Club For Growth
Only about ten days before a straw poll in Ames, Iowa that several GOP candidates who are low in the polls are hoping can help them break out, one of those longshots, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee found himself on the defensive on two different issues. The Club for Growth, an influential anti-tax small government group, has launched ads in Iowa blasting Huckabee for supporting some tax hikes in Arkansas. The playful ad notes that a politician from Hope, Arkansas "raised taxes like there was no tomorrow" and implies the ad is describing another politician from that town, Bill Clinton, before declaring this "tax and spend liberal" is Huckabee.
Polls show Huckabee far down in the polls, but he, Kansas Senator Sam Brownback and former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson are among the candidates hoping to distinguish themselves with strong showings on August 11 in Ames. Except for former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, the leaders in the polls among Republican are not actively campaigning to win the straw poll. Nachama Soloveichik, a Club for Growth spokesman, said the group wanted to highlight a record on taxes from Huckabee that it does not approve of. In response, Chip Saltzman, Huckabee's campaign manager, noted in a statement that voters in Arkansas backed many of the tax increases through referendums. "We are flattered that the Club for Growth is recognizing the same momentum for our campaign that we are,"he said. "but saddened that they have again decided to shoot blanks instead of bullets by trotting out the same reckless and thoroughly discredited attacks that responsible journalists have repeatedly rebuffed."
Meanwhile, Brownback is blasting Huckabee for an e-mail a Huckabee supporter sent out that said evangelicals should oppose Brownback because he is Catholic, leading him to question Brownback's "discernment."
Huckabee's campaign responded that it had disavowed the supporter's remark, but Brownback's campaign has continued this line of attack. "The Huckabee campaign's response lacked a clear denunciation of the offensive contents of the email," Brownback's campaign said.
--Perry Bacon Jr.
August 3, 2007; 6:00 AM ET
Categories: B_Blog , Mike Huckabee
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