Entries in Mike Huckabee (27)


VP Beat: The Latest Standings, Rubio Heads to GITMO

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- VEEP BEAT STANDINGS: In this week’s Spinners and Winners, ABC News’ Jonathan Karl takes a look at the latest happenings in the veepstakes world with Veep Beat, Karl’s analysis of where the contenders stand. Tim Pawlenty, Marco Rubio and Kelly Ayotte are rising while Mitch Daniels drops a few notches after saying he wouldn’t even answer the VP phone call.

RUBIO HEADS TO GITMO: Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is traveling to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Tuesday to conduct oversight of the facility, tour the base, and meet with the commander of Joint Task Force Guantanamo Bay, ABC News has learned. “This visit will allow Sen. Rubio an opportunity to better understand the role Guantanamo Bay plays in US detention operations, and examine how the military commission process for trying the terrorists housed there is proceeding,” Alex Conant, a spokesman for Rubio, e-mails.  Rubio, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, will tour the Expeditionary Legal Complex, the Joint Task Force Guantanamo headquarters to receive an intelligence overview, meet with the Joint Task Force Commander – Rear Admiral Jeffrey Harbeson, U.S. Navy, and tour CAMP VI, the building which houses detainees.  Rubio departed Tuesday morning and will return to Miami Tuesday evening.

If Mitt Romney is looking for a running mate to balance out the qualities he lacks, Mike Huckabee might be the right VP pick, according to supporters of the former Arkansas governor.  “Huckabee backers are quick to draw attention to the former Arkansas governor’s affable demeanor, lack of pretention, and his up-from-the-bootstraps personal story, all of which might soften Romney’s image and make the GOP ticket more relatable to blue-collar independents,” Real Clear Politics’ Scott Conroy reports. “But chief among the pro-Huckabee arguments made by many former aides and close confidants is that he could be an instant cure for the presumptive nominee’s lingering problems within his party’s base — a concern that his Boston-based campaign may be underestimating.”

RUBIO SLAMS WHITE HOUSE COOPERATION IN BIN LADEN MOVIE: Rubio criticized the Obama administration’s cooperation with a filmmaker on a movie about the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden, calling it the latest example of the administration’s “chest thumping.” “I think it’s part of a troubling trend of chest thumping, showing how smart and good our intelligence services are. And they certainly are, but in the process trying to impress people by what this administration was able to do,” Rubio said in an interview on Bloomberg Television’s Political Capital with Al Hunt. “I think there is a growing trend of leaks that threaten America’s operational capacity in the intelligence world. And I think if you look at some of the things that have found its way onto the screen, not just in the movie, but some of the specials around the anniversary of the Bin Laden raid, I think one has to be concerned that that’s going to impact the ability to carry out similar operations in the future.”

JEB BUSH ON GAY MARRIAGE: During a trip to Taiwan last week, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush called the issue of gay marriage a “distraction” in the presidential campaign, arguing that instead the candidates should focus on the economy, ABC News’ Shushannah Walshe reports.

CHRIS CHRISTIE: THE MASTER OF YOUTUBE: We’ve all seen the bi-partisan spoof of the veepstakes produced by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Newark Mayor Cory Booker, but as Melissa Hayes of The Record reports, “The self-produced satire highlighted a larger theme: Christie has removed the media filters, standing nearly alone among politicians in his vigorous use of Internet video, an effective and comfortable home for the Republican.”

CHRIS CHRISTIE & BEYONCE: Over the weekend, N.J. Gov. Chris Christie attended a Beyonce concert at the Revel Resort in Atlantic City with his family, ABC News’ Shushannah Walshe reports. Also in attendance were first lady Michelle Obama and her daughters, Sasha and Malia.

SANDOVAL & ROMNEY: Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval will campaign with Mitt Romney at an event at Somers Furniture in Las Vegas on Tuesday, ABC News’ Emily Friedman reports.  This is the first time they will campaign together.  Sandoval endorsed Romney in April after initially backing Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

McDONNELL HEADS TO WISCONSIN: Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell heads to Wisconsin late Tuesday to attend a private event in Racine, Wis., for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who faces a recall vote next Tuesday.

MARK McKINNON PICKS PORTMAN: “Let’s just eliminate the drama and suspense right now. Romney is going to pick Rob Portman. He is as safe a bet as they come. Plenty of experience as a congressman, senator, budget director, and cabinet member. Perfect family. No apparent skeletons in the closet. And he’s from Ohio—the most important swing state. He’s a loyal soldier. Good political instincts and judgment. Solid character and a genuinely nice guy. Almost zero liabilities, which is really what Team Romney wants. Game. Set. Match,” Mark McKinnon wrote in the Daily Beast.

