HUCKABEE AND BUSH….In his recent Foreign Affairs essay, Mike Huckabee had hard words for George Bush’s approach to national security:
American foreign policy needs to change its tone and attitude, open up, and reach out. The Bush administration’s arrogant bunker mentality has been counterproductive at home and abroad. My administration will recognize that the United States’ main fight today does not pit us against the world but pits the world against the terrorists.
Bold! Truthtelling! A brave effort to stand up to the Bush adminsitration’s unthinking hawkishness. Except for one thing: as soon as Mitt Romney called him on it, Huckabee backed down:
I didn’t say the President was arrogant….I’ve said that the policies have been arrogant….I’m the one who actually supported the President’s surge. I supported the Bush tax cuts, when Mr. Romney didn’t. I was with President Bush on gun control, when Mitt Romney wasn’t. I was with the President on the President’s pro-life position, when Mitt Romney wasn’t.
What’s funny about this is that, given the realities of magazine lead times, Huckabee almost certainly wrote his essay at least a month ago, and maybe earlier than that. Back then, like any candidate with no realistic shot at winning, he was occasionally willing to speak out and let the chips fall where they would. But the Republican presidential race has been so volatile that a mere month later Huckabee finds himself with an actual shot at the nomination. So no more truthtelling for the Huck! He’s George Bush’s biggest supporter now, and don’t you dare think otherwise.
This is just another example of why everyone should ignore bold truthtelling from minor candidates. It’s easy to take unpopular stands when you have no chance of winning, but not so easy when you’re actually trying to scrounge up the votes to put yourself over the top. Huckabee is just the latest victim of this eternal truth.