The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


Mike Huckabee

Huckabee's Televised Turnabout

Note: Please upgrade your Flash plug-in to view our enhanced content.

By Michael D. Shear
DES MOINES -- Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee gathered scores of reporters in a room to unveil an attack ad against rival Mitt Romney, then suddenly changed course and renounced the ad he had produced -- but not before playing it for the dozens of television cameras.

Huckabee said the ad -- which attacks Romney for being too dishonest to be president -- was sent to television and radio stations yesterday but will not be broadcast. He said he had made the decision 10 minutes before his news conference, surprising even his top staff.

"I pulled the ad. I do not want it to be run at all," he said.

The surprise move prompted incredulous questions from the journalists, who pressed Huckabee on whether he was trying to attack Romney in the press while at the same time getting credit for running a positive campaign. Huckabee called that a cynical view of what he described as a heartfelt decision to take the high road.

"We often talk about changing the tone of politics," he said at the afternoon news conference at the Des Moines Marriott. "Sometimes we talk about it and then we end up doing the same things. Can we change the kind of politics and the level of discourse?"

After shooting to the front of the field in Iowa and other states a month ago, Huckabee has been in a free fall as media stories and rival campaigns have questioned his record as governor, particularly on immigration, crime and taxes. A recent poll showed him behind Romney in Iowa.

Everything had suggested Huckabee was ready to hit back, hard. His new adviser, RNC consultant Ed Rollins, told The Trail Sunday that they were producing an ad that would "set the record straight" on Huckabee's record as well as on Romney's record.

Huckabee said he spent $30,000 producing the ad in a studio yesterday. The hotel conference room was ringed with posters on easels attacking Romney. One said "Enough is Enough on Immigration" while another said "Enough is Enough on Guns" and still another said "Enough is Enough on Taxes." Each one included quotes from Romney indicating a flip-flop on the issue.

Behind the podium was a banner that said "Enough is Enough."

Huckabee said the decision to play the ad for the assembled reporters was to prove that there was, in fact, an ad that had been prepared. "The original plan was to show you the two Romney attack ads, then our response to it. I just realized that this is not how we run our campaign in this state. We've gotten here by being positive."

In fact, Huckabee has been increasingly on the attack himself in the last week, using his stump speech, his appearance on Meet the Press Sunday and other forums to accuse Romney of dishonesty. "Mitt Romney is running a very desperate and, frankly, a dishonest campaign," he told host Tim Russert.

In addition, his campaign web site compares Romney to the George Costanza character on NBC's Seinfeld show. Huckabee quotes Costanza as saying: "Just remember, it's not a lie if you believe it."

But at the news conference, Huckabee refused to commit to remaining positive after the Iowa caucuses, saying he wanted to see how people "responded" to his move, an answer which suggested the uncertainty his campaign feels about how this will play among voters.

"I'm taking a risk here," he said. "I know I am."

Posted at 2:22 PM ET on Dec 31, 2007  | Category:  Mike Huckabee
Share This: Technorati talk bubble Technorati | Tag in | Digg This
Previous: A Diligent Clinton Keeps Her Head Down | Next: Executive Compensation an Issue for Edwards

Add 44 to Your Site
Be the first to know when there's a new installment of The Trail. This widget is easy to add to your Web site, and it will update every time there's a new entry on The Trail.
Get This Widget >>


Please email us to report offensive comments.

Or, as I have stated above, Huckabee honestly decided THAT MORNING to pull the ad -- of course, if the plan all along was to just get free media out of it, I would agree that's sleazy -- as for whether religion should dictate what Huckabee might do in office, that's probably a topic for another thread, but I will point out at least Jimmy Carter and the current President operated exactly that way.

Posted by: JakeD | January 2, 2008 10:38 AM


Huckabee is just as sleazy as Guiliani, Rove, Cheney and the rest of them.


Posted by: asdasd1 | January 2, 2008 9:43 AM

Huckabee shows an ad tot he media that he disavows and will not show again. Perhaps this was simply a method to get free media coverage, showing an attack ad that he simply couldn't get away with in Iowa, especially the end where he tells the people himself that Romney is dishonest. Instead of showing it on tv, the media runs it for free, giving him free coverage. While this could turn negative for him, having this ad in the first place and baiting reporters with it, he nevertheless gets his free media coverage and people will interpret it as however they will. I just don't see the real point of it, as it wouldn't really convert anyone to the Huckabee ranks but simply enforce whatever opinion one has already.

On a more personal note, I scared as hell having a guy who seems to first and foremost call himself a minister as POTUS. Not that it's wrong to be a moral leader, but it's when your religion dictates what you might do in office that precludes me from even considering his vote. That forces his religious views and morality on the American people, against the 1st Amendment.

Posted by: 33simpson | January 2, 2008 12:46 AM

Number 1, Huckabee did not slander Romney. Number 2, we will see if it was a mistake in a couple days.

You should really stick with satire, rat-the.

Posted by: JakeD | January 1, 2008 7:47 PM

JakeD-Re-Read what I said! The reaction of the viewers probably convinced him, he was making a mistake! Making a Mistake negatively Slandering an opponent with baseless accusations!

Posted by: rat-the | January 1, 2008 6:45 PM

If Huckabee wins Iowa and New Hampshire, refusing to go negative might not have been such a "mistake" rat-the -- we shall see.

Posted by: JakeD | January 1, 2008 5:13 PM

Why did'nt a single poster point out what was probably the real truth?

When an entire room of people begin smirking, wincing, laughing, and shaking their heads, you realize you are making a Mistake!

As Huckleberry probably did!

BTW-I prefer to say:

Happy George Bush's Last Year!

Posted by: rat-the | January 1, 2008 2:05 PM

Thank you as well, syntax -- have a happy New Year.

Posted by: JakeD | January 1, 2008 12:53 PM

I just listened to the entire Press Conference and stand behind my initial post -- Huckabee explained why the ad and placards were still being shown -- even though I'm supporting Romney, I respect Mike's campaign as well.

P.S. to "vote4mikehuckabee" -- I think you meant "now" instead of "not -- congratulations on the latest Register poll.