DNC CHAIR: RUBIO SHOULD NOT BE ON NATIONAL TICKET:  Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, said in an interview with Newsmakers over the weekend that Marco Rubio shouldn’t be placed on the national ticket. “Marco Rubio is a nice guy, but not someone who, I think, belongs on a national ticket — for a lot of reasons,” Wasserman Schultz said in an interview which aired Sunday.  Wasserman Schultz pointed out that in Florida, “in the polling that I’ve seen recently [Rubio] doesn’t really make much difference; in fact in some cases [he] actually hurts Mitt Romney, or does very little.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Santorum Campaign Hires Former Bachmann Spokeswoman

Steve Pope/Getty Images(VERONA, Pa.) -- ABC News has learned exclusively that Alice Stewart has been hired by the Rick Santorum campaign as its national press secretary.

Stewart previously served as spokeswoman Michele Bachmann’s presidential campaign and played the same role for Mike Huckabee’s 2008 bid.

She also worked for Huckabee’s Political Action Campaign, HuckPAC, with Santorum’s current national communications director Hogan Gidley. Gidley hired Stewart for the Santorum campaign.

On Friday the Santorum campaign announced it had raised $3 million since the former Pennsylvania senator’s trifecta win in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri on Tuesday. That’s $1 million a day since his victory speech in Missouri. The campaign said it would use the funds to add staff, and Stewart is the first high profile hire since those wins.

“I am very honored and proud to join Team Santorum,” Stewart said in a statement. “Senator Santorum has proven himself to be the true, consistent conservative in this race. Rick’s growing momentum is evidence that voters realize he’s the only candidate with the conservative record we need to stop Mitt Romney and beat President Obama.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


SC Republicans Boo Newt Gingrich Over Romney Attacks

ABC News(CHARLESTON, S.C.) -- At a forum hosted by Mike Huckabee with 800 undecided South Carolina Republicans, Newt Gingrich was loudly booed when he criticized Mitt Romney’s record at Bain Capital, according to a Republican who attended the closed-press event.

“They were really angry,” said the attendee. The forum was aired on Fox News Saturday night.

The booing came when Gingrich mentioned Romney’s name. Gingrich was gently reprimanded by Huckabee who reminded him that the ground rules for the forum stipulated that the candidate were not allowed to attack each other.

Every candidate except for Ron Paul took part in the forum, each of them appearing separately.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


SC Flyer Campaign Focuses on Romney's Position on Gay Rights

ABC News(CHARLESTON, S.C.) -- If a Democratic-allied super PAC has its way, Mitt Romney's past statements on gay rights issues will come back to haunt him in South Carolina this week.

The group, American Bridge 21st Century, has produced an anti-Romney flyer designed to expose a series of Romney's more sympathetic comments about the gay and lesbian community.

"We thought you'd like to see how much common ground there is between Mitt Romney and some of the great voices of the LGBT rights movement," the top of the flyer reads.

What follows are four Romney quotes paired with similar comments by gay rights leaders Harvey Milk, Audre Lorde, Lt. Dan Choi and the gay Massachusetts congressman, Barney Frank.

"The gay community needs more support from the Republican Party," reads one of Romney's quotes on the flyer, which is printed on pink paper.

The group began distributing the fliers on car windshields in Charleston, S.C. on Saturday outside a forum moderated by Mike Huckabee and S.C. Congressman Tim Scott. They plan to continue handing them out all week long at selected venues throughout the state, including in church parking lots on Sunday morning.

American Bridge's goal is to chip away at Romney's support among conservative voters in the state, especially evangelical Christians.

"This isn't about painting Romney as a liberal to voters in South Carolina," the group's president, Rodell Mollineau, said in an interview with ABC News. "It really is about showing voters that this man has no core and he will say anything to get elected."

Mollineau's group, which has dispatched trackers to follow the GOP candidates over the course of the primary season, plans other attacks on Romney this week ahead of the state's Jan. 21 primary. American Bridge will use video, social media and possibly newspaper ads to exploit what they see as the former Massachusetts governor's vulnerabilities in at least two other areas: his position on abortion and his evolution as a conservative.

The hand-outs are meant to mirror fliers that were reportedly distributed by Romney during his 2002 gubernatorial campaign in Massachusetts that included a statement by Romney and his running mate, Kerry Healy that read: "All citizens deserve equal rights regardless of their sexual preference."

Romney campaign strategist Eric Fehrnstrom, who served as communications director for the candidate's 2002 bid, recently told the Huffington Post that he never saw or approved the decade-old fliers.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Romney’s Iowa Victory Map: How He Won in 2012 But Lost in '08

ABC News(DES MOINES, Iowa) -- How did Mitt Romney win Iowa in 2012 with six fewer votes than he collected in 2008?

The former Massachusetts governor saw a handful of the counties he won in 2008 slip away to his newfound rivals, but he made up the difference by winning more votes in large counties in the Des Moines area.  In this cycle, Romney took 30,015 votes, whereas in 2008 he received 30,021.

