Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) blasted Democrats for being so quick to criticize Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) when he was with his wife for her cancer treatment.
“This is what happens when you have people who shoot guns before they even know what they’re firing at,” Huckabee told The Todd Starnes Show Monday. “A lot of innocent people get hurt when that happens.”
Democrats and their allies in the mainstream media were questioning the whereabouts of DeSantis at a time when cases of COVID-19 are reportedly on the rise in Florida.
DeSantis – who has long held that his state is battling and beating COVID-19 – was with his wife, first lady Casey DeSantis, as she undergoes treatment for cancer. Huckabee said people can and do appreciate DeSantis for doing that just that.
“Democrats, without checking into the facts, without calling The Washington Post’s so-called fact-checker, just decided that he was just sloughing off somewhere and they attacked him,” said Huckabee. “It turns out that they attacked him because he was doing exactly what he should have been doing which was staying close and near to his wife while she was undergoing treatment.”
Host Todd Starnes agreed: “It’s just mind-blowing because it shows you the level of hatred in politics.”
Examples of Democrats criticizing DeSantis include Mayor Jerry Demings (D-Orange County). He said Floridians should be outraged by the absence of the governor.
“They should ask the question, ‘Now, where’s our state? Where’s our governor?’” Demings said. “Where is Ron DeSantis now? When was the last time you saw the governor do a press briefing regarding COVID-19?”
MSNBC host Joy Reid called DeSantis the Nero of Ted Cruzes.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), who just took a vacation to Florida, said DeSantis has been inexplicably missing for two weeks.
“His social media team seems to have been posting old photos for weeks,” said Ocasio-Cortez in a tweet.
Kyle Lamb, a spokesman for DeSantis, tweeted Dec. 30 that the governor is “not on vacation,” and that “not having public events does not equal vacation.”
Below is a rushed transcript from Gov. Mike Huckabee’s interview on the Todd Starnes Show:
Starnes: [01:20:30] The man of the hour on the Patriot Mobile newsmaker Lt. Governor Mike Huckabee? Hey, gov! How’s it going? [01:20:35][4.4]
Huckabee: [01:20:36] You know it’s going better. You just had someone from Arkansas get the winner to your contest is going to get a great book of yours. So what could go better to start the new year? [01:20:46][9.7]
Starnes: [01:20:46] Well, exactly. And did you guys get any snow across the river? [01:20:50][3.6]
Huckabee: [01:20:52] We had a little bit of sleet, a few snow flurries in Little Rock where I am, but it was not severe. It’s just been stinking cold. [01:21:00][7.9]
Starnes: [01:21:00] Oh my gosh. [01:21:01][0.3]
Huckabee: [01:21:01] Real cold. [01:21:02][0.4]
Starnes: [01:21:03] I told somebody when there’s frost on the park, but you know it’s cold in Memphis. [01:21:06][2.9]
Huckabee: [01:21:07] You know, this is weather for people in Wisconsin, not for people in the South. We don’t handle cold real well. We can deal with certain things, but cold ain’t one of them. I think somebody said it best when they said, Hey, you folks up north, it sent your weather down here. Come and get it and take it home. [01:21:25][17.9]
Starnes: [01:21:25] I’m with you. I’m with you. I’ve got a bunch of copies of Al Gore’s book, An Inconvenient Truth. I use that as Firestarter for the fireplace. You got to make do with what you can. [01:21:35][9.9]
Huckabee: [01:21:36] Well, that’s a that’s a good one to to probably use. I don’t know, however, if he would approve of the elements of his book flying off into the environment, but I’m sure it’s a better firestarter than most things. You know, it’s great to be with you. [01:21:52][15.2]
Starnes: [01:21:52] Governor. We’ve got a lot going on this year, of course, midterm elections, so a lot of emphasis on on politics. How are in this early stage year? How do you think the Republicans are looking to retake maybe the House or the Senate or both? [01:22:06][14.2]
Huckabee: [01:22:07] If they don’t screw it up, they’ll take both the House and the Senate this year. They’ll pick up a few more governors seats. They will have huge gains at the local level state legislatures, school board, county commission and City Council. So we are in for a banner year. The only thing that could really mess things up for the Republicans would be that the Republicans would not know how to manage a victory. That would be a problem. [01:22:31][23.9]
