DON’T KNOW MUCH ABOUT FOREIGN POLICY….In October, David Brooks, in an otherwise fawning column about Mike Huckabee, conceded that “his foreign policy thinking is thin.” That was obviously a dramatic understatement.
Earlier this month, he didn’t know what the National Intelligence Estimate was. A week later, the former governor identified Thomas Friedman and Frank Gaffney as his biggest influences on foreign policy, despite the fact that Friedman and Gaffney don’t actually agree on anything.
This week, any shred of credibility Huckabee maintained on foreign policy quickly vanished. In the aftermath of Benazir Bhutto’s assassination, the Arkansan’s first reaction was to argue that the slaying should lead to a reevaluation of U.S. immigration policy. Of course, the assertion didn’t make any sense.
Indeed, it’s been a particularly embarrassing couple of days for Huckabee. He argued that “we have more Pakistani illegals” entering the U.S. than any other nationality, aside from Mexico. That’s not even close to being true. He said the Pakistani government “does not have enough control of those eastern borders near Afghanistan to be able go after the terrorists.” He meant western borders.
His campaign tried to explain the candidate’s ignorance.
A senior aide to Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee admitted Friday that the former Arkansas governor had “no foreign policy credentials” after his comments reacting to the assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto raised questions.
During an event Friday in Pella, Iowa, Huckabee said the crisis sparked by Bhutto’s death should lead to a crackdown on illegal immigrants from Pakistan. The Huckabee official told CNN that when he said that, Huckabee was trying to turn attention away from scrutiny of his foreign policy knowledge.
How terribly odd. Huckabee is under criticism for his breathtaking confusion about foreign affairs, so he thought it was wise to make it worse, connecting the Bhutto assassination to Republican fears about immigration.
We’re less than a week from the Iowa caucuses, and Huckabee has taken the lead in some national polls. Is it too much to ask that he, I don’t know, start reading the newspaper in the morning? Couldn’t he at least pretend to care about what’s going on in the world?
Kevin’s question from a few weeks ago is still salient: “[W]ill anyone press him on this? Or will he get the village idiot treatment that Republicans since Ronald Reagan have so often gotten, where they’re sort of expected to say harebrained stuff and nobody holds it against them?”