- Mike Huckabee, candidate for US President in 2008
Huckabee Flip-flops on Cuba, ImmigrationEdit
Five years ago as Arkansas governor, Mike Huckabee wrote a letter to President Bush saying the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba was hurting rice farmers in his state and has “certainly not helped the people of Cuba.”
Now presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has vowed that if he wins the White House, he will veto any effort to end the embargo.
“It was a change of heart sure to please hard-liners among the Cuban exiles who could make up 10 percent or more of the electorate in Florida’s crucial Jan. 29 Republican primary,” the Los Angeles Times observed.
GOP presidential rival Fred Thompson has attacked Huckabee for changing his position on the embargo “on a dime to appeal to a particular group of people right before an election.”
But Huckabee explained: “Rather than seeing it as some huge change, I would call it, rather, the simple reality that I’m running for president of the United States, not for re-election as governor of Arkansas.
“I’ve got to look at this as an issue that touches the whole country.”
He also admitted during a visit to Miami: “I really wasn’t that aware of a lot of the issues that exist between Cuba and the United States.”
The shift on the embargo parallels Huckabee’s changing views on immigration, the Times noted.
As governor, Huckabee backed in-state college tuition for the children of illegal aliens, and loudly protested to federal authorities after they raided an Arkansas poultry plant and arrested and deported many Mexican workers in the U.S. illegally.
Now Huckabee has proposed a plan that would require all illegal workers to register with federal authorities and return to their native countries within 120 days.
Frank Sharry, executive director of the National Immigration Forum, an immigration rights organization, told the Times that Huckabee’s former and present stances on the issue are “like night and day.”