After a pretty disastrous couple of days in which Donald Trump claimed he’d never heard of David Duke, refused to disavow the KKK and then blamed a “bad earphone” for the whole mess and left his Number One Fan Boy, Joe Scarborough, chewing the furniture in disbelief, one would have thought that even a moderately astute person would have learned enough to handle the inevitable opinion question on the subject. But Mike Huckabee apparently didn’t get the memo. He was on “Morning Joe” today and sure as shooting Joe Scarborough brought it up:
I don’t have the time to do a transcript, here is the exchange via POLITICO:
Appearing on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Huckabee was immediately asked if he would disavow Duke and the KKK. The former presidential candidate did so firmly.
“David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan are absolutely abominable. I don’t know anybody that I know, anybody that I’ve ever known, supports them,” he said. “And look, I think there’s an incredible just overwhelming fascination I’ve been watching this morning. But look, let me ask you this: Do you think Hillary Clinton is going to have to answer for her relationship with Sen. Robert Byrd who was an actual member of the KKK? Look, I’m not trying to defend, maybe, the inartful way…”
Co-host Joe Scarborough interrupted Huckabee.
“You’re trying to do something, Mike. I don’t know what you’re trying to do, but … This is pretty simple,” he explained. “Donald was asked two simple questions, and he didn’t answer them. And there’s no fascination here. I’d just like to hear [Trump] say about the Ku Klux Klan what you just said about the Ku Klux Klan. I don’t think that’s hard. Do you?”
Huckabee responded that Trump has disavowed Duke and the KKK, noting Trump’s interview on NBC’s “Today” earlier in the hour and his past statements to the effect. For his part, Trump on NBC blamed a faulty earpiece for his failure to completely disavow Duke in that interview Sunday morning on CNN.
“Does anybody think Donald Trump is a racist? I don’t. I mean, I really don’t. I don’t know of anything in his life that indicates that this man has racist tendencies,” Huckabee said, brushing off any implication to the contrary while acknowledging that Trump’s background as a northerner could make him less perceptible to the deep wounds left by the Klan and Duke in the South.
I have to agree with Scarborough here. What was so hard about disavowing the Ku Klux Klan? I don’t think Trump is any more racist than any other rich guy from Manhattan but there is no doubt he is absolutely craven in his dealings with racist and white power groups, almost as though he actually believes all those years of liberal indoctrination and thinks they are the mainstream of the GOP.
In his self-defense, Huckabee goes on a tangent that doesn’t help him:
“Well here’s what I would be more afraid of. I’d be afraid that it’s the end of the Republican Party not because of Donald Trump but because of people being fed up with the Republican Party that’s so elitist, so snobbish that they demand not just Donald Trump but they demand of me and every other Republican candidate a loyalty to the party,” he said. “And if we have an election, that’s how we select presidents, we elect them, we don’t select them, by the party bosses. And if the party bosses don’t get the guy they want, then what are they gonna do? They’re gonna disavow the person the people wanted? If we have to be loyal to the party, Joe, shouldn’t the party be loyal to us?”
Loyalty to the party also involves in calling out bad behavior on the part of party officials and candidates. More to the point, Trump has shown that he is singularly devoid of any sense of boundaries. If his is blindly defended by guys like Huckabee over the indefensible he’s simply going to get worse. The greatest service Huckabee could have performed for the GOP would have been taking a 2×4 to Trump over this douchebaggery so he won’t do it again for a couple of weeks.