their friends, neighbors and fellow citizens who believe marriage is the union of husband and wife."
  • Finally, FRC continues to push-back against the SPLC, promising to release "a more detailed response to [Richard] Cohen’s charge that FRC spreads 'falsehoods' in our well-documented research, which does show that certain harms are associated with homosexual conduct."

Right Wing Round-Up

Dozens of GOP Leaders Declare Solidarity With Those Who Want To See Homosexuality Outlawed

Last week when Jeremy Hooper discovered that the Family Research Council was planning to roll out a campaign fighting back against the Southern Poverty Law Center's designation of the organization as an anti-gay hate group, we noted that FRC was asking people to sign on to the campaign to "stand in solidarity with Family Research Council, American Family Association, Concerned Women of America, National Organization for Marriage, Liberty Counsel and other pro-family organizations that are working to protect and promote natural marriage and family."

By doing so, we pointed out, any one who added their name was essentially declaring that they stood shoulder-to-shoulder with groups that proclaim:

Today, FRC announced that it was running this open letter [PDF] in both Politico and The Washington Examiner and that the effort had the support of dozens of Republican members of Congress and conservative leaders:

Family Research Council (FRC) announced the placement of a full-page open letter in today's print editions of Politico and the Washington Examiner responding to the Southern Poverty Law Center's (SPLC) recent attacks on FRC and other groups.

SPLC has targeted FRC and other organizations that uphold Judeo-Christian moral views, including marriage as the union of a man and a woman. The open letter, signed by more than 150 organizational leaders, Members of Congress and other elected officials, calls for a "vigorous but responsible exercise of the First Amendment rights of free speech and religious liberty that are the birthright of all Americans."

The open letter was signed by many current and former elected and government officials including Speaker-designate John Boehner, Majority Leader-elect Eric Cantor, U.S. Reps Mike Pence (R-IN), Michele Bachmann (R-MN), John Carter (R-TX), John Fleming (R-LA,) Trent Franks (R-AZ), Louie Gohmert (R-TX,) Gregg Harper (R-MS), Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Jim Jordan (R-OH), Steve King (R-IA,) Don Manzullo (R-IL), Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Joe Pitts (R-PA), Peter Roskam (R-LA), Lamar Smith (R-TX,) Steve Scalise (R-LA,) Fred Upton (R-MI), U.S. Senators Jim DeMint (R-SC), Jim Inhofe (R-OK,) David Vitter (R-LA), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Sam Brownback (Gov.-elect, Kansas), Governor Bobby Jindal, former Governor Mike Huckabee, Governor Tim Pawlenty, former Senator Rick Santorum, Edwin Meese III, former Attorney General of the United States, and Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.

For the record, here is the complete list of leaders who have publicly declared their solidarity with SPLC-designated anti-gay hate groups who want to see gays barred from serving in public office and homosexuality made illegal: 

