Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has called on Republicans to stop using the "pejorative term" RINO — Republican In Name Only — against each other.
Huckabee, a potential Republican presidential candidate in 2016, said in a letter to supporters that the word should be banned, and claimed the in-fighting among Republicans due to differences over policy issues 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 two decades, but I wouldn't pretend that I'm Lord over determining who the real Republicans are vs. the so-called RINOs," he continued.
"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 as a way of saying that they are not conservative enough.
Huckabee said in the letter that a united GOP will have a better chance of making "more gains politically," and also referred to the Gospel of Matthew while declaring that Jesus once said, "A house divided against itself cannot stand."
Huckabee wrapped up his letter with a folksy proverb, according to The Washington Examiner.
"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 ex-governor has strongly hinted that he will make a run for the White House in 2016, while revealing last month that the odds were "50/50"
that he'd seek the nation's highest office.
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