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Governor Mike Huckabee On 2016, Breaking The Filibuster, and The Iran Deal

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Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee joined me on Wednesday’s show:




HH: I’m so pleased to begin today’s program with the former governor Arkansas and star of the Fox News Channel, Mike Huckabee. Governor Huckabee, welcome from Cherokee, Iowa. I guess you’re at the VFW hall there.

MH: Well, I am, Hugh. We’ve got another rally. We’ve been covering some ground in Iowa today, which I’ll be doing a lot of between now and next February.

HH: Well, it was good to see you this past weekend in Denver where you wowed the crowds. But I’d like to begin by talking to you about, is it fair to call Hillary Clinton your old friend, Mike Huckabee?

MH: I doubt she would attribute it that way. Her husband and I got along much better. She is not quite the warm and fuzzy person that Bill Clinton is. And you know, I know them well, and of course, every election I ever had to run, what I really ran against, Hugh, was her political machine that she and her husband had built over a 25 year period. And I can attest to the fact that it is a formidable force.

HH: Well, that machine is leaking oil tonight, Governor Huckabee, or more precisely, emails. And the scandal about her server and these emails are shocking. And I just finished talking to Sean Hannity about this for his show tonight. What do you make of this, these releases, the fact that she had it, that it endangered national security? I was the guy that asked Bill Daley on Meet the Press, did you know about the server, he said no. I precipitated the conversation with David Axelrod. He denied knowing about the server. I actually believe those guys. I think she hid it from everyone. What do you think?

MH: I think she did hide it from everyone, and if this were any other politician in America, Democrat or Republican, it would spell the end of their candidacy. But we’re dealing with the Clintons. And one of the things that I have come to the conclusion is that when we’re dealing with Bill and Hillary Clinton, people tend to say about them what they would say about little Billy in the neighborhood that’s just always into trouble. He’s a little scoundrel. And they’ll say well, Billy did something terrible, but you know, that’s just Billy. And when I hear reporters talk about the Clintons, they usually just sort of shrug it off and say well, that’s just the Clintons. No one else, Hugh, would be able to get away with having a private email server, having correspondence on national security issues on an unsecured server, and then erasing that server so that there would be no way to subpoena key documents related to Benghazi and the rest of her tenure at the State Department.

HH: In essence, she did what Nixon wouldn’t do. He wouldn’t burn the tapes. She did erase her email. Does she get away with that?

MH: She very well may, and the reason she will is because there are very few people in the mainstream media who have either the courage or who have the objectivity to treat the Clintons like they would treat any Republican, and most Democrats.

HH: Now in specific about the relationship with Sidney Blumenthal, I don’t know what he was deposed about, but there are questions about the Foreign Agents Registration Act. He is being paid by a lot of different people. He had never been vetted. And Mike Morell, the former deputy director of the CIA said on this program almost certainly, our enemies knew she had this server and compromised that server. Do you think that if she is called she ought to testify in public, or she ought to be deposed at length like Blumenthal was by the Benghazi Committee?

MH: Well, she should certainly be deposed, and whether it’s in public or not, I would even say that look, it may be best to depoliticize the deposition, let her do in private, because if she does it in public, which I’d certainly find extraordinarily interesting, there will be those who say it’s just a political witch hunt trying to humiliate her in public. What we really want to do is not humiliate her. We want to get to the truth. And if getting to the truth can be done more effectively, more efficiently by doing it in private with the results released at some point, then I think that’s better than continuing to have this stonewall where we never find out what the heck happened.

HH: I’ve got to move on to other things, but I’ve got to ask one more time. I’m just so shocked that people aren’t saying she has to close up her campaign, Mike Huckabee. To me, it’s a campaign-derailing event when you compromise the national security, or when you have someone like Blumenthal corresponding with you in this fashion, influencing policy, being paid by other people. Did you deal with this in Arkansas? Did they get the same sleigh ride in Arkansas?

MH: Absolutely, they did. I mean, look at all the things that came out at the national press once he ran for president, and even after he became president. The Arkansas press never pushed for any of the information. They knew a lot of things, Hugh. They knew many of the things that the national press would later ferret out. They just didn’t report it. And there was an institutional wall. It was so difficult to break through that wall, it was so challenging because of the collusion between the press, the business community and the political community. And keep in mind, there was only one political community. It was the Bill and Hillary political machine. It was the Democratic Party. There was no significant Republican Party. When I got elected to lieutenant governor, I was the first Republican in over 25 years, only the 4th in 150 years. They nailed my door shut from the inside and got away with it, and it stayed nailed shut for 59 days, because there was no one to tell them they couldn’t. The press didn’t care.

