Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is calling on Republicans to stop using the "pejorative term" RINO, or Republican In Name Only, against one another.
Huckabee, a potential GOP presidential candidate in 2016, said in a letter to supporters that the acronym should be banned
, as he warned the in-fighting among Republicans over policy differences could hurt the GOP in elections, according to Mediaite.
"Many of you used a term that I’d like to see outlawed from the vernacular of the party — RINO. It stands for Republicans in Name Only, and it’s a pejorative term that questions the authenticity and orthodoxy of someone’s party purity," he wrote.
"With all due respect, I’ve fought in the trenches of Republican politics for over 2 decades, but I wouldn’t pretend that I’m Lord over determining who the real Republicans are vs. the so-called RINOS.
"If factions within the Republican Party insist on spending time and money to attack other Republicans, I wonder if they want to win elections and save the country, or just proudly boast to their party pedigree."
The term "RINO" is often used by conservatives against moderates or establishment Republicans to paint them as supportive of Democratic positions or to make the point that they are just not conservative enough. Tea party members are particularly fond of using the term, especially in primary challenges against GOP incumbents.
Huckabee said in his letter that a united party would have a better chance of making "more gains politically." To make his point, he referred to a passage in Matthew, which declares, "A house divided against itself cannot stand."
According to the Washington Examiner, Huckabee wrapped up his letter this way.
"I’d rather have a loyal dog
who licks me than one with a pedigree who bites me," he wrote. "I’d rather go to battle with someone who isn’t perfect than with someone who thinks he is."
The former governor, who was also presidential contender in 2008, has made strong hints that he will run again 2016. He said last month the odds are "50/50"
he will try for the Republican nomination at least one more time.
Meanwhile, Huckabee has endorsed Baptist preacher Mark Harris
in the Republican primary challenging incumbent North Carolina Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan, according to the Charlotte Observer.
"He’s a true conservative who will join us in fighting against the status quo in Washington,” said Huckabee, who like Harris is also a Baptist minister.
"Americans are looking for leaders who they can trust to place their oath of office above partisan politics by fighting for the Constitution and standing up for what they believe in. Mark is the right choice for conservatives and Republicans in North Carolina," he said, according to the Observer.
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