Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a past GOP presidential contender, had a warning for Gov. Rick Perry today: His Social Security talk won't help him win Florida.
In a radio interview with conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham today, Huckabee said Perry had "hurt himself a lot" with his comments that Social Security was a "Ponzi scheme" and a "monstrous lie."
"What he said may be technically true," Huckabee said. "But you go to South Florida ... where you have a lot of retired people and essentially say Social Security is a criminal enterprise, that's problematic."
Huckabee's use of the term "criminal enterprise" is worth noting — it's the same term Perry's camp has been using to describe language on Social Security in GOP candidate Mitt Romney's book. Perry spokesman Mark Miner said that in No Apology: The Case For American Greatness, Romney compares Social Security to a "criminal enterprise" that has defrauded the American people.
In advance of tonight's CNN/Tea Party Express presidential debate in Tampa, Huckabee also said many Republican candidates, from Rick Santorum to Newt Gingrich, simply aren't getting enough airtime. In the last debate, Huckabee said, Perry got 15 questions thrown his way, while Santorum and Herman Cain only got five.
"I've been in that situation," Huckabee said. "It's very difficult to break out when the press decides who's going to be in the game and who isn't."
Huckabee, who has not yet endorsed a candidate, said he has questions about how Perry's "straight shootin', blunt-talking" style, which works well in Texas, plays in the rest of the country.
"The question is, how does it play, not on FOX News, but on all those other networks that comprise so much of the viewing audience," he said.
Listen to the full interview below: