Friday, August 24, 2007

NR Update On Club For Growth/Being Mike Huckabee

I haven't quite been able to figure out why The Club For Growth has such an axe to grind about Mike Huckabee. I speculated that they were somehow vested in another candidate. Jeremy at Mike Huckabee '08 - also looked at the disparity in the Club For Growth’s analyses of Huckabee, Romney, and Giuliani.

But, after what I've read in the past few days, I'm inclined to view it more kindly. Though I too, am still mystified about the CFG's indifference to the implications of The Fair Tax, much of their problem may be perfectly innocent ignorance.

The Club For Growth talk appears to have not a clue about the relative responsibilities and abilities of the federal government. A more intense study of Mike Huckabee shows that he is quite aware of the difference and the meaning of the 10th Amendment. CFG president Pat Toomey, in an interview published in yesterday's National Review Online, accused Huckabee of "trying to hoodwink" people about his conservatism, which I'm certain he isn't doing. Either Toomey hasn't watched closely enough or he isn't equipped with the facility to discern a person quite different than the one he describes.

Human Events reviewed the CFG’s analyses of Romney and Huckabee: which included this:

“The massive increase in government spending is due in part to the number of new programs and expansion of already existing programs initiated by Governor Huckabee, including ARKids First, a multimillion-dollar government program to provide health coverage for thousands of Arkansas' children.´ Gasp! Health Care for (poor – they left that out) Scandalous! J The important thing about the ARKids First program providing health care assistance for poor children, is that it wasn’t just a big government waste.

The ARKids First program promoted by Republican Gov. Mike Huckabee provides government health insurance to minors in families earning up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level. Wow, that’s extravagant, huh? A state in the wealthiest country in the history of the planet, providing MedicAid coverage for children of families earning up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level. That’s not the entire family, but only their children under 19! The tax cost to my household of four would come to a fraction of what we spend on pizza delivery. Can you imagine the pain and stress relieved when families who do well to stay dry and eat peanut butter and pork ’n beans don’t have to be frightened to death about sickness or injury to their children? I posted a comment after the article.

. Being Mike Huckabee

This article By Salena Zito at Pittsburgh Tribune-Review cites the quote from Democratic strategist John Lapp that I have mentioned here, going on to discuss how Huckabee appeals to the general public.: "If he had money, he would be our worst nightmare," says Democrat strategist John Lapp.


Stephen R. Maloney said...

The ARKids program is exactly the type of thing government SHOULD be doing. The CFG figures it's fine if somebody else's kids (not theirs, of course) go without health care. They are vaguely Republican at CFG but a kind of creepy Republican that no one who's a Christian or a humane individual wants anything to do with.


Larry Perrault said...

I was a little surprised that National Review or Human Events didn't press Toomey a little more about Huckabee and The Fair Tax and the difference between state and federal governing.

Jeremy said...

I think you are letting them off easy by chalking it up to ignorance ... although, you make some very valid points.

If you watch CFG, K-Lo, Rubin, Matt Lewis, Hugh Hewitt and the whole gang, you'll notice an obvious pattern in their "reporting". There is a definite and blatant bias against Mike. Although they don't officially endorse, I think they are basically in the camps of Rudy (or Mitt in Hewitt's case - he even wrote a book).

Nice post.

Paul S said...

I will tell you exactly why the Club for Growth is anti Huckabee. And you can easily confirm this if you dig around a little. The number 1 largest financial contributer to the Club for Growth--by a huge margin-- is a member of the Stephens investments family of Little Rock. A few years ago, one of the Stephens boys wanted to run for Governor, but Huckabee would not step aside and let him have his run at the nomination. Its a grudge. When your meal ticket tells you what to do, you do it.

Stephen R. Maloney said...

Paul S is right on target. Some of the "conservatives" in the U.S., including many people in Texas don't have a clue about poverty or about the world we live in. Their notion (harmless if you look at it superficially) is that the "family" should take care of poor people. But of course the "family" is often as poor or poorer. Yes, people shouldn't have children that they can't take care of, but the hard fact is that they do. Clearly, churches and NGOs should do more, and GWB's "faith-based initiatives," strongly opposed by many interest groups, including CFG, are a necessary approach. It all comes back to the "pro-life" issue and how it must stand for all lives that are in jeopardy. There are people that because of physical or mental problems can't care for themselves (or their children). Mike Huckabee understands these problems, as do some others on the ticket, and I doubt that Mike would disagree with a thing I've said. CFG sees this as a threat to the great wealth of its members, and that makes it a group decent people will want to avoid.

steve maloney

Stephen R. Maloney said...