Posted by: JakeD | January 1, 2008 12:35 PM

Iowa poll numbers are not starting to emerge with Mike Huckabee 2 to 1 over Mitt Romney. Mike Huckabee's claim to fame with integrity, honesty and charisma is creating a huge buzz in Iowa now. It appears in the final moments before the polls, Iowa voters are looking for a candidate with integrity rather than money.

Posted by: vote4mikehuckabee | January 1, 2008 8:17 AM

The liberal elitists are unwilling or unable to see that Mike Huckabee is the best choice for our country. Campaign tactics and theatrics aside, compare Governor Huckabee and his record to Willard (real name) Romney then decide.

Posted by: adirondackal | January 1, 2008 6:56 AM

tharriso, thank you for your profound rebuttal to the myth of the good old days, when conservative ideas were more popular, making it hard for the right to accept times were, in fact, worse, and provably so. Intellectual dishonesty gains in value with each new conservative generation. By denying that liberals have any values, conservatives block the terrible truth that liberal values have made the world a better place. The fact that we only debate conservative values is conveniently misinterpreted to mean no other values exist. All purely good ideas that no one can reasonably argue against are liberal values. What distinguishes uniquely conservative values is their debatable worth.

Posted by: jhbyer | January 1, 2008 3:36 AM

While everyone makes their cynical cracks about Huckabee showing the commercial to the press there, most seem to miss the fact that several stations already had their hands on it - it's not like the press wasn't going to be scrambling all over the place to get their paws on it anyway.

If the press were doing their job, they would have been reporting on Romney's dishonest distortions of Huckabee & McCain's records long ago anyway instead of going on & on about petty side issues that have very little to nothing to do with the actual campaign.

It was NOT until Huckabee responded by accusing Romney of dishonesty that the media made any kind of serious effort to actually look into it. NOW the cynics want to accuse Mike of manipulation? For pointing out the obvious to those who were not previously inclined to look?

And if you think he was not legitimately tempted to hit back & defend himself, then you need to go take a look at his grassroots supporters responses since Romney began his slanderous ads - this was not an easy decision no matter which way he went with it and one of mixed responses - and results - no matter which way he went with it.

But with the cynics - ie. "conventional wisdom" - he is damned if he does & damned if he does not. Small surprise he decided to heck with conventional wisdom & went with his heart instead.

You all are right - he's a lousy politician -- but he's the best statesman this country has had running for president in a painfully long time...

Posted by: Quo.Vadis | January 1, 2008 1:02 AM

"No executions..."

And this is supposed to be a bad thing?

Posted by: styles1 | January 1, 2008 12:46 AM

A lot of digital ink has been spilled here over how `stage-managed` this whole enterprise is, so I`d like to put forth the following scenarios to consider. All of these were possibilities that existed in Mr. Huckabee`s mind as thought through the blowback...

1. Huckabee runs the ad. He is praised in some quarters, attacked in others, and the ultimate impact, or political return on his investment, is measured countless times by dozens of polls.

Assuming he relly changed his mind 10 minutes before lights, camera, action:

2. Huckabee has a change of heart and decides to pull the ad, canceling the press conference to boot. It is leaked that he pulled an attack ad right before the big push. The ad gets out anyway because it`s already in studio hands. Some pundits say it was a tactic, some say an honest move. His political return is probably negiligible.

3. Huckabee has a change of heart and pulls the ad, announcing it with a press conference, not showing the ad. Because it has been delivered to TV studios and he made the decision on the spot, it is eventually leaked by any one of the 200-plus people with access to it, and becomes a bigger story (due to the press conference.) The political return is definitely bigger than #2 (positive or negative.)

4. Huckabee has a change of heart and pulls the ad. To be as honest as possible he shows the ad during the press conference, then announces he`s killed it. He is accused of having his cake and eating it too-- an obvious accusation-- but one with slightly less of a taste of subterfuge than it being leaked (which could be intentional or not.) Again in the end he is seen as honest by some and a weasel by others.

Many people viewing this story have considered only #4 but must realize that this was one of only several very unpalatable options on Mr. Huckabee`s plate when he made his decision 10 minutes prior to showtime. Aside from his position on issues, his fiscal record, and whatever other pluses or minuses the reader might feel about the candidate, this episode reveals much. Romney and Giuliani lead by virtue of their being not particularly good candidates, but by being experts in the art of the campaign, something at which Mr. Huckabee is still very much a novice at.

Posted by: mithrandir42 | December 31, 2007 11:22 PM

It further appears that Huckaby has not fooled the public with a thinly disguised manipulation of the media. For what it's worth, there were a number of us here (CA) who liked Chuck Hagel's common sense.

Posted by: marvbeth | December 31, 2007 10:40 PM

Who cares if it was staged. It's more real than most things I've heard from Romney. If it were up to me, I'd get rid of both of them in favor of Thompson or Paul.

Posted by: sinesk1 | December 31, 2007 10:28 PM

"Values run this country since it's founding and it's time we assert that today as liberals with no values are starting to take over." Posted by: spidermean2

While I have great admiration for the founders, and the amazing path this nation has taken to get where it is, glorifying the past and ignoring the full truth is a travesty of the highest significance.

Most of the founders were slave owners. Washington contracted syphillis from his; Jefferson left a huge progeny via Sally Hemmings. Most of the founders were Deists, believing in a distant and impersonal creator, and firmly believing in separation of church and state. The "personal attacks" of today pale in contrast with the vitriol spewed between Jefferson and Burr, indeed within the nation as a whole as slavery and the nation's destiny was debated for a century. What high values Hamilton and Burr exhibited in settling their disagreements! This was followed by another century of discrimination after the Civil War. You would do well to read the venom spoken during the impeachment proceedings against Andrew Johnson. Where do you see these high values during the decades of Jim Crow? Simultaneously during these early centuries, the effort to ethnicly cleanse the continent of its aboriginal inhabitants was an almost total success.

