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Politics, Punditry with Huckabee

Former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee talks GOP politics, Obama, and immigration (see some of the transcript).

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is interviewed after speaking at the University of Arkansas Clinton School for Public Service in Little Rock, Ark., Dec. 14, 2009. (AP)

A raft of primary election results came from around the country last night, and everybody is watching for hints, clues, and omens of what’s to come.

Mike Huckabee is watching. The former Baptist preacher, Arkansas governor, and GOP presidential candidate made his run for the White House in ’08. He did it on a shoestring and a quick wit. And he may do it again in 2012.

Running in the age of Obama. In a Republican field bristling with names like Romney, Gingrich, Haley Barbour, Sarah Palin.

Today, a conversation about this American moment with Mike Huckabee. (Read some of the transcript of his remarks.)


Jonathan Martin, senior political writer for Politico.com.

Mike Huckabee is the former governor of Arkansas and a former Republican presidential candidate. He’s host of the daily talkshow “The Huckabee Show” and the weekend show “Huckabee” on FOX, and “The Huckabee Report” on talk radio.  He heads the political action committee HuckPac.

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  • michael

    Huck kind of loss his bid for President when he let out Clemmons.(stuff happens of course).

    He sounds like a nice and cool guy at first but start listening to him on abortion, gay marriage and the IRS among other things and yikes



    Will On-point have critics on of Huck or will it be a one-sided love fest?

  • Joshua Hendrickson

    I concede that Huckabee is a personally decent and polite man, and his gentlemanly tone is certainly unique amongst the rabid ravers on Fox. But his positions are every bit as primitive and ignorant as those of his less noble fellows on the right. He seems to be the silk purse fashioned from a sow’s ear, and as such could be even more dangerous than the outright crazies. I’m curious whether or not On Point plans to throw any hardballs in his direction, and if so, how he will answer them.

  • Joshua Hendrickson

    Hey, Informed American?

    Is Huckabee your kinda guy?

    Just wondering.

  • Mark

    You will be doing your audience a disservice if you do not thoroughly explore the fact that Pastor Huckabee simply does not believe in the separation of church and state, as he has made clear:

    “Politics are totally directed by worldview. That’s why when people say, ‘We ought to separate politics from religion,’ I say to separate the two is absolutely impossible”.

    -Huckabee, Mike (1997). Character Is The Issue. Nashville: Broadman&Holman. p. 98.

    “I believe it’s a lot easier to change the constitution than it would be to change the word of the living God, and that’s what we need to do is to amend the Constitution so it’s in God’s standards rather than try to change God’s standards,”


    If the GOP insists on promoting candidates who have no conception of what the Constitution is about, and no intention of honoring their oaths to uphold it, the least we should expect of media outlets that give them airtime is a thorough explanation of how extreme their views are.

  • Brandstad

    Can you discuss the bipartisan disapproval of the Obama Policies

    Obama Approval Index: -22 (Matches all-time low for this president)
    Strongly Approve 24%
    Strongly Disapprove 46% (Matches highest for this president)
    Total Approval 43%

  • Brandstad

    On the slightly serious but mostly comical side, I would be curious how Huckabee feels about the “ground zero” mosque and also how he feels about Greg Gutfeld’s proposal for an “Islam friendly” Gay Bar, next to the proposed “Ground Zero” mosque.


  • Edward Kay

    I believe Mr. Huckabee has said that “America was founded as a Christian nation.”

    I hope the host will ask him: “If that is so, how do you explain that pesky article of the constitution that says ‘no religious test for office.’

    I hope the host will ALSO ask him “where do you find a statement in any official document of the US–not the letters of the founding dads, but a founding document–stating that the US was founded as a ‘Christian nation’”?

  • Brandstad

    America was founded as a tolerant Christian nation. If you read the founders original documents, it is undebatable even by the slowest of thinkers.

  • Larry

    We are sick and tired of politicians.

    Left, Right or Center.

    They are all the same.

    They tell lies so the the people will vote for them and once they are elected they work for the elite and the corporations.

    Huckabee is no different. His propaganda is just through the lens of religion.

  • http://www.stevenschumpert.com Steven

    Everyone that degrades Governor Huckabee is missing something vitally important. For those that say his views are ignorant or backwards, this country is missing a certain amount of spritualism, regardless of your religious views, and this can clearly be seen in this current administration. There is no soul. As far as this nation being a Christian nation, it absolutely was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, and in fact the majority of our criminal laws are based on the Ten Commandments. The fact there is no religious test for office does not throw this off at all. And Huckabee let the guy out of prison, SOLELY based on the recommendations of the parole board AND the judge that sentenced him. He did that based on the info he was given. America could do a lot worse than someone who is grounded and bases his worldview on the idea that there are things bigger than ourselves.

  • Jay from Iowa City

    I am a gay, atheist, partner and father. I just want space to practice my beliefs and foster my family. How does the republican party support and defend my civil rights?

  • John

    If I were to chose a president based on which one I’d like to have a beer with it would be Huckabee. However, I’d have to be extremely drunk though to vote for someone who doesn’t believe in evolution, reality-based economics, or equal rights for gays.

  • Howard Reiter

    Mr. Huckabee denies that he hates gay people, but like the southern senators of the past who denied that they hated black people but always found a reason to oppose civil rights legislation, he always finds reasons to oppose measures that aid gay people — repeal of don’t ask, don’t tell, gay marriage, hate crimes legislation. There is a clear pattern here.

  • Kayelle

    Mr. Huckabee was recently talking with the author of the Left Behind books about whether or not President Obama’s so called “socialism” was going to bring about the end of the world as per The Book of Revelations.

    Why is anyone so completely out of touch with reality being interviewed about anything.

  • John

    Will he select an atheist as his running mate so that when the Rapture comes we won’t run the risk of Nancy Pelosi succeeding him?

  • les Wetmore

    The tactics of Sarah Palin and the right dumb down the nation dialog and trun it into a shouting match. They use fear and strawman arguements the win the support of nonthinking people. America is at a crossroads, things could change for the better or become much worse. The TEA Party and those close to them are not argueing issues, they argue retroric. This spells danger in my book.

  • JP

    This guy is the worst kind of simpleton: one with political ambitions.

  • Patrick

    Huckabee rocks! I hope he runs for President again. He actually gets it.

  • jim in texas

    Thank Goodness Huckabee is not the president. To suggest that CitiBank failing is the same as the corner store failing is absurd.

  • Brandstad

    Can you touch on the question of what will be different this time verses Huckabee’s last run? How does he think he can gain significant support from people that passed him by last time.

  • Wes from Tennessee

    Where are any responsible Republicans and what have they done over the past 18 months that shows they actually can lead? I’ll I’ve heard are complaints about Liberals and Democrats and fear mongering trying to fire up the conservative base.

  • Larry

    John, so true.

    Anyone who believes in the rapture works to take us to the “end times” through destruction.

    I believe that earth is our paradise so we better work to make it as good as we can.

  • Lynn

    It’s clear that Huckabee is in the top tier of potential candidates at this point. Of a group that includes Huckabee, Romney, Palin, and Gingrich, there is no doubt in my mind that Huck has the best chance of defeating Obama. Romney has RomneyCare hanging around his neck, is too plastic and has flip-flopped on a number of issues that most republicans agree are important; Palin is obviously too polarizing with the general public to beat Obama (her net favorables are upside); Gringrich, while having some great ideas, has too much baggage to go far, plus I think the msm will charactize him like they did McCain – old, angry white guy thing.

    Huckabee is the best communicator of the group and has 10+ years experience as governor. He is looking very good at this stage IMO.

  • Linda Metzke

    Please ask him about military spending and why he doesn’t support programs to help Americans and does support a war abroad.

  • BHA

    Ford didn’t take bailout money because they had already started to reinvent themselves.

    What programs would Mr. Huckabee cut. Everyone that says “don’t spend money you don’t have” need to specify what they will NOT spend money on.

    And I DO NOT want to hear “Don’t raise taxes” ie. “Don’t let the George W. Bush tax cuts expire” because people won’t create jobs if they pay more taxes. The people involved in those tax breaks are NOT creating jobs, they are also not spending that money. They are buying more stocks.

    People who create jobs write their cost of doing business (salaries and capital investment) off their gross BEFORE tax.

  • JP

    … a real simpleton – incredibly ignorant and naive.

    Just the kind of person likely to become the next Republican presidential nominee.

  • Brandstad

    Our country doesn’t have an income problem (too little federal taxes), we have a spending problem. There is no reason we can’t solve our problems with federal budget cuts.

  • Bob Higgins-Steele

    I agree with Linda
    why not talk about military spending and military waste.

    Why is military spending not a large issue?

  • Jeanne Albert

    It’s too easy to say you want to get rid of the IRS. Please ask him which specific programs he would cut from the government.

  • Kyle

    Mr Huckabee keeps mentioning that we need to legislate to get more jobs in the country. What does he have in mind?

  • JP

    Let me clarify … a real simpleton – incredibly ignorant and naive.

    Just the kind of person likely to become the next Republican presidential nominee.

    It worked for the democrat party last election, so why not the republican party also

  • BHA

    Mr. Huckabee – what do you do with all the poor and middle class people who will pay MORE in consumption tax than they do now with income tax. The rich get richer – AS ALWAYS.

    I agree to a point with getting rid of (most of) the IRS. Revamp the tax code
    - Businesses subtract expenses from income, pay on the net profit
    - Graduated tax rates based on income
    Everyone would fill out a 1040-EZ form

  • Fletcher Moore

    It’s very easy to knock down research projects that seem like a boondoggle if you fail to explain (or understand) their actual purpose. I find it hard to believe that Huckabee truly believes that the monkey-cocaine study is really as absurd as it sounds. It only takes 5 minutes worth of Googling to find out that the study is aimed at finding ways to treat cocaine additcts:


    I can easily imagine this kind of misdirection being practiced with regard to plenty of classic discoveries: this Dr. Salk is spending all sorts of money to get bit by mosquitos!

    Please, Mr. Huckabee, don’t treat us like a bunch of dopes.

  • jim in texas

    Not surprising Huckabee is in favor of the “consumption” tax. It is a regressive tax that hits the poor and middle class the hardest. Here in Texas, there’s no personal income tax, but the state sales tax is absurdly high (8.42% in some counties) so Bill Gates and the poor person both pay the same tax on purchases (meals, clothes, etc) but no state income tax.

  • Sally Strange

    Ask Mr. Huckabee if he thinks that women should be locked up or fined for getting an abortion. If he says no, ask him how he can possibly square that with his belief that abortion is murder, or something very like murder. If he says, prosecute the doctor, ask him why doesn’t view women as autonomous adult human beings who should be held responsible for their actions.

  • Edward Kay

    This is off the main topic of Huckabee, but I think needs to be said.

    Above, Brandstad writes:

    America was founded as a tolerant Christian nation. If you read the founders original documents, it is undebatable even by the slowest of thinkers.

    I hope Brandstad, and those who believe as he does, will support their claims with specific citations.

    In FACT, Christianity, like all religions, has a high propensity for INtolerance.

    You have only to look at American history to see this. For expl, the Quakers were persecuted horribly by the colonial CHRISTIANS. Women were denied the right to vote by the “Christian” founding Dads. The Puritans are the very essence of intolerance. And who do you think it was who kicked Roger Williams out of Mass Bay Colonyfor being too tolerant (i.e. liberal)? And so on.

  • Mr. Trees

    Point of purchase taxes as the soul source of federal taxation can’t work. The wealthy would go directly to the source and the poor would be the only ones spending at the “taxable” point of purchase. Sorry Mike, you’re going to have to keep the IRS around or there is no accountability.

  • Mimi Johnston

    Mike Huckabee is a breath of fresh air in a time of raging Repubs who seem interested only in getting their viewpoints out loud enough to drown out any opposition. While I can’t say I’d vote for him yet, I would consider changing my party affiliation to Republican simply to give those moderates like myself the opportunity to vote for someone who might balance out a too far left Democrat on the national presidential ticket.

  • John
  • Robin

    Considering the amount of money spent on the “War on Drugs” in the country each year, I would think that spending some money to research addiction, by say, looking into the effects of cocaine on monkeys (!) just MIGHT be worthwhile if you look past the very short term.

    I would hope someone looking for the job of President of the United States or someone in any important governmental post would be able to see a possible connection like that.

  • Chris F

    A comment related to spending $72,000 on a cocaine research project – Mr. Huckabee said this is totally wasteful and that the money should be used to create jobs. He fails to recognize that a significant chunk of that research money is used to pay salaries for the researchers and to buy equipment and supplies that other workers have manufactured. Eliminating scientific research means eliminating jobs for highly educated individuals. Mr. Huckabee is showing his ignorance, but I wish Mr. Ashbrook had called him on this.

  • John

    What will he do to prevent anchor fetuses?

  • Blake Foster

    The choice between jobs and scientific research is a false dichotomy. If I were a grad student studying addiction, that $72,000 might provide me and other grad students with a job.

    This is a typical tactic of both sides, and should be called out.

  • Sally Strange

    John, the very idea of an “anchor fetus” is an offensive fiction.

  • Steve Cotton

    Mike -

    My father owns a land surveying business. His biggest problem is not paying too much taxes, it’s that there is not enough demand — the phone is not ringing. People concerned with the economy are not spending money for services like my dad’s business. My question is, government projects like building bridges, building roads etc. creates work for not only land surveyors, but construction workers, engineers, architects etc. Cutting taxes does not result in in greater demand — so how do you solve this problem?


  • Jacqueline Pray

    Gov. Huckabee made the comment (I’m paraphrasing) that people don’t care where the schools and jobs come from (Republicans or Democrats), they just care about the outcome. And yet Republicans, in particular, are executing a strategy of obstructionism. What, SPECIFICALLY, is the former governor doing to move his own party away from this obstructionist strategy??? Thank you.

  • Elizabeth

    Why isn’t an inheritance tax considered a consumption tax?

  • Arun

    Mike Huckabee sounds absurd when we picks on a $72K spending related to public health, but makes no mention of the trillions spent and thousands dead in America’s wars. Why is he not full of anger on the Bush administration for taking us to war based on lies and for Obama for keeping us there? His implicit support for America’s imperialistic adventures makes him no different then the people he is criticizing. Empty rhetoric like the others.

  • michael k

    The listener asked a good question, “Would Gov. Huckabee raise revenue, i.e. raise taxes?” One, he did not answer the question and Tom you did not hold him to the question. Two, he evaded answering by saying he would completely redesign the tax system based on the the fair tax, a consumption tax, getting rid of productivity taxes and the IRS, all great sound bites. However, we know that the true consequences of such entire reorganization are impossible to foresee, and take time to implement. In the meantime, the caller’s question is pertinent. Gov. Huckabee please answer the question.

  • Ryan

    Yes it is true, Huckabee is not a member of the CFR however admitted during the last election that he is advised by them. In particular Richard Haass the current president of the Council on Foreign Relations.


    What a chump.

  • Brian

    Pathetic that Huckabee wouldn’t correct the teabagger about Obama’s name.

  • JP

    Yeah, I agree.

    Huck didn’t devote a gram of brainpower to the science behind or the merits of the cocaine research…

    instead, he thought he found a clever soundbyte with his “monkey pork” rhetoric.

    That pretty much describes all of Huck’s positions on just about anything, and is typical of Republicans… just look for the clever soundbyte that might win over a few ignorant voters.

    After all, anyone with real intelligence will never vote for a republican anyway, so just go for the easily duped.

  • Laurie Hayes

    This is not the issue of the day, but I heard Mr. Huckabee mention the Fair Tax and would like to hear him expound on the Fair Tax – and if he feels there is any hope we can make it happen.

  • Harry Teasley

    Mike Huckabee is just putting a genial face on the same-old Republicanism of feeding fear, feeding divisiveness, and a horrific social agenda.

    The top overspending presidents (in real dollars): Bush (43 and 41), Reagan, and Ford. They cry about spending when Democrats are in charge, they spend like maniacs when they’re in power. The hypocrisy is staggering.

  • jeffe

    It is interesting how the Tea party caller Linda was full of misinformation not only about Mr. Huckabee and Obama she was spewing all sorts of absurd conspiracy theories.

    The fear and anger is based on ignorance and it seems that they just believe anything they are told without doing any checking. As Mr. Huckabee pointed out.

  • Larry

    There’s the tell.

    Blaming the meltdown on Fannie and Freddie instead of Wall Street.


  • Daniel Sack

    Huckabee fails to point out that the “greatest generation” also paid tax rates up to 90 percent.

  • Brandstad

    Does Huckabee feel like Obama has institutionalized “too big to fail” in such a fashion that we will be forced to once again bailout companies during the next downturn, no matter who the president is?

  • Ruth

    I am happy to hear the comments by Mr. Huckabee regarding the politicians that have to win and destroy the other party at all costs. That is long overdue. Nothing turns me off quicker than a politician who steps on others and trashes those with other viewpoints. A democracy represents all people and respects and listens to those with all viewpoints.

  • John

    How does he reconcile his denial of evolution with his claim that he is pro science and anti stupidity?

  • Michael

    in the interest of civil debate why did someone not correct that poor woman about Barrak Obama’s name?

  • Fletcher Moore

    He says he’d support research into curing cancer, but I bet if the research involved monkeys, he’d say it was stupid.

  • BRidie

    Spending $70,000 to find out why primate brains crave cocaine is EXCELLENT use of taxpayer dollars, it will help us to address the demand side of our drug abuse problem, much more fiscally responsible than spending millions of dollars trying to eradicate cocaine production in foreign countries and getting embroiled in their military affairs in the process.

  • Larry

    Of course he leaves that tax rate out.

    He’s working for the elite just like the rest of the politicians.

    In fact, the elite think it’s to their advantage he’s a “Christian” since so many Americans say they are “Christians”.

