Former Arkansas governor and Fox News pundit Mike Huckabee told reporters yesterday that he is “seriously contemplating” a presidential bid in 2012, and that he thinks about running every day. At an event hosted by the Christian Science Monitor, the former presidential candidate said he’s going to wait as long as possible to throw his hat in the ring because he can make more money as a non-candidate. “I walk away from a pretty good income,” he explained. But when Huckabee does declare, he should probably spend time figuring out what he would do should he actually win.
Grilled by reporters for his stances on a number of important policy issues, Huckabee seemed completely flummoxed. Asked about the war in Afghanistan, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) union busting, and President Obama’s debt reduction panel, Huckabee’s responses were repeatedly, “I don’t know.” Roll Call reports:
“I don’t know. The honest answer is that I don’t think any of us knows exactly,” he said when asked what should be done in Afghanistan. [...]
On the labor dispute in Wisconsin, Huckabee was asked whether he supported Gov. Scott Walker’s plan to eliminate collective bargaining for state employees. He wouldn’t say yes or no, offering this answer instead: “If not eliminated, it needs to be contained.”
At the same time, Huckabee offered encouraging words to the Republican governor: “Hang tough, stand tall, hold your ground.”
And when pressed to comment on the recommendations of the Obama administration’s deficit-reduction panel, which including deep spending cuts and tax increases, Huckabee said he favored focusing on spending cuts first. But he would not rule out support for eventual tax increases.
“There are three ways to answer a question,” he said when pressed on taxes. “Yes; no; not now. This is a not now.”
Roll Call also notes that Huckabee “hadn’t yet crafted talking points,” but his lack of knowledge or courage to take a stand on any of these issues underscores a much deeper problem. The fact that Huckabee says he thinks about running every day, but that he might not because of its effect on his personal wealth — combined with fact that he appears to have no actual beliefs on several key policy issues — suggests that he is in this for himself, not for a commitment to policy or service.