Iowa radio host bashes Huckabee
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A former key Iowa ally of Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee during his 2008 presidential bid blasted his views on entitlement programs.
 
Radio host Steve Deace delivered a line-by-line takedown of pieces of Huckabee’s presidential announcement speech, specifically honing in on his calls to save “safety nets like Medicare and Social Security.”
 
“These are not safety nets, these are entitlements. Those programs are the basis for a permanent welfare state,” Deace said Wednesday on the “Steve Deace Show,” according to audio provided by the liberal-leaning Media Matters.
 
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“We can’t afford this, we are currently $18 trillion in debt. To make all those entitlement welfare state programs solvent over the next two decades, we will require another $128 trillion.”
 
He also criticized Huckabee’s calls for Congress members to sacrifice their pensions to help save Social Security.    
 
“If Congress wants to take away someone’s retirement, let them end their own congressional pensions, not your Social Security,” Huckabee said during his Tuesday announcement speech to applause from his supporters. 
 
Deace called that suggestion both an “applause line” and a “false choice” that wouldn’t stand up in the debates. He added that the line, as well as the first half of his speech, sounded like something the Clintons would have said.
 
“I hate to say this because I love the guy, but Hillary Clinton could have said that and gotten the same amount of applause,” he said.
 
“I've heard nothing in [the first half of] this speech that the last guy who ran for president from Hope would say.” 
 
The nationally syndicated host is a popular pundit with Iowa Christian conservative voters, and many count him as one of the main reasons Huckabee won the state’s GOP caucus in 2008.  
 
Doug Goss, the head of Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s 2008 campaign, told ABC that Deace was “practically Huckabee’s campaign manager” in the state.
 
Deace has since soured on Huckabee politically, although he regularly refers to him affectionately. He has taken on the role as an informal adviser to the presidential campaign of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in the state, according to the Des Moines Register