Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee had some harsh criticism for the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) after being asked why he didn’t attend this year by Geraldo Rivera. Huckabee said the conference was becoming “more libertarian and less Republican,” and that the tea party movement was “taking the oxygen out of the room.” He also accused the organizers of “pay-for-play” for the way it solicits sponsors who then get time to speak.
For a man who still has designs on the 2012 Republican nomination, it’s a little hard to fathom why Huckabee would be so full-throated in his criticism of the biggest conservative convention in America. Sorry, Huck, but the mood of the country is shifting to fiscal conservatism and social libertarianism, which isn’t a bad thing and isn’t something social conservatives should fear. And it should be blatantly obvious that CPAC is a conservative event, not a Republican, and it might be a good thing that it’s less Republican this year.
In any case, it has the appearance of a petty personal dispute and has the effect of Huckabee giving the finger to a lot of people he’ll need to secure the GOP nomination. Allahpundit can’t figure it out, either, but he speculates that Huckabee is trying to stake out a social conservative stance and let Palin and Romney duke it out over the small government mantle.
If that’s the case, then Huckabee really just doesn’t get it. Social issues aren’t the most pressing problems facing our nation, and in any case should serve a lessened influence in politics anyway. It’s the growth of government and fiscal responsibility that offer the greatest challenges, and if Huckabee is so willing to ignore them, then he doesn’t deserve to be the Republican nominee in 2012.
I’ve never really bought Huckabee as a strong national candidate. He’s articulate and has a certain folksy appeal, but he just doesn’t have the “it” factor that leads me to believe he could beat top Democrats in a national race. His dismissive attitude toward CPAC could have been expressed in a much more diplomatic way, and it just proves to me he’s not worthy of being the GOP guy in two years.