Huckabee Sounds Dubious Of CPAC, Tea Parties

The Atlantic Wire's Jake Simpson catches former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee's (R) reaction to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in an interview with Giraldo Rivera. Huckabee wasn't at CPAC this year, and his showing in the straw poll was poor: Huckabee collected only 4 percent of the vote, the same percent as Newt Gingrich, and those two finished behind five other candidates, including Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN). Ron Paul, meanwhile, ran away with it.

But Huckabee didn't just criticize CPAC; he sounded a bit skeptical of the tea partiers.

"I think that CPAC has become increasingly more libertarian and less Republican over the last years, one of the reasons I didn't go this year, and it's a reflection, however, of the anger and the mood that we see reflected not only at CPAC, but I think the tea party movement, a lot of which is good, in that it is a wakeup call to members of Congress and to people in government that the people are listening, they're paying attention. Now it has to be channeled into somthing that is good government, rather than just saying we're mad at government," Huckabee said.

Huckabee praised the tea parties as a venue where "a lot more truly grassroots people are getting involved"--something the tea partiers love to hear--but it's rare these days for any Republican to offer a correction, prescription, or even an annotation, to what the tea partiers are doing--however gently it might be phrased--to the effect of Huckabee's point about channeling the movement's energy into something more concrete.