Tag Archives: Mike Huckabee

LOTFI: 8 Crucial Questions Before The Next GOP Debate

CALIFORNIA, September 15, 2015– The first GOP debate hosted by Fox News was a game-changer. Some candidates shined, while others made mistakes they may not be able to recover from. Polls typically don’t have much weight this early on, but with the party using poll performance as qualifier to have a seat on the main stage, they carry more weight than usual. Yes, it’s still early, but with Labor Day having passed, campaign season is officially in full swing. Here are 8 crucial questions ahead of CNN’s Wednesday night debate at the Ronald Reagan library in California.

1.) Will Donald Trump even show?

Trump has threatened CNN that if they do not donate the proceeds from advertising dollars, then he’ll choose not to attend the debate. The way Trump sees it, CNN will take bundles of cash to the bank due to record-breaking viewership tuning in to see him, so he feels entitled to run the show. Either way, it’s a win for Trump. He’ll get just as many headlines if he doesn’t show as he would if he did. Not to mention the fact that his last debate performance wasn’t spectacular, so it could be a way for Trump to avoid policy while still stealing the publicity.

2.) Has Ted Cruz peaked? How will he deal with Huckabee?

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has struggled to capture more than 10 percent of the vote. In late April, Cruz had his best showing in the polls with an average of 11.3 percent. However, his support dropped below 5 percent before the first GOP debate. On the day of the debate, Cruz captured approximately 5.5 percent support. Post-debate, Cruz rode a small wave and managed to reach 7.3 percent, but is currently back down to 6.7 percent. That being said, Cruz has grassroots conservatives right where he wants them. Also, with former Texas Governor Rick Perry out of the race, Cruz could see a bump from voters in his home state. However, many believe that Cruz’s appeal is limited– especially when he has having to compete for the evangelical vote with former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee whose campaign staff has literally blocked Cruz from speaking to the media so the Governor can steal the show. The best thing that could happen for Cruz would be for Huckabee to end his campaign. However, Huckabee isn’t likely to do so. After all, he’s just in it for another book deal. Even if Huckabee were to drop out, Cruz has a narrow path to victory with an even more narrow potential voter base to carry him there. Even so, it may behoove Cruz to call Huckabee out on being an avid supporter of Common Core. This could knock Huckabee down a few points and those folks would naturally migrate to Cruz.

3.) Will Carson take Trump’s place atop the post-debate polls?

In the first GOP debate, Dr. Ben Carson was cool, calm and collected. He managed to answer some tough questions. Your average policy-wonk wasn’t impressed with Carson’s responses, but what do they know? America loves Carson and they should. Unlike Donald Trump, Carson is even-tempered, has a kind heart and is a true outsider. While Trump’s supporters haven’t flocked to Carson just yet, Carson has made impressive gains in the polls. He’s even caught up to Trump in Iowa. During the first debate, Carson registered only 5.8 percent. Currently capturing 17.8 percent, he has jumped 12 points since then. As more Americans learn about Trump’s deep connections and financial ties to Washington, some Americans wanting an outsider to sit in the White House may see Carson a more suitable alternative. However, Carson will need to take a stand in the next debate. He has America’s attention, now it’s time to show us he has the guts to be America’s next Commander in Chief. As of today, Carson is only 12 points behind Trump.

4.) Can Jeb Bush defeat his worst enemy, himself?

Jeb Bush hit a high of 17.8 percent support in July. Since then, it’s been a downward spiral. By time the first debate aired, Bush had lost almost 5 points and Trump had taken over as the leading candidate. Speaking of the debate, Bush was a drag. Not a single pundit had a nice thing to say about his performance and America agreed. Post-debate, Bush shredded almost another 5 points and currently sits at 7.8 percent support. Many may like to blame Trump for Bush’s decline, but the only person responsible for Bush’s decline is Bush himself. What does it say about your strength as a candidate if a bombastic reality TV star can knock you off your perch in a matter of weeks? Bush needs to save himself in the CNN debate, and only he can do it.

5.) Can Rand Paul, Scott Walker and Chris Christie redeem themselves?

