Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee gets uncharacteristically angry when talking about Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s failure to condemn by name the billionaire backer of Moveon.org’s attack on Gen. David H. Petraeus.
“If you can’t get your lips off the backside of George Soros long enough to use those lips to say it’s wrong to declare a sitting general … guilty of treason,” the 2008 Republican presidential hopeful said, “how would you ever expect to have the support of the very military you might have to send into deadly battle?”
The normally gentle-speaking Mr. Huckabee, an ordained Southern Baptist minister, told The Washington Times in an interview that he is “absolutely confident” that the New York senator will be the Democrats’ presidential nominee, but questioned Mrs. Clinton and the Democratic Party’s reliance on Mr. Soros, who has compared President Bush to Adolf Hitler.
MoveOn.org, to which Mr. Soros has given millions of dollars, began as an online petition opposing the impeachment of President Clinton. MoveOn.org began the recent furor by buying a full-page ad in the New York Times tagging Gen. Petraeus as “Gen. Betray Us.” The New York Times has said it violated its own policies — one that rejects personal-attack ads and another that disallows ad discounts if the buyer insists that the ad run on a specific date, as MoveOn did.
The Senate voted Thursday to condemn MoveOn’s ad, although none of the 22 Democratic senators supporting the resolution were among the four seeking their party’s White House nomination. In TV interviews on Sunday, Mrs. Clinton condemned the ad, despite having voted against the resolution.
Mr. Huckabee said a collapse by Sen. John McCain of Arizona, whose campaign is suffering numerous financial and personnel woes, would give him a boost because the two men have a number of similar views, including a “must-win” position on the Iraq war. But they differ on immigration, says Mr. Huckabee, who opposes any form of amnesty for illegal aliens.
Money is a problem for him, acknowledged Mr. Huckabee, who said he hasn’t “fully made the decision” to accept public financing in the form of federal matching funds — something he opposes in principle. But he said if he must do that to stay in the race, he may conclude that his campaign hasn’t accomplished what it set out to do. In that case, he said he may leave the race.
“If I had been able to jump-start my campaign with a couple million dollars and hired fundraisers, consultants and staff and done direct-mail [solicitation], I would have raised $20 million or $30 million by now,” Mr. Huckabee said.
Mr. Huckabee has spent only about $1.3 million on his campaign. Former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and Mr. Romney have both spent more than $30 million on their campaigns. Yet the Arkansan is running only two percentage points behind Mr. Romney in the latest AP-Ipsos national poll of Republican primary voters, and also finished second behind Mr. Romney in the biggest test so far — last month’s Iowa straw poll.
“The remarkable story is why the others have spent so much money and not done better,” Mr. Huckabee said.