    How can you be on FOX and be a “Christian” anyhow?

    They lie contently on FOX. Isn’t not lying one of the ten commandments?

  • JP

    Republicans are the ones who “institutionalized” too big to fail… starting with Reagan and neatly wrapping it up during the Republican Devolution.

    Dems are the ones who are always brought in to fix just that kind of Republican stupidity.

  • Brandstad


    What evolved first, the heart, or the lungs, and what did one do without the other?

  • Michael

    The Gov. and most of the GOP follow one problematic course, that it’s okay to destroy a few thousand lives of people who can’t afford to donate to their campain in order to save the so called future of their well off children. By not helping those in need today you destroy the future of their children and society as a whole.

  • Catherine

    Tom, you let him slide out of the question and soap box your question about how he would have handled the bail out.

    I possible, please have him answer the question.

    You don’t usually let your guests get away with that!

  • Wes in Tennessee

    Let me get this straight — Obama + celebrity = bad, but Palin + celebrity = respect?

  • Eyleen

    Would MH have thought that studying the colour patterning of petunias and the development of tiny nematodes was important? Well, that lead to the discovery of small RNAs (tiny pieces of nucleic acids) that will most likely become the most targeted and effective treatment for cancer and other diseases.

  • JP

    Brainiac Brandstadt…

    How do amoeba and bacteria survive without a heart or lungs?

  • John

    Brainiac Brandstadt…

    How do amoeba and bacteria survive without a heart or lungs?

    Posted by JP, — through faith!

  • Fletcher Moore

    Man, that was one of the worst performances I’ve heard on this show in a long, long time. Glib, dismissive of things he doesn’t understand, dependent on thoroughly debunked narratives, and utterly irrational. I always thought of Huckabee as kind of genial but harmless. Now I have to add plain dumb to the list. How someone this deeply unintelligent get this close to the presidency is very mysterious to me.

  • Rick

    I’m glad you had Huckabee. He is such an amazing synthesis of all that’s mindless and cynical about politics today, packaged in a warm likeable personality. Today’s interview left me wondering if Mike Huckabee is a real person or a holographic projection of a self-aware Conservative computer system (possibly programmed by Karl Rove).

  • Larry

    Huckabee is a dangerous joke just like Palin is.

    This is what you have to afraid of Americans.

    FOX PROPAGANDA trying to make you believe they should be in power and are of the people.

    Once they are in they work and work and work with all their might to destroy you.

  • robert

    It is sad that the insane tea party rhetorics make Huckabee looks like a moderate, viable candidate.
    If you let him talk for a few minutes, he reveals himself as a dangerous right wing ideologue and extremist with a moderate, polite mask. Very dangerous

  • Robert

    Somebody, please don’t let him get away with that Republican canard about the 2003 bill to “regulate” FNMA that Barnie Frank opposed. They use that every time to side-step the fact that free-market ideologues are responsible for the casino mentality of Wall Street. The bill he refers to was not to regulate as much as dismantle. Blaming the low-income borrowers of FNMA for the disaster that is still unfolding is the height of contempt for our intelligence. This man is the smoothest-talking promoter of neolithic attitudes I have ever heard.
    BTW, did you get the claim that the inheritance tax is a tax on “productivity”? Replace the IRS with a national sales tax? So along with blaming the poor for Wall Street’s crimes he wants them to shoulder more taxes to pay the military salaries of their ownn children?

  • Fletcher Moore

    By the way, for the record, there are lots of animals that have hearts but not lungs. Earthworms are a prominent example. Lots of reptiles are able to breathe through their skin. And then, of course, there are gills. You know about gills, right?

  • JP

    All insects breathe “through their skin,” so to speak, using what are called trachea.

  • BHA

    jim in texas: Move to Vermont, we have income tax (it used to be a simple 25% of what you owe the Feds, unlinked now but the resulting amount is about the same %) AND sales tax: 6% to 7% (clothing < $100 and food excluded) depending on the city, Rooms and meals tax is higher. I'd swap those 2 for your 8.42% sales tax :) We also have property tax (real estate, not personal property).

    Elizabeth – the inheritance tax is not a consumption tax because nothing is being purchased.

    The inheritance tax is simply: you are dead, you don't need it anymore give some of it to 'us'.

    The other side to the argument is: "You already paid tax on any income when you received it so what you have left to leave to your heirs should not be taxed".

    The opposite side of THAT is "what you have after taxes has appreciated in value so your estate should pay tax on that 'income' before it goes to your heirs. The catch is that the 'property' is valued at the time of death. If it is not sold, there is no actual monetary profit. Many times the property MUST be sold, to pay the taxes on the appreciation. Ask the small family farmer or other small business owner about that.

  • AJ North

    Huckabee is pleasant polite, and even engaging. He is also anti-knowledge in general, and anti-science in particular – with a world view based on the writings of people who thought the Earth was flat. Even ignoring his stances on various social issues (which are totally and completely anathema to the enlightened, thoughtful, wise and truly decent), this incarnation of “know-nothingness” may make for a moderately enjoyable after-dinner chat, but he has no place in public office – much less an oval one.

  • Kathy

    I love Mike Huckabee!! Huckabee for President!!!

  • Donald B

    Gov. Huckabee is totally WRONG again, blaming Democrats in the House for preventing “reform” of Fannie and Freddie; the Democrats were NOT in the majority at the time and Tom Delay would have been shocked if they had done anything that HE didn’t want done! At that time the Bush administration and Republicans in general were taking credit for the growth in home ownership; what they wanted to do with the “reform” was to put Fannie and Freddie on the path to extinction, which was what the Democrats opposed. The bill died in the Senate because NOT ONE Republican Senator requested the bill’s revival.

    Also, Fannie and Freddie (GSEs), while not innocent, where NOT the major players in the subprime debacle: the major banks, from Morgan Stanley to Citibank (Merrill Lynch) to Goldman Sacks decided that the repackaging of mortgages would be a great basis for gambling to provide high rates of return for wealthy investors (paying the lowest income taxes since before the Great Depression). As the GSEs lost market share in the mortgage business, they did lower their standards, but that came AFTER 2003!

