By Rick Pedraza
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee tells Newsmax that some of his fellow Republicans are calling him a RINO for defending President Barack Obama against personal criticism.
“So be it. It is total hypocrisy for us [Republicans] to rail at the way Bush was treated, and then do the exact same thing. It’s disgusting,” Huckabee said of those who have labeled him as Republican in Name Only.
“I care about issues and will fight on those, but just because someone doesn’t think like me doesn’t mean that he or she hates America.”
Speaking at a meeting of the Hudson Union Society to discuss his forthcoming book, “A Simple Christmas,” Huckabee railed at those who had derided the president’s stopover at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware in October as “just a cheap photo op.”
“No, I think it was the commander in chief of our military paying respect to a dead soldier,” Huckabee said.
“I’m grateful that he did that, and I was proud of him for doing that. And I think we all –– as Americans –– should give him credit for that.”
Huckabee, the top contender for the GOP presidential nomination in 2012, described the treatment Obama gets from Republicans as “shameful.” He castigated fellow Republicans who “want to find everything wrong and nothing right about the man as a man.”
“If you want to say [Obama’s] healthcare policy is going to be terrible for the country, great, I’ll be right with you,” he said.
“On cap-and-trade, I’m there with you. The lack of fulfilled promises –– which I can list a host of –– absolutely! [Obama] is vulnerable there, and we ought to challenge him on every bit of that.”
But Huckabee told the Hudson Union Society crowd that he won’t abide by ad hominem attacks on Obama. Especially on his Fox News program.
“I’m very passionate about that, and sometimes I even had to say to guests on my program, ‘Hey, don’t go there, because I’m not going to let you attack him just as a person.’ I hated it when people did that to George Bush. They couldn’t even laugh at the man’s jokes. They found something wrong with everything. If we do that to Barack Obama, then shame on us.
“It’s no wonder our country is so divided when that happens.”
Huckabee’s comment to Newsmax comes on the heels Rush Limbaugh’s appearance on Fox News Sunday, during which the conservative radio host refused to give credit to Obama for going to Dover to honor the remains of soldiers who came back from Afghanistan.
“Now see, the politically correct thing to say here would be, ‘Oh, yes, I am very impressed that President Obama decided to go show his concern for the remains troops have given their lives for freedom in this country,’ ” Limbaugh told Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace.
“It was a photo op. It was a photo op precisely because he’s having big-time trouble on this whole dithering situation . . . and of course, when you have a sycophantic media following you around, able to promote and amplify whatever you want, then he can create the impression he has all this great concern.”