Mike Huckabee used the volatile situation in Pakistan Friday to make an argument for building a fence on the American border with Mexico and found himself trying to explain a series of remarks about Pakistanis and their nation.
On Thursday night he told reporters in Orlando, Fla.: “We ought to have an immediate, very clear monitoring of our borders and particularly to make sure if there’s any unusual activity of Pakistanis coming into the country.”
Yes, that's exactly what 'we' ought to do, Mike. Double-check the IDs and nationality of every single one of those "illegals" pouring over the border.
On Friday, in Pella, Iowa, he expanded on those remarks.
“When I say single them out I am making the observation that we have more Pakistani illegals coming across our border than all other nationalities except those immediately south of the border,” he told reporters in Pella. “And in light of what is happening in Pakistan it ought to give us pause as to why are so many illegals coming across these borders.”
Wrong again, Huckster:
“The fact is that the immigration issue is not so much about people coming to pick lettuce or make beds, it’s about someone coming with a shoulder-fired missile,” he said.
Obviously 'we' had better to go to Orange Alert.
This flip-flop on immigration (coincidentally coming in the wake of Tom Tancredo's withdrawal) surprises and disappoints a LULAC official who once worked with Huck:
Hispanic activists in Arkansas who viewed former Gov. Mike Huckabee as a voice of moderation on illegal immigration say they've been taken aback by the hard-line stance he's adopted.
While governor, Huckabee gained favor with Hispanic leaders by denouncing a high-profile federal immigration raid and suggesting some anti-illegal immigration measures were driven by racism. He advocated making children of illegal immigrants eligible for college scholarships.
Huckabee's Republican presidential rivals have tried to make an issue of the scholarship plan, portraying him as soft on illegal immigration. Huckabee responded this month by unveiling a plan to seal the Mexican border, hire more agents to patrol it and make illegal immigrants go home before they could apply to return to this country.
"He's trying to be tougher on immigration than we've ever seen him before," said Carlos Cervantes, the Arkansas director of the League of United Latin American Citizens. " ... I don't see that he's willing to work with us now."
And also underscores a number of Hucko's embarrassing gaffes (including this hilarious "eastern borders with Afghanistan" mistake):
The sudden emergency in Pakistan and Huckabee’s response come at a time when he has come under increasing scrutiny from opponents for his lack of fluency in foreign policy issues, and the situation in Pakistan appeared to have challenged him.
“We have seen what happens in the Musharraf government,” Huckabee said on MSNBC. “He has told us he does not have enough control of those eastern borders near Afghanistan to be able go after the terrorists. But on the other hand, did he not want us going in, so what do we do?” Those borders are actually on the west, not the east.
Further, he offered an Orlando crowd his “apologies for what has happened in Pakistan.” His aides said later that he meant to say “sympathies.” He also said he was worried about martial law “continuing” in Pakistan, although Musharraf lifted the state of emergency on Dec. 15. His campaign told CBS News that his statement was not a blunder.
Stace awards Huck the Tancrazy. I heartily concur.
Update (12/29): Lone Star Times, my favorite right-wing blog -- seriously -- has more on Huck's foibles that include John Bolton and Condi Rice having to straighten him out.