The Campaign Spot

Why Did an Iowa TV Station Yank Huck’s Negative Ad Early?

There’s something of an oddity to the timeline of Mike Huckabee’s decision not to run that negative ad against Mitt Romney.

The word from the Huckabee folks has been that this was a last-minute decision. During the press conference which began at 12:30 p.m. local time, Huckabee said, “That was in fact the press conference that we had scheduled.  And the one that even our staff thought we were going have here until about 10 minutes ago. About an hour ago, I just decided that’s not the way that we want to run it.”

The event was scheduled to start at noon, so let’s say Huckabee meant an hour before the scheduled time, which would put his decision at around 11 a.m.

Huckabee’s campaign chairman Ed Rollins puts the decision around that time:

As for the gathering, Rollins says, “Now would I have loved to cancel the press conference? You betcha. Would I have loved to pull the signs down? Yes. But this decision was made about 11, 11:10 in the morning.” The news conference was scheduled for noon.

Another report:

Vander Plaats said Huckabee informed his entire senior campaign team of his decision upon boarding his campaign bus at around 11:30 to go the press conference.

The problem is, someone on Huckabee’s team told KCRG, a television station in Cedar Rapids, not to run the ad at 10 a.m., according to the local Gazette.

An official at KCRG-TV9 TV9 in Cedar Rapids confirmed that the station received the 30-second spot from the Huckabee campaign shortly after 6 a.m. today but was told at 10:01 a.m. not to air the commercial and the station did not show the paid advertisement.

So why was a local station told at 10 a.m. not to show it, if Huckabee only decided to cancel the ad around 11 a.m.? Did somebody on the campaign cancel the ad without Huckabee’s approval? Or is the campaign suggesting that the decision was more last-minute than it really was?

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