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Huckabee Questions Romney's...Maturity

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee gestures to the crowd as he joins in the band Ruby's Begonia for a song, during a campaign stop in Oklahoma City, Friday, Feb. 1, 2008. (AP).

By Michael D. Shear
How racy is too racy for a Republican presidential candidate?

How about the word "puberty?"

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee drew the spotlight Friday with a cable television interview where he suggested that former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney had not yet reached "political puberty."

What was he talking about? According to the Associated Press, he later clarified that he was referring to Romney's change of heart on key issues. "I think you can't just have a change of opinion on fundamental issues over and over and wait until you're running for president to do it," the AP reported Huckabee saying.

Huckabee and Romney clashed repeatedly in Iowa, when Romney ran television commercials questioning Huckabee's record on crime and taxes while governor of Arkansas. Huckabee appears not to have forgotten.

Despite having performed poorly since the first caucus, Huckabee says he is planning on staying in the race -- a decision that could cost Romney many votes.

By Web Politics Editor  |  February 1, 2008; 6:29 PM ET
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Romney is the most dignified candidate running. Talk about projection. Huckabee is getting desperate. He received 5% of the vote in Maine. Romney received over 50% of the vote. Romney is tied with McCain in the newest Rasmussen poll. He keeps coming out on top. He would still be on top if Florida wasn't a winner take all state. Huck needs to quit and endorse Romney if he really cares about God and social values.

Posted by: poliscistudent | February 4, 2008 12:21 AM | Report abuse

The man who is still trying to live out his boyband dream questioning Romney's maturity. LOL. Huckabee makes it without money because the press finds him entertaining and give him alot of time. He is pretty good at standup one liners. As far as Romney changing positions, what about:

Huckabee being for the regular tax system before being for the fair tax;

Huckabee being for tuition for illegals before wanting to deport them all (eight week old flop).

Huckabee being for reduced spending before wanting to build a freeway everywhere someone slows down near an on onramp.

Supporting campaign ethics rules before violating them five times.

Believing in the will of the people but then releasing hundreds of convicts found guilty by their peers and the will of the people.

McCain is a worse flip flopper if that is possible:

He was for Amnesty before he was against it; (eight weeks ago he changed)

He was against border enforcement before he was for it; (eight weeks)

He was against Bush tax cuts twice because they favored the rich before he was against them because of pork spending and now is for them (flip flop flip on that one);

He was for loosening mortgage lending rules before stating at the CA debate "some people on Wall Street may need to be punished" (I am not joking);

He called the moral majority Christian leaders "agents of hate" before he he was both Baptist and now apparently Methodist and now calls himself a "social conservative");

He was for the Republican party until Bush beat him seven years ago and the angst he has has led him to defect to the Dems in all but name alone and even considered running for Kerry; Talk about an ambitious flip flopper! Romney has always been a GOP guy like his dad before him. He will never betray his party and principles.

The media has never called Huckabee or McCain on flip flopping even though their movement is much much more recent because they want McCain. McCain is also Obama's favorite. Now that it looks like McCain is up the MSMedia will push Obama. McCain looks half dead on the stage compared to Obama. Only Romney stands a chance against the Obama juggernaut.

