Former Arkansas governor and Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee talked to Andrew Goldman for the New York Times Magazine, who used a media myth to give Huckabee a platform to call the Republican Party "hyperorthodox" and excessively ideological: "Mike Huckabee Likes Romney. Really."
Goldman's opening question basically begged Huckabee to bash the GOP: "During the Republican primary debates, audience members booed a question from an active serviceman who was gay and shouted, “Let him die,” about a hypothetical gravely ill patient without insurance. Is this different from the party that you know and love?"
Huckabee obliged by smacking the slow pitch: "Very much. It’s one of the reasons that I did not think this was a good time to run. The atmosphere was so toxic that it would not be an atmosphere in which I would breathe well. There is almost a hyperorthodoxy that is gripping the party that you have to go out and prove that you can be tougher, meaner, more hard-line than anybody else on the stage. It may lead to effective campaigning if the goal is to be the most ideological puritan on the platform, but the ultimate goal is more of what I’d call a true Reagan model. Not the Reagan model that has been invoked -- but Ronald Reagan who understood that governing is an art."
One problem: No one shouted "Let him die" at the Republican debate televised on CNN and hosted by Wolf Blitzer. As Times Watch reported back on September 23, 2011 after the paper first forwarded this falsity as fact: "It was debate moderator Wolf Blitzer who actually used the words 'let him die,' when asking candidate Ron Paul a loaded question about letting a hypothetical man die for lack of health insurance. There is no auditory evidence anyone at all in the crowd shouted such a thing...."
ABC News gave a more accurate presentation of what happened.