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As He Gains in Polls, Huckabee Critics Step Up Attacks


Huckabee, now in the crosshairs himself. (AP).

Mike Huckabee is learning what a target feels like.

A day after a Washington Post poll of Iowa voters found him in a statistical tie for the lead with former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, Huckabee's critics have turned aggressive.

The Web site factcheck.org published a blistering critique of his fiscal record, saying he regularly "misrepresents" his actions as governor of Arkansas.

"He frequently says he cut taxes "almost 94 times" but leaves out the 21 taxes raised during his tenure," the Web site found. "In the end, he presided over a net tax increase."

The analysis found that Huckabee was misleading the public by saying a tax hike took place after a voter referendum. ("The tax was enacted before a referendum vote on highway repairs," the site found.)

They also concluded that he referred to a "fee" on nursing homes, when "he himself had called it the 'bed tax.'"

Those are the messages that his opponents--particularly Romney and former Tennessee senator Fred Thompson--are eager to see publicized. Romney has staked his campaign on a victory in Iowa, where he's been leading for months. And Thompson's flagging campaign sees Huckabee in the way of a surprise in the state.

Until recently, Huckabee has been left untouched. Profiles of him have tended to focus on his sense of humor, his history as a baptist minister and his guitar playing.

But now, a darker narrative is emerging.

In addition to Huckabee's record on taxes--for which he has been hammered mercilessly by the Club for Growth--rival campaigns are now peddling information about Huckabee's personal ethics.

Reporters are being directed to years-old ethics complaints in Arkansas, including the inappropriate use of government computers, planes and PAC money.

One of the ethics accusations continues to dog Huckabee: a lawsuit over the destruction of hard drives as his administration left the governor's office in January. Huckabee asked a judge to dismiss the suit in August.

The former governor's critics are also hoping to draw the nation's attention to Huckabee's advocacy on behalf of a pardon for convict Wayne Dumond, who later committed other crimes. Huckabee has said the decision to pardon Dumond was not his.

In a statement, Huckabee's campaign said that he is being "unfairly attacked regarding his ethics history while governor of Arkansas." And on a recent appearance on Fox News, he said he will persevere through the attacks.

"The one thing it proves is that I'm prepared for a presidential campaign. I've been through this stuff," he said. "I don't have a glass jaw."

In a further statement, Huckabee spokeswoman Kirsten Fedewa said that "many of these complaints were filed by a member of the Arkansas media. Those complaints were later dismissed by the same media outlet. The REAL story is that, despite the many attempts, there has never been a finding that Governor Huckabee ever received an illegal gift. Period."

She added: "With all due respect, the resurfacing of these old allegations, which have previously been addressed, and the Governor's surge in recent polling, is also suspect."

--Michael D. Shear

By Washington Post editors  |  November 21, 2007; 5:48 PM ET
 
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Comments

Mike Huckabee is a great candidate. He's not perfect. He's not a saint. His latest job was Governor of Arkansas for more than 10 years and he won re-election handily - a Republican in Bill Clinton's Democrat home state. Like almost all of us Christians, he can have a "bad day". Like most politicians, for that matter. Mike Huckabee is just like us - he is one of us.

So - why is a good candidate? Because he has more governing experience than all the others running. Because he has dealt with people on a one to one basis and knows the struggles we all have to deal with. Because he is adept at communicating his vision for the country and where he wants to lead. Because he's actually given some thought to that very subject. He doesn't want to just occupy the office to add the title to his resume. He wants America to live up to her own high standards and he knows we, as Americans, can be better. He believes in peace, but he knows to be safe, we have to prepare for war. He's for the FAIR Tax. He wants fairness and equity for all. He wants a level playing field. I could go on - but if you want to know more about what he stands for and why people support him go to mikehuckabee.com.

Posted by: Nanellen | December 28, 2007 4:54 AM | Report abuse

It's not just the Wayne DuMond case. Mike Huckabee pardoned or commuted sentences of 669 convicted criminals. 11 of those were convicted MURDERERS.

Huckabee defends his record by saying he is a Christian and believes in REDEMPTION.

Well, I'm also a Christian and I believe in JUSTICE.

