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Huckabee: Republican attacks on Obama 'deplorable'

November 20, 2009 |  7:55 am

He could go down as the first Republican to spar with conservative icon Rush Limbaugh and live to talk about it.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee told the Hudson Union Society some weeks ago that Republican attacks on President Obama for everything from visiting Dover Air Force Base to opening the White House to local trick-or-treaters on Halloween are hurting the country.

Now, his comments are circulating on the net, posing a direct counter to Limbaugh, who has criticized Obama's Dover visit as a photo op.

Said Huckabee:

When he was at Dover the other day, and went there to pay respect for soldiers, I heard a lot of people on the right say, "Aw, that's just a cheap photo-op." No, I think it was the commander-in-chief of our military paying respect to a dead soldier, and I'm grateful that he did that, and I was proud of him for doing that. And I think we all -- as Americans -- should give him credit for doing that.

Perhaps cognizant of public opinion polls that show Obama personally popular with most Americans, even those who disagree with his policies, Huckabee added: "When he and Michele hosted the trick-or-treaters on Halloween, quit finding something wrong with that. Say. 'Good, I'm glad that he and the first lady are treating children to an experience at the White House.' And I just find it deplorable that some people on my end of the aisle want to find everything wrong and nothing right about the man as a man."

Finally, recalling that liberals regularly reviled George W. Bush no matter what he did, Huckabee, a former pastor, pleaded for comity.

I hated it when people did that to George Bush. They couldn't even laugh at the man's jokes. They found something wrong with everything and if we do that to Barack Obama, then shame on us, shame on us. No wonder our country is so divided when that happens.

Huckabee made the comments while on book tour for "A Simple Christmas." Republican insiders, mindful of all the attention focused on former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's "Going Rogue," are calling Huckabee's "the other book tour."

-- Johanna Neuman

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