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Tag: mike huckabee

To Save Trump, Fox News Urges Voiding Hundreds Of Thousands Of Votes

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

With the presidential election still up in the air as ballots continue to be counted in key states, President Donald Trump and his propagandists at Fox News are seeking to reduce confidence in the election tallies in order to build a case to toss out Democratic ballots and steal the election.

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#EndorseThis: Seth Meyers Looks Hard At Trump, Pence, And Corker Too

Of all the unintentionally hilarious moments in Mike Huckabee’s groveling interview with Donald Trump (his daughter Sarah’s boss) Seth Meyers picks up what may be the funniest. Stumbling in his diction as always, the president claims he never heard anyone use the word “fake” before he did — an assertion Seth finds impossible to believe for reasons that are, as you will surely agree, quite obvious.

Speaking of fake, nothing merits that scornful description more than Mike Pence’s feigned indignation about the football players who kneeling led to his supposedly spontaneous walkout from a weekend Colts game. The ineffably stupid Veep (and his boss) clumsily revealed that this was actually a planned political stunt, conducted at taxpayer expense. Anyone who insists America would fare better with Pence as president just saw that argument vanish into the Twitter haze.

And then there’s Senator Bob Corker, suddenly a national hero for uttering what everyone has known for months and years about Trump’s dangerous unfitness for his office. For some reason Seth can’t help remembering how Corker sucked up to Trump last year, just like every other Republican official who knew better.

#EndorseThis: Watch Mike Huckabee Feed Trump To The Shark

Unlike some Republicans, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee is still gung-ho for Trump, as he attempted to explain to his former Fox News colleague Megyn Kelly. But as he reached for a pop culture comparison, he got a little too excited. And Kelly had to point out that Huck’s analogy was really…awkward. That didn’t faze him for a second. (Maybe the former Fox host was auditioning for the new media channel Trump is expected to launch if and when he loses the election.)

Bonus: Megyn launches into song as she bids Huckabee farewell!

Controversial Conservative Figures Are Using The Dallas Shooting For Publicity

By now, it’s a pattern: Conservative politicians, after failed or menially important careers in public service, turn to cable news to make a real name for themselves, parlaying the illusion of power and influence into book deals, “consulting” positions, and TV shows.

As Eric Boehlert put it, it is “conservatism as an ATM.”

It isn’t anything new, but this past week of tragedies, including the Dallas shooting and the police killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, brought these “professional commentators” to the surface, mainly to scapegoat the activism of the Black Lives Matter movement, explicitly or otherwise, for the ambush in Dallas.

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee personifies this phenomenon. The ultra-conservative evangelical politician and pastor got his own show at Fox News after his governorship ended, then quit his show to run a second presidential campaign, then returned to the network as a commentator after his campaign failed. It’s a new breed of “revolving door.”

Huckabee appeared on Fox News Saturday to argue that more white people have been shot by police officers this past year than minorities,” ignoring the fact, obvious to him, that proportional to population size, black men are shot by police far more often.

When the Washington Post pointed out the inaccuracy of his statement, Huckabee took things even further. “My comments were 100 percent factual. The pure facts also reveal that 94 percent of those killed by police are men, so by your ‘proportional’ standards, the real movement in America should be ‘Male Lives Matter,” Huckabee said.

But it’s not just big-name conservatives like Huckabee. Building a controversial persona by repeatedly making inflammatory remarks that catch the public’s attention or cause outrage is a sure way create an on-air persona and fan base, a product of some in the media’s commitment to “neutrality,” even for the most egregiously outlandish claims.

This impossible standard of neutrality has turned into a business venture. Politicians and commentators get a paying gig, and the networks get ratings in the name of fairness. After earning brief fame from controversy, “political commentators” migrate to partisan networks: preaching to the choir, or playing devil’s advocate.

Mark Fuhrman is an example of the former. The former LAPD detective from the O.J. Simpson case became famous after tapes presented at the trial exposed him as a racist, power-abusing, almost stereotypically “bad” cop. A couple of book deals later, Fuhrman is now “forensic and crime scene expert” for Fox News.

Fuhrman appeared on Fox News last week to say that the issue of police brutality is overblown.

Yeah. The guy at the center of O.J. Simpson’s acquittal — one of the most racially divisive events in American history — is now a go-to voice on police misconduct, which audio-taped evidence proved he was guilty of during the O.J. trial.

“You can always find something that doesn’t look like justice was served one way or another, where somebody made a mistake, somebody was overzealous, somebody was overaggressive. If you’re going to take this micro-moment in the history of a city, a county, a state or a country and use that as a movement, you can never combat this. There’s always going to be something. It’s like having a perfect family. It doesn’t exist.” he told Megyn Kelly.

Of course, Black Lives Matter organizes protests in response to singular events, but was created in response to the overwhelming trend of police violence against black people.