Alaska Family Council Jim Minnery - President
American College of Pediatricians Tom Benton, MD - President
American Conservative Union Foundation Cleta Mitchell - Chairman
American Decency Association Bill Johnson - President
American Family Association Tim Wildmon - President
American Family Association of Pennsylvania Diane Gramley - President
American Principles Project Andresen Blom - Executive Director
American Values Gary Bauer - President
Association of Maryland Families Derek McCoy - President
Best-Selling Author and Host of Morning in America Dr. William J. Bennett
Calvary Chapel Jack Hibbs - Senior Pastor
Cardinal Newman Society Patrick Reilly - President
Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights Bill Donohue - President
CCV of Indiana PAC Joseph Sergio, Ph.D - Chairman
Center for Arizona Policy Cathi Herrod - President
Center for Law and Social Strategy Mark Spengler - Executive Director
Center for Security Policy Frank Gaffney - President and CEO
Center for Urban Renewal and Education Star Parker - President
Christian Civic League of Maine Carroll Conley - Executive Director
Christian Medical Association David Stevens - CEO
CitizenLink Tom Minnery - Senior Vice President, Public Policy
Citizens for Community Values Phil Burress - President
Citizens for Community Values of Indiana Patrick Mangan - Executive Director
CNSNews.com Chris Johnson - News Correspondant
CNSNews.com Eric Scheiner - Senior Video Producer
Coalition for Marriage and FamilyTom Shields - Chairman
Colorado Family Action Jessica Haverkate - Director
Committee for Justice Curt Levey - Executive Director
Concerned Citizens for Family Values of Connecticut Ray Kastner - President
Concerned Women For America Penny Nance - CEO
Concerned Women for American Wendy Wright - President
ConservativeHQ.com Richard Viguerie - Chairman
Coral Ridge Ministries Robert Knight - Senior Writer
Coral Ridge Ministries Hector Padron - Executive Vice President
Cornerstone Action, NH Kevin Smith - Executive Director
Cornerstone Family Council of ID Julie Lynde - Executive Director
Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation E. Calvin Beisner, Ph.D. - National Spokesman
Delaware Family Policy Council Nicole Theis - Executive Director
Design4 Marketing Communications Clint Cline - President
Eagle Forum Phyllis Schlafly - President
Ethics and Public Policy Center Rick Santorum - Senior Fellow
Faith Christian Fellowship Church The Rev Dr. R. Edgar Bonniwell - Senior Pastor
Family Action Council of Tennessee David Fowler - President
Family First (Nebraska FPC) Dave Bydalek Bydalek - Executive Director
Family Institute of Connecticut Peter Wolfgang - Executive Director
Florida Family Policy Counci lJohn Stemberger - President and General Counsel
ForAmerica David Bozell - Executive Director
Generals International Cindy Jacobs - President
Illinois Family Institute David Smith - Executive Director
Iowa Family Policy Center Chuck Hurley - President
Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality Elaine Silodor Berk - Director
Judicial Action Group Phillip Jauregui - President
Kansas Sam Brownback - Governor-elect
Kansas Family Policy Council Donna Lippoldt - Executive Director
Kingdom Warriors Ministry William Boykin - LTG(R) USArmy
Landmark Legal Foundation Mark Levin - President
Leadership Institute Morton Blackwell - President
Let Freedom Ring Colin Hanna - President
Liberty Center for Law and Policy Mandi Campbell - Legal Director
Liberty Counsel Matt Barber - Director of Cultural Affairs
Liberty Counsel Mathew Staver - Founder and Chairman
Liberty Institute Kelly Shackelford
Louisiana Bobby Jindal - Governor
Louisiana Family Forum Action Gene Mills - President
Massachusetts Family Institute Kris Mineau - President
Media Research Center Matthew Balan - news analyst
Media Research CenterL. Brent Bozell - Founder and President
Media Research Center Kyle Drennen - News Analyst
Media Research Center Matthew Hadro
Mike Huckabee - Former Governor, TV/ Radio Commentator
Minnesota Family Council David Eaton - Chairman
Minnesota Family Council John Helmberger - Chief Executive Officer
Mission America Linda Harvey - President
Missouri Family Policy Council Joe Ortwerth - Executive Director
National Organization for Marriage Brian Brown - President
National Organization for Marriage Maggie Gallagher - Chairman
National Organization for Marriage - Rhode Island Christopher Plante - Executive Director
National Review Rich Lowry - Editor
Nationally Syndicated Radio Talkshow Host Janet Parshall
Nevada Concerned Citizens Richard Ziser - Director
New Jersey Family First Len Deo - Founder & President
New Yorker's Family Research Foundation Rev. Tom Stiles
New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms Rev. Jason McGuire
North Dakota Family Alliance Tom Freier - Executive Director
Ohio Faith and Freedom Coalition Ken Blackwell - Chairman
Priests For LifeFr. Frank Pavone - National Director
Prison Fellowship and The Colson Center for Christian Worldview Chuck Colson - Founder
Public Service Research Foundation David Denholm - President
Radio America Franklin Raff - Sr. Executive Producer
Rappahannock Ventures WillIam Walton - Chairman
ReAL Action Rick Tyler - Chairman
RedState Erick-Woods Erickson - Editor
Renewing American Leadership Jim Garlow - Chairman
Republican Party of Louisiana Roger Villere, Jr. - Chairman
Restore America David Crowe - President
Retired Rensselaer Broekhuizen - Pastor
RightMarch.com William Greene - President
Shirley & Banister Public Affairs Diana Banister - Vice President
Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission Dr. Richard Land - President
State of Minnesota Tim Pawlenty - Governor
The American Spectator Alfred Regnery - Publisher
The Coalition of Conscience Michael Brown, Ph.D. - Director
The Diana Davis Spencer Foundation Abby Moffat - Vice President and COO
The Family Foundation of VirginiaVictoria Cobb - President
The Family Policy Council of WVJeremiah Dys, Esq. - President and General Counsel
The National Legal Foundation Steven Fitschen - President
THE New Voice, Inc.Herman Cain - CEO and President
The Oak InititativeRick Joyner - President
The Washington Examiner Mark Tapscott - Editorial Page Editor
TheCall Louis Engle - President
Tradition, Family, Property, Inc.C. Preston Noell III - President
Traditional Values Coalition Jody Hutchens - Regional Director
Traditional Values Coalition Andrea Lafferty - Executive Director
U.S. Congress Senator David Vitter - (R-LA)
U.S. Congress Senator Roger Wicker - (R-MS)
U.S. House of Representatives Congresswoman Michele Bachmann - (R-MN)
U.S. House of Representatives Speaker-designate John Boehner - (R-OH)
U.S. House of Representatives Majority Leader-elect Eric Cantor - (R-VA)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman John Fleming, M.D. - (R-LA)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Trent Franks - (R-AZ)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Louie Gohmert - (R-TX)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Jeb Henserling - (R-TX)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Jim Jordan - (R-OH)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Steve King - (R-IA)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Donald Manzullo - (R-IL)
U.S. House of Representative sCongressman Kevin McCarthy - (R-CA)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman-elect Alan Nunnelee - (R-MS)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Mike Pence - (R-IN)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Joe Pitts - (R-PA)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Peter Roskam - (R-IL)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Steve Scalise - (R-LA)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Lamar Smith - (R-TX)
U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Fred Upton - (R-MI)
United States SenateJim DeMint - Senator
Virginia Ken Cuccinelli - Attorney General
Western Center for Journalism Floyd Brown - President
Wisconsin Family Action Julaine Appling - President
WMtek Corp. Dan Pennell - CEO
WND.com Joseph Farah - Chief Executive Officer

