Huckabee endorsement of Hudson in NC-08 part of larger spat between Huckabee and The Club for Growth



The News & Observer did a great job today taking dictation — dutifully transcribing a release from Republican Richard Hudson’s congressional campaign office.  Hudson and  Scott Keadle face off in the July 17th GOP runoff for the right to challenge 8th district congressman Larry Kissell (D).

The Hudson campaign is trumpeting an endorsement from former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate, current radio talk show host, and current Fox News tv show host Mike Huckabee.

You have to turn to The Hill, a DC-based political web site, to get what Paul Harvey used to call “the rest of the story”:

The often heated conflict between former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) and the fiscally conservative Club for Growth is coming to a boil this month, with the two on opposite sides in a number of Republican congressional primaries.

Three of the four races where they’re at loggerheads take place in May: A hard-fought Texas Senate primary on May 29; a House primary in Huckabee’s old Arkansas district featuring one of his former staffers on May 22; and Nebraska’s Senate primary this past Tuesday. Wisconsin’s Senate primary will take place in August.

Back in 2008, Huckabee was the lead target of the Club for Growth, which ran ads calling him a “liberal” and slamming his fiscal record as governor. Huckabee hasn’t forgotten those criticisms — he called the group “disgusting” during his endorsement of former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson (R), whom the Club opposes, late last year.

The two also hail from different parts of the Republican Party. Huckabee is known first and foremost as a social conservative, while the Club focuses exclusively on economic issues.

“Mike Huckabee’s view of the role of government is contrary to ours,” Club for Growth spokesman Barney Keller told The Hill. “He believes that government should play a role in the lives of everyday people and he adopted a sort of populist, anti-capitalism stance when he ran for president.”

Keller pointed out that Huckabee was the first candidate to attack presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney on his work for Bain Capital, long before Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry and President Obama followed suit. He also said Huckabee “raised many taxes, he spent every dollar he could get his hands on and he supports nanny-state programs like smoking bans and obesity legislation.” […]

So, it appears Huckabee is running around the country backing candidates opposed by The Club for Growth — a DC-based PAC focused on electing Republicans with strong, free-market economic views.   The Club is enthusiastically supporting the election of Scott Keadle.

Hudson and NC-08 are merely the latest stop on Huckabee’s REVENGE TOUR. It’s not about Richard Hudson. It’s all about Rev. Mike and his ego. 

For what it’s worth — Huckabee has teamed up with folks criticizing Rush Limbaugh for what they see as a “lack of civility.”  He’s  signed on for a radio talk show meant to compete nationally with El Rushbo.

(Ahem — *good luck* with that.)