Did former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee just call the late President Ronald Reagan a RINO?  He seemed dangerously close to saying soo  Writing about an interview that Governor Huckabee had on Fox News after the Presidential debate, Shane D’Aprile reported at The Hill on some of the comments that Huckabee made:

“And do I believe that Republicans can do something other than Balkanize themselves? I worry about that … because there seems to be this sense of fracture where people want you to be everything or nothing.”

Former President Ronald Reagan, Huckabee argued, would find it next to impossible to make it through a modern day Republican primary given that he “raised taxes as governor” of California and “made deals with Democrats.”

“People speak of Reagan as if he was absolutely steadfast,” he said. “He was in his convictions. But you have to govern in a way that is different than you can campaign.”

While I understand where Governor Huckabee is coming from, every candidate has, to borrow from former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, a clunker in their past.  President Ronald Reagan was no exception.  However practically saying that the late President would be seen as a RINO in the eyes of some of the electorate does not help one politically with primary voters.

Not a wise choice.

HT: Weasel Zippers

17 comments
  1. I generally hear the “Reagan would be called a RINO” accusation from Liberals who obviously have an agenda. They tend to muddy the waters by rejecting context or misrepresenting facts or concepts. It is interesting to see Huck doing what the Liberals do.

    For a little context:

    Republicans would not gain the majority in the House until six years after Reagan retires. That means Reagan had to give stuff up to Democrats to get anything done.

    Republicans had the majority in the Senate for only part of Reagan’s eight years, and never a filibuster-proof majority. That means Reagan had to give stuff up to Democrats to get anything done.

    Reagan agreed to compromise with Congressional Democrats by raising taxes in return for “three dollars of spending cuts for every dollar of tax increase.” (Where have we heard that recently?) The Democrats got their tax increases and immediately reneged on their spending cuts promise.

    Reagan’s tax cuts caused an increase in tax revenue and not a decrease. The exploding deficit spending came from Congressional Democrats’ hyper-spending agenda (which Reagan had to accept in order to get his tax cuts which caused increased tax revenue).

    When context is inserted in the discussion, Liberals’ (and apparently Huck’s) accusations crumble into an ash heap.

    1. “T
      hat means Reagan had to give stuff up to Democrats to get anything done.”
      EXACTLY! And that is what critics of Huckabee fail to consider when calling him a RINO when he did the same thing with the Democratically controlled Arkansas legislature.

      All you have done in every paragraph is make Huckabee’s case.

      1. @facebook-100000472261599:disqus , it’s only an arugment that those who already support Huckabee will buy. Reagan also experienced a shift to the right as Governor. Like I said before I understand the argument he’s making, but he’s not going to win those in the GOP base who are undecided or against him with it.

        It’s better to explain why he did those things than to invoke Gipper. By the way he made the same argument in 2008, how’d that work out for him?

      2. @vandie:disqus
        But why do you still resist the point? Is it because your mind is too made up to be bothered by facts?

        You say that others aren’t convinced. What is that? You don’t need to worry about the truth until lots of others have accepted it?

        How that work with Christianity?

        I presume your actual thoughts are better than they seem from your comments. Please clarify.

        Your brother in Christ,
        Christopher Levi

      3. My only point in the post is that it is a losing argument to make politically regardless of how accurate Huckabee may be.

        It is a nonstarter.

        Reagan as Governor certainly did make some mistakes, and he admitted his mistake with his signature on an abortion law for instance. He grew more conservative the longer he was in office. As President was Reagan perfect? No, he wasn’t able to accomplish all that he wanted to, but he was still a champion for limited government and as much as he was able kept domestic spending growth at bay.

        My problem with Huckabee isn’t so much with his past record – it was no different in 2008 and I voted for him in the Iowa Caucus. I’m troubled by some of his positions he holds today… that coupled with past record compels me not to want to support him this go around.

