A league of his own UPDATE | Arkansas Blog

Friday, December 28, 2007

A league of his own UPDATE

Posted By on Fri, Dec 28, 2007 at 2:25 PM

The doo-doo gets deeper as Mike Huckabee tries to explain himself on Pakistan. Our earlier item noted that he indicated a lack of understanding on the martial law situation and put Afghanistan on the wrong border of Pakistan. He also tried to conflate Mexican border security with Pakistan. And screwed up again. The New York Times is on the case: (bad link fixed)

DES MOINES — 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.”

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.”

In fact, far more illegal immigrants come from the Philippines, Korea, China and Vietnam, according to recent estimates from the Department of Homeland Security.

Asked how a border fence would help keep out Pakistani immigrants, Mr. Huckabee argued that airplane security was already strong, but that security at the southern United States border was dangerously weak.

“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.

The sudden emergency in Pakistan and Mr. 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.

Yes, swarthy men with missiles in their carry-ons have been flooding into the U.S. and a big fence along the Rio Grande is sure to stop them.

UPDATE: I caught the early showing of Hardball. Chris Matthews is making huge sport of Huck's "Paki-bashing." I don't think this Huckcapade in foreign fairs will hurt him in Iowa. But it could be a watershed in national press coverage.

UPDATE II: In a revise of the original article, the NYT rounds up the various Huckabee miscues on Pakistan and foreign policy.

 


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