  • Robert

    Brandstadt, try reading Endless Forms Most Beautiful by Sean B. Carroll. It should answer a lot of your questions about evolutionary developmental biology.

  • Billy in Nashville

    Thank you for the intelligent interview with Governor Huckabee this morning. I really appreciated the poignant questions by Tom (although Tom became fixated on the cocaine monkey). I do not agree with all of Huckabee’s social viewpoints. However, he is right on when he addresses government spending, the need for bipartisan collaboration, and the Fair Tax. Keep up the good work On Point and Governor Huckabee!

  • shellburne thurber

    i agree with many of the people who have written in so far…he seems exceedingly polite and measured in his responses until someone hits too close to the bone and then he turns viral. i found this a little scary. when the gentleman caller towards the end of the hour who questioned his remark about cocaine testing on mice, and his religious views in regard to the issue of separation of church and state, he responded by stating that he thought it was a stupid question/comment…so much for his professed interest in listening to all sides and getting into it with people of differing opinions. my problem with him is that his thinking feels too simplistic. drug consumption in this country affects many of the problems this country is dealing with (health care, gun violence both here and south of the border….)and would therefore be helped by more scientific understanding of addiction. a simple consumption tax, as appealing as it seems on the surface, would further hurt the poor without properly addressing the inherent unfairness of an economy that favors the top 1 percent of the population. the fact that he seems incapable of thinking in this layered sort of way is deeply problematic. it’s a problem that is at the heart of our politics. every one wants a simple immediate solution to problems that are deeply complicated and require a more rigorous and nuanced approach.

  • gemli

    These sort of questions are posed frequently by evolution deniers. If you want to know how lungs and heart evolved, or what the value of half a wing is, or how things so complicated can arise naturally from unorganized simplicity, read a book like The Greatest Show on Earth, by Richard Dawkins. Your world view will be challenged, and it might even be painful, but you owe it to yourself to see what all the fuss is about.

    It always hurts when our narrow views confront the wider world. But once you make it through, you’ll understand a lot of things, such as why likable, folksy people like Huckabee are so dangerous. You’ll start answering questions like the ones you asked for others, and you’ll despair at the lack of understanding many people have for how the world works. It’s not always a lot of fun on this side, either, but the world is a lot bigger, and a lot brighter here. It’s worth the trip. Good luck, and all the best.

  • Brandstad

    Evolution is common in plants and animals, but one must realize how small and incremental it is to realize that a germ evolving to better survive happens every year, if not quicker depending on the life cycle of the germ, but it would take 100′s of millions of a year for that germ to evolve to a creature like a mammal and what are the odds that it even could evolve interdependent organ systems. If we give that argument the benefit of the doubt, what are the chances that the newly evolved animal finds a mate with similar evolution level, and if you give it the benefit of the doubt, and the animal does, what are the chances that the newly evolved characteristics are dominant and are propagated in the next generation?

    The chances of evolution making the big jump from a single cell organism to a human are equivalent to a person winning the LOTTO once a week for life.

    I am not saying it isn’t possible, but it is not likely!

  • John

    Gemli, my faith comment was a joke. I read the Dawkins book and highly recommend it.

  • Dennis McCarten

    Please spare me the descriptions of Huckabee as a decent, thoughtful, measured politician. He demonstrated that he is as cynical and manipulative as any when he characterized the application of stimulus dollars to continue paying the salary of a cocaine addiction researcher in North Carolina as “$72,000 up a monkey’s nose”. Unless he believes the researcher is a monkey and that the researcher is using his salary to support a drug habit, he was just plain lying and doing it to gin up public anger. Hmmmm.. where else have we seen this pattern?

  • Gerald Fnord

    To synthesise a couple of points above, and to disagree with others:

    Mr Huckabee is a genial would-be demagogue, dangerous precisely because he is smart enough _not_ to froth at the mouth as he says things which should seem outrageous but might not these days. He is a lot like GWB—that is, high social intelligence, smart when it suits him, though absolutely unable to entertain the possibility that he is wrong, incurious about ways of thinking he hasn’t yet tried.

    He is also overly in love with the rhetorical trick of saying that the Founders were Christians (people who went to church) but otherwise uses ‘Christian’ in a much narrower sense (people who believe what Huckabee believes, or very nearly). This is particularly obnoxious because in other contexts the infidel (in its original sense) church-goer is excoriated as ‘not a Christian’.

    Jefferson and Adams were at nearly opposite poles among the Founders; Jefferson was famously a Deist, and Adams an Unitarian, which faith I have often heard called ‘non-Christian’ by the same radio preachers who rant about our Christian Founders. (When discussing religion, this same sort are quick to claim Isaac Newton as a ‘Christian’ when he was possibly an Unitarian, and certainly an Arian [as in 'a follower of Arius', not 'Aryan' as in 'stupid political/religious term rooted in bad anthropology'], both of which sects they hate as did the Son of Man the Nikolaïtans, supposedly)

    I don’t know of Hamilton’s beliefs, but I always got the impression that Washington was first in his pantheon, and himself a very close second.

    And note some of the clergy’s withering criticism of the proposed Constitution for its complete lack of any mention of God.

  • Harry Teasley

    Brandstad, you completely misunderstand evolution in almost every particular. You are saying things that evolutionary theory does not posit.

    Organisms do not evolve in isolation and then “happen” to meet a similar organism, like a lotto win every week, and then happen to have kids that happen to inherit their traits. Part of the reason evolution takes such a long time is that changes from generation to generation are very small, and the change in the success rate of organisms with the change are only modified slightly, compared to others of their species that do not have those traits to the same degree. And there are other complicating factors: this is a simple explanation.

    So the rate of change is very low, and as the change happens, it will propogate slowly within the population at large: it’s not like some isolated super-beings are not mixing with their own species. Over time, the entire species will tend in the direction of successful traits, but very slowly: it’s not like creatures without an advantageous gene are somehow annihilated before they reproduce, and it’s not like every individual gets to reproduce with only the most advantageous member.

