Huckabee and Thompson Trade Barbs

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee went from Mr. Nice to Mr. Nasty when rival Fred Thompson started calling him what he considered a bad name — a liberal.

The Southerners are fighting on warmer, more familiar turf in South Carolina, which holds a Republican primary four days after Michigan votes on Tuesday. Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas, wants to build on his victory in the Iowa caucuses, while Thompson, once a Tennessee senator, needs a victory to keep his campaign afloat.

Huckabee said Friday that the lawyer-turned-actor-turned-politician had little to show for his time in the Senate.

“Eight years is a pretty long time to get a check from the federal government and not be able to say” he passed a major bill, Huckabee sniped.

In fairness, it was Thompson who started the spat, calling Huckabee a liberal on the economy and foreign affairs in Thursday’s GOP debate in South Carolina. He ticked off Huckabee’s alleged sins against that most hallowed of Republican institutions, the church of Ronald Reagan.

“On the one hand, you have the Reagan revolution. You have the Reagan coalition of limited government and strong national security,” Thompson said. “On the other hand, you have the direction that Governor Huckabee would take us in.”

Among Huckabee’s transgressions: He called President Bush’s foreign policy “arrogant,” he supported taxpayer-funded scholarships for children of illegal immigrants and he signed a smoking ban into law.

“So much for federalism,” sniffed Thompson, who enjoys cigars. “So much for states’ rights.”

Thompson clearly hit where it hurt, and Huckabee struck back several times while campaigning Friday in Michigan.

“It was real interesting hearing Fred Thompson talk about Ronald Reagan last night,” Huckabee said. “Because Fred Thompson supported Gerald Ford in 1976 and not Ronald Reagan. He supported fellow Tennessean Howard Baker in 1980 and not Ronald Reagan. I appreciate his recent conversion, but some of us were for Ronald Reagan back in the early days; our legacy goes back a little further.”

Then he got more personal, saying Thompson had little to show for his time as senator from Tennessee. Thompson didn’t pass measures on illegal immigration or other issues he is campaigning on, Huckabee said.

Both men are wooing the same Christian conservative voters as they try to fend off Arizona Sen. John McCain, who won Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary with moderate Republican and independent support. Huckabee, a former Southern Baptist preacher, has rallied pastors behind him, while Thompson has collected a series of endorsements from anti-abortion groups.

Lashing out is new for Huckabee, who defeated his chief rival in Iowa, Republican Mitt Romney, in large measure by staying positive while Romney assailed him with television commercials.

In fact, Huckabee made an elaborate gesture to show he was Mr. Nice, holding a news conference to announce he had decided not to respond with an attack ad of his own. He played the ad for journalists anyway, but his decision was interpreted by many Iowa voters as staying above the fray.

Even then, Huckabee said he might go negative in South Carolina or another state.

“Each election we’ll look at on its own terms,” he told reporters traveling with him in Iowa. “I sensed here in Iowa, people were really, really exhausted with the kind of nasty stuff that they’d been seeing and inundated with.”

Not that he’s being nasty, of course. After suggesting that Thompson needed to lighten up — he told MSNBC on Friday that Thompson needed to drink a bit of the digestive aid Metamucil — Huckabee later assured reporters that he was only trying to bring some humor to the stump.

In contrast to Huckabee, Thompson’s demeanor has been more grumpy old man than Mr. Nice. He is 65, while Huckabee is 52.

Some people “don’t like to have their records talked about,” Thompson said Friday in Mount Pleasant, S.C. For anyone who didn’t get the reference, Thompson helpfully added, “one of the guys who shall remain named Governor Huckabee.”

Spoiling for a fight, Thompson even questioned whether Huckabee had a more hardscrabble upbringing. Huckabee’s dad worked two jobs as a firefighter and mechanic, and Huckabee was the family’s first male high school graduate. Thompson’s dad was a used-car salesman with an eighth-grade education.

“I can out-poor any of them,” Thompson said. “I grew up under more modest circumstances than anybody on that stage.”

Libby Quaid covers the presidential election for The Associated Press. AP writer Jim Davenport in Mount Pleasant, S.C., contributed to this report.