HH: Wow. So Mike Huckabee, I want to move on to a couple of other issues. I’m asking all of the would-be Republican nominees this question. If it requires invoking the Harry Reid Rule used to break the filibuster to confirm judges left and right, if it requires breaking the Senate rules and doing away with the legislative filibuster in order to repeal Obamacare root and branch, would you favor that?

MH: Ordinarily, Hugh, I would say you know, those rules are there for a long-standing tradition. But Harry Reid’s already broken the code. I think the point is we can either preserve the rules, or we can preserve this great republic. And at this point, we need to have Senators who have the courage to take the kind of action that will help salvage our republic from being completely hijacked to the special interest groups, hijacked by the kind of shenanigans that we have seen the Democrats play, the heavy-handedness, the down your throat passing bills that no one’s read. I think Republicans need to do it for the sake of the future of the country. And so the answer is absolutely, yes.

HH: Now Senator Cruz has defended the filibuster at length on this program on Monday. He’s coming up after you on today’s show. I’ll bring it up with him again. Senators love the filibuster, and they warn about the carbon tax and global climate rules and everything else that Majority Leader Warren, Ted Cruz threw at me, would pass if we didn’t have the filibuster. Does that not persuade you?

MH: Well, I’m not sure that if Republicans can get something done that will actually govern this country effectively. We need to worry as much about the majority over the next few years as we do whether or not we, again, preserve the country at all. And I think Republicans are too concerned about protecting their own turf than they are protecting the lives of working Americans throughout this country. I just, for example, I thought we sent the Senators and gave them the majority so they would work on putting a stop to the executive overreach on things like immigration and Obamacare. And instead, this Senate turned around and gave the President more authority on trade, even though they admitted they hadn’t even read the bill they were voting on to give him more authority. And they’ve done nothing on the issues like Obamacare and trade. It’s very frustrating to watch this, and I went to 37 states campaigning for people to get the majority in the Senate, and I’m not sure why I did that last year, to be honest with you.

HH: Let me ask you about the Iran negotiations and the Havana embassy. On the show yesterday, Carly Fiorina said go ahead, open the embassy, I’ll close it the moment I’m president. Would you do the same thing, Mike Huckabee?

MH: Absolutely, and any negotiation that we’re talking about with the Iranians is nonsense. This is a group of people that can’t be trusted. Their government even this past Sunday was taking a vote to not let inspectors come and look at their military facilities as they were chanting death to America. And now they make it very clear that if they don’t get a deal, then they’re going to go ahead with a nuclear device. This is the game they’ve played. They’re playing this exactly like they’ve wanted to. We need to be standing with Israel, not Iran. We picked the wrong dance partner. We did it in Egypt, we did it in Syria, we’ve done it in Libya. We’re doing it in Iran. We’re doing it in Russia. I mean, just look at this entire foreign policy fiasco. And I’ve asked Democrats, name a country on this planet with whom we have a better relationship now than we did when Obama took office. And even his staunchest defenders can’t point to one, because there isn’t one.

HH: There’s Cuba, and that’s what, I think you may have misheard me, Governor. Carly Fiorina said she would close the Havana Embassy.

MH: Oh, the Havana, I’m sorry, I thought you were talking about Tehran. No, we have no reason to have a Havana Embassy for the simple reason that they continue to hold political prisoners. They continue to be unaccountable for the deaths of many of their political prisoners over the years, the shooting down of the Christian Brothers airplane that Raoul Castro was personally involved in. To just say we’re going to live and let live and forget and forgive, there are times when you just have to stand on principle, and this is certainly not something this administration has done.

HH: 45 seconds left, Governor. Do you feel momentum on your side? There are 16 candidates. I tried to name them all in Denver, and I forgot two. Do you think you’ve got enough to get a majority back in Iowa?

MH: Well yeah, I do. And we’re having excellent response here. and I think one of the things people who have never run before will find out is that this is a marathon, not a sprint. And what happens is you have to build the organization county at a time. You have to go out there and grind it out. There are no shortcuts in Iowa. And frankly, there are no shortcuts, period, which is a good way of running for president.

HH: Have a great 4th of July, Mike Huckabee, thanks for joining me today.

MH: Thank you, Hugh, my pleasure.

End of interview.


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