Pundits had high hopes for Senator Rand Paul, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, but each has fallen from grace. At one point, polls showed each of them in the lead for the party’s nomination. Paul is a tea party, libertarian leaning Republican from Kentucky who made it his mission to improve the GOP’s image with minorities, independents and youth. From a high of 17 percent, Paul currently captures only 2.7 percent. Some thought he may not even make it to the second debate. His first debate performance left many Republicans with a bad taste in their mouth. What’s worse is that Paul is now viewed as unfavorable by more than 40 percent of voters, while 30 percent have a favorable opinion and 30 percent are undecided. Those numbers continue to get worse for Paul. Meanwhile, Walker has struggled to define himself. Most insiders will tell you that Walker is no grassroots conservative and more closely aligns with the policies of Bush and Kasich. Regardless, Walker has set out to appease conservatives rather than establishment types. It’s a worthy strategy, but folks just aren’t buying it yet. Walker’s first debate performance was lackluster at best. Before the first debate, many didn’t know who Walker was. Post-debate, his poll numbers took a hit. Before the debate, Walker was polling at 10.6 percent which was down from an all time high of 16.6 percent. Today, he only captures 3.8 percent. Favorability is also an issue with Walker. In March, 26 percent of those polled had a favorable opinion of Walker. Today, that number remains unchanged. Meanwhile, in Mach, 27 percent had an unfavorable opinion of Walker. Today, 35 percent have a negative opinion of Walker. Regardless of Walker’s and Paul’s problems, they should both be thankful they aren’t Christie. At one point, Christie dominated the GOP field with 20 percent of the vote. Today, he only registers support from 2 percent of voters. Meanwhile, 50 percent of voters have a negative opinion of him while only 26 percent view him favorably.

6.) Will John Kasich continue his surge, or is it already over?

Establishment donors are looking to Ohio Governor John Kasich as a potential alternative to Jeb Bush should he continue to flop. Kasich announced his bid for the White House just before the first GOP debate and managed to wrestle himself a seat on the main stage. During the debate, Kasisch was charismatic and had a moderately high level of energy. Reaching a high of 5 percent on September 1, his performance resulted in a small bump. However, two weeks later, today Kasich is already back down to 3.5 percent. As long as Bush, Christie and Rubio are in the race, Kasich may not have much room to grow. In order to do so, he will need to separate himself from the other establishment candidates while simultaneously continuing to appeal their supporters in the next debate. No easy task.

7.) Will Carly Fiorina still stand out?

Maybe it was her responses, maybe it was because she was the only non-politician on stage, or maybe it was simply because she was the only woman. Regardless, Fiorina was sat at the kids’ table during the first debate, and she stuck out like a sore thumb. Fiorina impressed millions and thrust herself onto the main-stage for the 2nd debate. Before the first debate, Fiorina was barely registering in the polls. Today, with 4.3 percent support, she’s polling in 7th place. She remains the GOP’s only female candidate, so she’ll likely still stand out, but will that be enough? When she speaks, people will listen. Especially now since she is on the main stage. However, she’s no longer the only outsider on stage and that stage is much larger. Will she find a way to stand out now that she’s in the big leagues?

8.) Speaking of the kids table…

Is there room on the main stage for another underdog to join Fiorina in the big leagues? Probably not. Perry seemed to recognize this early on and was the first victim in the 2016 GOP primary. On September 11, Perry ended his campaign with grace. Meanwhile, it has become abundantly clear that Rick Santorum’s 2012 wave of support was nothing more than conservative repudiation to Mitt Romney becoming the nominee. He has failed to register more than 1 percent in the polls. Also, Senator Lindsey Graham has failed to register more than 1 percent in the polls and hasn’t even registered enough support in his own home state of South Carolina to qualify for a candidate forum. In addition, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and Former New York Governor George Pataki have only registered 1 percent, which is enough to get them a seat at the kids’ table, but not enough to raise the money they need to keep their campaigns alive. Former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore failed to even register 1 percent, and will not be allowed in the second under-card debate. If there was a candidate left from the kids’ table that had the political clout to pull up a seat to the main stage, it was probably Perry.

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Huckabee Campaign Blocks Cruz From Media At Kim Davis Rally

KENTUCKY, September 9, 2015– Rowan County Kentucky Court Clerk Kim Davis won the attention and admiration of at least two GOP presidential candidates in the wake of her arrest and incarceration for refusing to issue marriage licenses to homosexual couples. United States Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee both attempted to use Davis’ incident as a soap-box for their campaigns. However, Huckabee came out on top.