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Huckabee sows seeds to steal Michigan from Romney

(CNN) — Until this week, Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee had not run a single ad in Michigan, and had no paid staffers in the state.

He did not have a campaign office. He had not sent out a single piece of direct mail.

Meanwhile, his rival Mitt Romney — who announced after his second-place New Hampshire showing that Michigan was his top priority — has run nearly $3 million dollars worth of television ads in Michigan.

And John McCain, fresh off his New Hampshire win — and with the backing of two of the state’s largest papers, the Detroit News and the Detroit Free-Press — has been keeping pace in recent polls with the well-funded Romney effort.

But just as in Iowa, a grassroots network of conservative Christian activists and fair tax proponents are, improbably, keeping Huckabee in contention for the top spot in the GOP primary here.

“We laid the groundwork,” says Gary Glenn, one of the leaders of the movement. “The fact that he’s even in a position to threaten Mitt Romney in his native state is a real statement to the depth of support he has here.”

Huckabee’s been riding a months-long wave of good news in Michigan. Just before Labor Day, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers made him their pick in his party’s presidential primary — a rare nod to a GOP candidate that might not mean much in other Republican contests, but carries some weight in this heavily unionized state.

The Fair Tax movement — which has given Huckabee its enthusiastic backing — announced a major political push in Michigan in 2008, looking to get an anti-tax measure on the ballot this fall.

LaMar Lemmons, the Detroit state representative who helped organize the successful Democratic crossover effort that helped McCain beat Bush here in 2000, recently launched Democrats for Huckabee — the sort of group that can make a real difference in a state where the lack of party registration allows for large-scale crossover voting.

The move may have an exaggerated impact this cycle, since the national party penalized the state party for moving up its primary and most of the major Democratic contenders pulled their names from the ballot.

And this week, Minuteman Project founder Jim Gilchrist is making a swing through the state to tell Republican primary voters upset over illegal immigration to support Huckabee, making appearances in working-class cities from Flint and Saginaw to Kalamazoo.

But as in Iowa, the biggest secret to Huckabee’s Michigan success seems to be his depth of support among evangelical Christians. Typically, somewhere between one-fifth and one-third of Michigan’s Republican primary voters are self-identified evangelicals. A few weeks ago, a Detroit News survey found that number may be as high as 40 percent this year.

So pro-Huckabee organizers say they are focusing their entire effort on turning out evangelical church goers. They plan to call every evangelical pastor in the state over the next few days. Those ministers can’t endorse any candidate from the pulpit — but they can tell their parishioners that “it’s their Christian duty,” to turn out on primary day, said Glenn. “And we know who they’ll be voting for.”

To help drive that message home, thousands of volunteers will be dropping leaflets and waving signs in church parking lots across Michigan this Sunday. Glenn says there will also be several news conferences across the state through the January 15 vote featuring groups of pastors announcing their personal support for Huckabee, an organized wave of callers into Michigan’s Christian radio stations, and phone trees targeting the state’s largest churches from within.

Glenn is a prime example of the sort of well-connected activist that has been essential to Huckabee’s success. The president of Michigan’s chapter of Don Wildmon’s American Family Association, he co-wrote the state’s successful anti-gay marriage amendment, which drew close to 60 percent of the vote in 2004. That effort also updated his already-packed addressbook with a new group of politically-savvy conservative Christian contacts eager to assist a presidential candidate who backed his own state’s version of that measure.

Glenn also represents another key demographic in the Huckabee grassroots army — home schoolers, mostly Christian conservatives, who have overwhelmingly supported the former governor. In Michigan, the group is politically active, and large, with thousands attending the community’s annual state convention.

“We don’t have to persuade them to vote, we just have to get them to turn up,” Glenn said Thursday, pointing to their Iowa counterparts’ role in Huckabee’s victory there. “Why mess with a winning formula?”