Posted by: panagoplos | December 5, 2007 11:13 AM | Report abuse

I find Huckabee tends to speak more from his heart, something Romney doesn't do. Romney has been a big time flip-flopper. When he ran for office in the Liberal state of Massacussetts. he claimed to be pro-choice, to get elected. Not a mistake, as he claims. He was likely always "anti". He again changed position on Immigration since, when he felt it was advantageous to do so. He is Constantly invoking Reagons name, but, he isn't Ronald. He is unacceptable in my opinion. I'm still examining the remaining candidates.

Posted by: astara999 | December 3, 2007 7:00 AM | Report abuse

And, not a single peep about Huck's real weakness:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5Dp7FaKIJo

I'm not surprised that the WaPo wouldn't mention that, since they're as confused about the word "illegal" as Huck is.

Posted by: LonewackoDotCom | November 23, 2007 5:32 PM | Report abuse

There is a difference between Huckabee being a fiscally conservative using tax increases approved by the voting majority, and those who would wildly raise taxes for "Tax and Spend Law Makers." Hence; Bill Clinton was voted out of office as Arkansas Governor for imposing a tax on used cars, whereby Mike Huckabee was continually re-elected for fixing the problems of prior admirations with the required state revenues to get the job done.

Posted by: d_shoup | November 23, 2007 2:31 PM | Report abuse

The big push by Fox News, the RedState website, Club for Growth, all have one theme in common. They are all interested in protecting the Washington beltway mentality, which when you analyze it, includes both parties. In the listed platform for Romney above, we see health care for every American in 4 years. That is pure communism and as you watch the congress thrust forward, we have the Republicans caving to this direction, since the 1950's, that the Clinton Dynasty trained in communist Russia, led us down fast. If you want more of the same, elect anyone but Mike. If you want this Nation to change course, get behind Huckabee and with his bully pulpit making us the majority whip on Congress, we will be once again that Shiny City on the Hill.

Yup, Romney had not much experience as Governor, less then Mike Huckabee and yes Romney did have better practice at putting his finger in the air and guess what, according to the ranking member of the US Senate on Homeland security, Senator Duncan Hunter, Romney's company he was just CEO of, is being investigated for security Breach with a company affiliated with, guess who, China. What we have here is Slick Willie two, chapped finger and all. Where did Romney get all his money? Ask the employees of where he CEO's as they are reported be large contributors. I also am wondering what went on under the table of the Washington elite of both parties. Is this where Romney got his funding? Are we being Duped by the establishment that is killing this Nation?

As to fiscal growth and the Fair Tax Plan, anyone who dismisses this plan has not even began their homework on this plank. 67 Congressman are CO-sponsoring it and it's creation was done by the leading scholars of this Nation. This plan will not stop free trade concepts, but will make our products more appealing to the world and as for our own people, it will make the taxes paid fair and will take the hidden tax out of products at a savings of 22%. This will offset the federal sales tax, which is the one tax that is Constitutional if you know the truth behind the enacting of the 16th amendment. This 16th will be repealed and replaced by the Fair Tax Plan. It cannot come soon enough.

Imagine the people of America now having the choice of where they want to apply their taxing through purchasing, rather then the IRS dominating by the big brother of Congress, which is out of control . The IRS says, if you don't tow our instruction , we will tax you out of existence. Silent Churches, you are not allowed to exist on the playing surface of this Nation's reality. Wow, what have we become as a people to let the government be no longer separated from our Religion, but have let it take over dominating our values? Churches, stop bowing to this Money changer, the IRS and stand up. Or face the wrath to come.

Make this country one under the Law, respecting it's fundamental values that our Forefathers prayed over and wrote for our welfare and happiness. Read the Constitution and understand it. The federal government is limited to only the powers stated specifically in the constitution. We have let the Courts dictate it's words to mean other then what they were specified to, i.e. the commerce clause now controls everything. The redefining of this clause has entirely wiped out our individual States sovereignty. We are failing our Founding Fathers with a big FFF.