Right Wing Leftovers

  • For some reason, Michael Steele thinks he has a chance of getting re-elected as Chairman of the RNC.  Good luck with that.
  • Want to spend ten minutes listening to Mike Huckabee talk about playing bass guitar?  Well, you are in luck.
  • Anti-choice activists have big plans for when Republicans take over state legislatures.
  • Focus on the Family is airing its interview with George W. Bush and it was surprisingly dull.
  • Finally, the American Decency Association reports that "shoppers are appalled at the eroticism portrayed" by Victoria's Secret, including "models are in sexually explicit poses [and some that] have promoted lesbianism."

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 12/14/10

Mike Huckabee

Religious Right: LGBT activists call on Huckabee to break ties with Lou Engle (Advocate, 12/13).

2012: Believes he is best prepared to “bring in ethnic voters than most Republicans” (National Journal, 12/13).

Obama: Says the President was “amateurish,” less difficult to defeat in 2012 than Republican opponents (National Journal, 12/8).

Sarah Palin

Haiti: Travels to Haiti with Franklin Graham, Greta van Susteren (CBS News, 12/13).

Foreign affairs: Plans trips to Israel and UK, wants to meet Margaret Thatcher (NY Post, 12/9).

Ron Paul

WikiLeaks: Claims that WikiLeaks exposes failure of neoconservative foreign policy (The Nation, 12/13).

Tea Party: Paul’s ideas gain traction as House GOP embraces the Tea Party (NYT, 12/12).

Tim Pawlenty

Religious Right: Talks about faith on Christian Broadcasting Network profile (MN Independent, 12/13).

Labor: Pens WSJ Op-Ed criticizing public employee labor unions as “exploiters” (WSJ, 12/13).

Mike Pence

Obama: Says that the President wants American people to behave “like a dog” and “simply to obey” (US News, 12/13).

South Carolina: Hosts GOP fundraiser in early-primary state with Tea Party favorite and Gov-Elect Nikki Haley (Politico, 12/13).

GOP: George Will looks into Pence’s appeal in the Republican base (WaPo, 12/8).

Mitt Romney

Op-Ed: Slams compromise tax plan in USA Today (USA Today, 12/14).

Independents: Public Policy Poll finds Romney most popular Republican among independent voters (GOP12, 12/13).

Poll: Only GOP contender who leads Obama in Marist poll match up (McClatchy, 12/10).

Rick Santorum

Pennsylvania: Republicans in PA react to Santorum’s potential presidential run (Tribune Review, 12/12).

John Thune

Iowa: Thune’s experience in retail politics in rural, neighboring South Dakota to help bid in Iowa (Politico, 12/12).

