Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

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Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Rush slams the Huckster again

This tit-for-tat between Rush and the Huckster is an amusing distraction from the campaign. Mostly because the Huckster is tangling with a guy who reaches twenty-million-plus listeners daily on over 600 radio stations. It's sort of like tangling with a pitbull, and that's because Rush isn't going to let him go.

Today Rush was back on the air after his holiday vacation. Jim Geraghty was listening and here is his report on the show:

More Rush, on his response to the Huckabee comments from before Christmas.

"His campaign people in Arkansas know full well how to reach me. They've got access to office phone numbers, they've got access to e-mails. Huckabee was saying, 'I don't know how to reach him.' ... He was saying, 'I can't repsond to what because I don't know who said it or what was said.' This was three or four days after it appeared on the Atlantic.com blog... He was saying that he would love to respond, but he didn't know what was said. Now, he might not know who said it, but it was hard for me to believe he did not know what was said, three or four days after it was posted. Now, none of this is personal to me. But how can you not know what was said, and yet reach out to me?"

"I did not reply to Governor Huckabee's e-mail. I didn't reply because I wanted to avoid the possibility that any little phrase that I use in the e-mail could be waved by the governor or his staff as a sign that all of this was over. There was no need to make peace. This isn't beanbag. This is the big leagues. My feelings are not hurt. I'm not taking any of this personally."

UPDATE: In a short cut between breaks, Rush hit McCain, saying "Would you think a conservative would support amnesty? Would you think a conservative would agree with the ACLU on interrogation techniques used on terrorists? Would you think a conservative would vote against the Bush tax cuts? I've just described the positions of John McCain."

I know a few people might scratch their heads at that last part. We'll remind readers to recall that the Huckster claimed that both Frank Gaffney and John Bolton were a part of his foreign policy team; a boast that was shot down by both. The last thing Rush wanted to do was provide the Huckster with anything that would have been taken completely out of context.

About the McCain part, he knows he's screwed. He's ticked off far too many people in the GOP base, and that's why he's betting on the Independents in NH to vault his sinking candidacy forward.For our sake, let's hope that the Independents in NH are smarter than that. If not, this doddering old fool is going to be around way past his fifteen minutes.

The Huckster would be smart to drop this before he gets hurt. Rush is right. This ain't beanbag. This is the big leagues with the biog boys playing the game. This "quit picking on me" BS is getting tiring coming from his camp. I'd also like to point out that his campaign has some explaining to do over this. It seems as though his campaign website has a good deal of religious bigotry being vented there:

Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee personally apologized to rival Mitt Romney previously about a disparaging remark Huckabee made about Romney's Mormon religion.

But Huckabee's Web site continues to host comments posted by supporters blasting the Mormon faith. Some blog posts were littered with rhetoric about Mormonism.

"As evangelicals, we cannot stand for this Mormon garbage to get into office," wrote Chase Colasurdo. "They even believe Jesus and Satan were brothers. My vote is God's vote, Huckabee 08."

Huckabee himself raised the question of whether Mormons believed that Jesus and Satan were brothers in an interview with the New York Times magazine, but later apologized for using those words.

"I said, I would never try, ever to try to somehow pick out some point of your faith and make it an issue, and I wouldn't," Huckabee said at the time.

On Dec. 12, in response to such questions, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued a statement: "Like other Christians, we believe Jesus is the divine Son of God. Satan is a fallen angel. As the Apostle Paul wrote, God is the Father of all. That means that all beings were created by God and are His spirit children. Christ, however, was the only begotten in the flesh, and we worship Him as the Son of God and the Savior of mankind."

Some of Huckabee's supports now are writing on his Web site that they don't think he should have said sorry.

"Finally," Suzanne Hultquist wrote in a blog post with four exclamation points. "Mike Huckabee has the courage to tell the world [who does not already know] what Mormons truly believe about Jesus. Thank you."

Another said someone should be bold enough to "completely expose the strange beliefs of the Mormon cult" on television so that the public would know it doesn't want a Mormon for president.

Huckabee spokeswoman Alice Stewart did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday afternoon.

The Huckster may not know what's going on there, but his IT people should, and they ought to know better than to let this sort of crap fly. If these represent the Evangelicals that are supporting the Huckster, then they're a bunch of bigoted @$$-hats that should be disavowed and shunned by everyone. Sensible people don't act like this in the open, and these people are hurting their candidate more than they're helping him. (Of course, the Huckster's already blown off both feet so this is small potatoes right now, but it does show that he'll tolerate religious bigots the way Ron Paul accepts the donations from white supremacists.)

Publius II

ADDENDUM: If you thought the Geraghty read wasn't so bad, Johnathan Martin throws more fuel on the fire:

Rush Limbaugh devoted a large portion of his first show since the holidays to criticizing Mike Huckabee's candidacy and offering a disapproving bottom-line assessment of the former governor.

"Ladies and gentlemen, Gov. Huckabee, mighty fine man and is a great Christian, is not a conservative, he’s just not," Limbaugh said. "If you look at his record as governor, he’s got some conservative tendencies on things but he’s certainly not the most conservative of the candidates running on the Republican side."

Limbaugh's comments come after a long-distance back-and-forth between the candidate and influential talk show host before Christmas.

Despite his criticism, Limbaugh said he didn't want to use the entire program to bash Huckabee.

"I’m going to keep some of the powder dry here because I don’t want to be accused of piling on," Limbaugh said, "but if people are going to ask me questions I’m not going to shirk from them and try to hem-haw around."

Indeed, callers were interested in discussing Huckabee, and the talker spent most of the first half of his program discussing his candidacy in the context of the GOP race.

While calling Huckabee's now-famous Des Moines presser Monday "Clintonesque," Limabugh said he would not "join the chorus" of those saying it would damage the Republican's chances.

"It’s quite possible people will see Huckabee's press conference as an attempt to be honorable, that the drive-bys [in the mainstream media] have now sabotaged him on," Limbaugh observed.

"And they can easily conclude, 'Look, he didn’t air the ad, you guys did.' The people that are looking at Huckabee in a supportive way are not analyzing Huckabee, this is what you have to understand. They are not picking apart his policy, they’re accepting him for what he is based on his identity politics. So I don’t think they’re going to take it to the nth degree the way the drive-by pundits are."

Limbaugh, who has previously offered warm words for Fred Thompson, appeared to be dissatisfied with at least three of the top GOP candidates.

In addition to Huckabee, he singled out John McCain for specific criticism, attacking the senator on immigration, campaign finance reform, interrogation and tax cuts. "The idea that he’s a great conservative in this race is an affront to conservatives," Limbaugh said, accusing the media of "pushing McCain hard."

Limbaugh seemed to swipe at McCain, Huckabee and Rudy Giuliani, respectively, in responding to a caller about which candidate had true conservative bona fides.

"If our nominee is either not conservative and is pandering to the left trying to get some of their votes, or if our nominee is so afraid of his record that he’s relying on identity politics to get votes or if our nominee decides that the only way he can win is to go out and pick off some libs in the northeast and out in the west, it’s going to be a bloodbath," he predicted of the general election.

Like him or not, folks, you have to give the man the credit he deserves. He watches politics and news the way we do, and he analyzes it much the way we do. This was an assessment that has been desperately needed about the Huckster. Also, you might note what he says about the Huckster's supporters. He's right. they aren't looking at his record. they're not analyzing what he has done, what he has said, and what he stands for. they're using identity politics and the man's faith as the basis for an obtuse choice.

Publius II


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