Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Former Republican House Leader Dick Arney Says Huckabee is counterproductive

With a definitive win in last week's Iowa caucus, Mike Huckabee talked himself into the frontrunner position for the Republican presidential nomination. His folksy demeanor and populist promises are central to his appeal, but they mask a strategy designed to divide the conservative movement. If the Republican party chooses to follow Huckabee's lead, it will allow political sweet talk to destroy its greatest electoral and policy-making advantage: the GOP's traditional political consensus built around limiting the size and scope of government.

Mike Huckabee abandoned conservative governance long ago. As governor of Arkansas from 1996-2007, his record on economic issues was long and dismal. He raised the sales tax and passed a tax on gasoline, increasing the state's overall average tax burden by almost 50 percent. Spending shot up more than 65 percent under his leadership. In the current campaign, he supports expensive, restrictive energy legislation, a misguided new national sales tax, and nanny-state notions like a federal smoking ban.



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