Gary Bauer Strikes Back

Earlier this week, Gary Bauer issued a press release disputing Mike Huckabee’s allegations that getting a straight answer out of him about why he refused to support Huck’s campaign was “like playing Whac-a-Mole at the arcade.”  In his new book, Huckabee also called Bauer a sell-out for saying that national security issues were more important that social issues, likening it to the NRA saying “we still care about guns, but what we really want to focus on is global warming.”

Huckabee writes that if Bauer really is more interested in security issues than social issues, he should start considering himself the head of a “national security group” rather than a “pro-family group” because “when an organization can’t even focus on its focus, it’s hopelessly lost.”  It was Bauer’s hypocrisy, writes Huckabee, that make him realize he’d rather be “politically homeless” than “politically clueless.” 

Today, Bauer fires back, saying that if anybody is clueless, it’s Huckabee:

Huckabee is wrong on a couple of counts. First, my passion and work on behalf of values issues have in no way diminished. Second, I have believed since 9-11 that the West’s battle against Islamofascism is a crucial component in the fight for our civilization. Thus it is a values issue. That Huckabee fails to understand all this gets to the heart of why I did not support him.

Huckabee said that during a private meeting we had, “it was like playing whack-a-mole at the arcade — whatever issue I addressed, another one surfaced as the ‘problem’ that made my candidacy unacceptable.”

In fact, talking with Huckabee was like playing whack-a-mole, because he had a number of issues that posed problems. It wasn’t just that he didn’t get it on foreign policy. His record on taxes and spending, illegal immigration, his apparent backing of Al Gore’s carbon cap and trade scheme, support for voting rights for Washington, D.C., and cozying up to unions like the NEA all worried me. Huckabee can call it whack-a-mole. But for me there were just too many items where he wasn’t sufficiently conservative coupled with a lack of attention and experience on foreign affairs.

Bauer concludes by calling out Huckabee for being so petty, saying that once he has “finished attacking all those who he thinks denied him the GOP nomination, I look forward to working with him to reform the GOP and revitalize the conservative movement.”

I suspect that, given the obviously bad blood between the two, they probably won’t be working together any time soon.