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Huckabee: Does Everyone See This Negative Ad on Romney? Everyone? Even You In The Back? I'm Not Going to Run It…

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[Republished from]

Fact 1:

After a weekend of endless assaults on him by the Romney campaign, Huckabee took time to film and (potentially) briefly air attack ads on Romney, before pulling it in a strange series of events. Huckabee also spent the weekend calling Romney basically a liar. Take this excerpt from Meet the Press:

MR. RUSSERT: But has Mitt Romney said anything that’s untrue about you?

GOV. HUCKABEE: How long do we have on the program today? He’s said many things that are untrue. He said that I reduced methamphetamine sentences in Arkansas. Truth is I signed a bill in 1999 that doubled those sentences. We did not reduce them. Our sentences were four times harsher than they were in Massachusetts. He said that I supported special breaks for illegal aliens. That’s not true, Tim. We supported simply giving children who had earned a scholarship the same–it never happened, it didn’t make the legislature. He made allegations that our increased spending by ridiculous amounts, and The New York Times came back and defended that, and said that’s just simply not true. And they took him apart and showed that the increases in spending were, frankly, the same if not a little better than his if you took into consideration the accounting methods we changed in Arkansas, very modest gains in spending.

He made claims about things like tax increases, but he failed to mention that some of those were either court ordered or they were voted on by the people and approved by the people for things as roads. And I left my roads in great shape, took them from the worst in the country to what Truckers magazine said were the most improved. He left his roads in a mess in Massachusetts, with huge problems in the infrastructure. He claimed that he didn’t raise taxes, but, in fact, he did raise taxes by half a billion dollars.

And from the same show:

MR. RUSSERT: You’re suggesting that Mitt Romney’s not running an honorable campaign.

GOV. HUCKABEE: I’ve been very clear about it. Mitt Romney is running a very desperate and, frankly, a dishonest campaign. He’s attacked me, and, and yesterday–or Friday, I guess it was, he launched then just a broadside attack against Senator McCain. Now, Senator McCain and I are rivals for the presidency, but I’ve said on many occasions, I’ll say it again here today, Senator McCain is an honorable man, and I believe he’s an honest man. I believe he’s a man of conviction. And I felt like that, when Mitt Romney went after the integrity of John McCain, he stepped across a line. John McCain’s a hero in this country. He’s a hero to me.

And I just felt like that when Mitt Romney gets on your show and says that he had the NRA endorsement when he didn’t; when he comes on and says he’s pro-life and yet he signed a bill that gives a $50 co-pay for an elective abortion in his state’s health care plan; when he claims that he’s really for the Second Amendment, but he–on this show he talked about how he supported limitations and restrictions on lawful, law-abiding citizens having gun ownership rights, those are not the marks of a person who’s pro-life and pro-Second Amendment. And then the things where he’s made up these visions that he’s had of marching with Martin Luther King and his dad marching with him. You know, Tim, what I’ve said, and I’ve been pretty blunt about it, if you aren’t being honest in obtaining a job, can we trust you to be honest if you get the job?

Fact 2:

Huckabee is short on money, and the solution has constantly been to be thrifty as often as possible.

Even with his newfound resources, Huckabee will probably remain well behind Romney and Giuliani — who between them raised $100 million between January and September — when presidential candidates submit their fundraising totals to the Federal Election Commission on Monday. All three are expected to remain far behind the best-financed Democratic candidates, Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama, who are expected to add tens of millions to the more than $150 million raised between them so far.

Nonetheless, Huckabee should for the first time have enough money to contend with an onslaught of costly advertising and organizational challenges during the early primaries. Chip Saltsman, Huckabee’s campaign manager, said he remains unconcerned about any financial imbalance heading into Feb. 5, when candidates must compete in huge, expensive media markets across the country.

“It’s not how much money you raise; it’s what you do with the money you do raise,” Saltsman said. “There’s a reason we’re doing so well, and it has nothing to do with money.”

Cynical Conclusion

Huckabee had a random change of heart and made his campaign waste a lot of crucial time and resources in the one state that can make or break him; this would be a hallmark of an incompetent campaign.

Really Cynical Conclusion

Huckabee intentionally backed off at the last minute to both have his cake and eat it too; he clearly shows what the negative attack would have been, and also tries to show himself as above it, despite having clearly already attacked Romney numerous times, with no intention of stopping anytime soon. This would be the hallmark of a Rovian campaign done cheaply.

Potentially Naive Conclusion

Huckabee just had a change of heart about putting a negative attack ad up. This is either the hallmark of someone really nice, or someone who would not have the stomach to be president.