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PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2015 11:21 am 
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Why are the media whacking Mike Huckabee—Unless he’s a 2016 threat?
By Howard KurtzPublished May 12, 2015

The media’s conventional wisdom is that Mike Huckabee, a onetime winner of the Iowa caucuses, doesn’t have much of a shot in 2016.

So why are some pundits and news outlets suddenly attacking him if he’s just an asterisk?

The answer is that the former Arkansas governor and ex-Fox News contributor will matter, at least in the early states. And beyond that, some conservatives have a visceral dislike for the guy—and especially for his passionate defense of entitlement programs.

Now Huckabee’s presidential campaign is getting some respect from the likes of Washington Post columnist Chris Cillizza, who says “he is, by far, the Republicans’ best messenger to the middle and lower-middle classes — economic brackets that the party has struggled to win in recent elections.”

But National Review dismisses such pieces as making “the enormous assumption that the GOP can appeal to these brackets only by using the language of the Left.
“Take as an example this statement regarding entitlements: ‘There are some who propose that to save the safety nets, like Medicare and Social Security, we ought to chop off the payments for the people who had faithfully had their paychecks and pockets picked for the politicians promising them that their money would be waiting for them when they were old and sick.’
“There is no mainstream conservative in this country who advocates Washington’s eliminating benefits already promised to citizens. This is the same dishonest argument you hear whenever there’s talk of entitlement reform. Almost every plan offers an element of choice — allowing people to voluntarily enter into a new deal with government — or it changes the parameters of entitlements for future generations.” The piece says Huckabee is running a “vanity campaign,” but that “the media will almost certainly use Huckabee as an example of how conservatives should be talking about poverty, inequality, and entitlements…”

I’m not sure that’s true, since plenty of liberals acknowledge that Social Security and Medicare cannot survive at an unsustainable level of spending without reform. But the issue came up on “Face the Nation” Sunday, when Bob Schieffer said Huckabee sounded more like a Democrat on the issue of Social Security.

Huckabee’s response: “I’m thinking, wait a minute, didn’t the government take that out of my check for all these years involuntarily? But why would you punish the recipients who played by the rules that they were forced to play by?”

Huckabee spokeswoman Alice Stewart says her boss “feels very strongly” about “people who have paid into the system all these years, and to now say the government has spent beyond its means and we don’t have the money to pay you back, that’s wrong.”

As for the rising tide of media attacks, Stewart says: “You don’t fire bullets at someone who’s not a deserving target, so we expect it.” Critics, she says, “would not be wasting energy on a candidate they don’t think is viable. It’s part of the vetting process.”

...


Full article: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/05/12/why-are-media-whacking-mike-huckabeeunless-hes-2016-threat/

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