        Anyway, Huckabee can certainly defend his record, I just don’t believe invoking Reagan in this way is going to win him any supporters.

      4. We hear a certain pattern of thought in political speeches,
        discussions, and analysis which has become so common by the professional
        spin-artists that it has infected the way the rest of us communicate. That
        pattern of thought is to attempt to “rise above” the arena of petty
        opinions and instead enter the realm of objective fact with phrases like
        “the American people want…”, “working families don’t
        want…”, “voters are interested in…”, and “that argument
        will not win over anybody…”. Those who say such things generally are not
        in a position to know such facts; such facts are generally not the real point
        being made; and such allegations are often flatly false. In short, such pseudo-objectivity
        is disingenuous–effective perhaps—but not altogether straightforward.
        How should we read such statements? Unless we are reading an
        academic treatment like “The Effect of Political Speech upon the Populous
        as Oberved in Public Behaviors…”, by some actually disinterested
        historian (generally this would be long after the events cease to be considered
        current) we can often read these kinds of statements from the not-disinterested
        analyst as, “I want…”, “I don’t want…”, I am interested
        in…”, or “that argument does not win me over.”Now when a thoroughly engaged, interested, involved blogger
        says, “saying XYZ does not help one politically with primary voters”
        he’s probably saying that it does not help with him. When that same politically
        active blogger writes “that it is a losing argument to make politically
        regardless of how accurate [the argument] may be”, it seems that the is either
        personally unconvinced or, else, is pleased with the prospect that others will
        be unconvinced by that argument. That would be no surprise (interest often
        weakens objectivity) nor would it be wrong (we are permitted to have political
        opinions and preferences) but, let us cease using the forms of speech that
        pretend to pure objectivity.I’m not arguing that this blogger or anybody else ought to
        prefer the candidate in question over any other candidate (or even over none at
        all). I am suggesting that a valid argument exists which ought to remove one
        reason for disfavoring this candidate (and I nearly read agreement in this
        bloggers response comment). The idea that this candidate isn’t conservative
        enough but Reagan was is worthless. (Whether either is wrong on one or more
        issues is an entirely separate question.) Reagan fans, the honest ones, ought
        to see that clearly. And they should give more than grudging acknowledgment to
        the point.

      5. I wish my formatting would have come through. Its hard to read. I’ll spare everyone the trouble by summing up.

        This blogger is smoking his socks.

      6. I wish my formatting would have come through. Its hard to read. I’ll spare everyone the trouble by summing up.

        This blogger is smoking his socks.

      7. We disagree again. Socks are better than sandals. But seriously, were you able to read the badly formatted post?

      8. We disagree again. Socks are better than sandals. But seriously, were you able to read the badly formatted post?

  2. With the way the republican party has become, he would most likely be similar to someone like Tom Latham or Jim Nussle.

    You have to realize that Reagan had the ability to win in hostile territory (ie California) by winning over democratic voters. None of the republicans currently running for president could ever win a gubernatorial race in California and probably would have trouble getting 40 percent.

  3. With the way the republican party has become, he would most likely be similar to someone like Tom Latham or Jim Nussle.

    You have to realize that Reagan had the ability to win in hostile territory (ie California) by winning over democratic voters. None of the republicans currently running for president could ever win a gubernatorial race in California and probably would have trouble getting 40 percent.

  4. @Shane Vander Hart–No, Huckabee absolutely did not call ronald Reagan a “Rino.” One only has to read the Governor’s other statements in various articles and debates to know what he thinks about Ronald Reagan, and no way does he ever suggest this in any of them.

    1. That was hyperbole, I know he didn’t call him a RINO, what he did accomplish however is to tick people off.

      I understand his point, I just don’t think it is a winning argument for anybody but his supporters. He did this in 2008. It didn’t work forhim then either.

      1. Your hyperbole might have ticked people off.

        And it might have been more than just a hyperbole–it might have been a misstatement.

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