Posted by: DanLounsbury | February 3, 2008 12:17 AM | Report abuse

Mitt Romney actually had a job for 30 years! He made a great living - isn't that what we are supposed to do? He didn't take a salary as governor in Massachusetts, he didn't take a salary for the work he did on the Olympics, he cares about his country and has invested his own money into the campaign-it is RIDICULOUS to call him greedy! I haven't seen ANY ethics violations against Romney but I have against Huckabee (investigated for 14, cited for 5 or6) yet many of you are calling him "shady". As for the anti mormon rhetoric that Huckabee conveniently spewed just prior to the Iowa caucus - it's somewhat disingenuous when you realize that Mormons believe ALL of us are children of God and existed prior to coming to Earth - that includes Jesus and Lucifer. The important thing is to understand that it is Huckabee and NOT Mitt Romney promoting his religion! Mitt Romney understands that he is not running as Pastor in Chief - Huckabee does not. Huckabee and McCain have both whined about "negative" ads run by Romney - the fact is that those ads are only negative if the candidate isn't proud of his record! Romney has won Michigan, Wyoming, Nevada and Maine - he came in a close second in Florida, New Hampshire and Iowa, he came in 4 in SC with very little campaigning. Mike Huckabee won Iowa, second in SC and finished 3&4 in every other state! Huckabee is either clueless or cunning - I say it's the latter. He is staying in for the VP job and he makes me sick. America needs Mitt Romney!

Posted by: tammy921 | February 2, 2008 11:51 PM | Report abuse

Wow, where have all you Huckabee supporters been. He sure could have used you earlier. Sounds more like the "anything but Mitt" supporters.

No one doubts that Huckabee can be funny, charming, or witty. But, he doesn't have a chance at this point even if he wins a few states on Tuesday. With that in mind, he is either dillusional, or he is very bright. You see, maybe he wins if Romney loses. He sure seems to act more like he wants to defeat "phony Romney" than he does Honest "Abe" McCain.

Posted by: henrys | February 2, 2008 8:03 PM | Report abuse

I think the first comment meant Slick Willie as in Bill Clinton, another weirdo from Arkansaw. Pleeez!!! Don't mix Mitt up with the beer crowd.

Posted by: nhavlik | February 2, 2008 7:33 PM | Report abuse

You have got to be kidding. Huckleberry Hound as he is called in Nevada, is just brown nosing ol' McCain for a job. I don't need a minister, I have a priest. I hate to see how Huck stays in and tries to be a Kingmaker. He never belonged in this race. I was born in Pine Bluff I have relatives in Little Rock and from what I have seen since leaving in 1946, actually heard also, Arkansas is poor and backwards, and Arkansas and Missippi are nothing for the United States to brag about in any forum. Mitt's the one and we already picked him, he is well educated and classy, I don't Huck went to college.

Posted by: nhavlik | February 2, 2008 7:31 PM | Report abuse

I have served my country too, and I am supporting McCain. However, I have great respect for Mike Huckabee and if he were to somehow win the nomination I would support him wholeheartedly. I will not however under any circumstances support Mitt Romney. The guy has the audacity to attack McCain and Huckabee regarding their conservative credentials when he supported abortion rights and gay marriage? Give me a break. He represents a conservativism that is devoid of any moral or ideological compass.

McCain had his ideology forged in service to our country at great personal sacrifice. Show me where Romney has ever sacrificed anything. Huckabee stands of solid biblical principals and will not seperate himself from them for political expediency as Mitt has done either now or in the past.

I do not believe that Huckabee voters will ever go to Mitt, so I don't know why the media seems to consistently report that Mike is taking votes away from Mitt. If anything those voters in my opinion would go to McCain. However, I respect Huckabee greatly and if McCain were to lose the nomination I would not be whining about how unfair it is for Huckabee to be staying in the race. All I ever hear from Romney's camp is whining. I guess the pretty rich boy has always been able to buy his way into everything up until now. Ask John Kerry; you can buy a lot of things in this country, but you still can't buy character.

See ya Mitt!

Posted by: arstaley | February 2, 2008 6:20 PM | Report abuse





Dan Campbell
Sgt., USMC

Posted by: marinepatriot | February 2, 2008 5:32 PM | Report abuse

If you wonder how it is that Hillary or Obama may become president, you need look no farther than the folks who support Huckabee. Question one: is Huckabee going to win? Answer: no. Question: why is he spending all his time attacking Romney? Answer: he is angling for position in McCain presidency. Question: is he a conservative? Answer: look at immigration, taxes, etc. and you will see someone who is not a conservative. Question: why do some resent Romney? Answer: he is rich and like good neo-libs, we resent the successful or he has changed his position on some issues (oh, I forgot, the Huckster did too, on immigration, but since we are blinded by his likability, we will ignore that flip-flop and spend our time accusing Mitt of flip-flopping). So we conservatives will end up with McCain as nominee because there are so many slow thinkers out there who support the Huckster because he is good on two issues: life and marriage. Final question: is he really a nice guy? Answer: he is from Hope and has the same below the belt instincts wrapped in charm...just note the "here's a nasty commericial I won't run" stunt. Get ready, Huckster victims, for a Dem presidency after McCain-Huckabee ticket gets creamed....

