Huckabee: Limbaugh 'Very Critical of Me, Very Wrong'

Saturday, 07 Jul 2012 10:58 AM

By Patrick Hobin

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Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has hit back at  Rush Limbaugh, saying the talk show host has been “very wrong,” in his criticism of him.

In an interview for the New York Times Magazine, the 2008 presidential candidate was asked if he was “going after” Limbaugh by launching a competing syndicated talk show.  

Huckabee responded, “He’s been very critical of me and very wrong. It’s one thing to have an opinion, but the opinion needs to be based on fact.

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"Even a few months ago, he said that I had endorsed Mitt Romney, when in fact I had not. I did not endorse anyone in the primary. But all of that had nothing to do with my decision to do a radio show.”

Huckabee told the Times that he chose not to run this year because of what he perceived to be a "toxic" atmosphere in the Republican Party.

“The atmosphere was so toxic that it would not be an atmosphere in which I would breathe well,” he said in the interview. “There is almost a hyperorthodoxy that is gripping the party that you have to go out and prove that you can be tougher, meaner, more hard-line than anybody else on the stage.

"It may lead to effective campaigning if the goal is to be the most ideological puritan on the platform, but the ultimate goal is more of what I’d call a true Reagan model. Not the Reagan model that has been invoked — but Ronald Reagan who understood that governing is an art.”

Huckabee also said that despite being critical of Romney when he was his opponent in 2008, he supports him over President Barack Obama.  “It’s not hard for me to be enthusiastically supportive of Mitt Romney,” he told the magazine.

The former Massachusetts governor “far more closely represents what I find important than Obama ever will. I also think he has surrounded himself with good people and will get good advice.”

Another reason he did not run in 2012, Huckabee said, is because of the influence of money in campaigns.  “I think it’s sad,” he told the magazine.

“Politics has become unbelievably and unfortunately way too much about how much money is involved rather than what kind of ideas are involved. That’s another reason why I felt that it was going to be very tough for me to run.
 
Huckabee was also if it was really true that he had never tasted alcohol. He said it was "other than communion wine in Europe."

“When I was younger, someone said, ‘Here, try this,’ and handed me beer, and I smelled it, and I thought, Gee, that smells horrible. And they said, ‘Well, you have to develop a taste for it.’

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"When they said that, I said, ‘All of my senses tell me to reject it, but you’re telling me that I have to keep doing it over and over till I get to the point that I’m convincing myself that I enjoy it?’”

He said the only thing he would "crack open a hotel minibar for" would be if it was stocked with cheesecake and chicken-fried steak.

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