RNC chief: Mike Huckabee’s a “model” for how Republicans should talk about social issues

posted at 4:01 pm on March 22, 2013 by Allahpundit

Reassurance for social conservatives after a week of tension, or newfound cause for despair among libertarians after a week of encouragement? Or both?

In fairness, I think he’s talking more about tone here than trying to lay down message discipline on policy. How many Republicans famous for emphasizing traditional values qualify as recurring guests on both Jon Stewart’s show and “Red Eye”?

“When someone asks me ‘Are you going to cut off funding for Rob Portman?’ I think it’s just ridiculous,” Priebus told a group of reporters Friday during a briefing at National Review’s Washington, D.C., office. “He’s a good Republican. I think it’s also normal and decent to still support a person that you agree with on 99 percent of the issues.”

But Priebus says his support of Portman doesn’t signal a policy shift within the party’s platform. “Yes, we’re still a pro-life party. Yes, we still defend our platform on marriage,” he said. He emphasized, however, that Republicans must also sound “reasonable” to voters who disagree.

Priebus cited former governor Mike Huckabee of Arkansas as an example of someone who could be “a model for a lot of people in our party” in terms of discussing issues like marriage and abortion. “I always tell people: Listen to Governor Mike Huckabee,” he said. “I don’t know anyone that talks about them any better.”

Socially conservative on policy but moderate in tone? Sounds like a man who might have a future in 2016. How about it, Huck?

Asked in a Newsmax TV interview if he is considering another White House run, Huckabee declares: “Yeah, I’m not ruling it out at this point.

“I’m not sitting around having meetings with the strategic team, but it’s something I will certainly look at and I’m talking to some people just to determine whether it’s a kamikaze raid or whether it has potential and possibility.”

Does it? The idea of the GOP nominating a guy who’s conservative on social issues and moderate on fiscal questions is the opposite of the conventional wisdom on where the party’s headed, which is one reason why you’re seeing so many “better take Rand Paul seriously” articles in political media lately. But I dunno: If it’s true, and it probably is, that most of the major 2016 candidates will be a bit more liberal on gay marriage than they are now, there’ll be an appetite among social cons for a candidate who holds the line on values — especially if the Supreme Court legalizes gay marriage before the next election. If they unify behind Huckabee, that alone makes him a serious contender in a crowded field. At the very least, consolidating social conservative support would put Huck in the thick of things for the VP slot if he ends up losing the nomination. Is there enough room for him and Santorum in the field, though? Hard for me to believe that evangelical leaders will want both of them running when they’ll be eager to have a unified bloc behind one or the other from the beginning in Iowa. My gut says Huckabee’s the more viable of the two, partly because of the difference in tone Priebus describes, partly because he’s built up name recognition in the wider culture that I suspect Santorum hasn’t, and partly because Santorum’s failure to capitalize on the base’s anti-Romney sentiment last year suggests he won’t be able to do so against a stronger candidate. Either way, I sure hope at least one of them runs, just because the punch-ups with Rand Paul at the debates would be spectacular theater.

Speaking of tone, here’s an ad from an outside group narrated by Huck that ran late last year. His pal Jon gave him crap for it on “The Daily Show” a few weeks later.


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Remember when Huckleberry loved it up on Michelle Obama supporting her (IRONY) anti-obesity campaign?

How about this little nugget?

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1210/46711.html

Potential GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee says Sarah Palin’s wrong and Michelle Obama’s right, at least when it comes to the first lady’s push to combat childhood obesity.

“With all due respect to my colleague and friend Sarah Palin, I think she’s misunderstood what Michelle Obama is trying to do,” the former Arkansas governor said Tuesday on the “Curtis Sliwa Show.”

Michelle Obama has pushed several initiatives to encourage kids to exercise and eat well, including advocating for the passage of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which President Barack Obama signed into law last week.

Palin has made clear more than once that she sees the first lady’s efforts as an overstep by the federal government. Most recently, on the episode of “Sarah Palin’s Alaska” that aired Sunday, the former vice presidential candidate dedicated the s’mores her family was making to the first lady. “This is in honor of Michelle Obama, who said the other day we should not have dessert,” Palin said.

Overweight for most of his life, Huckabee lost more than 100 pounds after a 2003 health scare and has since become an advocate for healthful eating and exercise.

“Michelle Obama’s not trying to tell people what to eat or not trying to force the government’s desires on people,” Huckabee said. “She’s stating the obvious, that we do have an obesity problem in this country.”

