Apparently the level of libertarianism on display at the convention, coupled with the abandonment of certain key social conservative issues, has the southern-fried big government populist (and former pastor) a little upset.
Oh, and also because almost nobody voted for him in the straw poll.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee blasted the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Saturday as outdated, nearly corrupt and unrepresentative of the conservative movement.
Huckabee, a 2008 Republican presidential contender and potential 2012 candidate who had spoken at the conference for years, said the reason he blew it off this year was that the meeting has become dominated by libertarian activists.
“CPAC has becoming increasingly more libertarian and less Republican over the last years, one of the reasons I didn’t go this year,” Huckabee said in an interview with Fox News, where he is a paid analyst and has his own show.
He was responding to a question about whether he was upset by his single-digit showing in the conference’s straw poll, which was won by libertarian-leaning Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas).
I was no fan of Ron Paul winning the straw poll at CPAC (though I tend to lean libertarian generally), but I think that straw poll ultimately doesn’t mean much and that Huckabee’s criticism of CPAC is unwarranted.
As I posted from the event, it’s a melting pot of ideas. And I don’t think that’s anything Huckabee, nor anyone else, should be afraid of. Especially in this time of political upheaval on the right.
Huckabee is clearly threatened by the changes afoot within the Republican/conservative base, and I think that probably indicates just how out of touch he is. If Republicans keep giving the voting public the same old, same old as Huckabee seems to want, we’re going to see a split. Maybe even a third party (which is something everyone from Jim DeMint to Mike Pence to Ron Paul himself said in our interviews with them at CPAC.
They get it. Huckabee doesn’t.