The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Huckabee: Obama Is ‘Trying To Do, In Many Ways, What I Hope I’m Trying To Do’


Mike Huckabee knows how to get laughs on The Tonight Show.

JAY LENO: Because when I first met you, you were living in a trailer in Arkansas.

MIKE HUCKABEE: My wife wanted me to tell you it was a manufactured home.



Why were you living in a trailer? Were you trying to put on the airs and impress public constituents?


MIKE HUCKABEE: You know, it was a triple‑wide. A lot of people only have a single‑wide trailer, but we had a triple‑wide. It was pretty significant. Actually what was going on was the governor’s mansion was undergoing renovation. There were a lot of things ‑‑ the wiring and all this stuff had to be redone. So we had an option to go out and rent this very expensive place or find alternative housing arrangements. We decided to move in a triple‑wide manufactured home on the grounds of the governor’s mansion. We knew we were going to take a beating.

JAY LENO: We had a million jokes about it.


Thank you. You supported the monologue for weeks with that.


MIKE HUCKABEE: The big line was ‑‑ they said, “I’m sorry. I’m running late today. I was on the interstate and got behind the governor’s mansion.


Also notice how he manages to look like the good guy when he complains about ads critical of someone besides himself:

MIKE HUCKABEE: We had been hammered. We had been outspent 20 to 1 in Iowa. 20 to 1. And that’s tough. And we had been hammered ‑‑

JAY LENO: How much did you spend?

MIKE HUCKABEE: Oh, I think probably 3‑ to $400,000.

JAY LENO: And how much did Romney spend?

MIKE HUCKABEE: 8 or 9 million. So I mean, you know, it’s a substantial difference. We just kept getting hammered with negative television ads, negative radio ads, and mail pieces. And finally, decided “We had better answer this, or somebody is going to believe all this stuff.”

JAY LENO: So they work ‑‑ negative ads.

MIKE HUCKABEE: Well, they seemed to. Then he started hammering John McCain over in New Hampshire. John McCain may be a rival of mine in the presidential race, but I have nothing but respect for him. He’s a great American hero. I think he’s a great American and a wonderful man, and a great guy.


And finally, Huckabee compares himself to one of the Democrats…

JAY LENO: Now, quickly ‑‑ the Democrats also seem to be gaining in Iowa. Let’s say you win. Who would you want to win on the Democratic ballot? Who would you want to run against?

MIKE HUCKABEE: I still want them all to drop out, and let me have a clear shot all the way to the White House.


JAY LENO: So you’re realistic about this.

MIKE HUCKABEE: Yeah, frankly, I think there’s some Democrats that ‑‑ I think they’re all sincere. I think there’s a fundamental difference between us in terms of whether we think taxes ought to go up or down, whether government ought to be more or less involved. Look, I have respect for anybody that runs for president. I have a great respect for Barack Obama. I think he’s a person who is trying to do in many ways what I hope I’m trying to do and that is to say let’s quit what I call “horizontal politics.” Everything in this country is not left, right, liberal, conservative, Democrat, Republican. I think the country is looking for somebody who is vertical, who is thinking, “Let’s take America up and not down,” and people will forgive you for being left or right if you go up.

“The Corner” has some video up, too.

Tags: Barack Obama , Bill Richardson , Chris Dodd , Fred Thompson , Hillary Clinton , Horserace , Joe Biden , John Edwards , John McCain , Mike Huckabee , Mitt Romney , Newt Gingrich , Rudy Giuliani , Sarah Palin , Something Lighter , Tommy Thompson


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