In spite of all this, the nation has continually marched toward improving the ideals inscribed in the Declaration and the Constitution. America always has, and always will be, involved in an internal struggle to improve itself. The founders, in spite of all their flaws, set us on this course of our destiny. Churchill was right when he said that democracy was the worst form of government in existence, until he considered all the others.

Democracy means that we all get to participate in the discussion of politics. It is an ugly spectacle, but far better that we all have the opportunity to participate, than having that opportunity limited to a small oligarchy or not existant at all.

There never was any "gilded past" or any "good old days". They were sullied and stained, but through them, we gave up that which had so long been "conserved", and more and more embraced the radical notion of a "liberal society". Many have forgotten that the true meaning of liberal society implies openness, liberty, and justice, for all.

So let us not claim that our values reigned supreme in a wonderful, pure, and innocent past, but that we lack those values today. That is, at best, the most dangerous piece of ignorance, or, at worst, the most evil lie that could ever be posited regarding this grand and noble experiment the founders created.

Posted by: tharriso | December 31, 2007 10:04 PM

NOW, if I was a "Dirty" Rat, instead of a Surf RAT, I would possibly call the Huckster a Parish abandoning, Religious Poseing, Wildlife Killing,Criminal Freeing, Wrong-Headed, Bible thumping, ignorant fool!

But I am not going to do that! I am, after all, just a surf RAT, not a Dirty Rat!


Huckster, you've been RAT-bit!

Posted by: rat-the | December 31, 2007 9:43 PM

Here's what I didn't say. Sorta like having pie ala mode and not paying for the ice cream.

Posted by: hoosiermandarin | December 31, 2007 9:41 PM

The real news here is a GOP candidate had a spontaneous second thought.

Posted by: jhbyer | December 31, 2007 9:40 PM

huckabee vs. romney

huckabee likes to shoot political opppents (huckabee as president will have The Button). romney belongs to the church of jezus kkkrist and later day saints. mckain and rudy are looking mighty good compared to thier party candidates.....ever think about voting for the other side of the isle? vote black, vote female, vote nc hick or vote for the party that values things other than american.

Posted by: egalitaire | December 31, 2007 9:30 PM

Pastor Huckabee has smote his enemies wherever he goes. He has the full support of Evangelicals the world over. He was anointed by the Leadership to take on Goliath. He will smite the Goliath Romney on election day. He will smite the wayward nations who refuse to listen to his powerful word. With his mighty arm he will crush the countries who refuse to listen and bring them to their knees. He will be one of the greatest Christian presidents - perhaps as great as Jimmy Carter. Onward soldiers and lead the way to bring Pastor Huckabee a great victory today! Let him smite his enemies with a mighty blow! Oh, how happy everyone will be when President Huckabee puts Christ back into America!

Posted by: washpost3 | December 31, 2007 9:09 PM

That is how God's ways functions. You throw bread to the opponent but God takes over. Maybe Romney is having a hard time now trying to stop the ad coz it's been airing all over America now. The phoney will now be on the defensive and no amount of money will be able to stop that ad. The candidacy of Romney is now doomed. Hypocrites will always shout hypocricy. That's expected. Even the hypocrites in the bible call Jesus a hypocrite. You can't do right with these guys.

Values run this country since it's founding and it's time we assert that today as liberals with no values are starting to take over

Posted by: spidermean2 | December 31, 2007 9:04 PM

The most discouraging aspect is that most elections are decided by people who actually believe television commercials.

Posted by: brucelongstreet | December 31, 2007 8:46 PM

LOL. So let me get this straight, The Huckster hold a press conference and shows all the reporters an add he is going to pull knowing its going to get filmed and show all over the place.

Talk about hypocrisy.

Posted by: cirrus_nine | December 31, 2007 8:38 PM

Values run this country since it's founding and it's time we assert that today as liberals with no values are starting to take over.

Posted by: spidermean2 | December 31, 2007 7:42 PM

I doubt what Mike Huckabee did.

Posted by: edlharris | December 31, 2007 7:32 PM

Is Mike Huckabee Dick Nixon dug up out of the grave? Where's Checkers and the coat?

This is pathetic and endearingly Republican in its stupidity.

Posted by: Awake | December 31, 2007 7:15 PM

Brilliant political move.
Reminds me of another former Arkansas governor.
Must be something in the water.....

Posted by: grannymiller | December 31, 2007 7:14 PM

Liberals are the supporter of illegal immigration and that's were Romney belongs coz he was a governor of a very liberal state, Masachusettes. Imagine what happens to the U.S if it becomes just like Masachusetts. Christians should have no business with a guy like Romney.

Posted by: spidermean2 | December 31, 2007 7:07 PM

Posted by: harried | December 31, 2007 7:01 PM

There is a big difference in repeatedly running a negative ad on several different TV stations and showing it once to a room full of reporters. I think if I'd just spent $30,000 I'd want to get some use out of it, at least to educate the media which consistently under reports issues.

For instance, the media frequently points out that Huckabee paroled Wayne Dumond who then went on to rape and murder another victim.

What the media reports is not accurate or complete.

Huckabee initially considered clemency for Dumond because of a lack of DNA evidence, exemplary conduct as an inmate and because while out on bond awaiting trial he was hogtied and castrated, forced to perform oral sex and almost died from loss of blood. The sheriff, Coolidge Conlee, even kept and displayed his testicles in a jar on his desk. Dumond's attackers were never arrested even after one of them confessed.

After public outcry, Huckabee decided to deny DuMond clemency. It was the Democrats on the parole board that let Dumond out, during an election year and after finding out Huckabee would not reappoint them to their $75,000/year jobs.

This is just one example of how the media prefers emotionally shocking sound bites to the kind of in depth reporting we all need to be informed voters.

I have not decide yet who to vote for, however, I really like the idea of the FairTax Huckabee supports. I really don't know how likely he could get it passed into law and repeal the 16th amendment too.

Unfortunately the republicans don't have one candidate that really stands out, but rather, there are pros and cons to all of them. What a confusing primary.