Starnes: [01:22:32] Yeah, that is. And again, looking at what’s happening in the state of Georgia just over the weekend, you had the lieutenant governor who is a Republican, coming on and bashing President Trump and really saying some some pretty nasty things about about Trump, that kind of infighting and the same breath he was complaining about the infighting within the Republicans there in Georgia. You know, we can’t afford that. There’s just too much happening in this country. We’ve got to set aside the pettiness and focus on the big picture here. [01:23:00][28.0]
Huckabee: [01:23:01] Well, we do. And the Democrats are doing their own infighting right now. They’re mad at Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema. They’re mad at each other. You know, they’re not left enough for the AOC and other members of the squad who want them to go full socialist. And Bernie’s really running the party philosophically now. He and Elizabeth Warren. That shows you just how rudderless they are. But the sad thing is, if Republicans continue to listen to the likes of Liz Cheney, I don’t think they do a whole lot. But there needs to be a real clear understanding that it’s OK to disagree with Donald Trump’s personality but embrace his policies, for heaven’s sakes. They were exactly what the country needed, and the results were just stellar. So I wish people would realize that there’s no benefit in making Donald Trump the object of division within the within the Republican Party because, quite frankly, most Republicans still support him would support him again if he ran. And the fact is that even those who don’t like his personality and didn’t appreciate his tweets would at least accept the fact that what he got done in a short four year period was simply staggeringly good. [01:24:18][77.0]
Starnes: [01:24:19] Oh, it really was. And again, I think the president, you know, and President Trump, he needs to stay disciplined and focused on messaging, if that’s possible. Moving into the midterms and then and then beyond. But right now we’ve got we’ve got to focus on the midterms. AOC and the progressives are unhinged over the weekend. I thought it was especially disgusting for them to go after and even some in the mainstream media going after Ron DeSantis. Turns out he was off the grid, but for a very good reason. His wife has been dealing with with a horrible medical issue, and he was spending time with her in the hospital. And yet they’re putting out these ads and posters and whatnot, accusing him of being off the grid. [01:25:03][44.0]
Huckabee: [01:25:05] Well, I really hope that the Republicans of Florida and around the rest of the country will take those ads and put their own ad together and to say this is what happens when you have people who shoot guns before they even know what they’re firing at. And a lot of innocent people get hurt when that happens. And in this case, you had a governor who’s also a husband and a father. He was with his wife who was going undergoing cancer treatment, as anyone would expect him to be and appreciate him being. But the Democrats, without checking into the facts, without calling The Washington Post so-called fact checker, just decided that he was just slopping off somewhere and they attacked him. And it turns out that they attacked him because he was doing exactly what he should have been doing, which was staying close and dear to his wife while she was undergoing treatment. [01:25:57][52.1]
Starnes: [01:25:58] And in all honesty, it’s just it’s just mind blowing because it shows you the level of hatred in politics. And governor, to your credit, whenever somebody is going through a difficult time Republican or Democrat, they they’ve died. They’ve lost, you know, gone through surgery or whatever. You’re always there on your social media pages saying, Hey, we need to pray for this individual. We need to think about this person. I mean, that’s human decency. And unfortunately, that is missing right now and in the political world. [01:26:26][27.6]
Huckabee: [01:26:27] Todd, I grew up in small town southern Arkansas, and when we saw a funeral procession coming our way, it wasn’t that we knew who was in the back of the hearse, but it was just a courtesy. People pull off to the side of the road as the oncoming traffic with the funeral procession comes and you wait until the last car with headlights comes through and then you get back up on your journey. Nobody is in such a big hurry that they can’t pause and pay respect for someone, even someone they didn’t know. It’s just a common courtesy. It’s how most of us were raised. I kind of like it that way, and I don’t want us to lose that. I don’t want us to become where we are so callous, so uncaring, so selfish that we can’t pause for a moment. And even if it’s a political opponent, stop and say, let’s let’s hit the pause button on all the politics because my opponent over there has a family member is going through a serious, serious issue, and we can all agree that we just pray for a good outcome. [01:27:27][59.9]
