(Photo: Reuters/Daniel Acker)
Although Ron Paul could win the Iowa caucus, he cannot win the nomination because his “fanatical believers” are not “mainstream America,” said former presidential candidate and media personality Mike Huckabee.
“Ron Paul is not going to get elected president. He's not. His views on foreign policy are so much an anathema to the Republicans, much less the Democrats, and what I call 'middle-of-the-road people,'” Huckabee said on “Fox News Sunday.” “He has a very strong core of fanatical believers, but they do not represent the mainstream of America.”
In particular, Huckabee mentioned Texas Congressman Paul's views on the possibility of Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon.
“You can't go around saying, 'yeah, it's OK for Iran to have a nuclear weapon.' That's beyond off-the-edge to think that it's OK for the government of Iran to have nuclear devices. And [Paul] says, 'well Pakistan has them and Israel has them and U.S. and Russia have them.' The difference is they have them so they won't use them. Iran wants to get one because they want to use it. There's a big difference. It's like he doesn't get it.”
Paul has been criticized by his fellow presidential contenders for his foreign policy views. In a Dec. 15 Republican presidential debate, Paul was asked, “Even if you had solid intelligence that Iran, in fact, was going to get a nuclear weapon, President Paul would remove the U.S. sanctions on Iran, including those added by the Obama administration. So, to be clear, GOP nominee Paul would be running left of President Obama on the issue of Iran?”
“But, I would be running with the American people, because, it would be a much better policy,” Paul answered.
Paul also argued that continuing sanctions against Iran is only “promoting [Iran's] desire to have” nuclear weapons. “We don't need another war,” Paul added emphatically.
Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum followed Paul and said, “the idea, Ron, that 'mutually assured destruction,' like the policy during the Cold War with the Soviet Union, would work on Iran, when their principle virtue is martyrdom? Mutually assured destruction with respect to Iran ... would be an inducement to war.”
Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas, came to national prominence in 2008 when, in a surprise to many, he won the Iowa caucus. The former Southern Baptist preacher was bolstered by the strong support of Iowa's evangelical Christians. He finished that presidential race with the second most delegates. Currently, he hosts a show on Fox News called “Huckabee.”
The most recent Iowa poll, conducted by Public Policy Polling on Dec. 18, shows Paul in a statistical tie with former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney for the lead. Huckabee said that he expects Romney to win if the weather is nice, but Paul to win if the weather is bad, because Paul's more devoted supporters are more likely to brave the bad weather to show up at the caucuses.
Since that poll was conducted, however, his campaign has struggled with allegations that Paul wrote newsletters containing strange conspiracy theories and racial bigotry.
The poll also shows that much of Paul's support is coming from young voters and independents and those who voted in the Democratic caucus in 2008. The Paul campaign is currently running an ad highlighting his Christian faith and pro-life views to reach out to evangelical voters in Iowa.
The Iowa caucus will take place on Jan. 3.