An honest Huckster

YANA PASKOVA/Getty Images Presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee has been making great strides in Iowa polls over the last several weeks, and now he’s starting to make a surge in national polls as well. A new CNN poll released Monday found that the Huckster has doubled his support among likely Republican voters in the whole country, ...

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597648_071212_huckabee_05.jpg
DES MOINES, IA - DECEMBER 04: U.S. Presidential hopeful Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-AR) leaves an open house for Iowa Campaign Headquarters after speaking there on December 4, 2007, in Des Moines, Iowa. A poll released December 2 by The Des Moines Register shows Huckabee with a five percentage point lead, 29 percent to 24 percent, over Republican opponent former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney in the lead-up to the January 3 Iowa caucuses. (Photo by Yana Paskova/Getty Images)

YANA PASKOVA/Getty Images

Presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee has been making great strides in Iowa polls over the last several weeks, and now he's starting to make a surge in national polls as well. A new CNN poll released Monday found that the Huckster has doubled his support among likely Republican voters in the whole country, bringing him into a a statistical dead heat with GOP frontrunner Rudy Giuliani. With a higher national profile, Huckabee has to start paying more attention to higher profile issues, too.

In the case of Cuba, it means a flip-flop. A few years ago, Huckabee joined a bipartisan crowd calling for an end to the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba, saying it was bad for business. He even wrote a letter to President Bush in 2002 saying that it hurt Arkansas rice growers. On Monday, though, he took a hard right turn and said in a Miami speech that he supports the embargo and would not hesitate to veto any effort to end sanctions against Havana. Has he really had a change of heart? Or is this simply political move designed to appeal to voters of Cuban origin in Florida? Here's the presidential wannabe, in his own words:

YANA PASKOVA/Getty Images

Presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee has been making great strides in Iowa polls over the last several weeks, and now he’s starting to make a surge in national polls as well. A new CNN poll released Monday found that the Huckster has doubled his support among likely Republican voters in the whole country, bringing him into a a statistical dead heat with GOP frontrunner Rudy Giuliani. With a higher national profile, Huckabee has to start paying more attention to higher profile issues, too.

In the case of Cuba, it means a flip-flop. A few years ago, Huckabee joined a bipartisan crowd calling for an end to the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba, saying it was bad for business. He even wrote a letter to President Bush in 2002 saying that it hurt Arkansas rice growers. On Monday, though, he took a hard right turn and said in a Miami speech that he supports the embargo and would not hesitate to veto any effort to end sanctions against Havana. Has he really had a change of heart? Or is this simply political move designed to appeal to voters of Cuban origin in Florida? Here’s the presidential wannabe, in his own words:

Rather than seeing it as some huge change, I would call it, rather, the simple reality that I’m running for president of the United States, not for reelection as governor of Arkansas.”

Credit where credit is due—Huckabee may be a flip-flopper, but at least he’s being brutally honest about the reasons why.

Christine Y. Chen is a senior editor at Foreign Policy.

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