Former GOP presidential candidate Gov. Mike Huckabee in an exclusive Newsmax interview says President Obama’s early job performance is “cause for alarm,” and warns his penchant for talking down the economy is “the worst possible direction he could take.”
Obama’s dark portrayal of the U.S. economy -- apparently intended to lower the high expectations stoked by his rhetoric during the campaign -- is on the verge of becoming a “self-fulfilling prophecy,” Huckabee adds.
The former Arkansas governor’s criticism followed a week that saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit a six-year low. The S & P 500, the index that most trading professionals rely on as a market barometer, closed the week at its lowest level in 12 years.
“He can no longer talk about the fact that this is all Bush’s fault,” Huckabee tells Newsmax. “First of all there, there was a Democratic Congress that Bush had to deal with, that would not let Bush deal with Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac.
“Now, I think there’s plenty of culpability within the Bush administration, particularly for the TARP [financial bailout] program, which is a dismal failure,” Huckabee concedes. “But Obama ran for president knowing full well what he faced, and as soon as he took command of the ship, it’s his ship to sail or sink.”
Noting that Obama has lost several high Cabinet appointees due to tax and other issues, Huckabee says early indications regarding the quality of the president’s judgment don’t look promising.
“I think it’s cause for alarm,” Huckabee tells Newsmax. “He seems to be tone deaf to his own music. I was very, very disappointed to see him abandon his own rhetoric, as it relates to transparency, ethics, about a new way of doing things in Washington.
“I mean, on and on he talked about how he wasn’t going to have a Washington run by a bunch of lobbyists, then about every appointment he makes is given the exception clause, [he’s] appointing people and then insisting they get confirmed who didn’t pay their taxes.
“Those are not the kinds of things that inspire confidence in the lives of people out there in the middle of America who aren’t given a free ride to wait years and years until they’re appointed to some federal job before they pay up,” he adds.
Huckabee, author of “Do the Right Thing: Inside the Movement That’s Bringing Common Sense Back to America,” reserved his toughest criticism for Obama’s disparaging remarks about the nation’s economy.
“He is in essence giving us what’s becoming self-fulfilling prophecy,” Huckabee tells Newsmax.
Obama, for example, warned Congress of an economic “catastrophe” if it didn’t support his plans to fix the economy. When Obama signed the $787 billion economic stimulus bill on Feb. 17, Wall Street reacted with a 3.8 percent decline in the Dow – a slide that continued through the end of the week.
“If a leader stands up and repeats over and over how bad it is and how it is in fact the worst ever, then what we’re going to do at some point is believe him,” Huckabee warns. “The people who supported him and voted for him did so because they trusted him. They did so because they believed what he said on the campaign trail.
“So now if he’s out there every day telling us it’s the worst it has ever been, there are going to be a significant number of Americans who are going to say: ‘Well, I guess the same guy who told me ‘Yes we can’ is now telling me ‘No we can’t.’”
Huckabee adds: “It’s the worst possible direction he could take. I think about how polar opposite it is from sort of the classic FDR message, ‘We have nothing to fear but fear itself.’
“With Obama, it’s ‘We have nothing but fear.’”
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