Mike Huckabee just held a press conference where he announced that he made a negative ad against Mitt Romney -- Lord forgive him -- but at the last minute he decided to turn the other cheek and not broadcast it. But just to show he wasn't sh*ttin' y'all, he decided to show it to a few of his closest friends at a press conference that included Tim Russert, Joe Klein and a few hundred journalists and bloggers of varying degrees of notoriety.
The ad attacks Romney for his multitude of ever-changing opinions, his healthcare plan, being mean to John McCain and just being Mitt.
Campaigns make ads all the time that they don't air, but they rarely feel compelled to show them to people. It seems like Camp Huck was answering a question that nobody is asking -- would anybody have asked for proof that the ad had been made, or demanded to see it?
It raises the question -- what was he thinking, doing something quite this wacky three days before the caucus? Does Huckabee not have enough money to run the ad? Is this a cheap way to get the message out there, and still make a claim to have (*ahem*) clean hands?
The Romney campaign was instantly spinning the Huckabee presser as a "meltdown," even as the Huckabus made its way over to his campaign headquarters where the sideshow included anti-war protesters singing "who would Jesus bomb," a throng of supporters waiving signs for rival Ron Paul and a Minuteman in a wheelchair.
Huckabee was on The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer shortly thereafter and he seemed shaken. I guess he wasn't prepared for the guffaws that arose from the press who saw a little more Elmer Gantry than Jesus Christ in all of his schtick.
Huckabee reiterated his decision to put an end to negative campaigning. "Let it begin here," he said. "If it costs me the Iowa caucus, so be it."
Amazing that some might doubt his sincerity.