Posted by: plmillerFL | February 2, 2008 5:13 PM | Report abuse

I grew up 30 years in the south and have lived in Massachusetts for the last 18. I'm a conservative evangelical christian, graduating from a Christian university in Abilene, Texas. I can't stand Mike Huckabee; I love Mitt.

I've seen smarmy, glad-handing Baptist preachers in my time (I'm a minister's wife) and Huck reminds me of them all...someone who will smile, charm, and shake one hand, feigning affesction and care, only to back-stab you later.

I am so ashamed of my christian counterparts who have demonstrated such a lack of religious tolerance and I'm double aghast at Huckabee's attacks on Romney (with a smile on his face, underhanded)and his faith in particular. He's not running for high priest here.

I will not vote for McCain. If Huckabee is on the ticket I'll work AGAINST them both (just McCain, I'll sit out). I'd hate to see a man like Huckabee with power! Sure, he's smooth and charming. So was the serpent in the garden.

We don't need another Huckster from Hope.

charlotte bishop

Posted by: cdve | February 2, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

My Arkansas born and raised Daddy always told me, "Its a good life if you don't weaken". Now is the time not to weaken for Mike Huckabee! He needs our money, our voices, and our time until Feb. 5th. Let's take back the White House for America, and say no to more of the same with John McCain or Mitt Romney!

Posted by: d_shoup | February 2, 2008 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Go Romney! Vote Romney! He is the "better" of the "best"! He would be a great asset for all Americans and the American economy!

Posted by: RANSOM11 | February 2, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: marinepatriot | February 2, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse




Posted by: marinepatriot | February 2, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse



Thank you

Semper FI
Dan Campbell
Sgt., USMC

Posted by: marinepatriot | February 2, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Mike keep up great work! We are supporting you all the way thru this.

Mike Huckabee reminds me of a great marathon distance runner. While other leaders in the race drop out from the shear fatigue, Mike keeps hanging in the race like a real runner does to the end.

While the other runners have gold plated shoes on that cushion each blow, Mike has his worn out Dollar store running shoes still on with holes in it keeping up with them with shear guts and determination.

While others are out there with the spotlight on them as the perceived winners, Mike is hanging on like a world class runner within striking distance.

Mike Huckabee is in the Olympic Race like underdog runner American Bob Schul was in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics on that rainy day on the track. This is Mike Huckabee in the race to the finish. Watch this video:

Keep up the great work Mike!!!

Go Mike Go!!!

Posted by: vote4mikehuckabee | February 2, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Huckabee's not "nice" as many people say. His comment on Romney was below the belt and indicates that Huck is insecure and whiny that he is not doing better in the polls. What's more, many (including me) strongly suspect that Huck is staying in the race to help McCain and thus win a spot in a McCain cabinet. Remember everyone, Huck needs a job, a paying job after thie election. Otherwise the guy is a pauper.

