Huckabee's Cut and Paste Immigration Policy

Rick Moran
No one denies that Mike Huckabee, the former Baptist Preacher, is a great communicator on the stump. His down home demeanor and wit have rocketed him into second place in most national polls.

But Huckabee is not running for Preacher in Chief. He is running for President of the United States. And what becomes apparent when scratching the surface of his candidacy is that he really hasn't thought very much about what kinds of policies he would seek to enact as president:

Huckabee needed to come up with an immigration plan in a hurry last month. He was beginning his remarkable ascent in opinion polls, but was under attack from GOP rivals for a "liberal" position on immigration while governor of Arkansas from 1996 to 2007. His record in Arkansas, supporting tuition breaks for illegal immigrants and opposing a federal roundup of undocumented workers, made him vulnerable to criticism from the right.

When the campaign announced the governor's nine-point immigration plan on Dec. 6, it noted that it was "partially modeled" on Krikorian's proposal three years earlier. But Huckabee took credit for the plan in the Republican debate on Thursday night, and Mitt Romney's campaign is crying foul. A Romney "Fact Check" said that the Huckabee plan had lifted "whole sections of Krikorian's editorial without quotes or direct attribution."

A point-by-point comparison of the two plans supports the Romney critique. Huckabee's is virtually identical to Krikorian's, with the exception of two points: Build the Fence and Establish an Economic Border. Huckabee says that his proposal for a flat-rate sales tax, known as the "fair tax," would create an "economic disincentive" for illegal immigration, by forcing undocumented workers to pay taxes.
If Huckabee were a student, he would stand convicted of plagiarism.

But beyond the sneaking dishonesty is the stark fact that here is a man who is either too lazy or just not interested in what kinds of policies he would pursue if he were elected. His history as Arkansas governor would tend toward the former as there were criticisms of the governor being unprepared for staff meetings at times as well as being put on the spot by reporters in press conferences.

Platitudes and bible quoting only get you so far in a campaign. There comes a time when a candidate must demonstrate a surehandedness when advocating their policy prescriptions for the country. So far, Huckabee has gotten away with spouting generalities - largely because his policies are not very conservative. 

The question becomes when will the veil fall from the eyes of voters and reveal this man to be the shallow, unprepared candidate that he truly is.
 
No one denies that Mike Huckabee, the former Baptist Preacher, is a great communicator on the stump. His down home demeanor and wit have rocketed him into second place in most national polls.

But Huckabee is not running for Preacher in Chief. He is running for President of the United States. And what becomes apparent when scratching the surface of his candidacy is that he really hasn't thought very much about what kinds of policies he would seek to enact as president:

Huckabee needed to come up with an immigration plan in a hurry last month. He was beginning his remarkable ascent in opinion polls, but was under attack from GOP rivals for a "liberal" position on immigration while governor of Arkansas from 1996 to 2007. His record in Arkansas, supporting tuition breaks for illegal immigrants and opposing a federal roundup of undocumented workers, made him vulnerable to criticism from the right.

When the campaign announced the governor's nine-point immigration plan on Dec. 6, it noted that it was "partially modeled" on Krikorian's proposal three years earlier. But Huckabee took credit for the plan in the Republican debate on Thursday night, and Mitt Romney's campaign is crying foul. A Romney "Fact Check" said that the Huckabee plan had lifted "whole sections of Krikorian's editorial without quotes or direct attribution."

A point-by-point comparison of the two plans supports the Romney critique. Huckabee's is virtually identical to Krikorian's, with the exception of two points: Build the Fence and Establish an Economic Border. Huckabee says that his proposal for a flat-rate sales tax, known as the "fair tax," would create an "economic disincentive" for illegal immigration, by forcing undocumented workers to pay taxes.
If Huckabee were a student, he would stand convicted of plagiarism.

But beyond the sneaking dishonesty is the stark fact that here is a man who is either too lazy or just not interested in what kinds of policies he would pursue if he were elected. His history as Arkansas governor would tend toward the former as there were criticisms of the governor being unprepared for staff meetings at times as well as being put on the spot by reporters in press conferences.

Platitudes and bible quoting only get you so far in a campaign. There comes a time when a candidate must demonstrate a surehandedness when advocating their policy prescriptions for the country. So far, Huckabee has gotten away with spouting generalities - largely because his policies are not very conservative. 

The question becomes when will the veil fall from the eyes of voters and reveal this man to be the shallow, unprepared candidate that he truly is.