Video: Huckabee discusses 2008 plans

By Editor-in-chief
updated 1/29/2007 9:21:14 AM ET 2007-01-29T14:21:14

Blurring the traditional lines of partisanship, conservative Mike Huckabee launched his bid for the Republican presidential nomination with a swipe at President Bush and a friendly nod to fellow Arkansan Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The former Arkansas governor assigned Bush some of the blame for failing to deliver on a 2000 campaign promise to be “a uniter, not a divider” and ease polarization in Washington.

“I’m not sure that this administration really listened and responded to different points of view,” Huckabee said in a written interview with, a politically minded social networking site. “Republicans were expected to follow without question and Democrats were ignored and therefore felt slighted.”

Huckabee, a Baptist minister who hopes to win support among social conservatives, passed up a chance to take a jab at two favorite targets of the right – Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Would she be a good president? “We could do worse,” Huckabee replied, “but the good news is that we could do better and that’s why I’m running. I do think it’s a huge mistake for Republicans to hope she’s the nominee for they will underestimate her at their peril.”

Did he ever vote for Bill Clinton as governor or president? “Never did,” replied Huckabee who, like the former president, was born in Hope, Ark. “Regardless of politics, one has to have respect for the fact that Bill Clinton overcame tremendous challenges in his upbringing through a turbulent childhood and yet was able – not once, but twice – to be elected president. He embodies the American dream and we should never take that from him.”

But Huckabee would like to take over the White House, and a central focus of his strategy seems to be establishing himself as a candidate who can rally conservatives while attracting a fair share of moderates with a message of can-do bipartisanship. His critics in Arkansas and beyond argue that Huckabee’s record doesn’t match his rhetoric.

After reading the Q&A with Huckabee, HOTSOUP community member Alfonse Pinto said he didn’t think the former governor could get elected. “Do you think we'll ever see the day when candidates can feel comfortable sharing their vision truly and honestly without playing to all sides? This candidate was clearly uncomfortable doing that and based upon the way people and the media respond to politicians, it is understandable. He deflected or simply didn't answer your questions,” Pinto wrote. “He sounds like he's someone's dog.

Huckabee impressed others, including one community member who doesn’t see eye-to-eye with the Arkansan on policies. “I like the fact that Mike seems to be able to disagree without being disagreeable. I would like to see more of that in our public discourse,” wrote a HOTSOUPcommunity member who goes by the username “Mikekeyy.”

Read the Q&A and join the conversation at

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