Governor Huckabee is what is called federalism, for correcting the use of our Constitution and will insist we be under the fundamental rule of this Greatest Document ever conceived by mankind for governmental practice. The word being used federalism is not what it sounds like. It is used in a tricking way to confuse us. The definition means less federal government not more. Where this use started, it was a wise conniving trick to dissuade the strength of organizing against the larger federal powers to happen.

I heard a comment on how Thomas Jefferson and James Madison were so against Alexander Hamilton, who was a great Man and did much for this country. But Hamilton was for larger federal government and the vast majority of the founding fathers weren't thus the Constitution as it is written. This required the truth be told about him and some consider it attacking, much like Hillary when you call her on her planks which she keeps hidden. Ever notice that and wonder why?

All the mudd thrown out about Huckabee will not stick to any voters ears after they learn of the truth. The truth is Mike Huckabee has the highest retention rating of any of the Candidates for the simple fact, Mike is the one candidate that has the Greatest platform for this Nation since the writing of the Constitution by our Founding Fathers. When history is recorded for this era, Mike Huckabee will be known as the second Father of this Land, standing up there next to George Washington.

I dare you to study his videos, his positions on the issues and Mike's repeated again explanation of the Clinton Dynasty mudd of the past years in Arkansas, years in which Mike Huckabee has defeated this Dynasty four times and makes Mike the best and strongest candidate for stopping the communist backed Clinton Dynasty from further destroying the Freedoms and Liberties that has made this Nation so Great since it's conception and will be for the many years to come, if Mike Huckabee is elected.

Your choice, make America great again or let it continue down the tube on it's way to despair and the poorhouse, communism.

To those of you are lying, may you repent or face the Wrath of God on your Head!!!

Posted by: RGeorgeDunn | November 23, 2007 2:16 PM | Report abuse

The Huskster caught by Carl Cameron of Fox News with another flim-flam:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYrGlfkvRV0

Posted by: davrobi | November 23, 2007 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Huckabee campaigns and wrote a book that he lost weight through self-discipline and dieting, when in fact he a gastric bypass.
The guy is evidently a flim-flam artist and many gullible fundimentalist are falling over themselves because he panders to issues dear to their heart like abortion, prayer in schools, etc.
The guy is not a conservative either fiscally or anyother way. He is a christian socialist as his record indicates and from what true conservatives in Arkansas indicate.

Posted by: davrobi | November 23, 2007 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Since Huckabee is a fiscal conservative and a straight shooter, perhaps he could honestly explain to voters how he intends to fund the continued occupation of Iraq. His answer should include the words "taxes" and "US taxpayers" at least once.

Posted by: cturner3rd | November 23, 2007 11:54 AM | Report abuse

I thnk one of the most important things for anyone to do is "Listen for what they don't say." Any and all of these folks are subject to, and should be, a great deal of looking over.

Posted by: lylepink | November 23, 2007 10:56 AM | Report abuse

I don't know what happened to my first post, but I'll try again:

1. Separation of Church and State is NOT in the US Constitution. It was rulings by the Supreme Court in 1962-1963. The 1st amendment was intent on keeping government out of peoples religous lives, and ensuring one denomination wasn't forced upon the people, such as what was happening in England and the reason people sought to come to the new world. They were almost exclusively Christians. This country was founded on Christianity, and the proof is in the founding texts, our Plegde of Alleigence, our money and the history books. Atheism is a religion. If there are no Bibles or Korans in school, then they are pacticing Atheism, does that constitute Church and State?

2. So, anyone who believes in creationism is and idiot, hey? I guess I'm one of those idiots who will vote for him. I also believe the life begins at conception. I belive the reason kids and society as a whole is so screwed up is lack of morals as taught in the Bible. It started in the early 60's after the Supreme Court rulings. Since then illiteracy, teen pregnancy, STDs, drug and alcohol abuse and unwed mothers have skyrocketed. Christian values are what shaped this country, and as they continue to fall away, so will this country.

I believe Saddam was a tyrant who killed 100's of thousands of his own people, and wouldn't hesitate to do the same to us or other countries, and needed to be taken out.

