Saturday, December 15, 2007


Mike Huckabee, in an interview broadcast on NPR yesterday:

For people to dig back 20 years and say "Oh, you know what, you said something in a church somewhere" -- I'm not running to be the pastor of America, I'm running to be the president.

Mike Huckabee, in an interview with John Hawkins of Right Wing News, posted April 10, 2006:

I always say that I've really never left the ministry; I'm just kind of dealing with a different kind of congregation these days.

So, Huck, which is it? Or is there one answer for a right-wing audience and another answer when you think your audience is liberal?

(Or one answer when you were a second-tier candidate and another when you hit the big time?)


By the way, in that NPR interview, Huck essentially endorses the Bush approach for dealing with the subprime mortgage mess, and he compares people who can't make their mortgage payments to junkies:

...what we don't need is a government bailout. That is not the purpose of government, to prop people up from every poor decision they make. In fact, when you do that ... whether it's in the world of finance or the world of drug addiction ... it creates an enabling codependency. It's the last thing that really helps people.

He does accuse the lenders of greed (referring to "overambitious borrowers and greedy lenders"), but he reserves the bulk of his wrath for the borrowers (whom he also compares to reckless drivers: "If I drive 95 miles an hour and drive on icy roads, there are consequences"). I don't want to oversimplify this issue, but that quote seems a far cry from Huckabee's previous rhetoric: "The first thing we've gotta do as a Republican party is quit being a wholly-owned subsidiary of Wall Street and the corporations...."


Back in an October debate, Huckabee said this about the signers of the Declaration of Independence (emphasis added):

When our founding fathers put their signatures on the Declaration of Independence, those 56 brave people, most of whom, by the way, were clergymen, they said that we have certain inalienable rights given to us by our creator, and among these life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, life being one of them. I still believe that.

"Most of whom"? Er, no:

Only one of the 56 was an active clergyman, and that was John Witherspoon. Witherspoon was a Presbyterian minister and president of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University).

A few more of the signers were former clergymen, though it's a little unclear just how many. The conservative Heritage Foundation said two other signers were former clergymen. The religion web site said four signers of the declaration were current or former full-time preachers. But everyone agrees only Witherspoon was an active minister when he signed the Declaration of Independence.

Well, last night Ed Rollins, Huck's new campaign chairman, was spouting more or less the same nonsense on the Lou Dobbs show on CNN:

ROLLINS: You go back to the signing of the constitution I think 26 of the people that signed it were ministers.

Wrong again. Out of 55 signers of the Constitution, cites only 1 (2 if you want to stretch it): Abraham Baldwin of Georgia "began his career as a minister" and Hugh Williamson of North Carolina "became a licensed Presbyterian teacher but was never ordained.... he ... took a position as professor of mathematics at his alma mater."

Enough sugar in that Kool-Aid, Ed?

(Hat tip for Rollins quote: Balloon Juice.)

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