Mitt Romney, Huckabee’s principal rival in Iowa, comes in for the roughest treatment. Huckabee writes that the former Massachusetts Governor’s record was “anything but conservative until he changed the light bulbs in his chandelier in time to run for president.” He notes that Romney declined to make a phone call of congratulations after Huckabee beat the oddsmakers to win the Iowa caucuses, “which we took as a sign of total disrespect.” He mocks Romney for suggesting, during one debate, more investment in high-yield stocks as a solution to economic woes. “Let them eat stocks!” Huckabee jokes.
His treatment of former candidate Fred Thompson, a rival who helped sink Huckabee’s upstart ambitions in South Carolina, is somewhat more favorable, if only because it is less personal. Huckabee maintains that Thompson’s biggest mistake was strategic: He didn’t understand the need to expand the Republican party beyond its base. “Fred Thompson never did grasp the dynamics of the race or the country, and his amazingly lackluster campaign reflected just how disconnected he was with the people, despite the anticipation and expectation that greeted his candidacy,” Huckabee writes. . . .
He calls out Pat Robertson, the Virginia-based televangelist, and Dr. Bob Jones III, chancellor of Bob Jones University in South Carolina, for endorsing Rudy Giuliani and Romney, respectively. He also has words for the Texas-based Rev. John Hagee, who endorsed the more moderate John McCain in the primaries, as someone who was drawn to the eventual Republican nominee because of the lure of power. Huckabee speaks to Hagee by phone before the McCain endorsement, while the former Arkansas Governor is preparing for a spot on Saturday Night Live. “I asked if he had prayed about this and believed this was what the Lord wanted him to do,” Huckabee writes of his conversation with Hagee. “I didn’t get a straight answer.” Months later, McCain rejected Hagee’s endorsement because of controversial remarks the pastor had made about biblical interpretations.