Four years ago, Mitt Romney (23.3 percent) finished behind Mike Huckabee (35.8 percent) in Iowa, winning counties along the eastern and western borders, plus the large Dallas County in suburban Des Moines.  Aside from two other counties, Huckabee won the rest of the state.

On Tuesday, Rick Santorum stole counties from Romney in the west, while Ron Paul stole counties from the former governor in the east.

Santorum captured five of Romney’s seven western counties from 2008, while Paul captured five of Romney’s 14 eastern counties.  In the eastern quarter of Iowa, Romney underperformed his 2008 totals in Winnishiek, Jackson, Allamakee and Delaware, finishing second to Paul in each, after winning those counties in 2008.  He placed third in Clayton and Cedar.

In western Iowa, Romney placed second to Santorum in Woodbury, Harrison, Montgomery and Monona -- all counties he won in 2008.  In Ida, he finished fifth.

Romney made up for those losses by winning the large Polk and Story counties near Des Moines, which he lost to Huckabee in 2008, and by adding to his total in Dallas County.

In total, Romney lost 13 of the 24 counties he won in 2008 -- seven to Santorum and six to Paul.  He won six in 2012 that had voted for Huckabee four years ago.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Huckabee: Ron Paul Will Win Iowa Caucus if There's Severe Weather

Jason Merritt/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Mike Huckabee is predicting a win for Ron Paul in Iowa if the weather turns severe enough to keep Mitt Romney voters stuck at home and away from the polling booths.

"If the weather is good, Mitt Romney is in better shape.  If the weather is bad and it’s real tough to get out, Ron Paul would win," said former Gov. Huckabee on Fox News Sunday.

Huckabee, a former presidential candidate and 2008 Iowa caucus victor, points to the tenacity among Paul supporters that would likely push them to vote in the most severe of conditions.

"Well, Ron Paul has an exceptional organization there. And it very well could be that he could end up winning because of the extraordinary devotion of his followers," said Huckabee. "He’s got people that would walk over broken glass for him and they’d break the glass just to be able to say they did it."

In the interview, Huckabee characterized Paul’s believers as "fanatical," and though many observers believe he can’t win nationally, there’s a strong consensus that Paul could push through to win the Iowa caucuses.

Apparently luckily for Gov. Romney, a 10-day weather forecast from has Des Moines, Iowa, set for sunny weather by next Tuesday's caucus.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Mike Huckabee Says No to Being a Kingmaker in Iowa

Rick Gershon/Getty Images(DES MOINES, Iowa) -- At the premiere of a film that he co-produced, Mike Huckabee said he would not be a kingmaker for the GOP in the next three weeks and told ABC News he would not endorse any candidate before the Iowa caucuses on Jan. 3, and that he may not back anyone before the primary fight ends.

“I don’t see it happening in the primary because I want people to look at these candidates and to make the decision based on what their heart and soul told them is right about these folks,” Huckabee said Wednesday night, adding he hasn’t even made his own choice yet.

“I don’t want to try and tell somebody ‘here’s who you ought to vote for.’  I’m not sure who I’m going to vote for, I mean honestly.  I don’t have that settled in my own heart yet,” the former Arkansas governor added.  “There are some good people, most of these people are my friends, I know them, I’ve worked with many of them and I know all of them and if you had to tell me tonight to go into the voting booth and vote I would have a hard time myself.”

Huckabee won the Iowa caucuses the last cycle and he has had a famously antagonistic relationship with then-rival Mitt Romney, but he said if the former Massachusetts governor is the nominee he will “be out there campaigning for him vigorously and unflinchingly.”

Huckabee said as he’s deciding he’s looking for someone who has “core convictions.”

“Who really believes what they say and they say what they believe,” Huckabee said.  “I am going to make sure the people who ask for my support are solid on the issues that matter to me.  I want them to believe we shouldn’t be spending money we don’t have, borrowing money we can’t afford to pay back and I want them to be absolutely clear and unflinching on the issue of the sanctity of human life because I do think it’ s an important issue."

“Is it going to be as important in the election process as jobs and the economy?  Probably not, but it is an important issue for those of us who see this not as a political, but a moral issue that really reflects what kind of culture we have,” he said.

Huckabee narrated and co-produced the documentary The Gift of Life, an anti-abortion rights film that talks to women who considered having abortions and adult children whose mothers considered ending their pregnancies.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Huckabee Shoots Down Talk He's Reconsidering 2012

Rick Gershon/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Mike Huckabee shot down rumors circulating Friday that he is reconsidering his decision not to jump into the 2012 presidential race, but stopped short of issuing an unequivocal “no.”