  • jeffe

    Evolution is common in plants and animals, but one must realize how small and incremental it is to realize that a germ evolving to better survive happens every year, if not quicker depending on the life cycle of the germ, but it would take 100’s of millions of a year for that germ to evolve to a creature like a mammal and what are the odds that it even could evolve interdependent organ systems. If we give that argument the benefit of the doubt, what are the chances that the newly evolved animal finds a mate with similar evolution level, and if you give it the benefit of the doubt, and the animal does, what are the chances that the newly evolved characteristics are dominant and are propagated in the next generation?

    The chances of evolution making the big jump from a single cell organism to a human are equivalent to a person winning the LOTTO once a week for life.

    I am not saying it isn’t possible, but it is not likely!
    Posted by Brandstad,

    What kind of germs are you alluding too? bacteria, viruses, fungi, or protozoa.

  • John

    To BHA.
    While swaping the sales tax of Vermont for the one in Texas, would you also swap the Texas education system and health care, some of the worst in the country, and statistically on a par with a third world country, for the ones in Vermont.

  • ThresherK

    Still waiting for the grownups on the Right to not equivocate all the bailouts/TARPs/etcs, or to not conveniently forget how many Republicans presided over them and voted for them, and not totally ignore the deregulation which put Wall Street into trouble to begin with.

    Huckabee is supposed to be one of the grown-ups, right?

    PS Branstad is quoting a Rasmussen poll? How cute.

  • Jim T

    Proponents of substantial spending cuts by the feredal government like Mike Huchabee never tire of talking about the debt that will be passed on to future generations. No one I know wants debt for debt’s sake, but it seems to me that how those borrowed funds are spent must be a consideration. After all, this country accumulated an enormous debt fighting World War II, but I don’t know anyone who thinks the generations that followed would have been better off if we had let Hitler win.

    My fear is that worthwhile spending could be cut. If future generations inherit a country with crumbling roads and bridges, underperforming schools, a crippling dependence on foreign energy, unaffordable healthcare and a failing power grid, can we really expect that they will be grateful to us because the federal deficit is under control?

  • gemli

    My apologies.
    My earlier comment directed to you re: evolution/Dawkins was the result of a typo. I meant to respond to Brandstad. To err is human, to forgive is human, too.

  • Maxine

    Gov. Huckabee has been very instrumental for three victories in tight races in Georgia. Thanks Gov. Huckabee!!

  • Lon C Ponschock

    @ Kayelle,

    you said,

    “Mr. Huckabee was recently talking with the author of the Left Behind books about whether or not President Obama’s so called “socialism” was going to bring about the end of the world as per The Book of Revelations.

    Why is anyone so completely out of touch with reality being interviewed about anything.”

    There ought to be a recommend box or something here for the other readers to support this query.

    Why indeed is he being interviewed or spoken to about anything?

    Well said.

  • Lon C Ponschock

    responding to: Steven, on August 11th, 2010 at 10:09 AM

    You suggest that we should join Huckabee in his backwardness. Sorry, that jibe was too easy.

    And you conclude that there are things bigger than ourselves. There many things bigger than ourselves: Humvees, skyscrapers, lots of things. It is this sort of myopic argumentation that makes humor effortless.

    But it is this sort argumentation that is all too common in the Huckabee camp.

    I’ll continue reading here and see if they bring out that bit about Huckabee paying himself as his own media consultant, babysitter (!) and other interesting tidbits from his political career.


  • Kay

    Huckabee belongs at Fox, he uses the same kind of weird logic, generalizing from the specific to the most extreme form of conclusion possible and considering his argument proved. He either never attended Logic 101 OR he is deliberately using the same kind of hype otherwise used on Fox and emminently exposed on Comedy Central.

  • http://www.chalkartist.com Randy

    To say that Mike Huckabee is in a league of his own would be the understatement of this century. Leaders with power and brains are common. So are leaders with riches and popularity. But a competent leader full of integrity and skill, coupled with sincerity, is rare indeed. Attempting to compare Mike with some of the other GOP 2012 contenders would be like comparing Thomas Jefferson to George Jefferson. America has a visionary who can topple Obama and bring the true conservative leadership this nation desperately needs. His name is Mike Huckabee. Period.

  • John

    Huckabee is for Creationism being taught in science classes an government-funded school, and he just stated on this show that he supports much more socialist-style support for NASA, but claims he wants to cut taxes ! What planet is he from?
    I’m all for support of NASA, but these Republicans are the biggest hypocrits on Earth.

  • michael

    “bring the true conservative leadership this nation desperately needs.”

    Do explain? like Reagan and his big spending? Bush 1st? Ford? Bush 2nd?

    or you mean social like disallowing interacial marriage? attacks on Gays?Back alley abortions?

    Please explain this true conservative leadership and the time period before we loss this?

    If you cannot than your wrong Period( :) )

  • Joshua Hendrickson

    Steven writes:

    “For those that say his views are ignorant or backwards, this country is missing a certain amount of spritualism, regardless of your religious views, and this can clearly be seen in this current administration. There is no soul. As far as this nation being a Christian nation, it absolutely was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, and in fact the majority of our criminal laws are based on the Ten Commandments. … America could do a lot worse than someone who is grounded and bases his worldview on the idea that there are things bigger than ourselves.”

    I think when you write “spiritualism” which is really a 19th century fad concerning belief in ghosts and the occult, you mean “spirituality.” Since neither concept has anything to do with ethics or morals or virtue, we can do without it in the public sphere. The same goes with “soul” though I understand what you mean here. Do you believe that Bush somehow had more “soul” than Obama? And if so, on what possible grounds? Certainly not as measured by ethics, morals, or virtue.

    Yes, some of the founders were Christians and a few of those were Evangelical types. Most of them were deists and/or wanted to divorce religion from state practices entirely. Let us never forget Washington’s disdain for churchgoing and Jefferson’s special edition of the Bible, edited to remove the supernatural nonsense. As for the preponderance of Puritan laws, these are an appalling problem still, only gradually being corrected by the courts.