Starnes: [01:27:28] That’s a great point, by the way, on that note. We lost a couple of greats over the over the holidays. Betty White, who was about to celebrate her one 100th birthday. And then John Madden, just two great legends in their fields. [01:27:43][15.3]
Huckabee: [01:27:45] Well, Betty White was sort of like everybody’s grandmother or maybe their mother’s best friend, kind of individual that, you know, you just how do you not love Betty White? She had a great sense of humor. I think one of the things that I appreciated most about her was that she had the most wonderful love of her life, her husband, Allen Ludden, who died back in 1981. And, you know, for years, people said, Betty, are you going to remarried? And here was her response to that. She said, I’ve had the best. Why would I ever want the rest? She truly loved her husband. They had a remarkable relationship with the time that they were together before he passed away of cancer. Not that it would have been wrong for Betty White to have married someone else, but just the fact that in her own heart, she loved her husband with all she had, and she wanted to remember him and only him as the love of her life. And it was just something special about that in her. And then John Madden, one of the greatest commentators ever in the game of football. Even if the game was boring, john Madden never was. And he understood the game. He could interpret it, and he could do it in such an entertaining and fun way. And you got the distinct impression that John Madden took the game seriously, but he never took himself that seriously. And I think it’s one of the reasons that all of America was endeared to him. [01:29:11][85.7]
Starnes: [01:29:12] You know what? I was watching a documentary over the weekend. They put together just incredible about his life and, you know, he didn’t like to fly in an airplanes. And so he always rode a bus or took the train wherever he went. But he said one of the one of the neat things is that he would just, you know, he would get off on a rest stop. He would get off like a Shoney’s, and he would just hang out with the regular folks. And he said that was a big part of of who he was. You know, he was just a regular guy. [01:29:41][29.8]
Huckabee: [01:29:43] I think it’s part of what gave John Madden the capacity to speak to people because he didn’t live in a bubble. He lived out there in the hinterland of America. And you’re right, you know, he was widely known as a guy who hated flying and wouldn’t do it. And he would take an RV. He would take a train. But what it meant was that it caused him to rub shoulders with people in flyover country. You and I think both believe that the greatest really heart of America is to be found in flyover country, where people aren’t pretentious. They’re not all that hopped up on who has the most money or the nicest clothes. It’s about who’s the nicest person. And John got to rub shoulders with a lot of those great people across the country. And I do think it made him a better sportscaster and a much better communication. [01:30:31][48.2]
Starnes: [01:30:32] Oh, and you know, he actually we’ve got to end this on food. You know how that goes. He made turducken a national staple, and they interviewed the owner of this. There is a company down in Louisiana that made the first turducken and that became, you know, that became legacy for those guys. The owner said, are only selling a couple of hundred a year. But after Madden went on, went on TV and talked about turducken, they were selling six to seven thousand turducken. [01:31:01][28.6]
Huckabee: [01:31:02] Wow, that is. A lot of turducken is to be sure. And they are pretty fantastic. I’ve been eating them for years myself. I don’t know if it was because of John Madden or because I had a good friend who always gave me one for Christmas. [01:31:15][12.4]
Starnes: [01:31:15] I love it. I love it. All right, governor, we’re going to leave it there. What’s coming up on Huckabee this weekend? [01:31:19][3.8]
Huckabee: [01:31:20] Well, we’re going to have a great show. Marjorie Taylor Greene is going to be with us. She just got dismissed permanently from Twitter. But we’re going to have her because I want to find out what she’s thinking and why it is that people hate her so much. I can’t wait to talk to her. We’ve got rich little the great comedian. The Christian band. The Newsboys are going to be with us all night. It’s going to be a stellar show. I know that folks will enjoy it. [01:31:44][24.2]
Starnes: [01:31:45] All right, folks, we have links to the Huckabee Show on our live show blog. Be sure to check that out, governor. Hope you have a Happy New Year! [01:31:51][6.5]
Huckabee: [01:31:52] You too. Happy New Year to you, my friend. [01:31:54][1.8]
Starnes: [01:31:54] All right. Good man. Right there! Governor Mike Huckabee across the Mississippi River in the Great State of of Arkansas. [01:32:00][5.3]