On Tuesday, both candidates were slated to appear at Davis’ release where supporters held a rally. Appearing with Davis on stage and speaking on her behalf to the media, Huckabee stole the show as Cruz was seemingly nowhere to be found.

“If you have to put someone in jail, let me go,” Huckabee said to a roaring crowd. “The founders never gave one branch of government the power to make the law. Every one of us will have to decide whether we want to keep this great country or whether we want to surrender and sacrifice it to tyranny.”

It wasn’t Cruz’s choice to remain off stage and out of the spotlight. Much to his displeasure, a Huckabee campaign staffer physically blocked Cruz from even speaking to the media in order to ensure Huckabee remained in the spotlight and the Davis soapbox was his own.

As noted by the New York Times, Cruz kept a uncharacteristically low profile and remained off to the side.

Cruz and Huckabee both saw a minor jump in the polls after the first official Republican nominee debate on Fox News. The next debate, where both candidates have earned a slot on the main stage, will be broadcast by CNN on September 16.

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GOP Candidates Blame China, Obama For Stock Market Plunge

As U.S. stocks hit an 18-month low on Monday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down by nearly 600 points, several GOP hopefuls seeking the Presidential nomination in 2016 weighed in on possible reasons for the plunge.

The Dow dropped over 1,000 points within the first few minutes of trading, reminding many of the 1987 U.S. stock market crash referred to as “Black Monday.” In response, 13.9 billion shares changed hands on Monday, marking the largest volume since 2011.

[RELATED: Dow Plunges 1,000 Points]

The Wall Street Journal noted that some traders blamed the major drop on “big investors scrambling for ways to protect themselves against losses outside the U.S.,” and that the decline “triggered so-called stop-loss orders, which are designed to protect investors by instigating a sale once a stock falls to a certain level.”

Some GOP candidates including Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker blamed the plunge on China. Walker released a statement blaming China’s “slowing economy,” and saying that he thinks President Obama should cancel his upcoming state visit, because Americans “need see some backbone from President Obama on U.S.-China relations.”

“Americans are struggling to cope with the fall in today’s markets driven in part by China’s slowing economy and the fact that they actively manipulate their economy,” Walker said. “Rather than honoring Chinese President Xi Jinping with an official state visit next month, President Obama should focus on holding China accountable over its increasing attempts to undermine U.S. interests.”

Former business executive Carly Fiorina told Fox Business that she partially blames the plunge on U.S. relations with China, and she thinks now is the time for the U.S. to “put pressure on China.”

“It’s also true that the Chinese government cut this deal with the Chinese people which is, ‘We’re going to keep this economy growing fast enough to lift millions out of poverty and in return, you’re going to accept censorship, repression and terrible safety standards and pollution,” Fiorina said.

Fiorina also noted that “I don’t think there was any excuse frankly for QE2 or QE3. QE1 you can see. Obviously we’re in the middle of a crisis, but my own view is that we have politicized the Fed by giving it a duel mandate, full employment as well as inflation.”

Billionaire mogul Donald Trump told Bill O’Reilly that he blames the plunge in stocks on the U.S. tying itself “so closely to Asia and in particular to China that this is going to be trouble for our country.”

“Not only now have they taken our jobs, they’ve taken our base, they’ve taken our manufacturing, but now they are pulling us down with them and I said we can’t do this, we can’t allow this to happen,” Trump said. “We have to do a big uncoupling pretty soon before it’s too late.”

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said that he blames Obama for the drop, calling it a result of a “history of failed policies by this president.”

“What’s happened is, because this president has run up more debt than any president in American history, that debt has been given to us in large measure by the Chinese,” Christie said. “And so now, as the Chinese markets tend to have a correction, which they’re doing right now, it’s going to have an even greater effect because this president doesn’t know how to say no to spending, doesn’t know how to say no to a bigger and more intrusive government.”

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said that he also blames Obama for the drop, and said that it was a result off “Washington-Wall Street elites” being empowered “at the expense of American workers on Main Street.”

“Sadly, the chickens are now coming home to roost for the Obama administration and its failed economic policies,” Huckabee said. “It’s time to build America’s economy, not China’s or Mexico’s, and quit importing cheap labor & exporting jobs overseas.”

The New York Times reported that the international drop in stocks prices, which began in China, left many investors wondering “how much government officials can and will do to insulate the global economy from the turmoil.”

