Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) ripped into the President Bush’s national security record, “delivering a bold and potentially risky speech that could establish the former Arkansas governor as the maverick among top Republican candidates and test his party’s loyalty to President Bush.” Huckabee specifically rejected Bush’s approach to dealing with Iran:
“When we first invaded Afghanistan, Iran helped, especially in dealings with their ally, the Northern Alliance,” he said. “They wanted to join us in fighting al Qaida. …The CIA and State Department supported a partnership. Some in the White House and beyond did not. And when President Bush included Iran in the axis of evil, everything went downhill pretty fast.” [...]
“The administration has quite properly said it will not take the military option off the table. But if we don’t put some other options on the table, eventually the military option becomes the only viable one. Right now we’re proceeding down only one track,” he said.