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Huckabee and McCain Playing it Polite in S.C.

By Perry Bacon Jr.
FLORENCE, S.C. -- In South Carolina, an increasingly bizarre GOP race has created another strange result: a muted campaign in the Palmetto State.

In 2000, John McCain and then-Gov. George W. Bush waged a bitter campaign in South Carolina, airing negative ads and accusing each other of dishonesty. But in a state known for rough politics, the two GOP front-runners here now, McCain and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, have barely engaged one another -- even with a vote in two days that is pivotal for both camps.

McCain advisers privately dismiss the former governor as a candidate with a single constituency, social conservatives, while Huckabee advisers say the longtime Senator is "like, 95," as one put it, an old man whose time has passed.

In Iowa, Huckabee compared Mitt Romney to the British in the American Revolution (over-funded and fighting the forces of good), and in New Hampshire, McCain's anger at Romney during debates was almost unpleasant to watch. But in a race against each other rather than Romney, Huckabee has over the past few days on the stump complained only about "Washington insiders."

"My attitude is if they were going to fix, they should have already done it," he said of the immigration laws. (Huckabee is speaking about McCain, his advisers say.)

The most obvious anti-McCain move by Huckabee was signing a pledge yesterday by a group called Numbers USA in which he committed not to support any pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants already here. Yet Huckabee refused to directly criticize McCain at that event, even as the group's leader noted McCain refused to sign the pledge.

"McCain hasn't attacked us," said Ed Rollins, Huckabee's campaign chair. "We like McCain."

By Web Politics Editor  |  January 17, 2008; 4:00 PM ET
 
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Comments

Romney is a phony; He is the Clinton of the Republican Party. He will say anything to get elected. His convictions are as shallow as his character. One day he is for this and the next for that.

Thompson, another phony, who bought him off? What promises were made to Thompson in smoke filled cloakrooms and by whom? Whose team is he secretly supporting. Waiting for a do nothing job in washing where he can suck up to whomever it was that owns him.

Bob Jones - can you believe He indorsed Romney - has he lost his mind. Any respect many might have had for BJ is sliding down the tube. What a stupid move.

Mit Romney's god is his money and his affinity to lie and support whatever makes him rich and famous.

There you have it

Posted by: gordonslocum | January 28, 2008 3:57 AM | Report abuse

You cannot get more "evnagelical/fundamentalist" then my younger brother and I. IE. we believe that Jesus was the real deal(more than any politician WILL EVER BE! He is a pastor. So yesterday I was somewhat shocked when he told me that he was supporting Ron Paul. My point is evangelicals unlike the media tries to portray them, are all over the map in relation to who they are voting for. I hate how they try to pigeonhole us. Why doesn't the media ever talk about how Hillary courts the homosexual activists vote or the secular/atheists vote. There is such a hatchet job going on in the media towrds evangelicals it is sickening...but yet to be expected.

Posted by: timklly747 | January 18, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

I think McCain is just using Huckabee and Huckabee wants to be "something" so badly that he'll not attack McCain, but in the end McCain won't be faithful to the faithful Huckabee. The Ronald Reagan Republican's lose with these two liberals. They both want to change Washington to be more like the Deomcrats want it.

McCain will say do anything to become the Commander and Chief of this nation....anything! That title is what is pushing this man.

McCain:
"The Annenberg Foundation's nonpartisan FactCheck.org just delivered a powerful rebuke to the basic honesty of a McCain mailer used in South Carolina (and defended by Sen. McCain after reporters called it to his attention).
In particular, FactCheck.org called McCain's assertion that Mitt Romney "provided" taxpayer-funded abortions "simply false."
"Romney never pushed for taxpayer funding for abortions. The state law he signed provided greatly expanded state-subsidized health insurance for low-income residents," Factcheck.org explained. An independent body -- the Commonwealth Connector -- not Romney, decided that abortions would be covered (a move required by two Massachusetts state supreme court rulings).
McCain also had the chutzpah to charge Romney with failing to verbally support Bush tax cuts that McCain himself actually voted against .
FactCheck.org concluded that on the whole John McCain's portrayal of Romney's record as governor of Massachusetts was "so distorted as to discredit McCain's claim to be the candidate of 'straight talk.'"
St. McCain -- distorting the record and misleading the public? If you listen to former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, that may not be as surprising as the branders want you to believe. In an unprecedentedly frank evaluation of a former GOP colleague. Sen. Santorum, who hasn't endorsed a candidate, said McCain is "very, very dangerous for Republicans" on domestic issues.
"The bottom line is that I served 12 years with him, six years in the United States Senate," he told WABC radio talk show host Mark Levin. "And almost at every turn on domestic policy, John McCain was not only against us, but leading the charge on the other side."
Sen. McCain apparently had a nasty habit of leaving one impression in public on social issues like abortion and marriage, and another behind closed Senate doors, according to Santorum:
"That discussion is held in private, where you're jostling and jockeying to get your legislation into the queue so that you can have your time on the floor to get something done. And I can tell you, when social-conservative issues were ever raised -- whether it was marriage or abortion or a whole host of other issues -- there were always the moderates who said: 'No, no, no, we can't. They're divisive, divisive, divisive.' And more often than not, John McCain was ... with them."
"That's wrong," Santorum added. "And that gives me an insight into what he would really be like if he were president of the United States."
The next night on the Mark Levin show, another even more respected and distinguished conservative voice, Judge Robert Bork, called McCain a "liberal."
Johnny, we hardly knew ye.
________________________________________

