Posted: August 28, 2007 5:24 PM
Huckabee Blasts Fellow Republicans, Warner's Iraq Pullout Plan
Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee called on members of his own party to do a better job of being Republicans last week, telling reporters in Indianapolis Friday that the GOP lost its majority in Congress in 2006 because too many of its candidates failed to live up to their party’s guiding principles.
“We didn’t fight corruption like we should, we didn’t curtail spending, we didn’t resolve problems,” the former Arkansas governor said.
He also said he could not support a call by Virginia’s senior Republican Sen. John Warner to start pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq by the end of the year. Huckabee called the judgment premature and said that any such decision should follow, not precede, a progress report expected next month from Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq.
“The Senate unanimously sent General Petraeus to Iraq with the instructions that he was to go and implement his plan and that he would be given at least until September and come back and give his report and evaluate it,” Huckabee said.
Huckabee likened Warner, a former chairman of the Armed Services Committee and former secretary of the Navy, to a “food critic who has judged the dish and written his column before the chef has brought it out of the kitchen.”
Huckabee stopped by the Midwest Republican Leadership Conference in Indianapolis on Friday. Two days later, he told Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday” that after his second-place showing in the Iowa straw poll, “there’s no reason we couldn’t catapult to the front.” He continued, “So far, we’ve been everything from no shot to long shot, now to slingshot. And I think we’re at a point where as we look for the next level. … Our message is connecting. The polls really don’t reflect the core voters. It reflects name identification, which improves with each debate. It improves with each showing like Iowa.”
In the coming week, Huckabee plans to campaign in Louisiana, Florida and Iowa.