    Finally, whether or not there are things bigger than ourselves (which is always open to debate but not open to a final decision one way or the other), how are we to actually appeal to those things in a nation of laws? Have judges and juries pray to God for answers? We’d be waiting an awful long time for the outcome.

    Our own knowledge, experiences, and consciences are all any of us have to go by. The problem with appealing to God is that too often that is just an excuse to pander to our own prejudices. After all, our imagination can justify anything we want it to, if we want it badly enough. Nothing could be less objective than an appeal to the Almighty, if that Almighty is somehow limited to a human scale … as all the monotheist traditions ultimately limit it.

  • Jim

    I listened to Huckabee and I do beleive him when he admits that he is a conservative, but without the screem and yelling. I disagree with him about the economy though. We do not need a consumption tax or a value added tax but a flat tax on all earnings including capital gains and dividends, say 7% or 10% on all gross income above $20,000. I really do not understand what is so sacred about taxing capital gains and dividends, except that the real rich receive most of them and do not want to pay their fare share. Or just keep our standard tax system and make sure everybody pays their fare share, no more tax havens. Remeber about 95% of the people can’t even think about a tax haven.

    Another point is why nobody asks when American jobs will stop being exported. It seems as if everything I look at to purchase is made in China, why can’t Americans make these products? Is it because the corporations will not have enough money to give bonuses to their executives. Since almost everything is automated the additional cost of American labor should be marginal

    When Carly Fiorina was fired by HP she way away with over about $20 million, and now that HP’s current CEO is being fired he walks away with over $20 million. All these bonuses could offset the additional cost of American labor vs Chineese labor.

    Stop exporting American jobs.

  • Joshua Hendrickson

    Ah yes, let’s attack science through a ridiculous sounding case like “cocaine monkeys.” Science is certainly one thing we should never cut spending on. Whatever expands our knowledge and comprehension is not to be dismissed.

    Military spending, on the other hand, is the opposite of constructive.

    Ahh… the “Fair Tax.” As regressive as it gets.

    Yes, Huckabee isn’t angry. He’s just ignorant.

    And if the Tea Party is such a great counter to “deficit spending”, where the hell were they during the Bush years and why weren’t they happy with Clinton?

  • Joshua Hendrickson

    Caller Linda … a perfect example of Tea Party ignorance and susceptibility to conservative-end conspiracy.

  • Joshua Hendrickson

    Huckabee makes some humane comments on illegal immigrants. I respect him for that.

    However, his economic stance is utterly inhumane.

  • Joshua Hendrickson

    It’s amazing that he calls a cocaine study “stupid”! By what criteria does he privilege one branch of science over another?

  • Joshua Hendrickson

    I just wrote:

    “It’s amazing that he calls a cocaine study “stupid”! By what criteria does he privilege one branch of science over another?”

    I think I can answer my own question.

    Although he doesn’t say it outright, I suspect that Huckabee considers drug studies “stupid” because it is, in accordance with his religious beliefs, connected to “sin,” hence unworthy of his respect.

    If that is the case, my disdain for this man deepens.

  • Jack Bruce

    You want to know the key point as to why this bloke is a loser?

    He plays the bass guitar…the bass…I was part of a three musician super group—all equal at the outset and what happened?…Eric Freakin’ Clapton becomes the the timeless superstar.

    Me and Ginger Baker…Dust in the Bin.

    You can never take seriously the potential greatness of a person if he’s a freakin’ bass guitar player. Huckabee, you can’t even run the fretboard of the instrument, how can you think you can run the country?

    Stick with your two-bit cable show. Hey for you…not a bad gig…you can’t rest on the residuals of millions of dollars in annual sales of the Cream.

  • joshua

    Huck, what do you expect from this Birther who makes outlandish propaganda claims based on racism that Obama’s real name is barry–what the …! Loco

  • joshua

    So Huck–you equate people from South of the Border with children–I think that is political code for racism–racial superiority–the same belief that coincided with colonialism.

  • joshua

    Huck the cure for cancer is strictly radically regulating industry pollution.

  • Mike Naeve

    Tom –

    He served up the entree and you just wouldn’t eat it. Huckabee is a whacked-out christian evangelist who just doesn’t get it. If you continue to toss up slow pitch softballs, I am outta here. btw: same goes for the basevitch edition.

  • eric delmelle

    I don’t see the problem research of cocaine on monkies. Maybe this will foster the research in this country. 72,000 is nothing compared to the billions spent in Irak by the republican administration. how many jobs and life has we lost there?

  • scientist

    Where do people think money for scientific studies goes? Most of the funding goes to personnel to do the studies–a complicated way of saying JOBS.

  • Richard Johnston

    Hucksterby is more like it. This sort of pandering anti-intellectualism laced with platitudes makes no positive contribution to public discourse.

  • Cyn

    A monkey/cocaine story saved my life. Deal with is Huck.

  • Raul Gracia

    Mr Huckabee had the courage to comment that he does not believe in deporting children who had no choice but to come to the USA undocumented. He did not have the courage to stand against the racist reamrks of the TEa Party movement. It is a racist movement. One caller implied as much by bringing up Obama’s name. What is that to do with the discussion? Isn’t it analogous to saying “look at Obama, he is black”. Meanwhile he spent close to 10 minutes talking about $72,000 spent on cocaine research, the amoung is 0.0000007% of the rescue package. So again, he errs on basing an opinion on a issue fed by the hate promotion groups, such as the TEa Party members. He belongs in Fox “News” as an entertainer – not as a presidential candidate.

  • Elogam

    I know whenever I’m dealing with anything associated with NPR I’m going to be dealing with liberals. That’s OK I’ve been listening to NPR for decades so I’m used to it. What astounds me is how many people here have such a NEGATIVE view of ANYONE with an (R) attached to their name. Mike is pretty moderate, considering. Seems to me if he doesn’t adhere to the party line of the Left, he may as well be spawn of the devil! People are questioning his intellect, his integrity, his fitness for office for something as trivial as his not agreeing with Darwinism. Not very open-minded from people who claim to like diversity and tolerance. Let’s give him credit for appearing on NPR. Most Liberals don’t have the fortitude to appear on Fox, instead marginalizing it as “not news” so they don’t have to explain their fear.