Budget: Tells Hannity that unemployment extensions should be paid for but tax cuts shouldn’t (ThinkProgress, 12/9).

Right Wing Leftovers

  • What does Liberty University have in common with companies like Microsoft and Google?  A AA rating which allowed it to raise $120 million through the sale of bonds yesterday.
  • Al Mohler says that claims that Jesus will return on May 21, 2011 is an "embarrassment" to the Christian Church.
  • Ralph Reed says President Obama betrayed his principles with the tax cut compromise. Of course, Reed exploited his Christian allies on behalf of Jack Abramoff and gambling interests. 
  • Mike Huckabee is still mad that he gets pigeonholed as the "faith candidate."
  • Finally, mark your calendars because it looks like the Freedom Federation will be hosting another Awakening conference in April 2011.

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 12/07/10

Newt Gingrich

2012: Cillizza profiles Gingrich’s closest aides as he readies possible bid (The Fix, 12/6).

Iowa: Gingrich’s “American Solutions” donated $107,500 to Iowa politicians and state GOP (US News, 12/3).

Immigration: Voices support for immigration reform to conservative Latino convention (Politico, 12/2).

Mike Huckabee

2012: Seriously considers bid as Iowa and South Carolina polls look favorable to candidacy (Politico, 12/6).

Religious Right: Defends FRC from “hate group” label, asks if “60 percent of America is a hate group?” (Walton Sun, 12/5).

Book: New book tour seems like a “dry run for presidency” (Fresno Bee, 12/2).

Sarah Palin

GOP: Declines Tea Party Nation’s draft campaign to have Palin run for RNC Chair (CNN, 12/6).

Reality TV: TV career takes off as the latest episode of “Sarah Palin’s Alaska” features Reality TV star Kate Gosselin (Forbes, 12/6).

Religious Right: Kathleen Kennedy Townsend writes op-ed challenging Palin’s views on church-state separation (WaPo, 12/3).

Tim Pawlenty

Book: AP looks into the ghostwriter of Pawlenty’s book “Courage to Stand” (AP, 12/7).

Experience: Defends record as governor, calling himself a stalwart conservative in a progressive state (Politico, 12/5).

PAC: Pawlenty’s Freedom First PAC spent over $300,000 in last weeks before election (CNN, 12/2).

Mitt Romney

Business: Set to address small business convention in Las Vegas (RCP, 12/6).

Foreign Affairs: Pens op-ed criticizing START Treaty (Boston Globe, 12/3).

FOX: Tells Jay Leno that Fox News job is “not in the cards” (The Cutline, 12/2).

Rick Santorum

PAC: Santorum’s Keystone PAC focused on helping candidates in Iowa and South Carolina (CNN, 12/6).

South Carolina: Speaks to GOP county organizations, including a roast for retiring congressmen (Post & Courier, 12/6).

Religious Right: Plans to make another speech criticizing Kennedy’s views of separation of church and state (The Hill, 12/5).

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Mike Huckabee responds to the SPLC designation of FRC as a hate group: "Does that mean that that 60 percent of America is a hate group?"
  • Bob Vander Plaats discusses the Iowa judicial retention campaign with Focus on the Family.
  • Gary Bauer says the attempted terrorist attack in Portland, Oregon was a "little late to the war on Christianity. Radical Islam’s secular enablers have been driving Christianity from the public square for decades."
  • Leaders from Anglican, Baptist, Catholic, Evangelical, Jewish, Lutheran, Mormon, Orthodox, Pentecostal and Sikh communities have signed on to a document entitled “The Protection of Marriage: A Shared Commitment."
  • Apparently, the Pope's Cologne is a real thing and you can buy it.
  • Finally, Focus on the Family's Jim Daly interviewed George W. Bush today for a broadcast to air next week:

Huckabee Irked Nobody Considers Him a 2012 Front-Runner

Ever since losing the Republican primary to John McCain in 2008, Mike Huckabee has repeatedly been asked if he plans to make another run for the White House in 2012.  And his answer has always been the same: "I don't know.  Maybe."

As Huckabee made clear during his last try, he is not independently wealthy and actually had to take breaks from campaigning in order to deliver paid speechs in order to have any sort of income.  He's now got several different projects that provide a nice living, but he'd have to give them up if he decided to run for president and once again find himself without a steady income. 

Given these constraints and Huckabee's perpetually nonchalant "maybe I will, maybe I won't" attitude, he's frequently left off the list of possible 2012 GOP candidates ... and that apparently irks him to no end:

Huckabee, for one, is tired of being left out of the conversation and sounds increasingly like a candidate.