Posted by: daniel6 | December 31, 2007 6:48 PM

It's laughable that Huckabee can call anyone dishonest. It's been often said that "not telling the whole truth is the same thing as lying." Well if that is true, then Huckabee is truly deceitful in the way that he constantly uses comedy and sarcasm to avoid straight forward answers to serious questions. He best example might be when asked during a debate, "What would Jesus do about capital punishment?" Huckabee dodged the question by flippantly saying that "Jesus was too smart to get involved in politics."

Posted by: JamesCaroll | December 31, 2007 6:40 PM

Well I'll be darn! He Flip/Flopped the MSM!

Posted by: harried | December 31, 2007 6:39 PM

Well I'll be darned. He Flip/Floped the MSM!!!

Posted by: harried | December 31, 2007 6:37 PM

Well I'll be darned. He Flip/Floped the MSM!!!

Posted by: harried | December 31, 2007 6:36 PM

200 years from now if things are just let alone by themselves, Massachusetts (Romney's State), where they allow gay marriage will be left with no people. All couples there have same sex and they would just die out without children. That is where the U.S is going if all these liberal people gets to rule. The country has become a nation of weirdos and thanks to liberal democrats. By the way, they also think they were monkeys before. Weirdos and monkeys, it seems like a perfect match. How about that. Add to that a president who believes in gold plates that doesn't exist. Mormons believe that the Book of Mormons were written in gold plates found by their founder Joseph Smith but he can't produce a single plate. What a racket. Christians vying for romney are so uninformed.

Posted by: spidermean2 | December 31, 2007 6:19 PM

Which Republican Candidate do you consider more dishonorable and dishonest?


Posted by: PollM | December 31, 2007 6:07 PM

NO more Clinton dynasty, McCain's Politics of Fear, Edward's Phony tactics and corrupted Health Industry.


Also its time to end 20 years of Clinton/Bush political


Hillary Clinton Voted for War on Iraq.
Barack Obama opposed this and he was right.

Hillary Clinton recently labelled Iran as a terrorist country.
Barack Obama opposed this and he was right.

Hillary Clinton supported Bush on aid to Pakistan for wrong reasons.
Barack Obama opposed this and he was right.



Posted by: jkojs | December 31, 2007 5:48 PM

JakeD, in reference to what I think of your IQ, I have come to the conclusion that, irregardless of whatever it is, you do have measured, intelligent and kind responses to whatever comes your way. I believe that Mike Huckabee needs someone like you on his campaign team. This is a sincere compliment, not sarcasm. I just wish you would use your positive energy on a more deserving candidate.

Posted by: syntax | December 31, 2007 5:46 PM

Look, guys, I've been here defending Huckabee's decision (which only took 10 minutes) for THREE hours now -- it's time for me to go -- have a Happy New Year's.

Posted by: JakeD | December 31, 2007 5:42 PM

Maybe, Tom, but then again, if Huckabee wins Iowa, maybe not . . .

Posted by: JakeD | December 31, 2007 5:41 PM


You're assuming that Huckabee has even hired someone like yourself to put out press releases -- BTW: I count six minutes between my 5:21 PM post and your 5:27 PM post -- so, how long did it take you to read my post and then post your imaginary "press release" here?

Posted by: JakeD | December 31, 2007 5:39 PM

vote4mikehuckabee says "Mike Huckabee has guts and character!" Well, vote4mike, whether he has character or not is debatable. But he definitely has more guts than brains, for sure.

Posted by: syntax | December 31, 2007 5:32 PM

Maybe if we are all really lucky, Old Huck will be able to join you in retirement, soon. Real soon.

Posted by: tom | December 31, 2007 5:30 PM


JakeD, as someone who used to put out press releases in a hurry, I can tell you that it's quite easy. You say, "FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: After careful consideration, we have decided not to show our new ad as planned. More details to come. -30-"

I am assuming that the Huckabee campaign has e-mail addresses and fax numbers for the key people in the media so getting the message out would take only a few minutes. And, they still could have printed out the releases and handed them to reporters at the conference.

And, that's how it works.


Posted by: asdasd1 | December 31, 2007 5:27 PM

As I said, asdasd1, I will never resort to personal attacks against you -- believe what you want, but not only did I graduate from Stanford Law, I went on to a successful practice and am now currently enjoying my retirement -- as we approach the New Year, may you be as blessed as I have been.

Posted by: JakeD | December 31, 2007 5:26 PM


Suffice it to say that you and I disagree on the definition of "enlightened" (see Genesis 9:6 for my definition).

Posted by: JakeD | December 31, 2007 5:23 PM

Mike Huckabee has guts and character!

Can you imagine the "pure guts" this man has? Just think of it, you are just about to cross the finish line in the Olympic Marathon and set a new world record time, therby smashing all your critics negative comments after years of hard training to stop just 100 meters short of the finish line and spend time helping up a old grandma lady that fell on the road even though it meant losing your ultimate prize after such hard work.

Yes, only Mike Huckabee has the guts to rise above the occasion and do such a noble and honorable thing. I'm so proud of this man's strong convictions and honor. This is the type of man our troops will rally behind.

Mike Huckabee wants to lead this generation of Americans to a new American Spirit!

Mike Huckabee wants to show that "character" matters the most in a individual. From character all other things are defined.

Let's rally around Mike Huckabee. He is now depending on us to bring him home to the finish line. Go Go Go out and tell all your friends and family about this man who wants to take America to higher ground!

Posted by: vote4mikehuckabee | December 31, 2007 5:23 PM


One more thing JakeD, I do not believe for one moment that you graduated first in ANY class at Stanford. I do not believe you even attended Stanford (unless there's a Stanford School of Truck Driving or something like that).

If you TRULY believe what you are writing, I'm guessing you maybe got your GED and then moved on to community college and studied carpentry until Wal Mart called to let you know you had been hired as a greeter.


Posted by: asdasd1 | December 31, 2007 5:22 PM

Thanks, syntax (I guess).


How exactly do you "put out a press release" when you decided to pull the ads TEN MINUTES before the press conference? As for what I believe, I indeed do believe everything I am saying (unlike rat-the, above, who just admitted to posting satire -- see the difference?). Nonetheless, I will never resport to personal attacks against you.