  • Joshua Hendrickson


    Not agreeing with Darwinism may be trivial to you. I’m sure my disagreement with Christianity would not be considered trivial to many conservative Christians like Mike Huckabee. The former is a scientific insight, perhaps flawed yet borne out by the evidence, that has transformed much about how we understand biology and behavior. The latter is a religious dogma that transformed certain things about human society without actually advancing our understanding of the world one whit. Neither is trivial. However, I maintain that an acceptance of the former is evidence of humankind having finally grown up a little after thousands of years of self-important delusion. Uncritical devotion to the latter, however, is evidence of immaturity and of holding on to an outdated and childish attitude.

    Sure I’ll give him credit for appearing on NPR. At least he knows that in this venue he will be treated with respect. Liberals are not treated with respect on Fox, however (with the exception of Huckabee’s program, which I have acknowledged), and so perhaps have the right to marginalize it.

  • http://wnyc.org Deborah Kayman

    I want to echo Blake Foster’s comment about the false dichotomy Huckabee drew between jobs and research, & to add that Huckabee’s real agenda was to play on the classic & more insidious false dichotomy between “real people” and “eggheads.” If you cut back on funding for research, then there are no jobs for researchers. This harms not only the researchers themselves but also the future generations Huckabee claims to care about. They’re the ones who lose the most when science is neglected or restricted. For a guy who claims to be civil, Huckabee was pretty insulting on the subject of research and should have been called on that.

  • Len

    Evolution is common in plants and animals, but one must realize how small and incremental it is to realize that a germ evolving to better survive happens every year, if not quicker depending on the life cycle of the germ, but it would take 100’s of millions of a year for that germ to evolve to a creature like a mammal and what are the odds that it even could evolve interdependent organ systems. If we give that argument the benefit of the doubt, what are the chances that the newly evolved animal finds a mate with similar evolution level, and if you give it the benefit of the doubt, and the animal does, what are the chances that the newly evolved characteristics are dominant and are propagated in the next generation?

    The chances of evolution making the big jump from a single cell organism to a human are equivalent to a person winning the LOTTO once a week for life.

    I am not saying it isn’t possible, but it is not likely!
    Posted by Brandstad, on August 11th, 2010 at 11:28 AM

    Richard Dawkins relates an answer to this in “The Greatest Show on Earth”.

    The skeptic poses a complex question of how, even given billions of years, a single cell could develop into a complicated human body that thinks and feels. Haldane’s one-liner response was, “But madam, you did it yourself. And it only took you nine months.”

  • ThresherK

    What astounds me is how many people here have such a NEGATIVE view of ANYONE with an (R) attached to their name.

    They’ve earned that negative view. How many Republicans have murmured “secession” while “good” Republicans just clap their yaps about it?

    The descent into rightwingnuttery, accepted by especially our mainstream media, is best shown by the backwardness of Huckabee still allowing him to be considered “Pretty moderate, considering”.

    I’ll stop thinking negative of (R)s when they consider the centrists such as Reid, Obama and Pelosi “Pretty
    moderate, considering”.

  • Kelly

    I am a neuroscientist and conduct research specifically on COCAINE CRAVING and relapse…a problem that costs our country hundreds of billions of dollars (mental health, prison, violence, family stability, government enforcement, health complications, drug cartels, etc…). I have devoted my life to this research. Whether you agree with the war on drugs or not(and I don’t) it is unethical and immoral to criminalize a disease AND not look for a way to help those who suffer from it. And it is a disease. We have already learned a lot about the neurobiology of it. We are a better country than this. Can we not have a leader willing to stand up to this ridiculous war on drugs that only compounds an already horrible situation that devastates families everywhere?

  • Ryan

    I’m voting for Huckabee. He understands the LIMITED role the federal government should have. It’s about time you liberals stop crying about how things aren’t fair and start taking on some self responsibilty. Try this, point the finger at yourself and fix your own problems in life. It’s time to grow up!

  • Fred

    Huckabee is a real “Thinker”. When asked a question, one can tell his answers are genuine, not some canned, pre-made answer just waiting to be delivered when asked.

    You can count on Huckabee to be a force in the 2012 presidential race. And thus, continue to carry polical weight for those that he endorces until then.

  • Ann

    (Oh, no! I think I forgot to hit “submit comment” days ago! I hope people are still reading this site!) Here goes:

    Gov. Huckabee said that the Stimulus had not worked. Huckabee said that there was proof that it had not worked: people were still out of work. YET: Huckabee CAN’T PROVE that it didn’t work: it may have prevented even MORE people from being unemployed!

    He speaks LIKE THAT: he uses his mellifluous voice and folksy metaphors to seem like he is making sound pronouncements; yet, he skews what he demands proof from (the Democrats), and what he does not demand proof from (all things Republican, and all things HE says “the American people” want!). IT IS SNAKE OIL, mellifluous SNAKE OIL!!!

    And, I’m a member of the “American people” and tho he claims to speak for me, he never speaks for me, even when he throws me into his pot with the snake oil, ready for serving up!

    I think that Tom Ashbrook is one of our most brilliant journalists! Yet, watch what happens when even a gifted, insightful media man like Tom misses just ONE step: Tom catches so many comments from his guests that must be questioned, but he missed asking Huckabee this question: “what proof do you have that the Stimulus package didn’t prevent an even worse economic situation?” That ONE slip, allowed Huckabee’s snake oil to continue to cook. NPR (& all media) MUST watch that it does NOT allow Equal, unchallenged air time for each party to stand for Fairness. It is not fair. When either party says something that is not accurate, members of the media MUST challenge the statement!

    And, beware: that inaccuracy might not be just a falsehood, or false representation, but it can ALSO be the inaccuracy of omission — and it is this last tweaking of accuracy, the “sin of omission”, that Huckabee and many Republicans trade in frequently. Don’t listen for the lie; listen for what’s missing: that’s where the inaccuracy & the spin is often to be found (the SPIN of omission!! hah!!)!!

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