“I just don’t understand how it is that a person can read these polls day after day and the narrative is constantly everybody but me,” he told POLITICO. “Whether I do it or not, the fact is that if one looks at the overall body of information that’s available, nobody would be in a better position to take it all the way to November.”

Few politicians who have felt – as Huckabee did for a moment in 2008 – a real shot at the presidency pass on a second run. That Huckabee’s national footprint, along with his bank account, has grown only strengthens the rationale for a second shot.

“The polls are consistently favorable, putting me either at the top of every poll or right near it. It’s hard to ignore that, having swum in that water before when I barely registered in those very kinds of polls,” he said.

Huckabee said he’s never wavered in seriously considering a bid, and interviews with the former Arkansas governor and much of his small inner circle suggest that he may be more likely to run than is widely presumed – and has recently shifted toward considering it more seriously.    

I, for one, welcome this development, as we've spent years chronicling Huckabee's myriad ties to radical right-wing activists and candidates and would hate to see all of that work go to waste.

Huckabee Calls for Execution of Those Responsible For WikiLeaks Documents

Via the Florida Independent, we see that Mike Huckabee delivered a speech at the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, CA yesterday and also gave a short interview to local media during which he was asked about the latest WikiLeaks documents, to which he responded by calling for the execution of the person (or persons) responsible for leaking the documents and blasted the New York Times for reporting on them:

Who ever in our government leaked that information is guilty of treason and I think anything less than execution too kind a penalty. They put Americans lives at risk. They’ve put relationships that will take decades to rebuild at risk, and they knew full well that they were handling sensitive documents. They were entrusted and anyone who had access to that level of information was not only a person who understood what their rules were, but they also signed, under oath, a commitment that they would not violate it. They did. And I believe they have committed treason against this country and any lives they endanger, they’re personally responsible for and the blood is on their hands.

And in addition to their reckless irresponsibility and act criminal intent, I think the New York Times has shown an utter reckless disregard for any responsible journalism by printing something that they know they have obtained in a way that is not appropriate.

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 11/30/10

John Bolton

2012: Bush’s UN Ambassador considers presidential bid to bring emphasis to “foreign and national security issues” (Politico, 11/28).

Foreign Affairs: Writes Op-Ed against reviving six-party talks with North Korea (LA Times, 11/23).

Newt Gingrich

South Carolina: Set to address key Republican event in South Carolina (The Spartanburg Herald Journal, 11/28).

GOP: Scheduled to speak at conservative Latino forum on December 2nd (The Americano).

Mike Huckabee

Health Care: Says that the country doesn’t “have a health care crisis. We have a health crisis” (The Bakersfield Californian, 11/26).

Religious Right: May split Evangelical, women’s vote with Sarah Palin (The Fix, 11/23).

2012: Claims to be undecided about run in interview during his children’s book tour (Arizona Republic, 11/23).

Sarah Palin

Government: Blasts Obama over leaks, dubs WikiLeaks head a terrorist (Daily Mail, 11/30).

GOP: Joe Scarborough knocks Palin for mocking Ronald Reagan and George HW Bush, says she “embarrasses herself” (Politico, 11/30).

Women: Jamie Stiehm takes aim at Palin’s “faux-feminism” and claims Palin is a detriment to women in politics (US News & World Report, 11/30).

Health: Criticizes Michelle Obama’s “anti-obesity thing” (Essence, 11/27).

Mitt Romney

GOP: Wins support from George HW and Barbara Bush (LA Times, 11/24).

Poll: Leads other prospective presidential candidates with 20% support (Maris, 11/23).

Rick Santorum

New Hampshire: Tells NH audience he wants earmarks banned, even though he was an earmarker (Morning Call, 11/29).

Foreign Affairs: Blasts Obama over handling of Iran and WikiLeaks (AP, 11/30).

John Thune

2012: Thune’s chances of winning nomination strong according to political markets (Politico, 11/30).

Religious Right Wants Jewish TX House Speaker Replaced With a "True Christian" Conservative

Back in 2009, a battle erupted in the Texas House of Representatives as Republicans fought over which member would serve as Speaker of the House.  The Religious Right lined up behind Tom Craddick, but everyone else supported Joe Straus who ended up winning, leading Rick Scarborough to decry it as a "coup."