Posted by: JakeD | December 31, 2007 5:21 PM

Interesting that one of the things flashed up on the screen as a criticism of Romney was that there had been zero executions in Massachusetts during Romney's time as governor. Interesting because the state of Massachusetts is one of the enlightened states without a death penalty. Maybe Huckabee is advocating vigilanty justice, with the state police going around and executing people at the whim of the governor.

Posted by: dickmyers | December 31, 2007 5:19 PM

Jake, I must refrain from a personal attack on your IQ. I'm pulling the ad.

Posted by: syntax | December 31, 2007 5:18 PM

JakeD said "imagine the laughter had Huckabee simply come to the podium and said 'I know I asked you here to unviel an attack ad against Romney. Sorry to bother you, but I've decided not to run it. Thanks again for coming down.'"

Jake, I think he's going to wish that he had handled it that way. That truly would have been the high road, and would have left a much better impression, after the laughter subsided.

Posted by: syntax | December 31, 2007 5:15 PM

JakeD JakeD JakeD JakeD JakeD JakeD:


If Huckabee was telling the truth instead of staging this whole charade for the media, he could have just put out a press release.

JakeD, your suggestions are intellectual lies because you yourself do not believe what you are saying.

Posted by: asdasd1 | December 31, 2007 5:15 PM

Hucka bee would spend his entire term wrestlling with himself ,being devisive, back stepping , trying to cover his butt. making statements that he thinks will put someone down to lift himself. the political stuff that this country does not need. he is a stratagist and often gets lose mouthed . a man of no solid stand often will resort to blasting and then repent , but not realy repenting . later he would just be blantant like Bush. huckabee apears to unstable. he has mouthed off several times . he is trying to be devisive. shun him.

Posted by: nobushyhair270 | December 31, 2007 5:12 PM

P.S. to syntax:

What IQ do you think I have (remember I graduated at the top of my Stanford law school class)?

Posted by: JakeD | December 31, 2007 5:12 PM

Well, I'll have to reserve judgment on whether Huckabee is "just pure evil" or "will be laughed about for years" -- as for the question as to how Huckabee could have made "a heartfelt decision to take the high road" 10 minutes before the press conference and still play the ad -- if you look as the press conference, he clearly stated the decision to play the ad for the assembled reporters was to prove that there was, in fact, an ad that had been prepared. Just imagine the laughter had Huckabee simply come to the podium and said "I know I asked you here to unveil an attack ad against Romney. Sorry to bother you, but I've decided not to run it. Thanks again for coming down."

Posted by: JakeD | December 31, 2007 5:10 PM


I guess you should say that Huckabee was for nasty attack ads before he was against them.

And, that's just until he gets to New Hampshire when he will show us another nasty attack ad that he has decided not to show.


Posted by: asdasd1 | December 31, 2007 5:10 PM

I would think that most people will laugh about this Huckster stunt, about all the asinine tricks he plays in fact; but some people will defend it to the end and respect what he's done. I'm going to regard it as an IQ litmus test of sorts; the funnier it strikes you, the higher your intelligence. The more you consider it a serious political maneuver, the lower...

Posted by: syntax | December 31, 2007 5:08 PM

What a meltdown by Huckabee! He just pulled a stunt that will be laughed about for years! I can't see how this does anything but hurt the Huckster's campaign.

Posted by: mbrown34 | December 31, 2007 5:00 PM

filoporquequilo wrote:

Correction. That should have been "Wives for Romney" not "Romney Wives." I regret the error.

how funny and relevant to the point here

Posted by: coloradodog | December 31, 2007 4:59 PM

Nothing genius about what he did. Pure political stupidity is more like it. People are smarter than what he obviously gives them credit for.

Posted by: syntax | December 31, 2007 4:54 PM

If he really made "a heartfelt decision to take the high road", why did he play the ad?

It's like WaPo printing a big article about Obama's Muslim past and then Fred Hiatt saying, "Oh, we didn't mean it like that" or Romney calling Obama "Osama" and then saying it was a mistake.

Romney's and Huckabee's Rovian political consultants know exactly what their doing and sadly, many Americans will believe it was just a "Holy Glowing Bookcase"

If I make a "heartfelt decision not to call Huckabee a fake, neochristian televangelist", would I do it like this?

Posted by: coloradodog | December 31, 2007 4:52 PM

This stunt by Huckabee is pure political genius. Not only does he get to pretend he is a good guy by denouncing attack ads, but it's almost guaranteed the TV and radio stations that received the ad will run it as part of their newscast and therefore Huckabee doesn't have to pay for the ad time.

Posted by: buffysummers | December 31, 2007 4:44 PM

Mr Huckabee

What pure unadulterated sleeze.

You strike me as being like an under-endowed exhibitionist calling the community together to tell them that you are not going to expose yourself but, when the crowd arrives, exposing yourself just to show that you really could do it.

Go figure. And who did you say was not "Authentic".

Posted by: tom | December 31, 2007 4:44 PM

If you love Jesus and hate gay flesh-eating rats, please take a look at this:

Posted by: asdasd1 | December 31, 2007 4:43 PM

That add is a sleazy mess. The Romney "no executions" comment suggests that Huck is a strong proponent of the death penalty (which panders to the Archie Bunker knee-jerk segment out there). But take a look at his comments elsewhere:

Q: Do you think the death penalty is carried out justly in the US? And do you want to see it continued?

A: I probably dislike the death penalty more than anybody on this stage, but for a very different reason. I've actually had to carry it out, more than any governor in my state's history. I had to carry out the death penalty because that was my job. I did it because I believed, after reading every page of every transcript and everything in that file, it was the only conclusion we could come to. But I didn't enjoy it. And God help the American who somehow has this cavalier attitude about the death penalty and says they support it and they can do it. Let me tell you something from the person whose name had to be put on the document that started the process: It's a necessary part of our criminal justice system for those crimes for which there is no other alternative. But God help the person who ever does it without a conscience and feels the pain of it.
Source: 2007 GOP Presidential Forum at Morgan State University Sep 27, 2007

So I would ask Huck precisely WHY he attacked Romney on this issue. Please explain, Huck. I'm listening.

