Mike Huckabee isn't happy. The former Arkansas governor and runner-up for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination thinks that a new and well-publicized initiative to revive the GOP is the wrong move.
"It is a sad day when our party comes to the point where we think it is necessary to form a 'listening group' to find out what Americans think we should be fighting for," he recently said in a statement. "Our problem is not lack of 'experts,' but too many of them and not enough attention to the hard working people in our communities that aren’t connected to the Beltway, but to the heartland."
The "listening group" he refers to is the National Council for a New America, a new initiative by House Minority Whip Eric Cantor. The group, which includes Jeb Bush, Sarah Palin and Huckabee's campaign rivals John McCain and Mitt Romney, is touring the country staging listening parties to reconnect with their party. The group has faced criticism from some within the conservative movement for allegedly failing to mention issues like abortion, gay marriage and immigration.
"I am very disappointed that one of the initial comments from the group was that we need to 'get past Reagan,'" Huckabee said. "Frankly the party was in pretty good shape then and can be again, but Ronald Reagan didn't summarily dismiss Values Voters like this new group of 'experts' has by not listing any of the issues that still matter to many of those common Americans this group wants to listen to. The American people spoke loud and clear during the past election cycle, they want change, but not in our principles, but rather our actions in those principles. We are a strong party when we stick to our core values of smaller government with less, but more sensible regulation, lower taxes, traditional marriage, and when we are a party that values life more than anything else."
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