Former congressman Joe Walsh, incredibly, earned a CNN invitation by sending out a tweet after the Dallas shooting in which he declared “war” on president Obama. In the now-deleted Tweet, Walsh warned Obama and Black Lives Matter leaders that “real America” was “coming after” them. He sent out a dozen or so tweets the night of the shooting along similar lines.

Walsh, who hosts a radio show, used his Friday night CNN appearance to defend his comments, telling Don Lemon that he “didn’t intend to say everybody go threaten Barack Obama or incite violence against Barack Obama.”

He said he only deleted the tweet because Twitter suspended his account. Twitter spokesman Nu Wexler pointed out the site’s policy that says users “may not make threats of violence or promote violence, including threatening or promoting terrorism.”

Backlash (and more attention for both Walsh and CNN) quickly followed Walsh’s appearance — why would the network give airtime to such an obviously inflammatory voice? Because that’s the business model.

Rudy Giuliani knows that model well.

Although no network has Giuliani on their payroll, he is a usual sight whenever the day’s news revolve around security or law enforcement, and last week was no exception. On Sunday he appeared on CBS‘s Face The Nation, where he said the Black Lives Matter movement was “inherently racist.”

A day later, he went on Fox News to reaffirm his comments. “Black Lives Matter never protests when every 14 hours somebody is killed in Chicago, probably 70-80% of the time (by) a black person. Where are they then? Where are they when a young black child is killed?” Giuliani said on Monday.

Then again, has Giuliani ever protested police brutality, the actual aim of Black Lives Matter’s activism? Of course not. In fact, his time as mayor — his “reign,” to some — was marked by the police killings of numerous black New Yorkers. To the extent that Giuliani made a dent in the city’s crime rate — a frequent brag of his, and his answer to any racial criticism — it decreased at roughly the same rate as it did nation-wide.

But he’s good for a sound bite.


Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr

Huckabee Says Judge Curiel Has ‘A Liberal Agenda’ — But He Can’t Say How

In an interview Wednesday night with Fox News’ Megyn Kelly, Mike Huckabee defended Donald Trump’s racist comments against the federal judge overseeing two of his Trump University lawsuits.

According to Huckabee, the judge, Gonzalo Curiel — who Trump said would not be able to rule impartially over the case because of his Mexican heritage — in fact has “a political agenda” and a “built-in liberal bias.”

When Kelly pushed Huckabee on evidence of Judge Curiel’s liberal bias, however, he could not find evidence to support his claim of this agenda. “Honestly, I’ve not spent a whole long of time digging through the details,” Huckabee said.

Photo and video: Fox News. 

Trump Draws Full House At Own Event As He Snubs Fox News Debate

By Ginger Gibson

DES MOINES, Iowa (Reuters) — Donald Trump shunned Thursday night’s debate of the Republican presidential candidates hosted by Fox News and instead filled an auditorium a few miles down the road, trying to prove his widespread support only days before Iowa kicks off the U.S. nominating voting process.

Trump, with just one day’s notice on a weeknight, was able to fill to capacity a hall at Drake University that holds 700.

“I didn’t want to be here, to be honest, I wanted to be about five minutes away” at the debate, Trump told the crowd. “When you’re treated badly, you have to stick up for your rights – whether we like it or not.”

The back-and-forth between Trump and Fox News continued even after the debate had begun.

Trump said he skipped the debate because he would not be treated fairly by Fox News anchor and debate moderator Megyn Kelly.

He told the crowd that Fox News made repeated calls to try to persuade him to change his mind. He said officials, presumably the network’s chairman, Roger Ailes, called him until moments before the debate began.

Fox News told the story differently.

The network acknowledged that Ailes had three conversations with Trump but said in a statement that Trump had offered to participate in the debate only if Fox News donated $5 million to his charity.

Fox News declined to make the payment, calling it a “quid pro quo” in its statement.

Trump has made such a demand previously, telling CNN when it hosted a Republican debate that it should donate $5 million to charity from the profits gained from advertising. CNN turned down that demand.

Trump was able to garner a tremendous amount of attention on Thursday without having to share much of the spotlight. Cable news networks CNN and MSNBC provided extensive coverage of his event.

In deciding to hold a competing event, Trump said the gathering would be to benefit veterans and he welcomed his rivals to attend. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania joined Trump after participating in the undercard debate held for the Republican candidates at the bottom of the polls. Both men spoke briefly about the need to help the nation’s veterans.

Trump told the crowd that in one day he raised more than $5 million for a veterans group, although his campaign did not say which group was getting the funds. At the conclusion of the event, Trump announced that the total raised for veterans had risen to $6 million.

Trump said he personally donated $1 million.


Trump’s decision to skip the debate was sharply criticized by his opponents.