Maybe we just need to subcumb to the immoral and ungodly ways. Let's just let the fag's get married. Hey for that matter, why not let people have sex with whomever or whatever they like: 16 year olds, 10 year olds, animals. If that's just who you are, it must be right, correct? You can't help who you are, right? Look at TV today. What do you see? Sex, Sex and More Sex. They can teach the kids in public schools that homosexuality is OK, but it's not OK to pray. That is absurd, and one of teh many reasons we homeschool.

3. Misleading? Really? Don't we all? Who here puts all the bad things, as well as good things, on their resume? He's publically refuted these items, but there's always someone out there to point out the negatives. What about the $800,000+ surplus by cutting government spending in Arkansas in his last term? Does that count for anything?

Posted by: duckndeerhunter | November 23, 2007 1:45 AM | Report abuse

Regarding the prior post, I couldn't agree more on the importance of "character" as President and to face the ominous challenges of this day.

I wouldn't, however, be too quick to imply that Romney lacks character. His commitments to his wife, children, church, higher education, service and business, are all about a man with character, integrity and a commitment to a core set of values. Frankly, having fallen short in many areas myself, it's quite refreshing.

I do have some minor concerns about recent changes to his positions. I look forward to learning more about each of the front runners, and listening to more rhetoric and hopefully straight shooting, before identifying my candidate.

lastly, other than Huckabee's Christian right stance, I wonder whether he has the right stuff (smarts, diplomacy etc) to provide solutions for our domestic and foreign affairs/ policies.

Posted by: mark_info | November 22, 2007 8:48 PM | Report abuse

He's a nice guy and hey, he had the willpower to lose all that weight. Bravo. But do we really need another president who believes in creationism, says No to stem cell research, believes that we were right in going to war in Iraq and has no respect for science? Yes he's got more character than Rudy and Mitt, but so does 95 percent of the American people...HG

Posted by: hgoldman77 | November 22, 2007 7:47 PM | Report abuse

MIKE HUCKABEE WAS LAST IN THE POLLS WHEN I STARTED BELEIVING IN HIS IDEAS. I AM DEMOCRAT, BUT ONLY REPUBLICAN CAN TAKE OVER THE MESS IN THE WHITE HOUSE, CLEAN IT UP AND DUMP IT. NOT JUST ANY REPUBLICAN, AS MATTER OF FACT, NONE OF THE REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES SATISFY IDEAS OF AMERICAN PEOPLE, BUT YOU JUST HAVE TO LISTEN HUCKABEE AND DO SOME RESEARCH ABOUT HIM AND HIS IDEAS FOR AMERICA. I'D ALSO SAY THAT RON PAUL COULD RAISE SOME EYEBROWNS LATER IN THE POLLS. OH, I FORGOT, ALL OF YOU WHO SUPPORT MITT ROMNEY, BE READY TO SAY GOODBYE TO HIM PRETTY SOON, BECAUSE HE LOOKS LIKE GEORGE BUSH VERY MUCH EVERY DAY HE SAY A WORD AND PEOPLE ARE NOT GIVING MONEY TO KINDS LIKE HIM. LET'S HOPE FOR GOOD PERSON TO LEAD OUR COUNTRY.

Posted by: BOBSTERII | November 22, 2007 6:59 PM | Report abuse

This is great news. Huckabee is finally being considered seriously, as he should have been for months now. He's a fantastic candidate.

Posted by: jonahb52 | November 22, 2007 5:29 PM | Report abuse

It will be interesting to see how the ethics stuff pans out. For much of it, Mike Huckabee seems to have reasonable explanations.

For up-to-date information, polls and statistics, check out: www.mike-huckabee.blogspot.com

Posted by: johnpmorris | November 22, 2007 3:16 PM | Report abuse

In your opinion what one issue has given Presidential Candidate Huckabee the biggest leap to the top?

http://www.youpolls.com/details.asp?pid=1062

.