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Fox News Announces Candidate Lineup for Aug. 6 GOP Presidential Debate

Fox News has announced the candidates who qualified for its August 6 prime-time Republican presidential primary debate, which is set to kick off at 9 p.m. EST at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. Anchors Chris Wallace, Bret Baier, and Megyn Kelly will moderate the televised event. Facebook and the Ohio Republican Party have been tapped as sponsors.

Candidates set to participate in the prime-time debate include billionaire Donald Trump, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Dr. Ben Carson, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Fox News chose to limit its prime-time debate to only 10 participants and selected qualified candidates based on a top 10 average of 5 recent polls by Bloomberg, CBS News, Fox News, Quinnipiac University, and Monmouth University.

However, in response to complaints that serious candidates with low poll numbers are being left out of the top-tier debate, the news network has invited those who did not qualify to appear in a 60-minute junior varsity debate, moderated by Bill Hemmer and Martha MacCallum, which will appear on Fox News at 5 p.m. on August 6, prior to the prime-time contest. Those who fell short of the top 10 include former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, former New York Gov. George Pataki, former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore, and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum. The network’s prime-time debate pre-show coverage will begin immediately after the junior varsity debate.

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry responded optimistically to his failure to qualify for the prime-time contest and tweeted, “I look forward to being @FoxNews 5pm debate for what will be a serious exchange of ideas & positive solutions to get America back on track.

However, according to CNN, Matt Beynon, a spokesperson for former Sen. Rick Santorum, called the candidate selection process “incredibly flawed” and said, “While FOX is taking a lot of heat, the [Republican National Committee] deserves as much blame for sanctioning this process. They should not be picking winners and losers. That’s the job of the voters, particularly those in Iowa and New Hampshire who have the role of voting first.

Following Fox News’ announcement, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said, “Our field is the biggest and most diverse of any party in history and I am glad to see that every one of those extremely qualified candidates will have the opportunity to participate on Thursday evening. Republicans across the country will be able to choose which candidate has earned their support after hearing them talk through the issues.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich almost fell short of being chosen for the prime-time debate, which is taking place in his home state. However, his 3% polling average, tying him with Chris Christie for last place among those participating, was just enough to qualify.

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Huckabee threatens to leave the Republican Party

NEW YORK CITY, October 11, 2014 – This week, Mike Huckabee, former Republican Governor of Arkansas and 2008 Republican Presidential candidate, appeared on the American Family Association’s radio show to discuss his political positions. During his interview, Huckabee vowed to leave the Republican Party if its leaders do not continue to fight against the legalization of same sex marriage.

On the program, Huckabee, who currently hosts a talk show on Fox News, stated, “If the Republicans want to lose guys like me — and a whole bunch of still God-fearing Bible-believing people — go ahead and just abdicate on this issue, and why you’re at it, go ahead and say abortion doesn’t matter, either.”

Huckabee went on to state, “I am utterly exasperated with Republicans and the so-called leadership of the Republicans who have abdicated on this issue when, if they continue this direction they guarantee they’re gonna lose every election in the future.”

Huckabee’s comments come following a decision made by the Supreme Court this week to allow appeals court rulings on same sex marriage to stand, effectively allowing same sex marriage in five new states and clearing the way for others to follow.

Huckabee finished by stating, “And I don’t understand why they want to lose, because a lot of Republicans, particularly in the establishment and those who live on either the left coast or those who live up in the bubbles of New York and Washington, are convinced that if we don’t capitulate on the same sex marriage issue and if we don’t raise the white flag of surrender, and just the accept it as inevitable, we’ll be losers.”

You can hear part of Huckabee’s comments here:

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Mike Huckabee Joins Rising Chorus Against Police Militarization

The socially-conservative former Governor Mike Huckabee is hardly known for his libertarian positions on the issues. In fact, he once referred to libertarianism as the “greatest threat to classic Republicanism.” However, a nationwide debate on police militarization has emerged after Americans were shocked to see the Ferguson Police Department, armed to the teeth with military-style gear, cracking down on protesters of the Michael Brown shooting, members of the media, and bystanders in images on the evening news that looked like footage from a war zone overseas. In light of this and a few other recent examples, Huckabee appears to have joined what is a rising chorus of Republicans taking a long-held libertarian position and criticizing the militarization of American police forces.

