It remains to be seen whether the New York Times took Mike Huckabee out of context when it quoted him asking “Don’t Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?” The problem, for Huckabee, is that even if Times reporter Zev Chafets did present the quote out of context, there’s no way Huckabee can prove it, because no Huckabee staffer was recording the interview. So the campaign has no transcript. “From now on, you can bet we’ll have someone taping those sorts of talks,” one Huckabee aide told me this morning. (It’s unclear whether Chafets recorded the interview, and even if he did, whether the Times would release a transcript.) Such taping is pretty standard procedure with other campaigns, certainly in big interviews. With Huckabee, it’s just another mark of a not-ready-for-prime-time campaign finding itself zooming upward in the polls.
At the moment, the bigger problem is that Huckabee’s aides can’t say just how the quote was taken out of context. No one seems to know. They say the governor’s adult daughter was present at the interview, and she said the remark had been taken out of context. So then, on the basis of that, the campaign said it had been taken out of context. But in what way? It looks like we’ll have to wait for Huckabee himself to explain.