Huckabee reflects, picks his targets

HUCKABEE REFLECTS, PICKS HIS TARGETS…. After relative silence for the past several months, former Arkansas governor and presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee is releasing his new book, “Do The Right Thing: Inside the Movement That’s Bringing Common Sense Back to America.” Time’s Michael Scherer got an advance look, and notes, “[I]n terms of payback, it will not disappoint.”

Based on Scherer’s report, some familiar Huckabee rivals are painted in a negative light, most notably Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson. Huckabee also reportedly lambastes the libertarian wing of the GOP, a long-time source of frustration for him.

But it’s Huckabee’s criticism of some religious right leaders that stood out for me.

He calls out Pat Robertson, the Virginia-based televangelist, and Dr. Bob Jones III, chancellor of Bob Jones University in South Carolina, for endorsing Rudy Giuliani and Romney, respectively. He also has words for the Texas-based Rev. John Hagee, who endorsed the more moderate John McCain in the primaries, as someone who was drawn to the eventual Republican nominee because of the lure of power. Huckabee speaks to Hagee by phone before the McCain endorsement, while the former Arkansas governor is preparing for a spot on Saturday Night Live. “I asked if he had prayed about this and believed this was what the Lord wanted him to do,” Huckabee writes of his conversation with Hagee. “I didn’t get a straight answer.” Months later, McCain rejected Hagee’s endorsement because of controversial remarks the pastor had made about biblical interpretations.

I can understand Huckabee expecting to pick up Hagee’s support during the GOP primaries; Huckabee was the right-wing evangelical candidate of choice.

But isn’t it strange to still be bitter about it now, especially given the fact that McCain had to scramble after we learned more about Hagee’s anti-Catholic, anti-gay, and anti-Semitic sermons?

As Kyle at Right Wing Watch put it, “So Huckabee is calling Hagee a sell-out for backing McCain instead of him, even knowing that McCain was eventually forced to disassociate himself from him because of Hagee’s outrageous views? Doesn’t it seem odd that instead of thinking that maybe he dodged a bullet by not getting Hagee’s support, Huckabee is still mad about it?”