entry into the 2016 presidential campaign
has renewed some familiar themes from his 2008 run, including reminders of his record on granting executive clemency and his work in behalf of the release from prison of rapist Wayne Dumond,
who went on to murder in Missouri, where he died in prison.
Buzzfeed has obtained a tough ad
Mitt Romney made but never aired in 2008 about Huckabee's advocacy for Dumond. It features the mother of one Missouri murder victim talking about Huckabee's poor judgment.
“This is my daughter,” the mother says in the commercial. “She was pregnant with her first child. She was murdered by a serial rapist released early from prison in Arkansas. It was Mike Huckabee’s intent that Wayne Dumond be released from prison. It’s a pattern of bad judgment — very bad judgment. I don’t know how you could trust that person with the highest power in our country.”
On the screen at the end of the ad, white lettering appears against a black backdrop informing viewers, “Mike Huckabee granted 1,033 pardons and commutations, including 12 murderers.”
Beyond Dumond, Huckabee used his executive power many more times in significant crimes than is customary. He defended his belief in restorative justice, a plus for him, but it was tempered by bad judgment in many cases and also was often influenced by friends and fellow preachers. He could be sold a line of bull, in other words, or be influenced by political patrons or political considerations. His work in behalf of Dumond, for example, dovetailed with a right-wing attack on Bill Clinton
for a supposed trumped-up prosecution of Dumond. He was a rapist and killer as his release from Arkansas prison proved.
Of course other events have happened for Huckabee since. Another criminal he helped spring from prison, Maurice Clemmons
, killed four Washington police officers. As we've written before, the case can be used to depict him not only as soft on crime but dishonest i
n trying to defend his record in the case.