Last year, just before Congress voted on the financial rescue package, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) told his caucus in a closed-door session that he thought the bailout was a “crap sandwich” but that it should still be supported. Later, on the House floor, he called it a “mud sandwich” that still needed to be passed. Appearing in Ohio yesterday to boost gubernatorial candidate John Kasich, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee took a veiled shot at Boehner in an interview with ONN:
HUCKABEE: What has to happen is that Republicans have to start acting like real Republicans. The reason Republicans got defeated in 2006 and 2008 is because people couldn’t tell the difference between them and the Democrats. In fact, the Democrats weren’t spending any more. What has to happen is Republicans who get elected have to show that they actually believe in something and mean it when they get there. You can’t have phony Republicans, people that don’t have any convictions and, these guys who say they’re conservatives but they went out and supported a TARP bill last year? There isn’t anything conservative about that. There were a lot of Republicans who were wringing their hands saying ‘oh, TARP, it’s terrible but we’ve got to do it.’ No you don’t. You don’t ever have to do something that’s stupid. And that was stupid.
Huckabee, a longtime critic of the bailout, has been making this argument for a long time. For instance, in a Nov. 17. 2008 talk at the Hudson Union Society, Huckabee called the rescue “the dumbest thing Congress has done in a long time.” “I was most distressed that people who claim to be hardcore Republicans and conservatives and free market thinkers, were out there wringing their hands and saying, ‘well we have to do this.’”