There was never much love to lose between GOP candidates Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee. Huckabee made much of not being able to afford the kind of campaign Romney was running and Romney never seemed to take the southern Christian candidate seriously.
Cut to yesterday. In Michigan, where McCain is campaigning, about 40 Huckabee supporters will be waiting in Saginaw to argue for McCain to choose any running mate but Romney. The message is that if Romney is McCain's veep pick, then some of the Huckabee-ites at least will work their hearts out to ensure their fellow evangelicals stay home or even vote Obama come November.
As reported by the Detroit News:
Michigan supporters of Mike Huckabee's campaign will hold a pair of meetings Wednesday with John McCain's presidential campaign, and among their goals will be to convince the Republican nominee not to name Mitt Romney as his running mate.
McCain himself is tentatively scheduled to meet Wednesday with about 10 social conservative activists and religious leaders from around Michigan, according to two people familiar with the arrangements. Separately, about 40 Huckabee supporters will meet Wednesday evening in Saginaw with a McCain campaign liaison to social conservatives, said Debra Matney, a Huckabee supporter from Fairgrove in Michigan's Thumb who is helping to organize the event.
Marlys Popma, an Iowa social conservative activist who heads up McCain's outreach to evangelical conservatives, will represent McCain at the Saginaw meeting, Matney said.
McCain's vice presidential selection is likely to be a major topic at both meetings. Matney said Huckabee supporters want the former Arkansas governor on the ticket; failing that, she said, many would oppose Romney. While the Michigan native and former Massachusetts governor got significant support from many conservatives during his primary campaign, others say they are suspicious of his relatively recent move to social conservative positions on issues such as abortion and gay marriage.
One person familiar with the planning, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the meeting, said arrangements could change, but that the meeting would involve about 10 social conservative activists. Again, opposition to Romney was likely to be among the topics, this person said.