by Max Brantley
How sweet it must be for Mike Huckabee. He can say something sane and agreeable to any portion of the reality-world political spectrum and still get some sweet payback against Rick Perry, who shunned the Huckster in the 2008 presidential race.
Mike Huckabee rapped Rick Perry for his Social Security comments on Laura Ingraham's radio show, and suggested that Tim Pawlenty lined up behind Mitt Romney because he may be the more "electable" choice.
"What Tim [Pawlenty] is looking at is the fact that Mitt may be the most electable Republican," said Huckabee, adding at another point, "We’ve got good candidates that aren’t getting enough airtime, I was keeping count. Rick Perry got 15 questions posed; Rick Santorum and Herman Cain got five. I’ve been in that situation when you're stuck out on the edge of that platform and you’re given token opportunities to respond and it’s very difficult to break out when the press decides who is going to be in the game and who isn’t.”
Also, he said bluntly: “Perry hurt himself a lot with his Social Security talk and what he said may be technically true, but you go to South Florida or even any part of Florida or even the part where I live in the panhandle where you have a lot of retired people and essentially say that Social Security is a criminal enterprise, that’s problematic.”
And: “Rick likes to come across as the straight-shootin,’ blunt talking guy and that works very well in Texas and it will work very well in what I call the hardcare center of the Republican primary. But when you have to branch out and get to those younger voters and general election voters, I’m not sure how it's going to play out.”
Shorter Huckabee: Even to Republican voters, the tall-talking Texan will sound nuts.