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Saturday, December 29, 2007

Huckabee "Jesus Juice" Turning Sour for GOP Voters?

The last time evangelical Christians pulled the lever for a presidential candidate just because he was an evangelical we got Jimmy Carter.

Is history about to repeat itself?

Huckabee's had a tough week as questions about his foreign policy experience, his immigration record as governor and his personal veracity continue to boil in the media.

But, Jonathon Martin, writing for the Politico, describes how Huckabee supporters in Iowa ignore all those questions: "they just like the guy."

Is liking someone enough?

Foreign Policy? Where's the Beef?

In the wake of Benazir Bhutto's assassination in Pakistan Mike Huckabee had a hard time finding Pakistan on the map. First he said it's in the Middle East, it's not. Then he said Afghanistan was on Pakistan's eastern border (that's where India is). And he was totally clueless that the martial law imposed by Pakistan's President Musharraf had been lifted weeks ago.

On Friday, Huckabee said: “We have more Pakistani illegals coming across our border than all of the other nationalities except those immediately south of the border."Again, not true.

His gaffes and missteps on critical foreign policy and national security issues raise the question of who is advising him, if anyone?

After criticism of his article in the journal Foreign Affairs where he insulted the supporters of President Bush by declaring the Bush White House had an "arrogant bunker mentality" Huckabee did not recall if he even wrote those words.

That statement raised questions about just WHO is advising the candidate and helping him formulate his foreign policy?

This week, Huckabee rattled off a list of names of people who he said were helping him on foreign policy issues. Prominent among them was former UN Ambassador John Bolton. On Thursday Huckabee said: "I've corresponded with John Bolton, who's agreed to work with us on developing foreign policy.”

Just one problem: John Bolton has never spoken to Mike Huckabee, nor agreed to help his campaign.“I’m not an official or unofficial adviser to anyone,” said Bolton. In fact, no one on the list of names which includes former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has come forward to say "yeah, I've been helping him."

Huckabee explains away his gaffes and factual errors by insisting that judgement and character are more important. But what does fabricating members of your campaign say about your character and judgement? Haven't we already seen the downside of another presidential candidate, also from Hope Arkansas, with a truth deficit?

Bob Dole Blasts Huckabee Bush Slam

Regarding Huckabee's insulting article in Foreign Affairs, 1996 GOP presidential candidate Bob Dole released this letter:
Dear Governor:

I’m puzzled by your gratuitous slaps at the President in the January/February issue of Foreign Affairs. By the way, I have no special ties to President Bush and I’m not involved in any presidential campaign.

Why have you joined the “Bush bashers?” I know Iowans fairly well and doubt those attending Republican caucuses will appreciate your critical comments. President Bush gets more than his fair share of criticism from the other side and many in the “mainstream” media. They all really must be heartened by your comments.

As a veteran, I worry about the future security of the good people of Iowa and all other Americans. We are engaged in a global war on terror which will not disappear because you imply a willingness, without any preconditions apparently, to sit down with the enemy. Sure we can all find fault with President Bush and his Administration on policy matters and phases of the Iraq policy. I doubt however Iowans will applaud second guessing more than five years after the agony of 9-11, particularly since you have been either silent or supportive during the interim as far as I can determine.

The Foreign Affairs piece is a perfect example of 20-20 hindsight, and wishful thinking in most instances. You make knotty foreign policy issues sound so easy if we would just change our ways. I never was a foreign policy expert though I followed it closely for nearly three decades under Democrat and Republican Presidents.

The great majority of Americans regardless of party, place liberty, freedom and security as top priorities. I’m certain you do too but I am troubled about some of the statements attributed to you in the Foreign Affairs article.

The administration is certainly not perfect, I cannot recall one, but I do not believe it should be your primary foreign policy target. We are a great, compassionate nation and I know you want to keep it so.

To win in 2008 we need to multiply, not divide.

Bob Dole
As Governor, Huckabee explained he did not support strong measures to control illegal immigration in Arkansas because: “I drink a different kind of Jesus juice.” One wonders if fellow evangelicals in Iowa, South Carolina and elsewhere have sipped enough of the Huckabee Kool Aid and are having second thoughts? We'll know soon enough.

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