Posted by: markczar1 | December 31, 2007 4:39 PM

Erinannie, I don't think he's "just plain evil." Instead, he's fallen into the trap of saying nearly ANYTHING to get elected. But, he will get worse if he continues slipping in the polls so one day, I might also call him "just plain evil."

Posted by: asdasd1 | December 31, 2007 4:34 PM

Huckabee is just pure evil. And a very shrewd politician. For getting the most bang for your buck, he gets straight A's. He took an otherwise largely ignored ad (because surely by now Iowans are sick and tired of the political ads and ignoring all of it), and made a national news story. For that, all PR execs must give him some credit.

But otherwise, the man is just pure evil. He puts on his smarmy smile and plays the innocent man. What a Christ-like man this preacher is as he calls Mormons racists, Romney a liar, and casually mentions Satan all in the same breath.

This man? THIS MAN? is the one you want to lead you? What example does he set? That is is okay to call names and slander if it is for your own good?

He's just plain evil.

Posted by: erinannie | December 31, 2007 4:26 PM

I am just so sick and tired of these hucksters insulting my intelligence.

Posted by: nicekid | December 31, 2007 4:19 PM

Gov. Huckabee's position on giving scholarships for the children of illegal immigrants disturbs me quite a bit as well.

The conversation I would like for the candidates to have is what pressure would they put on the nation of Mexico? Why aren't they been held accountable for their own people?

I probably wouldn't feel so violated by this illegal immigration issue if I had a sense that the Mexican government was making a good faith effort of doing all that it could for its people. But this is not the case!!

I'm convinced if the situation were reversed they would arrest Americans and sentence us to several years of prison with hard labor doing the jobs their citizens wouldn't do. And of course, after we have served our time they would deport us back without education and good health.

Posted by: SteelWheel1 | December 31, 2007 4:15 PM

Great theater. He gets his cake (shows the negative ad) and then gets to eat it too (denounce the attack ad as being negative politics, which he's against). AND it make much more press. Go ahead, call me cynical. Do we need another stage-managed President?

Posted by: thebobbob | December 31, 2007 4:15 PM

The dollar slid across the board on Friday as data showing a 9 percent decline in sales of new U.S. homes last month heightened concern about the economy, putting the greenback on track for its worst week in more than a year.
The housing report, which was weaker than economists had expected, also bolstered the case for more Federal Reserve interest rate cuts in 2008. Earlier this week, the S&P/Case-Shiller index showed a record decline in U.S. home prices in October.

This is what's happening to YOUR house. All the 'money' and 'equity' you thought you had saved - eliminated! The equity through falling house prices - and the money because we are DEBASING OUR CURRENCY. That low fed rate you're reading about gets created by printing money and lending it to people. With more money, the money YOU have is worth LESS. So your money is worth less and your property is worth less - where can you turn to keep ahead of inflation? I think you BETTER turn to Dr. Paul. He's the ONLY one running that has a HOPE of being able to deal with this.

Posted by: lnardozi | December 31, 2007 4:14 PM

JakeD JakeD JakeD JakeD JakeD JakeD JakeD JakeD JakeD JakeD JakeD JakeD JakeD JakeD:

Yes, I have voted for Republicans before. I voted for the first George Bush Number 1 and Bob Dole. But, George Bush Number 2 cured me of ever wanting to vote Republican again. I have seen what happens when the Republicans control the White House and Congress, and, yes, it is worse than when the Democrats controlled both. Bush Number 2 is a menace, and he is the worst president ever, and I no longer intend to honor his party with my vote.

However, I was starting to like Huckabee. Showing the video and then saying he wouldn't air it was just an attempt to be nasty while still maintaining a fresh glow of niceness. If he thought the ad was a bad idea, he shouldn't have shown it to the media. It's like telling someone, "You're fat and ugly, but you're still such a sweet person."

No, I don't buy Huckabee's explanation. He just wants to have it both ways. You can't be nice and hateful at the same time.

By doing things the way he did, he's probably also hoping to get the "controversial" ad (as it will be called) aired and watched for free on the internet. And, I'll bet it's on YOUTUBE by the end of the day. It's probably already there.

Posted by: asdasd1 | December 31, 2007 4:12 PM

JakeD: "point" on this thread was to point out that it IS possible that Huckabee honestly decided to pull the ads just 10 minutes before the press conference.

The article: "Huckabee gathered scores of reporters in a room to unveil an attack ad against rival Mitt Romney, then suddenly changed course and renounced the ad he had produced -- but not before playing it for the dozens of television cameras."

Reread the last line of the above paragraph. If Huckabee truly decided to *not* run the add 10 minutes before the press conference, why did he play it *for* the press conference?

Posted by: multiplepov | December 31, 2007 4:11 PM

If there ever was any doubt that Mike Huckabible was as slick as the rest of 'em, this little bit of political theater puts those doubts to rest. I'm no Romney supporter, but that stunt was beyond skeezy.

Posted by: scooterndc | December 31, 2007 4:11 PM

you are probably right but that would be the case for whatever candidate wins.

The question is who benefits from the rip off and who loses? Social Conservatives support Mik Huckabee because they think he favors them and stiff everyone else.

The money wing of the Conservative party likes Mitt because they beleive Mitt will enrich them at the expense of everyone else.

People who still live by the hackneyed expression "9-11 Changed everything" will support Rudy.

And people who want strait talk are starting to come back to Senator McCain but I think he has compromised his reputation for strait-talk, this is unfortunate.

People who think the 90's were so good will vote for Hillary because they think government is the answer to everything. Although, I think universal health care isn't a bad idea but it will become one.

And whose interest will never get attended to???? The middle class working Americans!

Posted by: SteelWheel1 | December 31, 2007 4:02 PM


Oh, so that was all "satire"? Thanks for the info -- since you asked, my "point" on this thread was to point out that it IS possible that Huckabee honestly decided to pull the ads just 10 minutes before the press conference -- YMMV.