He added: “The first lady’s campaign is on target.”

PappyD61 on March 22, 2013 at 6:51 PM

unseen..I’m still waiting on your answer..:)

Dire Straits on March 22, 2013 at 6:52 PM

That’s not true. Pro-life legislation has been advanced across the country, but the bottom line remains that unless Roe is overturned abortion will remain legal, and you’ll still have about 50% of the country very much in favor of it. That is the reality they have to operate in.

changer1701 on March 22, 2013 at 6:50 PM

You make my point though for me. Roe v. Wade doesn’t make abortion illegal and most LIV voters think it does. It just leaves it back to the states. Republicans are completely ineffective on the messaging on this issue.

Remember when Virginia said that women had to have ultrasound when they had an abortion and everyone cried foul? That whole campaign was botched. Dems cried that that Repubs wanted to rape the women and our side ate it up along with their side. A little known fact was that ALL PLANNED PARENTHOOD had to do ultrasounds anyways to date the pregnancies for the abortion. The Repubs should have hammered this and then said the campaign was to insure that if a choice was made it was an informed and educated choice that the woman was making by making her acknowledge what was on the ultrasound.

melle1228 on March 22, 2013 at 6:54 PM

Either way, I sure hope at least one of them runs, just because the punch-ups with Rand Paul at the debates would be spectacular theater.

You want spectacular theater, visit Broadway. The goal of 2016 is to win the White House, period. Another circus like we’ve seen in the past couple of cycles needs to be avoided.

cicerone on March 22, 2013 at 7:02 PM

The goal for conservatives in 2016 is to win the White House with a principled conservative candidate who won’t pander and cave,period.That means no amnesty,no gay marriage,no thousands of exceptions for abortions,no decriminalization of so called “victimless”drugs,no more winlessmprotracted wars,and no big government frauds.That leaves out Paul,Rubio and Huckabee for starters.

redware on March 22, 2013 at 7:13 PM

I think Huckabee should run for senator against Mark Pryor. Would he win? I think it should be a sacrifice he could make for his country.

Fleuries on March 22, 2013 at 7:15 PM

Crazy talk…shut the hell up about social issues

I don’t give a rat’s ass about social issues

MY wallet is hurting….badly.

Redford on March 22, 2013 at 8:29 PM

redware on March 22, 2013 at 7:13 PM

You’re going to take a Republican Party that already can’t win a national election and divide it even more? That sounds like a recipe for success. You can commence with the purges when you have votes to spare.

alchemist19 on March 22, 2013 at 9:40 PM

Hucka who?

profitsbeard on March 23, 2013 at 2:03 AM

Tax Turd Huckster:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_pLOC4krZI4

Shaughnessy on March 23, 2013 at 2:13 AM

But. But. Priebus is right about his narrow point: for a very socially conservative guy, Mike Huckabee is downright incredibly impressive in his ability to discuss those issues without freaking non-religious cons out. He doesn’t startle the horses. He is the polar opposite of someone like Rick Santorum, who comes across as deeply creepy and scolding and officious – a busybody. Meanwhile Huck makes all that seem quite nonthreatening.

It’s a skill, and a skill that socons (of whom there are many around here) ought to study and try to imitate.

Esoteric on March 22, 2013 at 4:18 PM

Yep. He’s a socon wordsmith, no doubt. Can’t stand him but I have to admire the fact that he talks and the crazies on the left don’t start shouting and throwing tantrums about their pet issues. It’s a talent that too many right-leaning, and conservative candidates lack.

totherightofthem on March 23, 2013 at 8:33 AM

You’re going to take a Republican Party that already can’t win a national election and divide it even more? That sounds like a recipe for success. You can commence with the purges when you have votes to spare.

alchemist19 on March 22, 2013 at 9:40 PM

This is excellent advice for the folks who want to purge socons from the party. Goose, gander, sauce, etc.

alwaysfiredup on March 23, 2013 at 12:17 PM

Yep. He’s a socon wordsmith, no doubt. Can’t stand him but I have to admire the fact that he talks and the crazies on the left don’t start shouting and throwing tantrums about their pet issues. It’s a talent that too many right-leaning, and conservative candidates lack.

totherightofthem on March 23, 2013 at 8:33 AM

What I wouldn’t give to have a man with his speaking abilities and Ron Paul’s values a couple elections back.

MelonCollie on March 23, 2013 at 2:11 PM

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