Sunday, January 20, 2008

Huckabee cozies up to Southern racists

Part of the story behind Huckabee is the idea he keeps pushing that he's a conservative, but he isn't the mean kind of conservative you may be used to.

Still, if he's the nice, amiable type he wants you to think he is, what's he doing cozying up to the neo-Confederates down in secessionville?

COLUMBIA, S.C. - Mike Huckabee on Thursday dove head-first into the long-running South Carolina controversy over the Confederate flag, saying it should be up to the state to decide how or whether it should be displayed. The comments came at a rally in Florence, S.C., where the Republican presidential candidate attempted to separate himself from other contenders he said were "Washington insiders." Saturday's South Carolina primary appears to be a two-man race between Huckabee and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. Former Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tenn., also is hoping to make an impact in the first-in-the-South primary. At the rally, Huckabee criticized those who "have been in charge of all the problems of this country and haven't fixed them." "I'm the one guy running that doesn't have a Washington address, that hasn't been a Washington lobbyist or a Washington insider," he said. His comments on the Confederate flag came as he bashed opponents in the anti-tax group Club for Growth. The organization has been campaigning against Huckabee, calling the former Arkansas governor a serial tax hiker. Huckabee said Arkansans wouldn't be swayed by out-of-state pressures, nor should South Carolina on the flag issue. "We tell them, you're going to tell us what to do with our flag? We'll tell you what to do with the pole," Huckabee said. Huckabee would not say whether he thought it was offensive to fly a flag seen as a racist symbol to some and a sign of Southern pride to others. The matter should be left to the state, he said.

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