Huckabee Fundraising in Canada
Think Progress‘ Ben Armbruster thinks he has Mike Huckabee in an inconsistency over the value of a Republican “big tent.”
At a fundraiser in Canada last weekend, Huckabee stated definitively that the “big tent” will “kill the conservative movement“:
HUCKABEE: One of the things that concerns me is that in the United States there’s a real talk of “maybe we need to have this big tent and make sure that we just accommodate every view.” That’s what will kill the conservative movement. Conservatives are conservatives because they have convictions and convictions aren’t preferences.
It seems that Huckabee has changed his tune. He said recently that “it’s fine” to have moderates in the GOP, saying that “[t]he tent could be big, but it shouldn’t have holes in the ceiling and let the rain come through.” And in another interview also endorsing a “big tent” GOP, Huckabee seemed to reject a more conservative third party. “The conservative movement is really the only home for Republicans,” he said.
However, voters may be leaning toward Huckabee’s most recent desire for a right-wing Republican Party. According to a new Rasmussen poll, in a three-way generic ballot test, the “Tea Party” candidate beat the Republican 23 percent to 18 percent.
As to Huckabee’s consistency, I’m not sure I see that big a distinction in these statements. He’s basically saying that he’s happy to have anyone vote for the Republican Party but that it should have some core principles that don’t change. Presumably, the ones he believes in. Which is pretty much what every political activist thinks about their party and ideology.
As to the “Tea Party” poll, I agree with Andrew Sullivan and John Cole: It’s BS ginned up by Rasmussen, which has a history of this kind of thing. Patrick Ruffini‘s alternate explanation — that there’s a massive groundswell feeling betrayed over GOP overspending a couple years back — is wishful thinking.
No, what really interests me about this story is that Mike Huckabee of Arkansas is raising money in Canada. Which, even moreso than Texas, is a whole ‘nother country. Presumably, he’s not running for Prime Minister. And it’s illegal to solicit funds from foreigners to finance U.S. federal campaigns, so he’s presumably not doing that. Are there really that many Huckabee Republicans living in Canada?
UPDATE: A reader follows a link that I’d originally omitted from my quoting of Armbruster and finds this: “Huckabee was the keynote speaker at a fundraiser organized by the Progressive Group for Independent Business.” So, it’s likely that the only funds raised for Huckabee were his speaking fees.