And now a similar battle is unfolding yet again, as the same coalition of right-wing activists have mounted an effort to replace Straus with someone more inclined to do their bidding:

A group of conservative groups is trying to capitalize on that frustration, issuing a letter Nov. 4 calling for a new Speaker. The signatories include representatives from a lot of major conservative groups, including Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, Texas Right to Life, Americans for Prosperity, the Texas Eagle Forum, [Vision America,] Liberty Institute, former Republican Party of Texas Chairman Cathie Adams, and former Republican Party of Texas vice-chairman David Barton. Of particular concern to grass roots conservatives is the fate of bills requiring showing photo ID prior to voting and bills that limit property taxes.

And, not surprisingly, the effort has started to take on religious overtones

[A] handful of outside socially conservative groups are running a fairly deceitful but noisy campaign trying to pressure lawmakers who actually like the speaker’s management style to vote against him.

They blame him for the failure of the sonogram bill but the pro-life Texans for Life said the claim is false. They blame him for the failure of voter ID by permitting the Democratic filibuster, but that’s false. Straus followed the direction of his colleagues in the Republican caucus

They said that Straus appointed moderate chairman, but the budget under Straus was more fiscally conservative than the last one under Craddick.

Now, the so-called grassroots effort has crossed over the line with coordinated email and robocall programs calling for a true Christian speaker. Straus is Jewish.

The Texas Freedom Network reports that supporters have also been sending out emails explaining the importance of replaced Straus with a Christian:

Has the religious right’s effort to topple Texas House Speaker Joe Straus become an anti-Semitic smear campaign? Quorum Report (subscription required) has now posted various e-mails from groups and individuals opposed to Straus, who is Jewish. Excerpts:

“Straus is going down in Jesus name.”

“[W]e finally found a Christian conservative who decided not to be pushed around by the Joe Straus thugs.”

Another e-mail calls for replacing Straus as House Speaker so

“…that our nation will again prosper and hold to values that the Christians and Republicans hold so dear in their souls.”

Straus only needs the support of 76 members and has reportedly already secured pledges from nearly twice that number, but his opponents are not giving up. 

In fact, just today, Mike Huckabee through his support behind challenger Ken Paxton:

While Republicans across Texas and across the nation had many great victories on November 2nd, the battle for true conservatism is not over. Now, as the majority Party in many State Houses, and the U.S. House, Republicans have the duty and ability to select strong conservatives to be new Speakers of the House. That position should be filled by one who has the knowledge, ability and relationships to create and push a strong conservative agenda. In Texas, that’s Ken Paxton.

Huck PAC and I are pleased to again endorse Ken, this time for Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives.

Soon to start his fifth term in office, Ken has twice been named "Texas Taxpayer Hero" by Texans for Fiscal Responsibility. Ken proudly believes in the sanctity of life, and supporting conservative family values like traditional marriage between one man and one woman. Ken recognizes that the matters of social issues directly impact our economy, and I’m confident having Ken’s conservative voice lead the new Texas House of Representatives will result in some great accomplishments.

I hope you will join me in supporting Ken Paxton. Texas is fortunate to have him serving in the State House, let’s make sure we make him the next Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Mike Huckabee is raising funds for Joe Miller.
  • A handful of right-wing activsts are warning Congress not to confirm any nominees during the lame duck session.
  • Focus on the Family's "Day of Dialogue" aims to fight homosexuality just like Jesus would.
  • The Kansas law license of Phill Kline has been suspended for the fourth time.
  • James Dobson continues to air his decade-old grievances against the GOP.
  • Sometimes I wonder if Bryan Fischer isn't really just some brilliant left-wing satirist committed to making the AFA look as ridiculous as possible:  "We have feminized the Medal of Honor ... We now award it only for preventing casualties, not for inflicting them. So the question is this: when are we going to start awarding the Medal of Honor once again for soldiers who kill people and break things so our families can sleep safely at night?"

More Good News For Huckabee: James Robison Is Back In Business

For the last several months we've been noting the gradual re-emergence of James Robison, who was an influential leader back at the founding of the Religious Right but who eventually sort of fell off the radar. 

But in the last year or so, he has suddenly become more and more involved in Religious Right activism and I guess nothing better demonstrates that fact like this article, via AU, reporting that a few months back Robison convened a large gathering of leaders to plot how to defeat President Obama in 2012:

Conservative Christian leaders from across the nation met two months ago near the Dallas airport to strategize about replacing President Barack Obama with someone who matches their agenda – a move that paralleled an effort by Christian leaders in 1979 to defeat then President Jimmy Carter.

