If there is one word that can best describe Mike Huckabee’s response to losing the Republican primary to John McCain after being savaged by the fiscal conservatives and snubbed by the social conservatives, it would be “bitterness.”
As we’ve noted a few times before, for a guy who is presumably planning on making another run for the White House in 2012, Huckabee seems to be spending a lot more time settling scores with those who refused to back him than attempting to win them over ahead of his next campaign, which doesn’t seem like a particularly smart political strategy.
And here he is yet again, calling out FreedomWorks’ Dick Armey for mocking Huckabee’s anti-Wall Street message when he was running for office while now trying capitalize on the right-wing “tea party” opposition to the bailouts and stimulus package and whatever else all those protests were supposedly about:
“The tea parties are mostly an honest spontaneous effort by ordinary people from all over the political spectrum to express their outrage at government hubris from absurd spending, corporate bailouts, etc.,” former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee told ABC News in an email today, asked for a comment about today’s protests.
Now, of course, Armey and FreedomWorks are rallying the tea party protests around the country that are protesting big government, Wall Street bailouts, higher taxes and President Obama’s housing plan.
“As for Armey,” Huckabee writes when I ask him to weigh in, “he and about 75% of the so-called ‘conservatives’ owe me a big apology. They misrepresented my record, took my statements totally out of context, and accused me of economic liberalism, which is utter nonsense. My campaign upset their orderly apple cart, because it really was run by grass-roots conservatives and small business owners and not those who as it turned out were wholly owned subsidiaries of recklessly run corporations and lobbyists.”
Huckabee says Armey and his cohorts “never listened to what I was saying, but just spoke out to protect their pals who were funding their faces—there’s a word for people who get to paid to show love, but polite people don’t use it openly. I’ve found it amazing to watch the huffy puffy types who skinned me alive during the campaign jump out and support TARP, and then change their tune when Obama and the Dems proposed stimulus.
We’ll try and be polite here as well and not mention the word that Huckabee obviously has in mind.
When he was running for the nomination, there were lots of articles quoting sources familiar with Huckabee’s tenure in Arkansas that remarked on his petty vindictiveness and willingness to hold a grudge. Those tales never worked their way into the narrative around his campaign as they couldn’t overcome his media-driven reputation as a “aw shucks” bass-playing everyman … but it sure seems as if Huckabee is doing everything he can to make sure that it becomes a theme in his next potential campaign.