October 10, 2007

Setting Ann Coulter Straight on Huckabee

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Ann Coulter ran a column today attacking Huckabee on the issues of immigration and smoking. Particularly, she took issue with his comments about a smoking ban in public workplaces and his opposition as Governor of Arkansas to a bill that would deny state benefits to the children of illegal immigrants.

There is (surprise, surprise) a lot Coulter misunderstands. The purpose of this post is to equip folks with the truth behind the false accusations.

First, on the topic of the smoking. Many people misunderstood statements Huckabee made at the Lance Armstrong Forum on cancer and thought that he had voiced support for a federal smoking ban. Huckabee clarified this in a conference call over a month ago:
Blogger: There’s some concern about your statements regarding tobacco regulation from the Lance Armstrong forum. As a Public Health Professional, I fully support any and all tobacco regulation, but others felt your comments meant you would be building big government and forcing behavior on individuals. Could you clarify your views on tobacco regulation?

Huckabee: Certainly, I don’t believe that we as a government have a right to tell people what to do or not do. The issue is one of workplace safety … the same reason that the government regulates the exposure of radon and other toxic gases in the workplace. In Arkansas I signed a bill that banned smoking in certain public areas and businesses, but not in bars/restaurants, because those were places consumers could more easily choose to go to or not. So, in the workplace, if we regulate smoking, it is an issue of worker safety. The responsibility initially lies with the states of course. The only way this would be a federal responsibility is for it taking on that roll as part of OSHA as it regulates other work place safety.

HT: One Mom
Next, immigration. Of course, anyone who has actually read or heard Huckabee's positions on immigration know that Huckabee is solid. Here's the reason for Ann's fuss:

The thing people are up-in-arms about is the fact that Huckabee takes the position that the children of illegal immigrants don't deserve to be punished for the sins of their parents. Because of that, as Governor he supported prenatal care for the unborn children of immigrants and in-state tuition eligibility for Latino children who successfully graduated from Arkansas high schools.

Let me make this clear: Huckabee is strong on immigration. I've heard him explain his stance on paper, on the screen, on the stage, and face to face. His first priority is to secure the border. He has always favored the deportation of immigrants who are found here illegally. He does not support amnesty.

So let's recap: The thing that has caused Coulter's knee-jerk reaction is the fact that Huckabee's firm pro-life beliefs cause him to support prenatal care for all unborn children. And because the Arkansas constitution dictates that all children, regardless of legal status, be provided with public education K-12, he supported in-state tuition rates for children who successfully graduate and are academically eligible.

You can also check out this transcript of a great (old) interview with Huckabee — where he discusses immigration near the end.

Now you know. Go and spread the truth. A big hat tip to the original Huckabee blogger who addressed this issue over two years ago. He has a great post on the topic, including a story in the MSM that further supports the wisdom of the Governor's position. Check it out here.


Anonymous said...

"he supported in-state tuition rates for children who successfully graduate and are academically eligible."

What your missing here is that most Americans must PAY for their tuition, and yet Huckabee is caught red-handed endorsing taxpayer funded tuition for those whom should not legally be in this country.

Certainly he could have offered a fresh pro-American solution rather than a pro-illegal-immigration one!

Alex said...

Anonymous, Coulter is twisting the facts with that statement.

Huckabee was not advocating that the government pay tuition for these children — he was advocating that they be "eligible" for scholarships the same way other children are. He was not making the taxpayers pay for anything.

Check out the article we link to in our post if you really care to know about what Huckabee stands for:


Anonymous said...

"..he was advocating that they be "eligible" for scholarships the same way other children are."

From the quote the original anon used, it sounds like it doesn't even go that far, Alex.

All I get from anon's quoted text is that if the child of an illegal immigrant goes to school in Arkansas, graduates, and does the necessary work to qualify for entrance, then there should be a way to offer them in-state tuition rates for Arkansas-based schools.

He's not even saying free education.

He's just saying, "they were educated in Arkansas, they're choosing to stay in the state to pursue higher education, let's not charge them out-of-state rates because they or their parents are really from Mexico." There's no taxpayer funding of anything going on.

OneMom said...

Thanks guys for including the clarification on the smoking ban from a blogger call in September. I actually had a polite conversation with the national association of tobacco smokers who were ready to run a smear campaign on Huckabee when they heard the "misinformation". They (unlike coulter) were polite and were glad for the facts and they dropped their attack plans.

Patrick Britton said...

How ridiculous, she goes from attacking Democrats to one in her own party? It makes no sense to me. Ann I understand you're supporting Romney but saying Huckabee is the same as Rudy is as absurd as it gets! The reason it doesn't matter though is because people will check out Huckabee and realize she is a nitwit, so, this will help Huckabee in the end!

Anonymous said...

Ann Couldter is only attacking Huckabee because she sees that he's gaining strong momentum and at a very fast pace.

She wants her flip floppy handsome mormon in.. but sorry Ann.. just because your man is not gonna win you dont have to attack those who are 100% conservative and have been consistent.

Shame on you Ann.. Shame! Shame!


Paul Wilcoxen, IN said...

I am just going to address the smoking issue. I support Gov. Huckabee in the presidential race, but for someone to say that the government shouldn't tell people what to do might not realize that the government tells people what to do and what not to do all the time.

Also, why should I not go to a restaurant because it smells like smoke. Why do I have to make that decision and not eat at some place I want. Why is it such a big deal that people who can't put down a smoke for two seconds spend time in a restaurant that's smoke-free. This country always panders to the voice of the person that yells the loudest. It's time for those who know the real dangers of smoking and those who do not wish to be around people who smoke while at the park, in the work place, and yes, while eating.

Vradic said...

The last word I heard from Ann Coulter, regarding who she supports, it was Duncan Hunter. The positions of Hunter and Huckabee (from what I can tell) are nearly identical. The single exception is that Huckabee doesn't seem to be quite as strong against illegal immigration. That's unfortunate, because he is probably the best speaker of ALL the candidates. Given the full support of the Republican party, I think Mike Huckabee is the only one who is almost certain to beaat Hillary. I can't think of any reason, other than perceived weakness on illegal immigration, that Coulter (or anyone else) would pick Hunter over Huckabee.

Anonymous said...

I disagree with Huckabee about both the smoking ban (even in the context he described), and with the children of illegals getting in-state tuition when the children of parents from Colorado would have to pay non-resident tuition for their kids to go to Arkansas, even though THEY'RE citizens.

That being said, I would vote for him versus Giuliani or Romney. Ann is wrong on this - he IS more conservative than either of them.