Huckabee defends the costs of Obama’s trip to India

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Range Rover, Nov 8, 2010.


    Huckabee defends the costs of Obama’s trip to India

    Did Mike Huckabee change his position on the costs related to President Obama's trip to India?

    As The Upshot reported on Friday, Huckabee was among leading Republicans floating a widely-disputed estimate that Obama's trip to India, part of a 10-day tour of Asia, was costing $200 million a day.

    The former Arkansas governor first made the claim on Fox News on Election Night and then later repeated the number in a Facebook message. "Reports say that Obama's trip to Mumbai, India tomorrow will cost $200 million dollars a day—come to think of it, that's much less than Obama's been spending here," Huckabee wrote Tuesday night (misstating the day of Obama's departure). "So maybe it's not a bad thing he's leaving."
    But as TPMDC's Eric Kleefeld notices today, Huckabee came to the White House's defense during an interview Friday night with Fox's Greta Van Susteren, pushing back on criticism that the trip is too expensive.

    "Presidents always get in trouble when they take a trip. It doesn't matter whether they're Democrats or Republicans. The Republicans whine when the Democrats go, and the Democrats whine when the Republicans go," Huckabee told Van Susteren. "It's an expensive trip. But the reality is, it costs a lot of money to take a president and all the necessary security, especially in a country like India, where there have been a lot of terrorist bombings and things have to be carefully managed."
    Huckabee did question the timing and appearance of the trip, citing the economy and high unemployment. "It's just one of those things that symbolically it's very difficult for the White House to say, 'Sure, we needed to take those 3,000 people to India right now,'" Huckabee said. "He needs to come back with some really, really wonderful things to report to be bale to say it was a necessary trip."

    Still, the former governor acknowledged that bagging the trip altogether—as some conservatives have suggested—would have been "very insulting" to India, an increasingly important ally to the United States, given its proximity to Pakistan. "They've been a good friend of the United States, not only in terms of diplomatic friendship, but they've also been a good trade partner," Huckabee told Van Susteren. "For him to abruptly cancel the trip would have been a snub of epic proportions and would have had long-lasting implications and created damage that, frankly, we don't need right now in the international community. We need all the friends we can get, and India is one of them we need to keep."
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