Gov. Mike Beebe has a pretty good feel for the middle.
Asked about the exposure of extremist views of Republican House candidates Loy Mauch, Jon Hubbard and Charlie Fuqua, he characterized them as embarrassing, but generously said they aren't representative of the Republican Party as a whole or the state of Arkansas. Let us hope.
They are, however, representative of 1 in 17 of a potential House Republican majority and they are sufficiently in the mainstream that neither the House Republican Caucus nor the Republican Party chairman has urged voters not to elect them and they have not asked for their campaign contributions back. They are solid on every issue of importance to the Republican Party. Some Republicans might disagree with the Terrible Trio on slavery, Muslims, immigration and/or capital punishment, but they have many more areas of agreement, sufficient to continue to welcome them into the bosom of the GOP caucus.
UPDATE: Attorney General Dustin McDaniel went to his hometown of Jonesboro today and told a civic club he was appalled by quoted remarks by hometown legislator Jon Hubbard, one of the Terrible Trio of Repubs (Three Stooges? Three Nutketeers? Help me here. A nickname is called for) exposed here in recent days. His Twitters:
In a speech to Jonesboro Rotary, the AG said he was appalled by Rep. John Hubbard's statements and that they do not reflect Jonesboro values
The AG also strongly condemned remarks by Loy Mauch and Charlie Fuqua.
Let us hope he is right about Jonesboro values. UPDATE: Find a lengthier excerpt on the jump and his castigation of the Craighhead County Republicans for standing mute on Hubbard's remarks.
UPDATE II: Pranksters clearly have been at work, setting up a parody Twitter account in the name of Hubbard.
UPDATE III, THE NICKNAME SEARCH: I'll add if more turn up. Early nominee: Axis of Idiots.
PREPARED REMARKS BY DUSTIN MCDANIEL
“I knew I had to serve Jonesboro and Northeast Arkansas with dignity and honor, and I have tried to do that every day since. So it is for that reason, regardless of Party politics that I have been so disappointed at the statewide and even national attention that has been brought by Rep. Jon Hubbard’s book that he published about his views on race in America.
Jon Hubbard believes, and he has committed to writing, that African-Americans are better off because of slavery. He says our State’s education system is worse off because of integration. He said, and I quote from his book, “wouldn’t life for blacks in America today be more enjoyable and successful if they would only learn to appreciate the value of a good education?”
No wonder Jonesboro’s representative is now the center of national criticism.
Certainly, I am appalled by those statements. They in no way reflect the values of the Jonesboro I know and love. I applaud Republican Congressmen Tim Griffin and Rick Crawford and Mayor Harold Perrin for condemning Rep. Hubbard’s racist, hateful, embarrassing views. Doyle Webb, Chairman of the Republican Party of Arkansas, has announced that they will not contribute any more money to the races of Rep. Hubbard, Rep. Loy Mauch and Charlie Fuqua of Batesville.
Rep. Mauch believes slavery is condoned by the Bible and that Abraham Lincoln is a “neurotic Northern war criminal.” He actually sought to have a statue of President Lincoln removed from city property in Hot Springs.
Mr. Fuqua advocates execution of disobedient children and any prisoner with a sentence greater than two years, and the mass removal of all Muslims in America — a position with which Rep. Hubbard has expressed sympathy as well.
The embarrassed Republican leadership of Arkansas knows, as I do, that Jonesboro absolutely does not think the way Jon Hubbard thinks.
However, we have heard nothing from the Republican Party of Craighead County. Their silence is deafening.
I call on local candidates and the Craighead County Republican Party to follow the example set by their state leadership and condemn Rep. Hubbard and to demand their contributions to his campaign be returned.”