Posted by: JakeD | December 31, 2007 4:02 PM

Hi, SteelWheel1 -- at least we finally agree on ONE thing : )

Posted by: JakeD | December 31, 2007 3:59 PM

JakeD-LOL! The point you are trying to prove?

See, some of what Huck was claiming have already earned him Pinochios! The Tuition was for all qualifying Illegals, not just Scholarship winners. Then, they are over 18, and as such-ADULTS(Illegal Adults!) and even then, those scholarships should be for Legal residents, is just one example where HE is still Fibbing!

The Link to the "Meet the Press" got real funny about page 3! Huckleberry wants to protect our Sovereignty by attacking the Hindu Kush regions of Pakistan! But wants to effectively grant Amnesty, and support the Citizenship wrongly bestowed on Dual Nationality Anchor Babies!

Anyone who does see the Joke-look up the definition of "Sovereignty"!

What is worth noting, for anyone not aware-MY Family Operated, and My Brother still Does, an Industrial Temporary Help Hiring Hall! I do consider MYSELF an EXPERT on many problems on the street, and with the Immigration/Labor issues destroying our Country! My Mother is from the Rio Grande Valley, and I have been exposed to all these issues from Agriculteral Donna Texas, to the Longshore Environment of Houston, to the Killing Yards of San Antonio, to the Housing Industry in Austin!

Consider MY opinion Educated in the School of Hard Knocks, called first hand Experience, and Reality! Consider me to be Qualified to speak on certain issues!

MY comments on the Meth Thread, should be considered VERY Valuable Information, not bogus half-witted Political posing spin about "How hard we should enforce our Laws, and who does it harder!". The issue when it comes to Speed, is the damage Pure Speed does! Anyone selling Pure Speed(ICE) should be viewed as a very destructive element in our society! THEY, only sell it that way once or twice, then begin ripping off their new Addicted Victim to Destruction! It is a very seriously addictive level!

But, do the illustrious Leader wannabes offer a destroyed Pool Builder a Job to help them-NO! THEY, think THEY are already surrounded by people who have a Clue!

Most of this diatribe was directed at JAKED, but I welcome anyone to access my Home Page by Left Clicking my user ID in the regular section(Does not work in the TRAIL, for some reason!)-I try to give my views from the real world, and there is what I consider some interesting stuff hidden in some of my Satirical Rants!

Posted by: rat-the | December 31, 2007 3:58 PM

This guy is too stupid to run for President. Congrats, Huck, you make yourself and the rest of the Repubs look like clowns. I love that.

Posted by: syntax | December 31, 2007 3:58 PM


Have you EVER voted for a Republican before? Somehow I doubt that Huckabee was going to convince you either way -- I would be interested in finding out why you don't believe him that he decided to pull the ads 10 minutes before the press conference?

Posted by: JakeD | December 31, 2007 3:56 PM

GOP supporters should beware of Romney, Huckabee, and Guiliana. All three twist and turn things as they see fit.

McCain is honest, has integrity, and has the interests of Americans at heart.

Ron Paul is your choice if you are looking for smaller government and fiscal responsibility. What he says is quite different than what others say. Listen to what he is saying at least two or three times. Makes a lot of sense, unless one is a neocon exporting democracy at U.S. taxpayer and troop lives expense.

Posted by: LarryHighPointNC | December 31, 2007 3:52 PM


Hey, isn't this like when a guy beats his wife, but then buys her take-out from McDonalds to show he's sorry?


Posted by: asdasd1 | December 31, 2007 3:51 PM

I liked Huckabee's approach. It's a warning: if Romney continues with his negative, dishonest campaign, Huckabee will respond with the truth, even if it hurts the image of a fellow Republican.

Posted by: akuruvilla79 | December 31, 2007 3:50 PM


I certainly hope it's Gary Hart, rather than Bloomberg, who runs as the independent ; )

Posted by: JakeD | December 31, 2007 3:47 PM


I was kinda liking Huckabee up until this. I hate that kind of stuff.

Hey all you in the media, here's my commercial that's too over-the-top to be broadcast. See what a great guy I am for not airing it.

I'll bet it's already on Youtube.

Huck, you're just as sleazy as Bush, Rove, Cheney, and Guiliani! Hey, is Rove working for you now?

I thought you were different. I guess we were all wrong. You are just like all the rest of the sleazy, lying politicians.

Perhaps, you need to go back and study the Golden Rule as well as the THIRD and NINTH Commandments.


Posted by: asdasd1 | December 31, 2007 3:46 PM

I remember the very moment I began loathing Orrin Hatch.

It was the Clinton era, at the height of "blow-gate." Hatch came to my university. I had a positive impression of Hatch, and was eager to meet him.

During his speech, however, he said that he'd heard, but didn't believe, that Pres. Clinton continued to engage in 'lascivious' behavior. He went on to say again that 'he didn't believe it.'

What a slime. I wouldn't vote for Hatch to be my dog catcher.

Huck seems to think he can hurl insults without actually having to back them up. His 'epiphany' was a cowardly, dishonest act. Politics at it's very lowest.

Worse, Huckabee actually thought we wouldn't notice! The reporters broke out laughing!

Huckabee's lead has vanished for one good and simple reason: He's too simple to be good.

Posted by: willargyle | December 31, 2007 3:44 PM

This Huckster is one sly devil -- Watch out for your wallets folks. If this guy gets elected, he'll have his hand in your pocket fater than you can say Arkansas.

Posted by: rlampe | December 31, 2007 3:43 PM

Hello JakeD.
I agree with your posts regarding Gov. Huckabee's shooting a warning shot at Mitt Romney. And even if this was a staged event, which I do believe it was, I won't hold it against him.

Mitt Romney has ran a very well organized but dishonest campaign. And he has insulted the intelligence of the voters all along the way. I'm still choking on my sandwich when Mitt accused Rudy, John & Mike of failing Reagan 101. The candidate that has failed Reagan 101 is Mitt and we have him on video failing Reagan 101 on more occasions than one can count.

