Abortion: Huckabee May Not Be So Consistent After All

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Hey, look who hasn’t been consistent on abortion: Mike Huckabee!

The Fred Thompson campaign has done some digging and determined that not long ago the strongly pro-life Arkansas Governor, who campaigns on a Constitutional amendment to ban abortions and calls abortions in this country a “holocaust,” once held the same federalist position as the former Tennessee senator. As recently as last year!

In a 1995 Washington Times article discussing a possible switch in the Republican Party’s official position on abortion, from supporting a Constitutional ban to supporting a federalist let-the-states-decide approach, Huckabee, then Lieutenant Governor of Arkansas, was cited as an example of the federalist position. “That’s exactly what we have looked for,” said Huckabee. “If it’s left up to the states, more of them are going to put some restrictions on abortion.”

And there’s some evidence that he held that position until recently! In an undated interview with Right Wing News, Huckabee had this to say:

John Hawkins: Switching gears again, do you think we should overturn Roe v. Wade?

Mike Huckabee: It would please me because I think Roe v. Wade is based on a real stretch of Constitutional application — that somehow there is a greater privacy issue in the abortion concern — than there is a human life issue — and that the federal government should be making that decision as opposed to states making that decision.

So, I’ve never felt that it was a legitimate manner in which to address this and, first of all, it should be left to the states, the 10th Amendment, but secondly, to somehow believe that the taking of an innocent, unborn human life is about privacy and not about that unborn life is ludicrous.

The Fred Thompson campaign says the interview was from April 2006. I’ve asked the Huckabee campaign for clarification. As Scooby Doo would say, Ruh Roh!

Update: This page on Right Wing News makes it clear the interview occurred on April 10, 2006.

Update Update: Huckabee is seen as the consistent conservative in the GOP race (except maybe on fiscal matters). This revelation, which is relatively minor (Huckabee is strongly pro-life no matter how you slice it), will only turn out to be important if it slows the Huckabee-is-consistent meme. It could also turn into something big if Huckabee is caught on record somewhere saying, “I’ve always supported a Constitutional ban on abortions.” The cheery, quirky, down-to-earth Governor will lose some of his shine if he’s proven to be a liar.

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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