Posted by: mindstretch1 | February 2, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Huckabee's flock of sheep are loaded with bigoted zealots who are too imparied to see the realities of politics. The writing is on the wall. Huckabee has never been able to get beyond being the anti-mormon candidate. He has no appeal beyond the evangelical voting block. His bigoted slurs against Romney about the devil and Jesus being brothers are just a precursor of his latest ironically childish "puberty" slur. He is a bigoted man of flawed character who isn't man enough to slur Romney on national TV. He has had no chance of winning since he lost to the moderate McCain in South Carolina. Like all politicians, he pushes on because he is angling for the bottom of the ticket or a cabinet job under the moderate McCain. It's more than obvious that he's McCain's attack dog tool to split the conservative base. This Gomer Pyle look- alike has no chance to win and is merely staying in to try and help himself step up in his political career. His superficial folksy humor does not mask his raw political ambition. For anyone who studies this man, he will be remembered for his bible belting bigotry that handed the nomination to the moderate and liberal catering McCain. Huckabee is no more than a footnote who will never be president. For conservatives, don't vote for this guy unless you want to nominate an old moderate hot head like McCain.

Posted by: softlaw | February 2, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Huckabee a conservative?? Why? Because he's pro-life?? Please. He's a pro-life John Edwards, with his populist, pro-government message. And I shudder to think what this man would do (or fail to do) as Commander in Chief.

Huckabee a conservative... That's rich.

Posted by: tait644 | February 2, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

I sure thought this was a Republican primary. Where did all this anti-capitalist and anti-free market sentiment come from. McCain/Huckabee attack Romney as if building businesses and creating jobs were a shady occupation.

I am only a student, but that is my life's ambition. I want to earn a good living, but more important to me is to help lift others up with me.

The reasoning the Mitt-haters use against him proves to me that Romney is a better candidate. Look who someone's enemies are and you see where he really stands.

If you want global warming tax hikes (McCain-Lieberman), squishy stances on tax cuts (McCain was against them, Huckabee raised taxes), class warfare rhetoric (McCain and Huckabee, and apparently Huck's supporters above), and Washington status quo, I see no difference between McCain, Huckabee, and Clinton.

Besides Huckabee can never win. He is just running to be vice president. If you want McCain, vote for Huckabee. I want something new to choose between. Romney and Obama are the only chance we have to see something new.

Posted by: patriot_tony | February 2, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Romney could not possibly understand the plight of the working poor of which I am part of. And he follows a faith that claims the strong leaders of it will have their own planet when they die and will be able to rule it. I couldn't vote for him based on these two factors alone, not to mention his back-and-forth on abortion, his recent $50 co-pay abortions, etc.

Go, Huck, Go!

Posted by: tacotoole | February 2, 2008 9:19 AM | Report abuse

I find it a bit dishonest and very inaccurate for the writer of this article to say that Huckabee has done "poorly" since Iowa. He consistently and soundly beat other "higher tier" candidates such as Thompson and Giulini. He very nearly won the primary just prior to Florida (South Carolina). He also has spent nearly ALL of that time near or AT the top of the national polls. He's a GREAT candidate who deserves credit for doing the virtually impossible in rising from national obscurity to where he is today always fighting the headwind of the millions of dollars spent on misleading negative ads and often the subtle bias of writers like this one.

Posted by: michaelLitz | February 2, 2008 9:09 AM | Report abuse

A vote for Huckabee is a vote for McCain.

McCain is as big a flip flopper as any...see

Huckabee uses personal attacks rather than sticking to the issues. How mature is that?


Posted by: drnewknee | February 2, 2008 7:42 AM | Report abuse

A vote for Huckabee is a vote for McCain.

McCain is as big a flip flopper as any...see

Huckabee uses personal attacks rather than sticking to the issues. How mature is that?


Posted by: drnewknee | February 2, 2008 7:42 AM | Report abuse

Huckabee has praised every Republican candidate but Romney for the tone they have taken in their campaigns.

But, you can bet that if Huckabee has anything to do with any GOP presidential campaign after Super Tuesday, the Democrats are going to make it look like Romney was taking it pretty easy on him.

They will use the politics of personal destruction to do as much damage to the party and the evangelical movement as possible when they take him down. They'll do it like a sniper, wounding him before the kill, in order to get notable names to come to his defense, so they can be smeared by association.

A lot of the weaponry that will be used already is public knowledge, but his supporters have been ignoring it.