Posted by: PollM | November 22, 2007 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Mike Huckabee is a fiscal conservative. When he was Governer of Arkansas he passed almost a hundred tax cuts. Yes, he did pass some new taxes, but only when he had to or when the people of Arkansas overwhelmingly supported them. As President, Mike Huckabee HAS PLEDGED NOT TO RAISE ANY TAXES. Here is the difference: the federal government has a gigantic budget that is more than enough to meet all the country's needs. The problem is not the revenues; the problem is the spending. Mike Huckabee understands this and would seek to reduce spending, not to raise taxes. We also need to remember that at the end of his tenure as Governor of Arkansas, the state had a $1 billion surplus, which he suggested should be returned to the taxpayers. As Presdient, Mike Huckabee will seek to balance our budget by reducing wasteful spending.

Posted by: nlaicadavid | November 22, 2007 9:45 AM | Report abuse

The man believes that god created the earth and every animal on it 6,000 years ago. For him there's no such thing as evolution.
If elected he will do his utmost to make every law and regulation conform to his religious beliefs, because that's what 'god' wants him to do.
Many of his statements about his tenure as governor appear to be untrue.
There are serious questions about his integrity while in office, soliciting gifts from people, etc.
He'll probably be elected.
There are enough idiots in this country to vote him in; and the supporters of Edwards and Obama won't vote for HRC out of spite, in typical short sighted democratic fashion.

Posted by: visualthinker7 | November 22, 2007 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Point is- he is misleading us about his tax record. period. How can I trust him?

I don't believe he is really a serious contender anyway- he is doing well in ONE state. He still cannot raise any money!

He is getting press to make it seem like he is viable so they can attach him to Guiliani or Romney should they get the nomination.

I want lower taxes, no ethics problems, a spotless voting record and out of the war...guess Ron Paul is my candidate.

Posted by: kathleen | November 22, 2007 5:44 AM | Report abuse

response to: (carywalk | November 21, 2007 09:49 PM)

Right, I just meant that the poster should have been more specific. Personally, I don't know enough about Huckabee to make any educated judgment. From what I've read, he was a relatively popular governor, and much of the criticsm came from conservatives who thought he wasn't conservative enough. Personally, I have no problems with politicians who raise taxes, if the people want it, and it won't be wasted--but that's another story. It seems that Huckabee indeed raised taxes before the referendum was passed, which is somewhat problematic. He apparently also has made some questionable uses of hyperbole - but at least he apologized. I personally find Huckabee to be too conservative on social issues, which would probably be his greatest liability in a general election. But voters certainly have the duty to take a closer look at Huckabee. Bush Jr. talked a good game during election season, and -tried- to appear to be an everyman. But the fact that he bankrupted every company he was CEO of, should have been enough to keep thinking voters from voting for him. Gore and Kerry were boring, but they would have definitely governed better. Hopefully the next election will be less of a popularity and fundraising contest, but it probably won't be.

Posted by: con_crusher | November 22, 2007 1:41 AM | Report abuse

Huckabee scores with the "I'll pray for you" crowd that makes up alot of Iowa

But with other types of moderates, conservatives and Independents he will strike out.

Posted by: scotay252 | November 22, 2007 12:58 AM | Report abuse

I find the last 3 posts pretty fitting, really. I think Huckabee is a nice guy and I wish him well. Repeated ethics violations, which may or may not have been true. Repeated being the key word here.

And the gal that sat next to him on the airplane problay says the most.

Sorry but,I keep coming back to Romney. I think America is ready for someone that smart that has been able to do so much with his life.

Rebound the economy.
Get us out of Iraq the right way.
Stop Illegal aliens.
Make the US energy independent.
Provide Health Care for all americans in 4 years.

It time for a change, Romney is that catalyst.

Posted by: scotay252 | November 22, 2007 12:56 AM | Report abuse

Have there not been substantial allegations about Huckabee? Should he not have to set the record straight like everyone else?

Posted by: peacevoice | November 22, 2007 12:46 AM | Report abuse

I wonder why it is that Romney doesn't have case after case of ethics violation suits filed against him.

I agree that Huckabee deserves to go through the same intense scrutiny that everyone else in this race has.

Posted by: ericbadger | November 21, 2007 11:52 PM | Report abuse

I recently sat next to Mr. Huckabee on an American Airlines flight. Not only did he fail to introduce himself, but he was also ill tempered, self centered, and rude to the flight crew. While the flight was running late, that's no excuse. I face the same situation almost weekly and I don't take it out on the flight attendants; I wouldn't exactly call his behavior "amazing grace." His public personna doesn't seem to match his behavior when the klieg lights go off, which smacks of hypocrisy. He didn't attempt to get my vote, and after that episode, he surely won't.

