Huck v. Club for Growth | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Huck v. Club for Growth

Posted By on Thu, Sep 20, 2007 at 5:50 AM

A writer for Salon decides to explore why Mike Huckabee misleads reporters about the Club for Growth campaign against his candidacy. He knows -- and everybody else knows -- that Jackson T. Stephens Jr., an heir to the Stephens financial fortune, is the financier behind the conservative group's effort to publicize Huckabee's record. Why does he continue to leave the impression that another candidate must be responsible?

In a conference call with reporters late last week, Huckabee was asked what he thought about Stephens' role in the Club for Growth's anti-Huckabee campaign, which was expanded last week to include a new Web site, TaxHikeMike.org. Huckabee again repeated his claim that he did not know who was behind the campaign, an information deficit that would make him unique in Arkansas political circles. "I hope he is not involved in the Club for Growth stuff," Huckabee said about Stephens. "I would be disappointed and I would be wondering why."

At the same time, Huckabee made it clear that he was very familiar with Stephens' other political work. On the conference call, Huckabee boasted of pushing through a state education reform initiative that Stephens supported and enacting other reforms from an advisory panel on which Stephens served. He also mentioned that both Stephens' brother and cousin were supporters of the Huckabee for President campaign. "He ought to love me," Huckabee said.

The betting money believes Huckabee knows full well that he is searching for love in all the wrong places. But given the choice of responding to an attack ad and demonizing its backers on national television, Huckabee made the politically prudent choice. He would rather make a mystery out of the obvious. Rather than get bogged down in a discussion of his mixed record as a fiscal conservative in Arkansas, he chose to go on national television and announce a nationwide manhunt for a faceless villain.

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