A few months ago, I said I would keep an open mind on all of the candidates and give them a pass on their previous statements as much as possible as we headed into a new campaign season.
At the bottom of my list after the 2008 primaries was Mike Huckabee. I mean the bottom, as in, behind Guiliani.
This week, Huckabee confirmed that he hasn't really changed much when it comes to how he would govern.
Here is a quote from The Corner's report on Huckabee's speech at King's College:
Huckabee flatly denied being a “pro-life liberal,” an accusation often made in certain quarters on the right. Not a trace of defensiveness could be detected on this point. To the contrary, the governor gave an all-out defense of his tax hikes while governor of Arkansas on the grounds that they were the only responsible course of action to repair state roads. He snorted with derision at “libertarians” who fail to recognize that “we don’t have a health care crisis in this country, but a health crisis.” He spoke with passion and knowledge on the need for preventative care to bring down exorbitant costs. And then, without the least amount of prompting, he mustered a vigorous defense of Mrs. Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign against childhood obesity. This was the “art of governing,” he argued, rather than the cheap “science of campaigning.” He finished his call to a compassionate conservatism by echoing recent comments made by governor Daniels touting prison reform. Invoking a “Biblical standard” of crime enforcement, he granted that criminals must be punished while stressing that the status quo needs to be replaced. Opposed though he is to the decriminalization of drugs, he endorses a more “hopeful,” therapeutic approach that would thwart the creation of “monsters” within our prison walls.
Let me tell you what I have problems with regarding Huckabee:
1) He has defended his tax hikes as the only possible approach to solving the road problem. Now, I understand that there are serious issues, but is this REALLY the ONLY possible approach? What about cutting government employees or at least freezing hiring.
2) Secondly is his fasicination with fixing the health of America. I understand that he had bad health, but the fact that he thinks that government should be a part of such a solution strikes me as again being a part of his "big government conservative" which is an oxymoron if you ask me.
3) He finished his call to "compassionate conservatism" ... what ? This may be The Corner's description rather than Huckabee's intent, but ANY candidate who uses the term or implies that we need anything other than a smaller, streamlined government is off of my list for 2012.
As a long time pro-lifer, I find it inconceiveable that some pro-lifers are so willing to ignore all of Huckabee's trends towards bigger government.
I will not forget that bigger government is always the enemy of liberty.
And while I supported Bush because there was a desperate need to get some conservatives onto the Supreme Court and he seemed like the only chance to win the general election, I will not be making the same mistake on a "compassionate conservative" (i.e. big government conservative) this time around.