'Conservative' Fox News Much Tougher on Huckabee than Hillary

Is Fox News really the hard right news outlet that left wing bloggers and presidential candidates to even a former president accuse? When contrasting interviews between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Mike Huckabee, that charge appears almost laughable.

After asking Senator Clinton all softball questions such as how she keeps herself "going everyday," to what nick name she would like if she wins Iowa, "Fox and Friends" asked Governor Huckabee fair but much tougher questions.

Appearing on the January 3 edition of "Fox and Friends" host Steve Doocy, mixed some lighthearted questions with Huckabee’s recent controversies. Doocy inquired into why Huckabee crossed the picket line and his confusion on the writers’ strike, his alleged Romney negative ad stunt, and Huckabee’s strategist Ed Rollins stating he would "like to knock out Mitt Romney’s teeth."

The entire transcript is below.

FORMER MASSACHUSETTS GOVERNOR MITT ROMNEY: We're working very hard to get our own voters to get to the caucuses and letting people know where the caucuses are. Actually, I understand in this last week that about ten percent of the caucus locations were changed by the Republican party of Iowa. So nothing of that nature is going on from our campaign, that I'm aware of-

STEVE DOOCY: There you have Mitt Romney talking about perhaps some dirty tricks or something going on at the last minute. Things have gotten ugly between Mitt Romney and our next guest who is Mike Huckabee, who joins us live from Des Moines right now. Good morning to you Governor.

FORMER ARKANSAS GOVERNOR MIKE HUCKABEE: Good morning Steve. How are you doing today?

DOOCY: I'm doing great. How are you doing? You got to be a little nervous. This is the big day.

HUCKABEE: It is a big day. It's a big day for us, but I think it's a big day for this country. If we're able to do really well here, it's going to prove that presidential politics is back in the hands of the people and not just in the hands of those with a big purse and a big pocket book.

DOOCY: Okay. Last night you were on the Jay Leno show. He returned to the airwaves. His company, NBC, didn't have a deal with the writers, so and so you had to cross a picket line. Could you explain to me why you did? Because I heard you were a little confused about whether or not he settled up.

HUCKABEE: Well, Jay had an agreement with the president of the Writer's Guild that he would not be bringing in any writers to take over for those who were in the guild. And, secondly, he put 160 people back to work. I support the writers. They're right on this thing. They, they're in the right, and I support them. But Leno's show was one that was separate really from the NBC protest that, that I think the writers are pretty upset about. And we went so we had agreed to go. Jay Leno was very good to me a few years ago, and had me on his show. And this was, gosh, five, six years ago. And, you know, we had a great time and I felt it would be a nice thing to get back,and frankly talk to a whole lot of Iowa Caucus voters who were watching his show last night.

DOOCY: Sure. Well, you had your chance. You could have picked up a guitar and played in the band. We saw you playing the guitar a couple of days ago. You sounded pretty good.

HUCKABEE: Well, thank you. I, I try, you know, it was a lot of fun though playing with Leno's band. They're incredibly good. And it was a nice change of pace, but the experience was wonderful. Jay is one of the classiest guys in the business, truly a gentleman both on and off stage, and I enjoyed every minute of it.

DOOCY: Right, a couple of days ago, you took a lot of flack over saying "I'm not going to go negative, although I produced this ad, and it's a negative ad, and I'm not going to run the ad." But then you ran the ad. And now apparently the ad is all over the internet. Does that bother you that even though you didn't want the ad out, it's out?

HUCKABEE: Well, we didn't run the ad. We only showed to reporters, which is different from running it. We pulled it before it got on the air. And how it got in the hands of people, I don't know. It didn't come from our campaign, and your own Carl Cameron admitted that it didn't. We destroyed the DVD's that we had that would have gone to the press. And I think if people want to think that was disingenuous, we would have run the ad for three or four days, then we would have pulled and decided "oh we were against it." We didn't do that. We pulled it before it aired because I just didn't think that it was right. I think that it was the right decision. And people in Iowa, I'm just going to have to trust appreciated that.

DOOCY: Sure. There's some stories in the press today that talk about how it was a hundred- this is some estimates, that it probably cost your campaign $150,000 to produced that ad. And it sounds like Ed Rollins was the guy, your campaign manager, who wanted to go negative in this campaign that has gotten negative. And he's quoted, Mr. Rollins is quoted in "The Washington Post" in saying he's, he'd like to knock out Mitt Romney's teeth. I'm sure you wouldn't want to knock out Mr. Romney's teeth would you?

HUCKABEE: No, I probably wouldn't. Look, it was my decision to run the ad and it was my decision to pull. We were taking a beating. We've been outspent 20 to 1 here. There have been relentless and ruthless attacks about my character and about my record. A lot of misleading things done. I said "let's correct it." This is ridiculous. Then I decided, you know what? People in Iowa don't respond to this. I just want to believe that they're going to want a positive campaign and a positive candidate. And so we pulled it. But it was my decision and I don't blame anybody else for that.

DOOCY: Well, you took the high road. Governor, we've got a lot of viewers in Iowa with us right now watching. They're going to go to the caucus sites 12 hours from now. I'll give you 30 seconds. Make your pitch.

HUCKABEE: Well, first of all, I wanted to say the people of Iowa have been wonderful. It occurred to me last night when we were coming in that there are a lot of folks that I built real friendships with over the last year or so. And I'm going to miss these folks, but I'll be back this fall as the nominee campaigning hard for the general election. But I think people in Iowa are like the rest of America. They want somebody whose views are consistent. Who has the same views today that he had in the past and will have them tomorrow, and who has some authenticity. And as I said on Jay Leno last night, I think it's important to know that a lot of people are supporting me because they feel like that I'm the kind of guy that they go to work with instead of the guy that laid them off from their job.

DOOCY: There you go. You know, I was born in Iowa and something I missed all of the time, and something you may miss as well, now that you're moving on to the other states, the made right sandwich, the loose meat sandwich. For somebody from Iowa, it is delicious and I miss it.

HUCKABEE: I'll try to get you one, wrap it in a bag, and bring it to you next time I'm in New York, Steve. Because Iowa is a wonderful place and these people have been incredible. They're a lot like the people in my home state of Arkansas. They're genuine, they're kind, they're just good folks. That's what they are and it's been a great time being here. I'm going to miss it. I'm looking forward to coming back in the fall.

Campaigns & Elections 2008 Presidential Fox News Channel Fox & Friends Steve Doocy Mike Huckabee