New Jersey, Jan 19th: GOP Presidential Candidates Roundtable & Straw Poll

NJ: It’s time to show our support. Lets prove to the GOP, FOXNEWS, TALKRADIO and all our local news stations and papers:

Giuliani IS NOT number one in NJ!

location change 

Conservatives With Attitude

Presents

Conservative Leadership Brunch

2008 GOP Presidential Candidates

Roundtable & Straw Poll

Saturday January 19th 2008 @ 10:30am

THE FORGE INN, 1002 Rt. 9 North Woodbridge, New Jersey

All 5 GOP Presidential campaigns have confirmed.

Speaking on behalf of the 2008 Presidential Candidates:
Assemblyman-elect Jay Webber will be representing Governor Mitt Romney
Bill Spadea will be representing Mayor Rudy Giuliani
Dr. Murray Sabrin will be representing Congressman Ron Paul
Peter Kane will be representing Governor Mike Huckabee
Assemblyman Guy Gregg will be representing Fred Thompson

Event Flier info and Registration
CLICK HERE to register on Line

Another positive NYTimes article

You already know which article is by FAR (click here)the best NY Times article in quite some time (wink, wink)

This article was written by William Kristol:

President Mike Huckabee?

Thank you, Senator Obama. You’ve defeated Senator Clinton in Iowa. It looks as if you’re about to beat her in New Hampshire. There will be no Clinton Restoration. A nation turns its grateful eyes to you.

But gratitude for sparing us a third Clinton term only goes so far. Who, inquiring minds want to know, is going to spare us a first Obama term? After all, for all his ability and charm, Barack Obama is still a liberal Democrat. Some of us would much prefer a non-liberal and non-Democratic administration. We don’t want to increase the scope of the nanny state, we don’t want to undo the good done by the appointments of John Roberts and Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court, and we really don’t want to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory in Iraq.

For me, therefore, the most interesting moment in Saturday night’s Republican debate at St. Anselm College was when the candidates were asked what arguments they would make if they found themselves running against Obama in the general election.

The best answer came, not surprisingly, from the best Republican campaigner so far — Mike Huckabee. He began by calmly mentioning his and Obama’s contrasting views on issues from guns to life to same-sex marriage. This served to remind Republicans that these contrasts have been central to G.O.P. success over the last quarter-century, and to suggest that Huckabee could credibly and comfortably make the socially conservative case in an electorally advantageous way.

Huckabee went on to pay tribute to Obama for his ability “to touch at the core of something Americans want” in seeming to move beyond partisanship. And, he added, Senator Obama is “a likable person who has excited people about wanting to vote who have not voted in the past.” Huckabee was of course aware that in praising Obama he was recommending himself

I was watching the debate at the home of a savvy, moderately conservative New Hampshire Republican. It was at this moment that he turned to me and said: “You know, I’ve been a huge skeptic about Huckabee. I’m still not voting for him Tuesday. But I’ve got to say — I like him. And I wonder — could he be our strongest nominee?”

He could be. After the last two elections, featuring the well-born George Bush and Al Gore and John Kerry, Americans — even Republicans! — are ready for a likable regular guy. Huckabee seems to be that. He came up from modest origins. He served as governor of Arkansas for more than a decade. He fought a successful battle against being overweight. These may not be utterly compelling qualifications for the presidency. I’m certainly not ready to sign up.

Still, as the conservative writer Michelle Malkin put it, “For the work-hard-to-get-ahead strivers who represent the heart and soul of the G.O.P., there are obvious, powerful points of identification.” And they speak to younger voters who are not yet committed to the G.O.P. In Iowa, Huckabee did something like what Obama did on the Democratic side, albeit on a smaller scale. He drew new voters to the caucuses. And he defeated Mitt Romney by almost two to one, and John McCain by better than four to one, among voters under 45.

Now it’s true that many conservatives have serious doubts about Huckabee’s positions, especially on foreign policy, and his record, particularly on taxes. The conservative establishment is strikingly hostile to Huckabee — for both good and bad reasons. But voters seem to be enjoying making up their own minds this year. And Huckabee is a talented politician.

His campaigning in New Hampshire has been impressive.

READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE

Sunday’s NYTimes Metro section – NJ Huckabee supporters special

Greetings

Yesterday IO was interviewed by Peter Applebom, writer for the NYTimes Metro section. Apparently the Huckabee fever is getting local. He interviewed a couple of supporter friends and was directed to this blog. Just a feew minutes ago a Photographer left my home so hopefully you will get to see the scary face behind the blog!

I encourage you to please – continue to show your support – you do not need to contribute $25.00 or more – a Buck for Huck is just fine: Mike has proven that he can stretch a dollar with the limited funds he’s spent on campaigning. Please click on my Ranger button to the right, and contribute a few dollars!

See you in tomorrow’s Metro section

Huckabee declared Republican winner, Romney concedes Iowa to Huckabee

This is today’s Desmoines Register headline, and the first of many!

Congratulations Governor.

Next is maybe NH, but we see good signs coming from South Carolina, Florida, Delaware, and it’ll spread wider and stronger with time.

us Huckabeezers knew the attacks would be hard and heavy – and that they would not work – I said so right here.

Here’s what the political world is saying: click on the headline to read the entire article.

New York Times:

From Nowhere, Huckabee Prevails

Boston Globe:

Huckabee moves to front as Romney struggles

Wall Street Journal:

MIKE HUCKABEE’S REMARKABLE VICTORY

The Salt Lake City Tribune:

Romney’s big investment in Iowa turns bitter

International Herald Tribune, France:

Romney fails in Iowa, loses first of 2 back-to-back wins he hoped for

AND MY FAVORITE….. from the Washington Post:

Romney Concedes Iowa to Huckabee

Former governor Mitt Romney (Mass.) conceded the Iowa caucuses to former governor Mike Huckabee even as his campaign sought to pivot its focus to the upcoming New Hamphsire primary.

“This competitive finish here in Iowa puts us in the position of remaining competitive across the board in all of these early primary states. No other campaign can point to a similar measure of broad strength in the early primary states,” said Romney spokesman Kevin Madden following the caucus.

That fact hardly quelled the elation of the Huckabee campaign. “Although I not suprised I am very excited,” said Huckabee consultant Bob Wickers. “Given the margin of victory Mike Huckabee was able to speak not just to evangelicals, but the entire Republican coalition.”

From New Hampshire, Sen. John McCain called and left a message congratulating Huckabee. “The lesson of this election in Iowa is, one, you can’t buy an election in Iowa and negative campaigns don’t work. They don’t work there and they don’t work here,” McCain said.

On MSNBC, Rudy Giuliani, who had largely written off the Iowa contest, also responded to the caucus results. “I believe we need a candidate who can run in all 50 states and I believe I’m the candidate who can run in all 50 states,” he said.

Later, speaking on CNN from Florida the former New York mayor continued to downplay the importance of Iowa. Of his broader national focus, Giuliani said: “As we move along, I think you’re going to see that strategy pay off.”

Mike Huckabee Is A Shooting Star In The GOP In South Carolina

Former Arkansas Governor, Mike Huckabee is gaining grace in the eyes of voters rapidly in South Carolina. In polls taken earlier in July, Huckabee was at an all time low of 3%. The same GOP taken this month in the key southern state of S.C. has hit 24%. As a republican candidate he is riding on the coat tails of Giuliani at a good pace. With Former New York Governor, Rudy Giuliani carrying baggage of a past divorced marriage and scandalous gossip of dressing in drag with him; Huckabee could easily take the lead. The polls on usaelectionpolls.com show that Huckabee is standing at 19.0 (ABC News) and 21 (American Research group and CBS News) on the National average.

You can also see that the state average in North Carolina is high as well at 33.0 while Iowa is 32. Miscellaneous averages show that Huckabee is favored in the northeast at 10.2 as well as the Midwest at 25.8. With good graces across the television screen, mike Huckabee may be rising to the top of the voter’s choice for the 2008 presidential election. At the Iowa Polls Huckabee over shot Romney who was leading in Iowa previously. Christian supporters for Huckabee may be the answer as the underlying concern of Romney being a Mormon is still an issue. No matter the cause of this success in the polls, the reality is that Huckabee is in second place and depending on how the race is run, Huckabee may be our next president.