DECEMBER 11, 2007
By emphasizing his staunchly conservative views presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has become a Republican frontrunner but his history of being soft on crime, advocating for illegal immigrants and free trade with Communist Cuba contradict his self-promotion.
As Arkansas governor Huckabee granted violent criminals twice as many pardons and commutations as his three predecessors combined, a revealing statistic considering that one of his predecessors was pardon-happy Bill Clinton. In 10 ½ years Huckabee granted 1,033 pardons and commutations, including the sentences of a staff member’s stepson, murderers who worked at the governor’s mansion and a rock star.
Huckabee’s new hard line stance on illegal immigration is tough to take seriously considering he was once praised by immigrant rights advocates for supporting reduced public college tuition for illegal immigrants and for defending illegal workers arrested in a meatpacking plant raid. Now he wants all illegal aliens deported from the United States within 120 days.
While pandering to south Florida’s staunchly Republican Cuban-American voters in Miami this week, Huckabee announced yet another flip flop regarding Cuban Dictator Fidel Castro. The former Arkansas governor said he now favors the embargo and that, as president, he plans to strangle Castro’s regime and punish those who do business there.
A few years ago Huckabee lobbied President George W. Bush to lift the Cuban trade embargo because it was hurting Arkansas rice growers. In a letter to the president, he stated that the embargo “continues to harm our own agricultural and business interests here at home and has certainly not helped the people of Cuba. “
Evidently Huckabee’s rhetoric is working because, a national poll released this week, shows a dramatic jump that puts him in a virtual tie with former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani as the Republican frontrunner.
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