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Tags: Mike Huckabee | Jeb Bush | right | George W. Bush

Mike Huckabee: Jeb Bush More to Right Than His Brother

By    |   Tuesday, 20 January 2015 06:53 PM EST

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee — who's mulling another run for president — says his potential rival, Jeb Bush, is a lot more conservative than people think — even further to the right than his brother, George W. Bush.

Asked Tuesday on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV whether the former Florida governor was a true conservative, Huckabee said:

"Jeb will have a lot of issues that he'll make front and center. He was an excellent governor of Florida. He was a very conservative governor of Florida.

"We've served contemporaneously during the late '90s and early part of 2000. So when people say, well, Jeb Bush is not a conservative, his whole record says that he was."

So conservative in fact, that "ideologically, he's probably more conservative than his brother" George W. Bush, Huckabee said.

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Asked if Mitt Romney — the former governor of Massachusetts clobbered by Barack Obama in the 2012 presidential election — should run again, as he's hinting he will, Huckabee said, "If he wants to."

"He has as much right as anybody else. I mean, it's easy for me to say, well, who should, who shouldn't," said Huckabee, who then joked:

"My personal thought is, everybody out there except me ought to quit. They ought to clear the stage. They should make this easier. That would be so nice if they would do that."

Huckabee also revealed he's losing weight, a sign some believe proves that he will throw his hat in the ring in 2016.

"I’m working on it … You know for me, my health is more important than my weight. I need to lose 30-35 pounds and I'll do that," he said.

"My wife has certainly been successful in staying on my back, but I would hate to think that a person is either qualified or unqualified because of their waist size. But it's important for me, more just to do it."

Huckabee is author of the new book, "God, Guns, Grits, and Gravy," which according to its publisher, St. Martin's Press, explores "today’s fractious American culture, where divisions of class, race, politics, religion, gender, age, and other fault lines make polite conversation dicey, if not downright dangerous."

"It's not a book of recipes from the South. It's not Southern cuisine. But it does represent for me the part of the country … where I live and when I try to describe it, I say I live in the land of God, guns, grits, and gravy," Huckabee said.

"I'm really talking about rural America, I'm talking about that part in the fly-over country that is very distinct and different from what are three cultural bubbles: New York, Washington, and Hollywood.

"But those bubbles control pretty much the culture of America with fashion, finance, government, politics, music, and movies, everything. But it's very different, the mindset of the people who live in the bubbles than it is for the people who live out there among the Bubbas."

Asked if the Republican Party has enough pizzaz to win back the White House after two terms under a Democrat, Huckabee said he believes it does — but only with the right steps.

"With the right candidate that's very possible. But somebody's got to be able to relate to ordinary common people who live out there in fly-over country," he said.

"It's not that it's the only people that matter. People on the coast matter, but a lot of the people living in the bubbles, they don't understand who those folks are and to the degree to which they can't connect to them, understand them, and communicate with them makes it very difficult to win an election."

And how does Huckabee feel about the impending presidential run of Hillary Clinton?

"I personally have a decent relationship with Hillary Clinton. I've obviously known the Clintons for a long, long time. Probably know her better than anybody else who's thinking about running for president," he said.

"[She's a] very formidable candidate. I don't think she is as ideologically to the left as Barack Obama, but she is not anywhere near as ideologically to the right as her husband."

Huckabee has been under fire for suggesting in his book that Grammy-winning pop star Beyonce is not a good role model for young girls.

On Monday's "The Daily Show" on Comedy Central, Jon Stewart ripped into Huckabee, after the former governor said: "Do you know any parent who has a daughter who says, 'Honey, if you make really good grades, someday when you're 12 or 13 we'll get you your own stripper pole?'"

"I think that's diminishing Beyonce in a way that's truly outrageous," Stewart responded. He then ran a clip of Huckabee strumming a bass guitar on stage as rocker Ted Nugent played his sexually provocative hit "Cat Scratch Fever."

"You excuse that type of crudeness because you agree with his stance on firearms. You don't approve of Beyonce because she seems alien to you," Stewart said.

"Jon Stewart was pretty merciless last night and I like Jon," Huckabee told Steve Malzberg.

"I understand when you go to 'The Daily Show,' he's playing it for laughs and he's going to have a good time so it doesn't bother me … Now, here's the point that was made, President Obama said … his daughters love Beyonce, they love to listen to her music, but he can't listen to her music with his daughters.

"In an interview with Glamour Magazine he said, I can't do that because it's embarrassing. Here's my point, if it's embarrassing to listen to it with her, might it just be that it's not a good idea for her to listen to it by herself?"

Huckabee also criticized liberal documentary filmmaker Michael Moore for calling U.S. military snipers "cowards," in an apparent slap at the success of "American Sniper," Clint Eastwood's acclaimed bio pic of soldier Chris Kyle which was nominated for six Oscars.

"It's disgusting. I saw this film. I believe that Chris Kyle was a true American hero who did his duty to this country," Huckabee said.

"He was trained. He was instructed and he went and he put his life on the line repeatedly.

"Not once, but repeatedly. Not because he wanted to kill people, but because he wanted to save the lives of the people who were trying to protect against Islamic jihadism. God bless him."

Asked if he believes Pope Francis may be a bit too liberal for the Roman Catholic Church for his views on gays and other hot button church issues, Huckabee said:

"There are times when I wonder, he has sent mixed messages, but I don't believe it's intentional.

"There's still a sense in which he's getting used to the fact that every utterance from his mouth is going to be parsed and taken in so many different ways and he's just having a hard time getting used to that."

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Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee - whose mulling another run for president - says his potential rival, Jeb Bush, is a lot more conservative than people think - even further to the right than his brother, George W. Bush.
Mike Huckabee, Jeb Bush, right, George W. Bush
Tuesday, 20 January 2015 06:53 PM
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