About 40 conservative Christian leaders gathered in Dallas on Sept. 8-9 to begin laying the groundwork for a religious-political movement similar to the one that helped Ronald Reagan oust the Baptist Sunday school teacher from the Oval Office. Convened by evangelist James Robison – a key figure in the religious effort 30 years ago to promote Reagan's candidacy – the list of attendees included many of the most prominent Christian evangelists and ministers, including several Southern Baptist leaders.

Southern Baptist leaders attending the meeting included: Richard Land (president of the SBC's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission); Richard Lee (pastor and the editor of The American Patriot's Bible); John Meador (pastor of First Baptist Church of Euless, Texas); and Paige Patterson (president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary).

Others at the meeting included: Tony Evans (a megachurch pastor in Texas); Father Joseph Fessio (founder and editor of Ignatius Press); Craig Groeschel (pastor of LifeChurch.tv); Miles McPherson (a megachurch pastor in California who spoke at the 2008 Republican National Convention); Johnnie Moore (a vice president at Liberty University who defended the school's decisions to have Glenn Beck and Newt Gingrich as recent speakers); Tom Mullins (a megachurch pastor in Florida); Doug Napier (legal counsel at the Alliance Defense Fund); Dino Rizzo (a megachurch pastor in Louisiana); Dave Roever (an evangelist who prayed at Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally); Mark Rutland (president of Oral Roberts University); David Stone (a megachurch pastor in Kentucky); and Stu Weber (a megachurch pastor in Oregon).

Several conservative Christian leaders highly active in politics attended the meeting, including: Stephen Broden (a pastor and Republican politician in Texas); Keith Butler (a pastor and Republican politician in Michigan); Maggie Gallagher (a conservative columnist who received tens of thousands of dollars for her work from the George W. Bush administration); Jim Garlow (chairman of Newt Gingrich's organization, Renewing American Leadership); Harry Jackson (pastor of Hope Christian Church in Washington, D.C.); Gene Mills (executive director of the Louisiana Family Forum); and Tony Perkins (president of the Family Research Council).

Some attendees have been guests on Glenn Beck's program on Fox News (including Broden, Garlow, Lee, McPherson, Mullins, Robison, Roever and Stone), and several were involved with his "Restoring Honor" rally (including Jackson, Land, Lee, Gallagher, Garlow and Roever).

Three of the attendees at the meeting have been under investigation since 2007 by Republican U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, a Baptist from Iowa, for perhaps violating IRS tax-exempt rules. Those at the meeting included televangelists Kenneth Copeland, Creflo Dollar and Joyce Meyer.

Other individuals helped plan the September meeting but were unable to attend. They included: Jerry Falwell Jr. (president of Liberty University); Jack Graham (a former president of the Southern Baptist Convention); O.S. Hawkins (head of the SBC's Guidestone Financial Resources); Jack Hayford (president of Foursquare International); and author Ravi Zacharias.

I should point out, also, that Robison's return can only be good news for Mike Huckabee, as Robison was his mentor back in the 1970s, leading Huckabee to drop out of seminary so he could go to work for Robison as his director of communications.

If Robison and crew are looking to replace Obama "with someone who matches their agenda," Huckabee seems like a perfect fit.

Good News For Huckabee: Vander Plaats Intends To Be Heavily Involved in 2012

Last week we noted that Mike Huckabee was going to be heading to Iowa to headline a fundraiser for the Iowa Family Policy Center, which is now being run by Bob Vander Plaats, and that Huckabee had stated quite clearly that he was attending the event in his capacity as a political leader.

So I am sure that it is purely coincidental that Vander Plaats has announced that the organizations he will be overseeing intend to be heavily involved in the state's 2012 Republican presidential caucuses:

Former Republican candidate for governor Bob Vander Plaats will lead a reorganized conservative policy and political advocacy group aimed in part at becoming an influential player in the campaign for Iowa’s 2012 Republican presidential caucuses.

Vander Plaats, who led a campaign to oust three Iowa Supreme Court justices in the Nov. 2 election, said Monday he will become president and chief executive officer of an umbrella group that includes the Iowa Family Policy Center, Marriage Matters and their political action committee.

Vander Plaats of Sioux City gives the new coalition of socially conservative groups a familiar face as it is plans a more influential role in the caucus campaign than four years ago, including offering its endorsement for the first time.