This summer when the moment seems just right, they'll start off with his sellout to the tobacco industry and all of his ethics violations and his misuse of public office for personal greed.

The "wedding" gift registry he used to shake people down after leaving the governor's office won't seem like a big deal at first.

But Democrats will expand on the picture of greed, bringing up the Jonesboro school shooting and how Huckabee promised survivors no one would profit from it, only to cut a book deal a few days later and reject pleas to share the proceeds in the form of scholarships.

Use of another Huckabee book will start establishing his dishonesty along with his greed, when Democrats start having fun with what they'll portray as his pretense that dieting took 110 pounds off him, rather than bariatric surgery or some similar procedure.

At this point some fringe blog desperate for attention will use public doubt about Huckabee's character to seek traction for an ethics-type charge that can't be proven but will tend to attract heavy web site traffic when played correctly: the dog torture incident.

Everyone knows there is something seriously wrong in a family when a teen old enough to be a Boy Scout counselor tortures or helps torture a dog: It was hung by a wire, stoned and had its throat slit.

Democrats will say it is especially wrong when the crime is minimized and the father steps between the son and a state police investigation, then fires the guy who would not immediately back off. The guy who says he suffered the injustice loves an audience and the liberal mainstream media will be only too happy to provide him one at the perfect time. Juicy!

Then it will be time for the Willie Horton-type stuff, taking Huckabee to task for granting convicted criminals 1,033 pardons and commutations of sentence - about twice as many acts of amnesty as his three predecessors in the governors office combined.

After Huckabee pressured a parole board to release a sex offender early, the rapist went on to murder a mother in Missouri. And people who don't have a special loyalty to Huckabee are going to be outraged by this as it gets more and more attention.

He pardoned or commuted the sentences of 669 criminals, including 11 murderers. And this time instead of media playing down the evangelical connection, it is going to be played up.

The way Democrats will portray it, criminals who said they were saved will have used pastors to get special consideration from Huckabee. And you know they'll ask if the pastors and Huckabee got anything in return, and they'll ask in a way that implies corruption. (Remember all the ethics violations and gift demands?)

If the race is tight at all, you know this question will not be beneath them. And it won't be beneath them to ask Huckabee about accepting contributions from televangalists under Congressional investigation.

Liberal mainstream media may wait for fringe blogs to raise these subjects, but then they'll report on what the blogs have been saying with glee and they'll amplify that with what they're able to dig up through their own muckraking. It won't be pretty.

And no one will be able to say any of this came without warning.

If this unfolds, when the party is looking for someone to blame, Republicans will know a lot of their elected officials and other leaders saw it coming and did nothing to stop Huckabee, and practically invited the bus to run over everyone.

Posted by: WakeWashington | February 2, 2008 2:11 AM | Report abuse

My candidate is Mike Huckabee. He's authentic. He's the consistent conservative Governor who completed 10 1/2 years in office with high approval ratings, improved roads and education, and only increased the tax burden on the average Arkansan two tenths of one percent. Compare that to Romney's one term as Governor of Massachusetts where the tax burden increased four percent during his four years in office. And he left office with sinking approval numbers.

Mitt Romney can't be trusted. He's demonstrated that he will say anything to reach his goal. Maybe that's fine in business. But it's not attractive in an office where trust is important.

Posted by: Nanellen | February 2, 2008 2:07 AM | Report abuse

According to Rasmussen's daily presidential tracking poll, HUCKABEE HAD GAINED 5% NATIONALLY in the past five days. In that same time, Romney has lost ground.

Mike Huckabee has the momentum--and just in time for Tsunami Tuesday.

"Give Hope Another Chance'

Posted by: johnpmorris | February 2, 2008 1:43 AM | Report abuse

I agree, it is about time Governor Huckabee went back after that slimy Mitt Romney! Romney has told so many lies in this election and has literally tried to buy the White House with his fortune and with his purchased media -- he forgot one thing -- WE THE PEOPLE!!!

