Mike Huckabee is a very likable person and often has a knack for charming conservatives by his articulate and passionate speeches, especially in regard to cultural issues. The problem is that despite his rhetoric, he has never been a conservative. He was always an ardent supporter of open borders and believed in government intervention for global warming. His hallmark legislative philosophy in Arkansas was nanny-statism, especially as it relates to the regulation of food.
Earlier this week, Sarah Palin ripped Michelle Obama over her anti obesity campaign during her documentary show Sarah's Alaska. Yesterday, Huckabee was on the radio with Curtis Sliwa and said that he sided with Michelle Obama on this one. Of course, he went on to explain that he opposes government intervention, but his record in Arkansas proves otherwise. He always supported heavy handed regulations and had a tendency to advocate for liberalism under the guise of religious compassion. For this reason, he voted to raise the minimum wage in Arkansas.
I am fairly confident that with the advent of the tea party movement, we will no longer nominate liberal Republicans in presidential primaries. However, I am a bit concerned that Mike Huckabee could beguile conservatives with his strong rhetoric on social issues, and convince them that he is the red meat conservative of the field. Huckabee successfully garnered support in some of our most conservative regions during the 2008 primary due to his ability to "talk the talk". While we must embrace the prominence of social issues in the campaign (no Mitch Daniels), we cannot nominate someone who is only a social conservative, but liberal on every other issue. After all, an evangelical christian who is liberal on the environment, statism, and borders; is worthless to social conservatives as well.
We are never going to get a perfect nominee, but certain things are deal breakers.