I talked with Larry Kudlow about Romney’s speech and the interview Larry did with Mike Huckabee today.The transcript of our conversation is here, but you should watch the Kudlow-Huckabee interview. The former Arkansas governor is channeling Huey Long, and is far, from traditional GOP mainstream positions on economic issues. This is a significant interview.
Key excerpt of my exchange with Kudlow on the Huckabee interview:
LK: Regarding Governor Huckabee, Governor Huckabee is a very interesting guy who is not running as the kind of traditional, free-trade, cut taxes, limit government, supply side conservative. He is not. And we walked through a whole bunch of things on trade and China and taxes, and also, he just blurted out CEO pay, which he violently disagrees with. And in fact, he said he would…he doesn’t want to regulate it, but he said at one point he would regulate CEO pay as a last resort.
LK: I thought that was very important. He’s very biased against China trade. He’s skeptical. He says the middle class is in trouble. He didn’t acknowledge the prosperity. I really asked him about today’s excellent jobs report, and the general prosperity we’re enjoying. He didn’t want to go there.
HH: You know, Larry, last night I watched Glen Beck as I was preparing to give a speech. I’m told it was a replay of a Huckabee interview. But what I heard last night, he was talking about the ruling class in America.
HH: You know that’s populism, Huey Long yahooism.
HH: That’s not the Republican Party.
LK: Nope. It’s interesting to me, because I mean, I said are you a pessimist, I say you sound pessimistic on the campaign trail. And he said I’m not a pessimist, I’m a realist. And I think he’s the only candidate, Hugh, who is acknowledging these middle class anxieties, almost reaching out to them. He doesn’t have a solution except to curb trade. But he’s really playing to that, in that sense, just like the Democrats are. And the thing is, you have to look at this in a serious vane, because he’s doing so well in the polls. I mean, it would seem that the more his message gets out, the better he’s doing. And I find that quite troubling, but I think that’s the reality. I’m going to look at the tape of my interview tonight, because as you know, it’s awfully hard when you’re on the spot, I’ve got producers in my ear…
LK: And I want to look at the whole thing. I didn’t dwell on his sales tax hikes and all that in Arkansas, because he’s already answered those charges, and he’s been beaten up. I was interested in what his future policy was, and it’s very vague. The reality is his future policy is very vague.
UPDATE: Powerline’s Paul Mirengoff blasts Huckabee’s foreign policy and Powerline’s John Hinderaker wonders if Huck is the GOP’s Howard Dean:
[T]here are severe limitations on Huckabee’s appeal to Republican voters. Howard Dean made his name as an antiwar candidate, but his other positions were also reliably liberal. Huckabee’s record, on the other hand, is mixed. On fundamental issues like taxes and immigration his record is not at all conservative, and, not only does he have zero experience in foreign policy, his comments on security issues have been less than reassuring. As Republican voters learn more about Huckabee, most of them will like him less, not more.