Campaign Confidential

NJDC: Huckabee Is an ‘Extremist’

By Daniel Treiman

The National Jewish Democratic Council doesn’t approve of the choice of Republican caucus-goers. In a statement, the NJDC dubbed the former Arkansas governor an “extremist”; called his record on church-state issues is “frightening”; rapped him over his opposition to dual citizenship, pointing to Americans who vote in Israeli elections; and said that he “has not demonstrated the competence necessary to be an effective leader on Middle East issues.”


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A Bronfman for Huckabee?

By Daniel Treiman

The New York Post reports:

Mike Huckabee is being backed by a bizarre upstate group that has been denounced as a cult, The Post has learned.

Records show Huckabee raked in $20,000 from Sara Bronfman, the Seagram liquor heiress and high-profile devotee of the NXIVM group.

Bronfman made the donation to Hope for America, a political action committee set up in Virginia by Huckabee, according to that state’s public records.

Albany-based NXIVM bills itself as an executive-training program, but detractors have said it is a “cult.”

Read the full article.

UPDATE: Sara Bronfman has also given to Hillary’s campaign, according to the FundRace data base.


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Mike Huckabee: 'Christian Leader'

By Daniel Treiman

We’re still waiting for the Giuliani “Lapsed Catholic Leader” video, and the Hillary Clinton “United Methodist Leader” video. I wonder why Joseph Lieberman never made a “Jewish Leader” campaign video?

Whatever Huckabee’s doing, it seems to be paying off: The latest poll from Rasmussen has him first in Iowa.

Although perhaps that showing is on the strength of his earlier, Chuck Norris video:


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Dems, Huckabee Blast Saudi Justice

By Daniel Treiman

The Saudis are getting a lashing from Democratic presidential hopefuls for the recent sentencing of a 19-year-old gang-rape victim to 200 lashes for “adultery.” Taking on the Saudis has long been a popular tack for Democrats, given the cozy relations between the House of Saud and the House of Bush. This time around, leading Democratic contenders lined up to condemn the sentence and the Bush administration’s failure to condemn it more forcefully.

Hillary said:

This is an outrage. The Bush administration has refused to condemn the sentence and said it will not protest an internal Saudi decision. I urge President Bush to call on King Abdullah to cancel the ruling and drop all charges against this woman. As president I will once again make human rights an American priority around the world.

Her stance earned her some kudos from an unlikely corner, the resolutely conservative New York Sun, which editorialized: “The candidate who has been toughest on Saudi Arabia in the past week hasn’t been Mayor Giuliani, Senator McCain, or Governor Romney, but Senator Clinton, the Democrat of New York.” It continued: “Hats off to Mrs. Clinton for talking tough to the Saudis.” (Then, of course, the non-nonpartisan Sun proceeded to list the Saudis who donated large sums to the Bill Clinton’s presidential library.)

One Republican candidate who spoke out strongly on the issue is the surging Mike Huckabee. The AP reports:

“The United States has been far too involved in sort of looking the other way, not only at the atrocities of human rights and violation of women,” Huckabee said on CNN’s “Late Edition.”

“Every time we put our credit card in the gas pump, we’re paying so that the Saudis get rich — filthy, obscenely rich, and that money then ends up going to funding madrassas,” schools “that train the terrorists,” said Huckabee. “America has allowed itself to become enslaved to Saudi oil. It’s absurd. It’s embarrassing.”

Huckabee said “I would make the United States energy independent within 10 years and tell the Saudis they can keep their oil just like they can keep their sand, that we won’t need either one of them.”

This isn’t the first time that Huckabee has talked tough on the Saudis. His campaign Web site’s page on energy policy — on which he calls for the development of alternative energy sources and more conservation — says of the Saudis: “These folks have had us over a barrel - literally - for way too long.”


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Huckabee: I will Not Use the H-Word on Rudy

By Jennifer Siegel

Controversy continues to bubble up around GOP presidential contender Mike Huckabee over his belief that legalized abortion constitutes a modern day “holocaust.”

Huckabee was asked about it by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer yesterday, and confirmed that, from his perspective, Roe v. Wade has wrought a modern day “holocaust.”

That, in and of itself, is something of a yawn by now, but we were amused here at Forward by Blitzer’s awkward attempt to get Huckabee to accuse Giuliani – who has long taken flack on the right for his pro-choice views – of therefore supporting a “holocaust.”

Huckabee didn’t take the bait. As I explore in a story I put up today, the whole focus on the former Arkansas governor’s beliefs about abortion is something of a red herring. It suggests Huckabee is a card-carrying member of the old Christian right, when he’s in reality part of a new breed of evangelicals who are more interested in reaching out to mainstream America.

Here’s the exchange between Blitzer and Huckabee:

Read more


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Jews to Huckabee: Stop Misusing the Holocaust Analogy

By Jennifer Siegel

Does Mike Huckabee have an unfortunate penchant for Holocaust analogies? As the former Arkansas goveror’s star rises in the Republican ranks, the Anti-Defamation League is calling foul over his (mis)use of the imagery of the Shoah. The problem: At the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit in Washington last weekend, Huckabee denounced what he called the “holocaust of liberalized abortion.”

It’s not the first time that Huckabee has been in hot water over the Holocaust. About a year ago, he raised eyebrows when, in discussing his weight loss with Don Imus, he quipped, “I have just come from six weeks at a concentration camp held by the Democrat party of Arkansas in an undisclosed location, making a hostage tape. That’s why I look that way.”

No suprise, NJDC has been busy sending around a round-up of the more unfortunate parts of Huckabee’s record, including his rejection of the theory of evolution and the gift registries he set up before leaving the governor’s mansion.

Check out Gail Collins for her take on why Huckabee’s supposed sizzle is really all fizzle.


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