Huckabee Says Romney Is Better Than Obama Every Day of the Week
On Sunday, Mike Huckabee is reported to have espoused the acceptability of Romney. Frankly, I am surprised at what Huckabee said—at this point in the process. Generally, I am not surprised when a party endorses a lousy candidate when that candidate has won the nomination; but before the first vote is even cast?
Here’s Huckabee’s quote:
It would be real tragic if they stayed out because Mitt Romney may not be their first choice, but Mitt Romney every day of the week and twice on Sunday is gonna to be a much more effective president for issues that they care about than Barack Obama. And I think sometimes there is this anxiety within the Republican Party of who is the perfect candidate. The answer is: there isn’t one. And so, what you find is you have to decide who can survive the process. And whoever that is– and if it’s Mitt Romney, then I think Republicans and conservatives and tea party need to get behind him and say, ‘You may not be our first choice, but between you and Obama, I’ll vote forty times to help get you elected.
Problem 1: The Primary Process Is a Vote, Not a Poll. Huckabee’s comments could be taken to mean that we should enter the primary process with the intention of picking the winner pre-determined by opinion polls. If that was the intent, let me disagree: we should enter with the intention of picking our favorite. I do think there may be some legitimacy in picking, in the primary, a second or even a third choice as a tactical way of excluding the worst choice; for instance, I might choose my third choice over either Bachmann over Santorum if I thought it was a tactically sound way of preventing Mitt Romney from winning the nomination. (Romney strikes me as having a Clintonian approach to truth.) But strategizing this way this early in the process is tantamount to giving up.
Problem 2: Romney is the worst of the candidates. Settling for the bottom of barrel is to assure the irrelevance of conservatism in the next administration. I do not think we have a presumptive candidate, yet; but, even if Romney would eventually win we should make Romney see the sizeable dissent of the conservatives within the party. Seeing this might convince the Talker to tell us more of what we conservatives want to hear. Rolling over and playing dead will practically ensure that, instead, he will tell liberals what they want to hear. If the war is substantively lost, let’s at least fight for lip service.
Problem 3: There is a limitation to the lesser of two evils. We are never given the choice between the perfect candidate and the bad candidate. I grant that some folks appear to be waiting for the perfect candidate to come along; but it will never happen. To some degree we always have a choice between two imperfect candidates—the lesser of two evils, if you will. Imagine a choice between Barack Obama on the conservative side and Vladimir Putin on the liberal side. Would you vote for either? I would not. There are minimum standards for an office holder. The absolute minimums may be very, well minimal, but we won’t vote for “the lesser of two evils” if both are beyond the pale. For me, Romney’s too casual acquaintance with honesty and his frightening record on abortion disqualifies him. Period.
Caveat 1: Mike Huckabee was not endorsing Romney. What he said is “if it’s Mitt Romney, then I think Republicans and conservatives and tea party need to get behind him”. If is a big word. Furthermore, he gave his answer when asked if Tea Party voters should stay home on election day if Romney would win the Republican nomination. That is a far cry from a gratuitous compliment.
Caveat 2: Huckabee may be persuaded of Romney’s pro-life conversion. Huckabee has the right to make his own judgment to the best of his ability. We should not infer from his remark that he has endorsed a boundless pragmatism that says, no matter how bad a candidate is, if he is the slightest degree better than the other then I will both vote for and endorse him.
However, when asked if Tea Party voters should stay home on election day if former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney gets the GOP nomination, his answer was “no”.
Huckabee is a man of integrity; this statement does not alter that opinion. What he said first struck me as almost shocking; but upon reflection, what we have is only a legitimate difference of judgment.
But I still won’t vote for Romney.
- Mike Huckabee Tells Conservatives They Might Just Have To Accept Romney (outsidethebeltway.com)
- Mike Huckabee Not Yet Prepared To Endorse Mitt Romney (huffingtonpost.com)
- Huckabee Gives Questionable Advice (fellowshipofminds.wordpress.com)
- Andrew C (✓): The GOP needs a brokered convention – Salon.com (salon.com)
- Romney bets he can win Iowa without support from social conservatives (thehill.com)
- There are still key endorsements out there for GOP candidates 1. @JimDeMint 2. @SarahPalinUSA 3. @GovMikeHuckabee 4. @MarcoRubio (foleysfolly.com)
- WILLIAMS: For GOP, Here Comes Iowa (foxnews.com)