"The tea parties are mostly an honest spontaneous effort by ordinary people from all over the political spectrum to express their outrage at government hubris from absurd spending, corporate bailouts, etc.," former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee told ABC News in an email today, asked for a comment about today’s protests.
But, we also wanted to know, what did Huckabee think about the fact that many of these parties were being organized by FreedomWorks, the conservative group run by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, R-Texas?
During the GOP primaries, Armey attacked Huckabee for not embracing the charge of organizations such as The Club for Growth, which repeatedly attacked Huckabee.
Huckabee, Armey wrote in January 2008, "has worked to make his small-minded populism a credit by pitting his socially conservative supporters against the GOP’s business wing. One of his favorite lines is that he represents the interests of ‘Main Street, not Wall Street.’ But this assumes that the interests of the two are not in alignment, that somehow, one group can only gain at the expense of the other – never mind that the jobs and livelihoods of America’s workers and small towns are tied inexorably with the larger economy. It’s a dark form of class warfare shrewdly masked by his sunny chatter. …Allowing Mike Huckabee to become the face of conservatism would trade unity and principle for an ill-advised romance with a flighty, flaky new brand of politics."
Now, of course, Armey and FreedomWorks are rallying the tea party protests around the country that are protesting big government, Wall Street bailouts, higher taxes and President Obama’s housing plan.
"As for Armey," Huckabee writes when I ask him to weigh in, "he and about 75% of the so-called ‘conservatives’ owe me a big apology. They misrepresented my record, took my statements totally out of context, and accused me of economic liberalism, which is utter nonsense. My campaign upset their orderly apple cart, because it really was run by grass-roots conservatives and small business owners and not those who as it turned out were wholly owned subsidiaries of recklessly run corporations and lobbyists.”
Huckabee says Armey and his cohorts "never listened to what I was saying, but just spoke out to protect their pals who were funding their faces—there’s a word for people who get to paid to show love, but polite people don’t use it openly. I’ve found it amazing to watch the huffy puffy types who skinned me alive during the campaign jump out and support TARP, and then change their tune when Obama and the Dems proposed stimulus. Let the record note, that I opposed TARP—I called it the Congressional Relief Action Program from the beginning. I could say more, but have to go catch a plane!"