“We are going to be very engaged in the 2012 cycle. We believe it is our responsibility and our duty to be actively involved in taking a look at the candidates, vetting the candidates and then either recommending a candidate or candidates for consideration by the people who support us,” Vander Plaats told The Des Moines Register during an interview. The new group’s name, The Family Leader, is expected to be adopted today at the Iowa Family Policy Center’s board meeting.

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.

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Mike Huckabee Posts Archive

Josh Glasstetter, Wednesday 08/29/2012, 8:14pm
Mike Huckabee and Paul Ryan have both supported “personhood” amendments, which would ban abortion in the case of rape or incest, among other things. But unlike Ryan, Huckabee has already had the opportunity to force others to live in accordance with his extreme beliefs. Ryan, who speaks shortly after Huckabee tonight at the RNC, is still waiting for his chance.   Huckabee makes no secret of his views on reproductive rights. He has denounced the “holocaust of liberalized abortion,” angering the Anti-Defamation League in the process, and he argued at a personhood... MORE >
Josh Glasstetter, Wednesday 08/29/2012, 4:58pm
Do you remember the time when then-Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee went above and beyond to push for a convicted rapist to be paroled – over the objections of victims and the community – who then murdered two women? It began in 1996, when Huckabee began his push for the convicted rapist to be released, and ran through 2001, when the parolee was arrested for murdering two women. By most accounts, Huckabee took “extraordinary steps” to exert his influence. I wrote earlier that Huckabee has a long, sordid and frankly astonishing history involving the crime of rape, and... MORE >
Josh Glasstetter, Wednesday 08/29/2012, 3:37pm
I’m not sure what the RNC schedulers were thinking, but Mike Huckabee is set to “legitimate rape” back on the map tonight – a mere two speeches ahead of Paul Ryan. To be sure, the former Arkansas governor and Fox News personality will be on his best behavior, but Huckabee is inextricably linked with Todd “legitimate rape” Akin. And as we’ll explore, Huckabee’s own record is even more extreme and disturbing than Akin’s.  Huckabee, who prominently endorsed Akin in his recent primary, quickly emerged as his top defender in the wake of... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 08/08/2012, 11:35am
Missouri congressman Todd Akin eked out a win last night over  two rivals in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate, adding to a list of Religious Right backed candidates winning competitive primaries, including Richard Mourdock of Indiana and Ted Cruz of Texas. Akin is more than just a dogmatic conservative-- he's a darling of the Religious Right, earning perfect 100% ratings from the Family Research Council, National Right to Life and Concerned Women for America . Akin has also worked Religious Right with activists Tony Perkins, Janet Porter, Rick Scarborough, Tom DeLay and... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 07/31/2012, 5:30pm
Joining televangelist Pat Robertson who earlier today said that same-sex marriage will be the “death knell” of the Democratic Party, Mike Huckabee and other leading conservatives have denounced the party’s decision to include marriage equality in its platform. Huckabee told Tim Wildmon of the American Family Association that the move is the “best thing that’s ever happened to the Republican Party” and “may end up sinking the ship.” He said that while people tolerate people who “choose to live in lifestyles that they don’t necessarily... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 06/20/2012, 10:32am
Last night, the Family Research Council hosted a webcast entitled "Two Weeks for Freedom: Catholics and Evangelicals Together for Freedom" that was billed as kicking off "a two week period of nationwide prayer and action in support of religious liberty" by mobilizing conservative Christians to oppose the Obama administration's contraception mandate. The first guest on the program was Mike Huckabee, who declared that it was become clear that "this administration is not just indifferent to people of faith, it's hostile" and warning that if all Christians don't... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 05/30/2012, 4:45pm
America is on the brink of collapse, and Truth in Action Ministries is warning in a new film, as a result of gay rights, liberalism and secular government. The group unveiled The Price of Freedom following a series of films blaming America’s ills on the IRS and homosexuality, calling for its criminalization. The film features Mike Huckabee, anti-gay activist Harry Jackson, Liberty Counsel’s Harry Mihet, Movieguide’s Ted Baehr and tea party activist Paul Jehle, along with the predictably ominous scenes from gay rights rallies and parades. Others participating in the film... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 02/10/2012, 11:23am
Mike Huckabee kicked off day two of the annual CPAC conference by voicing his outrage that President Obama thinks he's a theologian for daring to cite Scripture and proceeded to lecture Obama on what it means to be a real Christian: MORE >