Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee recently took a shot at rival Mitt Romney for having changed his political positions:”I think people should judge Mitt Romney on his record. Is he consistent? Does he say and believe the things now that he said and believed before? That’s what ought to be the criteria.”
When confronted over the weekend by his 1992 comments about people infected with HIV calling on the federal government to “take steps that would isolate the carriers of this plague,” Huckabee said, “The one thing I feel like is important to note is that you stick by what you said” and that while he might say things differently today, “I don’t run from it, don’t recant from it.”
That concern about consistency apparently didn’t extend to his much more recent position on federal government policy toward Cuba. In fact, it only took a couple of hours for him to reverse course when it looked like his previous position might cost him some votes, according to a Miami Herald story about the GOP candidate debate hosted by television network Univisión:
Although the candidates kept it polite on stage, Fred Thompson’s campaign circulated press clippings from 2002 in which Huckabee called for an end to the trade embargo with Cuba. In a letter to President Bush, Huckabee wrote at the time: “U.S. policy on Cuba has not accomplished its stated goal of toppling the Castro regime and instead has provided Castro with a convenient excuse for his own failed system of government.”
That stance is bound to rile many Cuban Americans in Miami-Dade, who believe that the embargo helps undermine Fidel Castro’s repressive regime.
Huckabee is certain to face questions about the embargo at a Monday morning press conference in Miami, where he is expecting an endorsement from Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio, one of the most prominent Cuban-American Republicans in the state.
Caught off guard, Huckabee’s campaign said two hours after the debate that he had since changed his position on the embargo after consulting with Cuban-American leaders. ”He’s committed to vetoing any legislation that lifts sanctions on Cuba,” said Huckabee spokeswoman Alice Stewart.