Posted by: manwaringjd | January 18, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

I am NO LONGER going to compromise my vote on a flip-flop. I would write-in Huckabee in November first.

EVERYONE says they hate the liars in Washington and now I'm supposed to vote for one?

FAT CHANCE.

I won't vote for a flip-flop and I don't care WHAT label he has behind his name....

Posted by: lgander | January 18, 2008 8:25 AM | Report abuse

McCain and Huckabee are both walking dead. South Carolina is the last roar for both of them.

Huckabee's Arkansas populism won't play in 80% of the country. He's as phony as a 3 dollar bill. His schtick reminds me of Jim Bakker. Evangelicals are suckers for this stuff but that won't carry him past February 5th.

McCain brags about making some people angry. Hell yes. He's repeatedly insulted conservative Republicans over global-warming, ANWAR, amnesty, judges and the 1st Amendment. Yes, he was right on Iraq. He's seriously wrong on almost everything else. You can't spit on the base of the Party for 7 years and then expect us to forgive and forget.

It'll be Romney, Fred or Giulianni. Probably Mitt.

RCL

Posted by: rlaycock | January 18, 2008 7:59 AM | Report abuse

Mike Huckabee and John McCain have both run very honorable campaigns. I also like Mike Huckabee though as McCain has been somewhat on the liberal side in the Senate.

I agree McCain would make a great VP though - either him or someone like Gen. Petraeus....

Romney is still a flip-flop and Thompson doesn't seem to have the energy to win the Dems....

Mike Huckabee would BURY H.C. or B.O. in a debate.

AND I'd love to see Gen. Petraeus in a debate with ANY lilly-livered white flag waving donkey with his tail between his wobbly chicken-legs screaming "We surrender!!!"

Posted by: lgander | January 18, 2008 7:48 AM | Report abuse

I am good with a Huckabee/Mccain ticket. I like them both. My vote is on Huckabee though. He has inspired me more than anyone I have ever seen run for office has before.


Go Huckabee!

Posted by: marinepatriot | January 18, 2008 2:14 AM | Report abuse

Hey d_soup,

Don't drool what you don't have a clue about.

Posted by: Winghunter | January 18, 2008 1:30 AM | Report abuse

I know one thing about this race;

If the RINO's lips are moving, they're lying and that certainly includes Ed Rollins...especially Rollins.

Candidate Research - Know Who You're Voting For ( The Easy Way ) http://tinyurl.com/2sowta

Posted by: Winghunter | January 18, 2008 1:28 AM | Report abuse

Huckabee on Romney, "liar", "hypocrite", "care's more about his pocket book than about people." Unsubstatiated personal attacks all. McCain on Romney, "phony", "paid for taxpayer funded abortions", many other quotes taken out of context. So glad some bloggers think these are honorable men running honorable campaigns. In 2003 Sen. McCain campaigned for Romney in the MA governor's race. Back then he called him one of the most honest men he knows, with a record of the highest integrity and competence.

Gov. Romney has never made a single personal or character attack on other candidates. His supposed "most negative candidate" (according to the MSM), campaign commercials merely contrasted records. Did Sen. McCain vote against the Bush tax cuts or did he not? Than why doesn't he just defend his vote instead of calling Gov. Romney a phony and a negative campaigner? If stating someone's factual record is negative but slamming someones character is not I guess I'm one voter who is just out of step with reality.