In an interview Friday with Fox News, Huckabee said, “I’m not having any meetings, I’m not talking to anybody. I’m happy with the decision that I’ve made.”

But he conceded, “There are people who have been talking to me and encouraging me since I announced that I wasn’t and before.”

“If somebody comes and puts $50 million in front of me and says, ‘here, everybody else has quit, and here’s the money to get started,’ call me with that one, but that hasn't happened,” Huckabee said.

Pressed on whether he’ll make a run, Huckabee said, “I don’t see it happening.”

“It’s news to me that I’m sitting down plotting my comeback because I don't see the pathway financially and organizationally to get there.”

Back in May, Huckabee announced he wouldn’t enter the race.

"All the factors say go, but my heart says no," Huckabee said on May 14. "My answer is clear and firm, I will not seek the Republican nomination for president this year."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Bachmann, Pawlenty Look to Huckabee's 2008 Run in Iowa

Rick Gershon/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- In early 2008, a Republican candidate shocked the political world by surging to an upset victory in the Iowa caucuses, instantly going from long shot to party favorite in the blink of an eye.  That candidate was Mike Huckabee.

While Huckabee ultimately succumbed to Sen. John McCain in the race for the 2008 GOP presidential nomination, a number of GOP candidates are hoping to reprise the Huckabee game plan this winter in Iowa.

Leading the charge to become Huck 2.0 is Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn.  So too is fellow North Star State native Tim Pawlenty.  But trying to tear out a page from the Huckabee playbook in Iowa is easier said than done.

Huckabee's stunning run in Iowa resulted from a number of key factors. The former Arkansas governor managed to combine his unique personality, trademark sense of humor, conservative values and evangelical support to make a lot of noise in the Hawkeye State.

According to one Republican operative in Iowa, that combination will not be easy for either Pawlenty or Bachmann to duplicate.

“Huckabee was a lightning-in-the-bottle moment,” the source said.  “He was able to capture the right emotion at the right time and ride it to victory.  Pawlenty and Bachmann want to ride that kind of wave and get to where Huckabee was, but neither of them are Huckabee.”

It all started for Huckabee at the Ames Straw Poll in the summer of 2007.  Huckabee came in second in Ames with 18.1 percent of the votes, trailing only Mitt Romney, who had heavily outspent all his rivals.  But the silver medal that day felt like gold to Huckabee.

“Obviously, this was an incredible day and victory for us,” Huckabee said afterwards.  “What happened for us today was stunning.”

Before Ames, Huckabee's chances looked bleak.  In the days before the straw poll, the Huckabee campaign started packed up their Iowa headquarters, even loading up the staff’s computers into boxes.  His aides feared he could finish as low as fourth.  But his surprise finish in Ames changed everything.  He steamrolled to victory in caucuses that winter.

If anyone can tap into Huckabee's large Iowa fan base, it would appear to be Bachmann, who has rocketed up in polls in recent weeks.  The darling of the Tea Party, she shares many of the same traits that made Huckabee so popular: her outsized personality, her popularity with evangelicals and her claim of strict adherence to the Constitution all echo of Huckabee.

Bachmann can count former members of the Huckabee team among her ranks, namely her campaign director, Ed Rollins, and her press secretary, Alice Stewart.  Barring a setback in the next few weeks, she will enter Ames riding an impressive wave of momentum.

Hoping to change all that is another key player in Iowa: Pawlenty.  Despite his campaign's struggles in recent weeks, the former Minnesota governor plucked none other than Huckabee’s daughter, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, to run his Hawkeye State operation.  Four years ago, Huckabee Sanders was her father's national political director when he won the caucuses.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Huckabee's Daughter Signs On with Pawlenty to Lead Iowa Push

Scott Olson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Mike Huckabee's daughter Sarah Huckabee Sanders has signed on to Tim Pawlenty's team as a senior political adviser leading his push in Iowa, his campaign announced Tuesday.

She will lead the campaign's work on the Iowa Straw Poll that will be held in Ames in August, a key part of Pawlenty's effort to win the Iowa caucuses next winter.

“Sarah is a results-oriented person with a great track record in Iowa and around the country,” Pawlenty said in a statement. “We are very excited Sarah is joining our team just as we are hitting our stride in Iowa.”

Four years ago, Huckabee Sanders was her father's national political director when he won the Iowa caucuses.

“I’m delighted to join the Governor and First Lady in Iowa, which holds a special place in my heart,” she said. “It’s clear to me that Gov. Pawlenty has what it takes to unite the party, unite the country and beat President Obama.”

Pawlenty is planning to spend the better part of July in the Hawkeye state -- starting later this week -- as he attempts to gain momentum ahead of Ames. His campaign announced Friday that it had raised $4.2 million during the second quarter, with an undisclosed portion of that money for the general election should the former Minnesota governor secure the GOP nomination.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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