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz opened the debate by mocking Trump in his absence. “I’m a maniac and everyone on this stage is stupid, fat and ugly,” Cruz said, imitating Trump. “And Ben, you’re a terrible surgeon. Now that we’ve gotten the Donald Trump portion out of the way.”

There are risks in holding his own event for Trump, who several recent polls have shown barely leading Cruz.

If Trump wins the Iowa caucuses, the move will be lauded as proof that he has built a movement capable of circumventing establishment media. If he places second, the skipped debate will be blamed as a fatal tactical error that allowed opponents to paint him as weak in the fact of tough questions.

Trump acknowledged that he did not know whether the event would ultimately hurt or help his campaign.

“Who the hell knows, but it’s for our vets,” he said.

Supporters and some curious onlookers waited in the sub-freezing cold in a line that wrapped around the building and down a block.

Trump’s campaign erected a large Jumbotron outside the auditorium to allow an overflow crowd to watch his remarks.

Before Trump took the stage, some of his well-known supporters spoke. Lynnette “Diamond” Hardaway and Rochelle “Silk” Richardson, two women with a large online video blog following, urged the crowd to back Trump.

Randy Bowling, a Trump supporter from Ottumwa, Iowa, said some of his friends who are undecided in the Republican contest said Trump’s decision to not participate in the debate raised doubts about supporting him.

“We have mixed emotions,” Bowling said. “We caught a lot of flak from our friends who are on the fence.”

Sharon and Richard Lode drove three hours from Sioux Rapids, Iowa to see Trump’s event, deciding they would make the drive with only one-day’s notice.

Sharon Lode, who is 65, was not worried that skipping the debate could hurt Trump on caucus day.

“It took a lot of guts to stand up to them,” she said.

Steven Doran, 19, was one of the many students and other curious area residents who attended the event with no plans to ultimately support Trump. Doran plans to participate in the Democratic caucus.

“The spectacle,” Doran said, when asked why he was there. “I’ve never seen Trump in person.”

(Reporting by Ginger Gibson; Editing by Leslie Adler and Jonathan Oatis)

Photo: U.S. Republican presidential candidate businessman Donald Trump speaks at a veteran’s rally in Des Moines, Iowa January 28, 2016. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Mike Huckabee Parodies Adele’s ‘Hello’ In Last-Ditch Attempt To Impress Iowans

In a last-ditch attempt at votes and relevance, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee released a campaign ad styled as a parody of Adele’s “Hello,” meant to showcase how well Huck understands Iowa, which willl hold the nation’s first primary caucus on Feb 1.

The three-and-a-half-minute video features lots of closeups of the Republican presidential candidate, mostly talking into an iPhone in a cold, barren landscape, interspersed with snow-crusted road shots and Huckabee on the campaign trail. Other presidential candidates – both Republicans and Democrats – make appearances.

The video doesn’t quite succeed as either a full-fledged homage or recruitment tool. It patronizes the locals – “Iowans are not for sale, they’re stubborn and picky,” sings an uncredited female – and the phrasing sometimes strains against the melody of the song. Huckabee’s “singing” doesn’t sync with the lyrics, which are helpfully captioned at the bottom of the video – though the captions are often out of sync, too.

Adele’s “Hello” is the first single from her hotly anticipated third album, 25, which broke sales records the week it was released, selling 3.38 million copies, an unheard-of amount in an age where few true-blue albums are sold. (The number reflects digital and physical sales.) The album – and its singles – have continued to break all sorts of records. In other words, Huckabee chose the safest possible video to parody.

The British singer is widely known for having an absurdly large fan base that crosses all demographics. Huckabee, who will be in the undercard debate Jan. 28, has had low poll numbers throughout the campaign. He bowed out of the 2008 race after losing the primaries in Texas, Ohio, Vermont and Rhode Island to John McCain, although he had done well in the Iowa caucuses.

Watch below:

Hat tip: Mother Jones

Photo: Mike Huckabee, trying to entice Iowans in a still from his “Hello” parody. Mike Huckabee For President/YouTube

Shameless In, Shameless Out: Running For President In 2016

“We live at a time of great events and little men.” No, this was not said after the last Republican presidential debate.

It was said more than two centuries ago by Honore Gabriel Riqueti, comte de Mirabeau, a leader in the early days of the French Revolution. The quotation appears in Hilary Mantel’s historical novel, “A Place of Greater Safety,” which means we are not 100 percent sure it was said, but it certainly should have been.

It doesn’t take any great leap of imagination to look upon our current presidential campaign and say Mirabeau was correct. Great events swirl around us — we are mired in crises both foreign and domestic — and yet what little people we have to lead us.

People are being barrel-bombed and forced from their homes by the millions in Syria. North Korea, which is led by an absolute dictator of questionable sanity, brags it has just developed a hydrogen bomb. The United States faces an economic outlook this year that runs the gamut from bleak to catastrophic.