Larry, in my Sunday column about polls I mention you and Mike Huckabee and the "problem" of name recognition. Also, on the front page of (today's) Sunday's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette there's an article about Mike Huckabee and "Type 2" diabetes, which I also have.


Stephen R. Maloney said...

I sent an e-mail today to Huckabee supporters who also like Gov. Palin. Since my e-mails don't get thru to you, here's a "bonus" copy:

My column today discusses polling data -- its strengths and weaknesses, and how it affects campaigns such as Mike's. The one thing I didn't say was that the polls in November and December of this year will be the crucial ones. At the end of the column I write about a little about Sen. Brownback and Governor Romney in regard to the explosive issue of abortion. I'm going to write more about that issue during this week. I'm trying to pin down as best I can Mike's specific position on Roe v. Wade and a possible constiutional amendment regarding the life issue. Candidates tend to be rather vague on this subject. Brownback is specific: he would like to ban ALL abortions. (I don't see how that would be possible politically, but I appreciate his specificity on the issue.)

On Trish's site -- -- there is a YouTube piece from Anchorage's KTUU-TV, a long one, about our efforts to have Sarah Palin named as V-P nominee. There are comments from: Fred Barnes (pro-Palin obviously but questions if she's well-known enough), White House correspondent Les Kinsolving (strongly behind Sarah's being the nominee), and from me. The two Alaska newspeople also talk about the effort, and then there's an appearance by Sarah Palin saying exactly what she should say. Bill McAllister (fine journalist) asked me what I believe Sarah thought about this massive effort, and I said, "I think she loves it." (They didn't use that on the broadcast.) Bill also enquired what, if the President passed away, I thought of a "President Palin." I said that being in any high office was mainly a question of character (decency, honesty) and a willingness to learn and a love for people. I said Sarah "absolutely" could do the job. They didn't use that either, darn it.

This is the second feature in a week done by KTUU-TV on the Draft Palin effort.

They tried to get comments from Gov. Tim Pawlenty (MN) but he was "unavailable." He's head of the Republican Governors Association.


Larry Perrault said...

Why would they be so anti-Huckabee? Hewitt's obviously p[ro-Romney. They might say it's MY bias, but Huckabee looks tio be the best candidate to run against a Democrat. There would be plenty to shoot at with Giuliani or Romney. With Romney of course, they'll hit the class/money angle, and I also think the Democrats will make evangelicals look like sheep on the Mormon thing.

With Huckabee, they'll just have the Christian thing, which they'll have to slice thin for it not to cut against them.

Paul's explanation is plausible, espercially when you consider that the CFG shows no use for moral constraint.

Stephen R. Maloney said...

Over the years, the Mormon Church has done a number on itself, and the Romney candidacy is not going to succeed. The main struggle will be between Giuliani and Huckabee. Mike HAS to raise more money to make it a tight race. At a certain point the primary-caucus season is going to come running at us like a freight train, and it is going to require money to get the message across. It won't require huge sums but it will require a significant amount. Mike has to WIN Iowa and Florida, and the latter will be the tough one. New Hampshire is a tough one and winning Iowa would help there, but it might be a little too "Yankee" for Mike. It will all be great fun. :-)


Larry Perrault said...

I can imagine Huckabee winning Iowa, and a strong though probably not a win follow-ip in New Hampshire. From there, winning South Carolina seems reasonable to consider, but Florida doesn't seem to fit the bill. In fact, I would say it's unlikely except that, especially after the scenario just described, no one else looks like a likely Florida winner, either. Florida could break down fairly evenly.

If Giuliani is still in the thick of it, he looks at this point to be in pretty good shape for the Feb. 5 super primary.

Another thing that's strange about the Club For Growth's harping about Huckabee is that investment studfy will find Arkansas to be a pretty good new business environment, right now. And by the way, good roads and an improved education system after Huckabee's "anti-growth" programs, would be no small part of that.