Mike Huckabee may be soaring in the polls, but is it for real, and can he win the Republican presidential nomination?
“Absolutely,” Newt Gingrich told Alan Colmes.
Interviewed last night on Fox News’ “Hannity and Colmes,” Gingrich said Huckabee “is doing an amazing job. The more people watch him, the more they believe in him. ‘He’s very comfortable with himself’ is the phrase I hear most often.”
“People tend to underestimate him. This is a man who got over 40 percent of the African-American vote in Arkansas, getting re-elected as Governor. He has a very attractive personality. He’s a small-state person running in Iowa where I think the style of small-state Arkansas goes over pretty well in small-town Iowa.”
Gingrich notes a unique characteristic of those participating in the Iowa caucuses.
“There’s a kind of pride among Iowans that they can’t be bought. They kind of like watching this underdog come from behind. Whether he can carry it out 29 days from now…we’ll have to wait and see.”
No stranger to personal attacks himself, Gingrich indicates that the road ahead for Huckabee could be bumpy.
“He has go to go through what everybody else goes through. People are going top attack him, people are going to question him, he clearly has less knowledge about foreign policy, but his experience in health-care where he is diabetic and he lost 100 pounds and began exercising is personally a great story. He did great things in health care in Arkansas, his story in education reform.”
On another matter, Sean Hannity questioned Gingrich regarding scathing comments he made about Bill Clinton recently on C-Span. Hannity quoted Gingrich as saying “He is fundamentally dishonest on a routine, regular basis; it’s just his personality. He tells you the version that he needs to, to get through the week and he just did it in Iowa over whether he used to be against the war.”
“Explain,” implored Hannity.
“What is there to explain?” Gingrich responded. “How could any serious person look at his routine pattern of changing the facts to fit the current conversation and not recognize that this is a person of limited connection to factual accuracy?”
Hannity asked if Hillary has the same characteristics. Gingrich said no, she is very different from Bill Clinton.
About the Iowa caucuses, Gingrich noted that people voting for a candidate who doesn’t get at least 15 percent of the vote have a chance to vote a second time. In that scenario, he says he thinks John Edwards could come in first, Barack Obama second and Hillary Clinton third. He says that would be “a stunning evening.”
What do the Republicans need to do to beat Hillary, assuming she’s the nominee? What do they need to focus on?” asked Hannity.
“Three things,” said the former Speaker of the House. “Be for very real change, represent clearly the values of the American people…and force Senator Clinton or the Democratic nominee, whoever it is, to choose between the values of the left and the values of the vast majority of Americans … If they do that in a positive, issue-oriented way, I think that they have a very real chance of turning 2008 into a historic referendum.”
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