And what do I see at the very moment I type these words? I see Donald Trump standing in front of a mannequin of John Wayne in Winterset, Iowa, where Wayne was born and spent the first seven years of his life.

Tuesday, the Wayne family endorsed Trump for the presidency. This is live cable network news.

A reporter asks Trump the importance of this endorsement.

“I think endorsements are, depending who makes them, valuable,” Trump says. “Some don’t make a difference. But I think having a John Wayne and John Wayne family endorsement means a lot.”

But wait. There is a far more important endorsement at hand aside from that of an actor who has been dead for 36 years. Sarah Palin has endorsed Trump.

Palin was one of the least-qualified candidates in the history of the vice presidency, which is saying something considering the job has virtually no duties. Yet Republican nominee John McCain sacrificed what was left of his credibility by claiming that Palin was ready to become commander-in-chief should something incapacitate McCain.

This is what running for president does to you. If you were not shameless going in, you will almost certainly be shameless going out.

Before bidding farewell to The Duke, The Donald is asked by a reporter about the toxic tap water in Flint, Michigan.

The Michigan attorney general has said: “The situation in Flint is a human tragedy.”

Hillary Clinton has said: “I think every single American should be outraged.”

Bernie Sanders has demanded the resignation of Michigan’s governor for acting too slowly. “A man who acts that irresponsibly should not stay in power,” Sanders says.

And Trump? “I shouldn’t be commenting on Flint,” Trump said.

OK, forget Trump for a second (which is not easy to do). After all, the Republicans have other candidates to handle the “great events” of today.

As Charles Krauthammer said on Fox News in July 2015: “This is the strongest field of Republican candidates in 35 years. You could pick a dozen of them at random and have the strongest cabinet America has had in our lifetime.”

As Fred Barnes said in The Weekly Standard in April of last year: “Here are three propositions about the 2016 presidential race. … One, the Republican field of candidates (and potential candidates) is far superior to the field of Republican candidates four years ago.

“Two, the GOP candidates are fresher, livelier, and less touched by scandal than the Democratic frontrunner, Hillary Clinton.

“And three, the Republicans have more credible rationales for seeking the presidency than does Clinton.”

The Republican candidates, themselves, put it a little more simplistically.

As Jeb Bush said at a forum in December 2015: “Who has the right stuff? We need a person with a brain, a person with a heart and a person with a backbone.”

How about a pair of ruby slippers, too? After listening to him, I really wonder whether Jeb realizes that “The Wizard of Oz” was a movie and not an instructional campaign video.

And if he is waiting for a house to land on Donald Trump’s head, Jeb may be disappointed.

But how about Mike Huckabee, who came in first in the Iowa caucus and second in the delegate count in 2008?

Last October, while watching a Democratic debate, Huckabee tweeted: “I trust (Bernie Sanders) with my tax dollars like I trust a North Korean chef with my labrador!”

Some people objected to what they saw as the racism or at least the cultural insensitivity of this remark. The Huckabee campaign sneered.

“Poor liberals, no sense of humor and no sense of reality,” the campaign said in an email. “Facts: North Koreans eat dog and Bernie Sanders wants to spend 18 trillion dollars of your money. What’s so hard to understand?”

Ted Cruz is running because he wants Christians to take the nation back. (Back from whom, I do not know. According to an ABC poll taken last year, “Eighty-three percent of Americans identify themselves as Christians.”)

Yet, under the headline, “Ted Cruz Tells Brody File: Time For Christians To Rise Up And Take America Back,” Cruz says in an interview that “far too many Christians have ceded the public arena to people that aren’t believers.”

“Do you believe you were put in this position for such a time as this?” David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network asked him.

“I hope and pray that I was,” Cruz replied, oozing humility.

In times past, candidates said running for president was meaningful, win or lose. That’s because they got to meet real Americans up close and experience their lives and hear about their hopes and dreams.

Not anymore.

Last month, in a gymnasium at the Pennichuck Middle School in Nashua, New Hampshire, Trump said, “Honestly, unless I win, it doesn’t mean a damn thing to me.”

Big problems and little candidates. They seem to go hand in hand.

Roger Simon is Politico’s chief political columnist. His new e-book, “Reckoning: Campaign 2012 and the Fight for the Soul of America,” can be found on, and iTunes.


Photo: Are Republicans willing to deal with everything the presidency entails? Republican U.S. presidential candidates (L-R) Senator Marco Rubio, Dr. Ben Carson, businessman Donald Trump, Senator Ted Cruz and former Governor Jeb Bush hold their hands over their hearts for the singing of the U.S. national anthem before the start of the Republican presidential debate in Las Vegas, Nevada December 15, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Blake