Posted by: jimlans | November 21, 2007 11:43 PM | Report abuse

"Dear Wayne, My Desire is that you be released from prison. I feel that parloe is the best way for your reintroduction to society to take place."

That is the letter Mike Huckabee wrote to Wayne Dumond before he sexually assaulted and killed a 39 year old woman in Kansas City MO..

Posted by: panagoplos | November 21, 2007 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Huckabee is a minister, why shouldn't he give a JFK speech?

The Evangelicals are politically outspoken, whereas the Mormons are apolitical. The LDS church membership is routinely reminded to not promote political issues in the name of the church or use LDS assets for such purposes; no other church exercises such separation of church and state.

Therefore it is bigoted and incongrent that the Evangelicals should ask a Mormon to give a JFK speech when it is the Evangelicals that are the greatest offenders of the First Ammendment - Separation of Church and State!

Posted by: geschwarz777 | November 21, 2007 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Anyone interested in what Huckabee is really like face to face should try this funny (but it actually happened) column:
http://goupstate.us/index.php/lanefiller/2007/11/02/title_14

Posted by: lanefiller | November 21, 2007 10:14 PM | Report abuse

response to con_crusher: false accusation is just that. Every single one of those ethics accusations was publicly dismissed by the very media team that tried to accuse Huckabee. The problem with modern politics is that anyone can hurl an accusation, however baseless- and ideologues who disagree with a candidate's positions often propel lies in hopes of swaying the gullible. Thinking voters check the facts. Huckabee is a tested man of character. His honesty, humility, heart, humor, and intellect make him as close to an Abe-Lincoln-like "everyman" as we have ever seen in our lifetimes, in an election.

Posted by: carywalk | November 21, 2007 9:49 PM | Report abuse

response to: (litzaus | November 21, 2007 07:26 PM)

You're beling a little bit ambiguous there.

How is he a "great candidate"? What specifically would cause people to like him? What are your sources, about which accusaions, made by which "ideological opponents?" Why were they "baseless" and "deceptive"? People are tired of Bush Jr.'s mealy-mouthed doublespeak.

The article is about specific accusations made against Huckabee. General laudatory comments won't gain him much support from any thinking voter.

Posted by: con_crusher | November 21, 2007 9:18 PM | Report abuse

"Isn't it amazing that a candidate does not register on the radar screen until today, then, as soon as one gets a bit of bump that he's attacked and arrows fly from all directions?"

You think that is strange???? That has been happening all year to the front runners; Romney, Giuliani,and McCain. Huckabee SHOULD be looked at more carefully now....now he might become President. He can't and should not win on his charisma, guitar playing, and Baptist minister creditials. He has to show the nation his ethics, his experience, his record, his intellect, his ability to lead. He needs to detail his plan and ability to bring about needed change. The only way people know his ethics, his record, his ability is by looking at the man at the next level. Huckabee is in the BIG LEAGUE now. No more coasting. He's going to have to organize and bring his message, plans, platform, vision to the people. Voters thus far have seen his likableness and musical talent. He now must show that he can be successful in meeting the great challenges ahead for the future President of the United States.

Posted by: manwaringjd | November 21, 2007 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Isn't it amazing that a candidate does not register on the radar screen until today, then, as soon as one gets a bit of a bump that he's attacked and arrows fly from all directions?

Posted by: cel1ery | November 21, 2007 8:00 PM | Report abuse

It's good to see Huckabee doing so well in the polls. He's a GREAT candidate and impresses me as a great person as well. I believe that the more people learn about Mike Huckabee the more they will like him. He's so refreshingly straight-forward and believable. As for some of the recent accusations leveled against him; I did some research and found virtually all of them to be rather baseless,deceptive smear tactics by his ideological opponents. When the whole truth is heard, you end up respecting the guy even more.

Posted by: michaelLitz | November 21, 2007 7:26 PM | Report abuse

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