Appearing on CNNs “Larry King Live,” former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney lashed out at former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee for granting clemency to Maurice Clemmons. Clemmons was found guilty of armed robbery and other violence crimes. Although prosecutors and Clemmons’ victims urged Huckabee not to pardon him, the governor did so nonetheless: a major and unforgivable mistake, because he shot and killed four police officers this last Sunday, while they were enjoying their coffee break.
Huckabee has been rightly criticized for his clemency of Clemmons (and other criminals) by many conservatives, including us at David Horowitz’s NewsRealblog. Leading Republicans stayed away from ClemencyGate, however, opting to let Huckabee commit political suicide by refusing to take responsibility for his actions and for their consequences. Until today, that is. Because today, Romney became the first politician with a shot at the GOP’s presidential nomination in 2012, to (indirectly) criticize ‘the Huckster’; who just so happened to be one of his main rivals for the party’s nomination last year. It’s a sign that favorites for 2012 believe that Huckabee can forget about challenging President Barack Obama three years from now.
When asked about Huckabee’s decision to commute Clemmons’ sentence, Romney said that he undoubtedly wouldn’t have done so, knowing then, what he knows now. As Hot Air’s AllahPundit points out, that’s as safe an answer as they come.
The question is whether he was right to have commuted it at the time based on the facts available.
And the answer to that question? Well, Huckabee’s answer is clearly ‘yes.’ But Romney’s? Here’s what he told King:
My conclusion was, if somebody has been convicted by a jury of their peers, and they’ve been prosecuted and the police were able to get the evidence necessary to put them behind bars, why in the world would I step in and reverse that sentence?
He couldn’t have worded it clearer, without declaring all out war on the former Arkansas governor with the strange habit of pardoning dangerous psychopaths.
Since Romney is one of the absolute favorites for 2012, the above is sign that he believes that Huckabee is dead meat. After all, attacking Huckabee when he’s most vulnerable will undoubtedly turn him into your worst political enemy. He’ll want to take revenge. Smart politicians – and Romney certainly is one of them – know that and won’t take the risk of igniting a dirty war three years before elections for president take place; they’re normally too concerned with creating alliances and political friends at this point in time.
My conclusion: it’s time to write off Huckabee for once and for all. Let’s move on and focus on people who are actually conservative and not just in the social conservative kind of way.
Embedded video from CNN Video