Huckabee To Romney: Grow Up, This Isn't Third Grade

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(And even if it was, no one would like you...) 

Council Bluffs, Iowa

Just to pick up on what I wrote about last night and earlier today, Huckabee held a longish press conference here this morning after canceling some local events due to weather. Asked about that new Romney ad, Huckabee went on a long riff about how no one liked that tattle tale back in third grade, and how usually the tattler wasn't the most popular kid in the class, etc. Asked whether he was calling a Romney a third-grade tattler, Huckabee said no, he was just speaking metaphorically.

Another little piece of news to report: At Huckabee's side today was a man named Jim Gilchrist, the founder of the Minutemen, who was on hand to endorse Huckabee. Gilchrist talked about how Huckabee's recently-released immigration plan was the best one out there. But given Huckabee's past support for a scholarship program for children of illegal aliens, and given that there are candidates who've been taking a hard line on immigration longer than Huckabee (Thompson and Romney, to say nothing of Tom Tancredo) it seems fair to conclude that Gilchrist had another reason for endorsing Huckabee: He just likes the guy. When I asked him about this, Gilchrist said factors other than immigration went into his decision, but declined to get into them.

Whatever the case, it's hard to believe that the candidate of the Minutemen is going to start hemorrhaging votes on immigration, however much a stretch the endorsement may be.

Update: One of the amusing things about following around immigration hawks is watching the lengths they go to to prove they're not racist. At times, you can get the impression you're listening to the president of some campus diversty group at Berkeley or Columbia. For example, I noticed that Tom Tancredo's speech at the Ames straw poll this summer went on at length about an African cab driver he befriended in Detroit. Likewise, today Gilchrist stressed repeatedly that the Minutemen are a "multi-ethnic" immigration law enforcement group. I hear you, Jim. Some of my best friends are Hispanic, too!  

--Noam Scheiber

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