Huckabee, who ran for president in 2008 and is considering another bid for the Republican nomination in 2016, lit up Twitter with his implicit criticism of conservative groups and Tea Party activists who regularly attack Establishment Republicans as RINOs to suggest that they aren't committed to party principles.
“Some of the differences we have [with each other], compared to the differences we have with the other party are small. And, that’s why I’ve asked Republicans: Let’s stop using the term ‘RINO,’” said Huckabee, a Fox News personality. “Let’s stop calling each other somehow less than honorable.”
Huckabee added: “I’m thinking some times, in our attempt to fight for some level of artificial purity, I want to ask, ‘Did the RNC vote on a particular standard that tells us what it means to be a real Republican?’ Have you guys done that this week because I haven’t seen it in the papers ... I don’t remember that the RNC has said, ‘Now here is what one must believe to the nth, to be a real Republican, and anyone not here is a RINO.’ If there is going to be an organization that can set that standard it’s you.”
Huckabee concluded his luncheon speech: “I would certainly ask this, that we would accept the reality that if you are with me 90, 80, even 70 percent of the time, you're still 70 percent closer to me than I am to [House Minority Leader] Nancy Pelosi and [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid and [President] Barack Obama.”