On the August 16 episode of Huckabee on Fox News, the former governor pointed out a series of injustices carried out at the hands of over-militarized police departments across the US, “In 2011, federal agents, accompanied by SWAT teams, raided the Gibson guitar factory and headquarters in Nashville, threatening and frightening workers and confiscating wood, claiming that it was imported illegally. Criminal charges were threatened, never filed. There are also countless incidences of SWAT teams raiding homes and battering down doors, mistakenly shooting and injuring grandmothers and little kids, even killing pets. Earlier this year, police searching for a drug dealer in Atlanta threw a flash grenade into a home that landed in a toddler’s crib. The boy known locally as Baby Boo Boo had half his chest and face blown off and spent weeks in a hospital in a medically-induced coma. A woman in Evansville, Indiana has sued the city’s police department after its SWAT team smashed through her front door and threw flash grenades at her home, just to serve a search warrant two years ago. The eleven officers, looking for evidence after an anonymous internet post threatened the local police chief, found only the 68-year-old woman and her 18-year-old daughter in the house and handcuffed them, and they didn’t find any evidence in the search.”

The episode featured an interview with conservative Christian author Cheryl K. Chumley on her book Police State USA: How Orwell’s Nightmare Is Becoming Our RealityHuckabee posed the following question to Chumley, “Now look, I’m a pro law enforcement guy. I’m a law-and-order kind of guy. I think we ought to support the police. I think, you know, they do dangerous jobs on our behalf, and I’m behind them 100%, but have we crossed a line in some areas with what’s called the militarization of police?”

Chumley replied, “Definitely, and I think all of America is pro-police… but there is a simple solution: when you kill somebody innocent, when you kill and maim a toddler, when you kill a 26-year-old marine in Arizona, and then you just go on the next day, business-as-usual, using the same military type grade equipment on the civilian streets of America, that’s where the line should be drawn and that’s where we should say, ‘enough, no more.'”

Huckabee also asked Chumley whether she thought the surplus military equipment donated to police departments by the DOD was being used “because we have it or because we need it?” Chumley offered, “I would say because we have it. You know, the War on Drugs has brought a lot of this equipment straight off the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq into civilian police forces for free or for grant dollars through the Department of Homeland Security. Once these law enforcement officials have it, they need to train with it. They need to justify its use, and that’s why we’re finding so many law enforcement officials nowadays across communities of America using armored vehicles and flashbang grenades to do things like warrants for drug suspects.”

Chumley concluded the segment by pointing out the fact that officer safety has become a priority over citizens’ rights, which she described as a “military mindset.” Said Cheryl K. Chumley, “…serve and protect the American public, the taxpayers who are paying your salary, that mindset is long gone, and we need to recapture that.”

Is Mike Huckabee “Endorsing” Sen. Lindsey Graham While Saying He Is Not Endorsing?

In a Facebook post published during the Sugar Bowl game yesterday, Mike Huckabee denied that an ad being ran regularly in South Carolina during many of the college football bowl games was any endorsement of Lindsey Graham.

In the Facebook statement, he said, “To be clear, I haven’t endorsed Lindsey Graham for Senate. Last year, I voiced an ad thanking him for support of Israel. It was not an endorsement of his reelection…Obviously, Senator Graham’s people are using the “Thank you” ad and treating it like an endorsement, but neither the PAC nor I personally have endorsed in the South Carolina Senate Race.”

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It is clear in the video, that Huckabee does not endorse Lindsey Graham but why is he shamelessly looking the other way while “Senator Graham’s People” use the video during the most popular football games of the college football season to grow Lindsey Graham’s dwindling support base in South Carolina?

Clemson Poll: 31% of South Carolina Republicans Plan To Vote To Re-Elect Graham

Facebook user Mike Wallace of Rock Hill, South Carolina commented on Huckabee’s post saying, “Of course you didn’t “endorse”. A careful (sneaky) politician such as yourself would never outright endorse an unpopular incumbent. You just recorded an ad that you knew would play to the SC base in order to help boost his flagging numbers.”

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This all comes at a time when Mike Huckabee is in the process of making a decision on whether or not to make another run for the White House. Which makes some people wonder, could the 2008 second place finisher in the South Carolina Republican Party Presidential Primary be second guessing his “Thank You” video for Lindsey Graham? Or, as Mike Wallace suggested, is Mike Huckabee just being sly and hoping that the video helps Graham’s re-election chances?

Please tell us your thoughts in the comment section below.