First it was the American Spectator, mentioned earlier today, with an item on campaign finance funny business by home schoolers that left a little soil on the Mike Huckabee campaign. It was provided, the conservative publication noted, by other Republican presidential campaigns.
Now here’s another huge takeout on Huckabee, this time from Newsmax.com, another far-right outlet. It questions his record as a fiscal conservative, primarily noting that his no-tax pledge as a federal candidate stands in stark contrast to his record as governor. Grover Norquist and the Club for Growth provide much of the anti-Huckabee fodder and Arkansas Leader editorials are lavishly quoted. The article also notes Huckabee’s executive clemency record. The lead:
Former Arkansas governor and GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee wants to be seen as — in his own words — an “authentic” conservative, but his governing record shows he does not live up to the image.
From this, you have to conclude that some in the Republican field have decided that Huckabee is getting traction and thus is worth targeting. This is particularly true as as the candidates fight for the ultraconservative voter, thought to be critical in key primary states. It’s all very tricky. Huckabee really is a moderate as conservatives go, one of the attractive aspects of his record. But he can never admit it in the primary. And eating those ultraconservative words won’t be very pleasant should he win the nomination and have to seek votes from moderates.