TAKE IT TO HIM MIKE!!! I'll guarantee you that Mitt Romney will never take a debate against Mike Huckabee (even with his cheating whispers).

Posted by: welovehuckabee | February 2, 2008 1:41 AM | Report abuse

Here's an idea considering how many votes Huckabee has with 6 million money. Imagine howmany votes he could have with Romney's money. C'mon mitt write Huckabee a big check and lets have a HUCKABOOM!!!

Posted by: btnielson | February 2, 2008 1:12 AM | Report abuse

Without his personal $35 million, Romney raised $54 million in 2007 and spent $88 million. McCain raised $37.5 million and spent $39 million. Mike Huckabee raised $9 million and spent $7 million.

Huckabee can manage my money anytime!

Posted by: d_shoup | February 1, 2008 11:49 PM | Report abuse

All you "Mike" supporters are brainwashed. Are you sure your not part of a cult?

Posted by: esther_179 | February 1, 2008 10:43 PM | Report abuse

I think Gov. Huckabee has shown that he is the most conservative of the 3 candidates. He certainly is graceful under pressure. He has forward thinking ideas on how to change America for the better. We need a candidate with good ideas and experience to go up against the democrats, and furthermore, unite our country after the election. Romney has no real plan other than what the polls dictate. McCain is considered too far left for conservatives. Huckabee has humble roots and understands the lower and middle classes. Romney has never had financial woes like the average American and cannot relate to the common people. Romney, with all his wealth, cannot buy a personality or experience.

Posted by: JBfromFL | February 1, 2008 10:02 PM | Report abuse

I'm from Canada and have been watching your election from the first time I saw Mike Huckabee. I am very impressed with him. He is the most honest of all the candidates of both parties. He is exactly what the US needs in a President. If the American people are not smart enough to ignore the media and put this man in power, we'll take him in Canada. I'd love to have him as our next Prime Minister.

Posted by: nancywallace | February 1, 2008 9:21 PM | Report abuse

First I'd like to say if Huckabee received even half the media coverage Romie has received I truely beleive Romie would not even be in this race any longer. This is a fact, if you see Mike Huckabee, you like him! Hands down he is the best canidate in the race and if the people are allowed to chose their canidate, not the media, he will be our next president.

Posted by: makide | February 1, 2008 9:07 PM | Report abuse

America does not need Mitt Romney. He thinks life is about making as much money as possible, and then buying political power with it. For his record,see He has tried to buy the election with massive and dishonest advertising. Only Fascist talk radio personalities like Limbaugh and Hannity are for him because he would protect the rich and the powerful. A vote for Romney is a wasted vote because he will NEVER be elected President.

America does need Mike Huckabee. He was voted one of the 5 best governors in America. He has progressive ideas about economics, health, education, immigration, and defense. He has character, judgment, intellect, and courage. He has run a frugal campaign and would make a great President.

Help David slay Goliath by voting for Mike Huckabee.

Posted by: Andersod7 | February 1, 2008 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Michael Shear suggests puberty statement because Romney's negative attack in Iowa. I guess it is more related to recent Romney's two-men-race comments.

Actually "puberty" is a quite vivid way to describe Romney's flip-flops. He lost his political credibility.

Please watch how Romney conflicts himself.

Posted by: binliang07 | February 1, 2008 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Gov. Mike Huckabee is the best person running for President and a true conservative.

Posted by: SabreHawk | February 1, 2008 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Me too!

Posted by: d_shoup | February 1, 2008 8:15 PM | Report abuse

I'm so glad the Governor Huckabee is going after slick Mitt, real conservatives can't afford Mitt or his club for greed cronies. Just to clear the record, even if Governor Huckabee were to drop out of the race, his supporters would not vote for Mitt they would support John McCain.

Check out the facts on slick Mitt

Go Huckabee

Posted by: McFox1 | February 1, 2008 8:09 PM | Report abuse

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