I'm still shaking my head that Mitt actually believes his sons is making an equivalent sacrifice as those in military uniform when he declares his sons are serving America by helping Mitt get elected president. How self-serving can one get??

And I still get a laugh out of his claim that he is a life-long NRA member and hunter. I'm sure them small vermits were terrifying.

I agree with Chris Matthews when on his Sunday show that this election cycle has been the most dangerous for animals.

Posted by: SteelWheel1 | December 31, 2007 3:41 PM

This is sort of like the Clinton campaign warning that those nasty Republicans were likely to bring up Obama's drug usage. How to go negative while seeming not to do so.

Posted by: thrh | December 31, 2007 3:37 PM

Huckabee has not taken a risk as he says; he has taken a gamble.

Posted by: dmscontractor | December 31, 2007 3:35 PM

Opponents have misrepresented Mike Huckabees position:
Fact:Bob Novak criticized Mike Huckabee for a "47 percent increase in state tax burden." But during Huckabee's years in office, total state tax burden -- all 50 states combined -- rose by twice as much: 98 percent, increasing from $743 billion in 1993 to $1.47 trillion in 2005.[Source for this statistic -Dick Morris]

Read article titled Mike Huckabee is a fiscal conservative by Dick Morris at:

It is time to limit by law election spending for all candidates to ensure a level playing pitch.

Posted by: jbba22 | December 31, 2007 3:32 PM

Correction. That should have been "Wives for Romney" not "Romney Wives." I regret the error.

Posted by: filoporquequilo | December 31, 2007 3:29 PM

The Christian wackos (i.e. Republicans) will be racing to the polls at break-neck speed to vote for this newest bible-banging creation of theirs no matter how much his incompetence will end up hurting them.

Posted by: chasemonster | December 31, 2007 3:27 PM

If we want honest candidates in the future and cleaner more positive campaigns we should applaud Huckabee for this unorthodox move and express our support for him with our votes! Go Mike! -Luv Ya.

Posted by: michaelLitz | December 31, 2007 3:27 PM

The "Romney Wives" group is snowballing through Iowa and leaving the Huckabee Campaign on the ropes or, in the current parlance, "all hucked up."

Posted by: filoporquequilo | December 31, 2007 3:27 PM

Which Republican Candidate do you consider more dishonorable and dishonest?


Posted by: PollM | December 31, 2007 3:23 PM

The best news is that the "grown-ups" in both parties are planning a meeting next week to try to rescue the country from the current crop of politicians that have been spawned by the Karl Rove philosophy of extreme partisanship. They want a "government of national unity" and are challenging the current crop to spell out plans for forming one.
Sam Nunn, Chuck Hagel, John Dansforth, Christie Todd Whitman, Charles Robb, Bob Graham, Gary Hart, David Boren, Mike Bloomberg and others are statesmen (and women), who care about the country and its future. They want to rescue us from the ugly, venal, religiosity-infused politics that we are witnessing.
Let's all wish them well in that endeavor!

Posted by: colton | December 31, 2007 3:21 PM


At least there's no allegation that Huckabee USED meth, or cocaine.

Posted by: JakeD | December 31, 2007 3:19 PM

Why dixie_diaz? Because Mike could actually win?

Posted by: JakeD | December 31, 2007 3:15 PM

I am a life long Republican and Huckabee scares the heck out of me!

Posted by: dixie_diaz | December 31, 2007 3:12 PM


Did you see "Meet the Press" yesterday? Read the "Meth" thread below.

Posted by: JakeD | December 31, 2007 3:09 PM

I agree with the previous post about Chuck Hagel. This is very strange "leadership."

I am an evangelical Christian and do not trust Huckabee's expertise in anything.

Posted by: ncobserver | December 31, 2007 3:08 PM

All the Republicans Candidates are looking a bit clowinish.

Bring back Chuck Hagel and a few normal Republicans so we can have a decent choice.

Posted by: hhkeller | December 31, 2007 3:04 PM


Posted by: in-God-I-Trust | December 31, 2007 3:03 PM

What Mike fails to understand, is when Mitt Romney talks "Huck'up" about the things he did when he was a Governor of Arkasas, he "huck'up" is using very legitimate Facts, not any sort of personal animosty and"huck'up" unsubstatiated opinions.

All the Pardons, Taxes, and attempts to help Illegals access our Tax Dollars, and our Colleges"huck'up", were REAL events!


The slander Mike was attempting was"huck'up" going to backfire badly!
See, I"huck'up" support the Idea of an Exectutive ready to keep an open Mind, be"huck'up" willing to consider the opinions of a trusted and informed staff"huck'up", and be willing to take a new view! He is after all"huck'up" representing US, not Himself!

Maybe if I hold my"huck'up" Breath, these Huck'ups, will just go AWAY!

Posted by: rat-the | December 31, 2007 2:59 PM

Or, instead of "disingenuous and shallow" he could honestly have called it off as stated 10 minutes before the press conference.

Posted by: JakeD | December 31, 2007 2:57 PM

How disingenuous and shallow. Of course the little weasel wants to have it both ways. If he really wanted to take the high road, he would have simply canceled the ad but not shown it. What a petty little man.

Posted by: tharriso | December 31, 2007 2:50 PM

This seems sooooooooo staged.

"Hi, you all come in and see what a high minded fellow I am! My staff (who I hired because they believe as I do) wants to run this horrible ad about Romney but I, being the devout Christian I am, said NO!! NO!! NO!!

Aren't I just the best?"

Posted by: johnb609 | December 31, 2007 2:50 PM

In the art of rhetoric this is known as preterition. The candidate said, "I'm not going to mention the fact that my opponent voted for the war..." It's widely used, but to do what Romney did is a whole other level.

Posted by: jtt3e | December 31, 2007 2:49 PM

I don't have a problem with Huckabee waiting for his "Enough is Enough" ad -- and I think he took exactly the right tone on "Meet the Press" giving Romney one last warning shot across the bow -- we would all do well to remember Reagan's 11th Commandment.

Posted by: JakeD | December 31, 2007 2:44 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.


© 2009 The Washington Post Company