What bugs me the most about Sen. McCain and Gov. Huckabees campaigns is not even the personal slams and religious slurs against Gov. Romney, but the hypocrisy and intellectual dishonesty of suggesting they are running honorable and positive campaigns.

And if we want to talk about flip flopping, Gov. Romney has actually had by far the most consistent positions, especially during the year long primary. For example, when he announced early last year, he talked about how Washington was broken and how we needed change and innovation to solve America's problems. Sound familiar?

On the other hand, both Sen. McCain and Gov. Huckabee have moved dramatically to the right on immigration and taxes. Huckabee's recent immigration pledge is the same as Romney has been saying in ever debate dince the beginning of the campaign. A lot of your people need to listen to what the candidates are saying and what they actually did in office, and stop listing to the MSM spin. Make your own judgements, and stop living off the rediculous sound bites, and media spin.

Posted by: jakewgarn | January 17, 2008 11:51 PM | Report abuse

We are going with Governor Huckabee. No-one else has the level of integrity that he has. I also know that he is well known for the job he did for 13 years as Governor in Arkansas. Why else would Time magazine put him as the top 5 Governors in America. We need his honesty and leadership in our Country right now. I wish he could take office tomorrow.

Posted by: marinepatriot | January 17, 2008 11:10 PM | Report abuse

d_shoup-Why would you imply Romney is trying to Buy the White House? Just like Ross Perot would have been, he is going to be "Sluming" when he has to move in!

Why can't people accept the fact, that some people really are Noble? Ready to sacrifice of themselves. That sometimes, the desire to help others, and have it actually occur, is to them the greatest feeling they know!
It is said, that when you truly Give, is when you begin to recieve!

A case in point, Bob Hope. He was a good Comedian, but he was Greater and Bigger Servant to the US! In the end, at the end of the Day, he was one of the wealthiest Men in the US! The Lands he Gave North of Malibu, to the State to preserve, Qualified him for that title alone!

I would love to see an Amendment enabling Arnold Schwartzenegger to be able to offer his services at the next level! Like Mitt Romney, he honestly means good as well!

Posted by: rat-the | January 17, 2008 7:20 PM | Report abuse

johnplauche,
About your comment on a ticket with McCain and Huckabee.... you do know it can only work if McCain is the president, right. It would be really strange to put McCain, a 71 years old, as vice president.

Posted by: Chemicalkinetics | January 17, 2008 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Here is how I see it. John McCain can not pull conservatives together with his prior liberal voting record Not a chance! McCain plotted against true conservatives too many times.

Fred Thompson can not pull conservatives together with his prior record of under achievements that did not improve the every day lives of all Americans. No way!

Can Mitt Romney buy the White House? Maybe! But not in the South!

Posted by: d_shoup | January 17, 2008 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Well said "Andersod7!"

Posted by: davidmwe | January 17, 2008 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Honorable men compete in honorable ways.

Posted by: Andersod7 | January 17, 2008 5:52 PM | Report abuse

It would actually be great, if all the Republicans would talk about their positive aspects, and BLAST the Congressional Dims for their PATHETIC track records! Tearing each other down, only re-inforces the Negative Dogma that Bushie has bestowed.
What needs to occur, is some elightenment, of the FACT that it was Acts of members of Congress(McCain), that caused so much of the grief!
That, and Bill Clinton's Banking De-Regulation, and Waiver of Capital Gains on Houses "Flipped" W/in 2 Years!
Oh, and EO 13166-Press 1 for English por Favor!

Posted by: rat-the | January 17, 2008 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Is it me but McCain and Huck seem to get along so well they would be an great ticket together. McCain on security, experience, anti pork barrel spending, balanced budgets, integrity, and all good things pragmatic, while Huckabee brings great communications skills, good domestic policies and experience on health and education, inspires social conservatives and solidifies the south. It is by far the best and most well rounded ticket available. McCain, Huckabee 08 has a nice sound to it. (even if McCain teaming up with Lindsey Graham or Susan Collins as a southerner or woman VP would be nice Huck has more of a national profile).

Posted by: johnplauche | January 17, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Looks like John McCain, according to this Google Trends Analysis:

John McCain vs. Mike Huckabee:
http://newsusa.myfeedportal.com/viewarticle.php?articleid=35

Or will it be neither John McCain nor Mike Huckabee but Mit Romney?

Posted by: davidmwe | January 17, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

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