Huckabee tells McCain to cool it

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In a blog posting and e-mail to supporters Mike Huckabee, who was praised for fighting a clean nomination battle with John McCain, is calling on both sides to cut the carping and get back to issues.

Speaking on Fox News on Tuesday, Huckabee said he didn’t think Barack Obama intended offense by his “lipstick on a pig” comments — but after a further day’s back-and-forth, he says the whole thing is out of hand.

“Almost twenty four hours into this new controversy and the accusations are continuing to fly from both campaigns. That’s too bad. Let’s shift back to the issues.”

He said there’s plenty of room to attack Obama on his new education plan, or to talk about health care and energy, rather than go hog-wild over lipstick.

It’s a curious move from someone who just last week gave a major speech on McCain’s behalf at the Republican National Convention. Huckabee continues to position himself as a post-partisan Republican — exactly the role McCain held after his own 2000 race. We’ll see if Huckabee makes of it what McCain was able to.

Stephen Dinan, national political correspondent, The Washington Times

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