I guess this was to be expected with his rise in the polls, but Mike Huckabee is taking hits from all over the place just in the past couple of days. The latest is that he’s unaware of the NIE report on Iraq story that’s been sitting at the top of memeorandum for the past two days. Byron York at the Corner:
Beyond doing nothing to resolve doubts about his foreign policy qualifications, the exchange underscores the fact that Huckabee doesn’t really have much of a campaign, in the sense that Giuliani and Romney have campaigns, with teams of advisers and carefully-thought-out policy positions. In important ways, he has been flying by the seat of his pants, relying on his unequaled talents as a retail campaigner. But now that he is leading in Iowa, and moving up nationally as well, the deficiencies of his campaign might come more and more into the spotlight.
Also in the news is his being questioned about Creationism and whether it should be taught in schools:
Huckabee — who raised his hand at a debate last May when asked which candidates disbelieved the theory of evolution — asked this time why there is such a fascination with his beliefs.
“I believe God created the heavens and the Earth,” he said at a news conference with Iowa pastors who murmured, “Amen.”
“I wasn’t there when he did it, so how he did it, I don’t know,” Huckabee said.
But he expressed frustration that he is asked about it so often, arguing with the questioner that it ultimately doesn’t matter what his personal views are.
“That’s an irrelevant question to ask me — I’m happy to answer what I believe, but what I believe is not what’s going to be taught in 50 different states,” Huckabee said. “Education is a state function. The more state it is, and the less federal it is, the better off we are.”
That’s okay by me. He believes in Creationism but doesn’t want to push it in public schools. I disagree with his beliefs, but they aren’t relevant to the job of president in my opinion. I also agree that too much is made of it by the press. But wait – later he says this:
Huckabee, at a dinner in Des Moines, told reporters that the theory of intelligent design, whose proponents believe an intelligent cause is the best way to explain some complex and orderly features of the universe, should be taught in schools as one of many viewpoints. “I don’t think schools ought to indoctrinate kids to believe one thing or another,” he said.
Ugh. That sort of negates what he said before. He believes teaching evolution is indoctrination and intelligent design should be included for balance. I personally have no problem with intelligent design or even Creationism being taught in schools, provided there’s a caveat that it’s not accepted by the vast majority of scientists, if it’s even taught in science class. Perhaps it’s more fitting for a comparative religion course or something similar.
Paul at Powerline thinks Huckabee is a squish on the GWOT:
My main objection to Huckabee — the reason why he’s my fifth choice out of five — is that I lack confidence in his ability to fight terrorism. It’s not just that he lacks experience in this realm, though that’s certainly the case. The real problem is that he’s too moralistic (which is not the same thing as moral). My first clue came when he said during an early debate that we need to remain in Iraq because “we broke it.” Not because we need to defeat al Qaeda; not because we need to limit Iranian influence or avoid a devastating defeat at the hands of terrorists; but because we injured this formerly peaceful state. Huckabee’s exaltation of moralism (in this case dubious) over policy calculation was difficult to miss.
Now we learn(but are surprised) that Huckabee opposes waterboarding and would close the Guantanamo Bay detention center. Huckabee reached this conclusion after meeting with a group of retired generals (the usual suspects, I assume) who are lobbying candidates to oppose Bush administration interrogation and detention policies.
My problem with Huckabee is that I get the feeling, as does Paul, that he’s a compassionate conservative like Bush – someone who believes in big government just as much as the Democrats do, but believes it’s different somehow if it’s couched in religious rhetoric and principles. He’s been getting a lot of attention in the media lately. My inner cynic leads me to believe that maybe they’re pushing him because they know he’s an easier mark for the Democratic nominee.