Huckabee Explains Himself on Abortion Inconsistency

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I exchanged emails with Mike Huckabee’s director of research this afternoon. The topic was Fred Thompson’s assertions that Huckabee once supported the federalist position on abortion, which Thompson currently supports. If true, this would undercut Huckabee’s standing as the strongest pro-lifer in the race, and make him look inconsistent. The research director denied Thompson’s claims and said “Gov. Huckabee has always supported passage of a constitutional amendment to protect the right to life.”

Thompson’s claim rests on two quotes his campaign was able to drudge up. They are both on display at the link I provide above. In regards to the first, from the Washington Times, the Huckabee campaign says that GOP was having an internal debate over abortion’s place in the party platform in 1995. The debate was between federalist language (overturn Roe and leave it to the states) and no language whatsoever. Choosing between those two bad options, Huckabee supported the federalist language.

In regards to the second passage, from Right Wing News, in which Huckabee says explicitly “first of all, it should be left to the states,” the campaign provided no explanation. I asked mulitple times.

I also asked for a quote from 2006 or earlier in which Huckabee demonstrated support for the Human Life Amendment and they did not supply one. It is possible, of course, that Huckabee did support a HLA before 2007 but simply did not have his position recorded by the press.

If I hear more, I will write more.

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It’s really that simple. But if you’d like to read a bit more, our membership lead, Brian Hiatt, has a post for you highlighting some of our newsroom's impressive, impactful work of late—including two big investigations in just one day and covering voting rights the way it needs to be done—that we hope you’ll agree is worth supporting.

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