Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee tells Newsmax that Democratic commentator James Carville is “dreaming” when he says a Supreme Court decision to strike down Obamacare would be beneficial to Democrats and help President Obama win re-election.
The Arkansas Republican, who sought the GOP presidential nomination in 2008, likens Obamacare to a stew with tainted meat — the individual mandate requiring Americans to purchase healthcare insurance — and says the entire stew should be discarded and made over from scratch.
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Huckabee also says the contentious GOP primary race has been a disaster for Republicans, warns that a brokered GOP convention would be a “train wreck,” calls potential vice presidential selection Marco Rubio the future of the Republican Party, and asserts that Obama’s overheard comments to Russia’s president are “unforgiveable.”
Huckabee, a best-selling author, currently offers three daily commentaries on more than 500 Cumulus Media Network radio stations and is a host and contributor on Fox News Channel. His new radio program “The Mike Huckabee Show,” a daily three-hour talk show, will begin airing on April 2 on Cumulus, which has more than 4,000 affiliate stations reaching 121 million listeners.
In an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV, Huckabee was asked how Republicans would react if the Supreme Court strikes down Obamacare’s individual mandate but allows portions of the healthcare reform bill to stand.
“I think they’re going to want to repeal it all and start over with a clean slate,” Huckabee declares.
“This whole healthcare bill was shoved down the throats of both Congress and the country. The smart thing to do if the Supreme Court strikes down the heart of it, which is the individual mandate, is to say let’s go back, we can take the things from it that we might think are good. Let’s put those on a piece of paper, let’s build around it and let’s put a real healthcare reform bill in place that makes sense. But let’s take it incrementally and don’t try to put everything in there.
“I look at this healthcare bill as a big bowl of stew, and at this point the Supreme Court may say there’s some tainted meat in that stew that we’re going to take out. I don’t know, if you take the tainted meat out, if anybody would still want to eat it.
“Let’s start with a clean pot, some fresh meat, and let’s make this stew all over again. That’s what we need to do with the healthcare bill.”
Referring to Carville’s prediction that a Supreme Court rejection of Obamacare would be the best thing for Democrats and the president, Huckabee says: “James is dreaming. He needs to wake up and face reality. Nobody likes Obamacare for the most part. Nearly 70 percent of the American population believes that it’s unconstitutional and ought to be repealed.
“So it’s not just an issue where Republicans don’t like it and Democrats do. Independents and a lot of Democrats don’t like it either. The best thing Democrats can do is to have it stricken by the Supreme Court and let Congress start over, because if I were a Democrat the last thing I’d want is to have Obamacare hung around my neck going into the autumn elections.”
In an earlier Newsmax interview Huckabee predicted that the GOP primary would be a demolition derby, and he now says that is “definitely” what it has proven to be.
“It’s been vicious,” he says. “It’s one thing for the candidates to contrast with each other on the views and issues, but what’s happened in this primary is these guys have gone after each other on a personal level.
“They’ve attacked each other’s integrity, each other’s honor. Those are the scars that they’re going to have to carry into the fall and it’s not healthy.
“I feel it’s been a real disaster for the Republicans and that whoever emerges as the nominee is going to have a lot of commercials run against him by the Democrats with material that was provided by other Republicans, and that’s simply not a good thing.”
Editor's Note: Huckabee to Newsmax — GOP Nomination Battle a 'Real Disaster'
Asked if he would be happy if Mitt Romney wins the Republican nomination, Huckabee responds: “I’ll be happy with the GOP nominee whoever it is, including Mitt Romney, and I’m going to campaign for whoever our nominee is. At this point it’s certainly looking like Mitt Romney is going to be that person. It’s not over, but he’s on track to get there.
“I will support him vigorously because my interest is making sure that we don’t have another disastrous four years of Barack Obama.”
Some observers say the GOP primary battle could result in a brokered convention. Would Huckabee accept the nomination if he was called upon? Newsmax asked.
“That would never happen, but even if it were to happen, it would be a disaster. A brokered convention is a broken convention,” he responds.
“It’s a train wreck and no one would celebrate that except Democrats, who then would know that we have in fact re-elected Barack Obama.
“If someone is just picked out of the blue and walks up on stage and becomes the nominee, that is going to be highly offensive not just to the candidates who are not selected but to all those hundreds of thousands of volunteers who have helped these candidates who are now being dismissed. It is a recipe for a complete breakdown.”
As to whether he would join the Republican ticket as the vice presidential candidate, Huckabee says simply: “Nobody’s asked, and until they do I’ve found it’s always better not to buy a corsage to a prom to which you’ve not been invited.”
He adds: “I think there are a lot of people who would be exceptionally qualified” to be vice president. “One of the names I have put forth is Marco Rubio, my campaign chairman in Florida four years ago. I think he’s certainly the future of the party and I would be delighted if he were selected.”
During President Obama’s recent trip to South Korea he was overheard by a hot microphone telling Russian President Dmitri Medvedev that issues such as missile defense would be best handled after the election when he would “have more flexibility,” implying he is ready to do something the Russians will like but the American people won’t.
Huckabee comments: “It tells me something about his arrogance, the fact that he’s so confident that he’s going to be re-elected. I found that very offensive.
“The fact that he would say something to a Russian that he would not say to the American people is unforgiveable. It’s inexcusable. No president should be making side deals with the Russians without telling us what he’s thinking of doing.
“The idea that he could do something after the election because the pressure is off — I’d like for him to think that every day the pressure is on for him to work for the American people’s benefit, not to work for his own political benefit. If something is right in December it’s right now.
“I highly resent the idea that he’s going to pull something over on us once he gets the election behind him. I think if Americans had no other reason to vote for someone else and get Barack Obama out where he can buy that Chevy Volt he said he’s going to buy when he leaves office, this is it.
“I’m hoping that his purchase of the Volt comes this November, not November four years from now.”
Discussing his new three-hour daily radio show, Huckabee tells Newsmax:
- “This is a wonderful platform. A long-form program is going to provide a great deal more opportunity to go into depth with issues.
- “I’m not really interested in raising listeners’ blood pressure. I’m going to raise their information level.
- “Some people like their soup very hot, some people want it cold, and some want it just right. What we’re going to try to do is deliver it just right.
- “We’ll have a lot of guests. We’ll have a lot of people I agree with and a lot of people I don’t agree with. I’ve always believed that if you let a liberal talk long enough, he’ll do more to ruin his own position than I could ever do by attacking it.”
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