On this Super Sunday, it's fitting I suppose that Mike Huckabee would be out there blocking and tackling for Team McCain. Appearing on this morning's Today show, the former Arkansas governor made a pro forma claim that he's still running for president and not the veep slot. But Huckabee certainly seemed to be acting as what Mark Steyn described in a recent Hugh Hewitt interview as McCain's "wing man."
Consider Huckabee's reply to a question from Sunday co-host Jenna Wolfe [a resident, coincidentally, of Chappaqua, NY, home to Bill and Hillary.]
JENNA WOLFE: Governor, Mitt Romney said that evangelicals who vote for you would basically be handing the party's nomination over to a very liberal John McCain. I see you're smiling there. What is your reaction to that?
MIKE HUCKABEE: Well I think he's got it just a little bit wrong. People who vote for Mitt Romney might be handing it over to John McCain. But let's be fair. John McCain is not a liberal. I think that's nonsense. One of the reasons Mitt Romney's campaign has not been able to get traction even though he spent $100 million is that statements like that are ludicrous. John McCain and I differ on immigration; we differ on stem-cell research; we differ on the human-life amendment. So there's some areas where we're different. But to call him a liberal is a pretty big stretch, especially from a guy who still believes in gun control, who's a recent convert to the pro-life movement, who still has a real problem figuring out where he stands on a host of issues. I just think that's ludicrous, and that's why we feel like we're going into this, if it is a two-man race, it's John McCain and Mike Huckabee.
Just how liberal John McCain is or isn't [and I would say he holds liberal positions on, among other issues, immigration, taxes, ANWR, campaign-finance and global warming] can be debated. But if Huckabee is truly trying to defeat John McCain, why would he spend his time defending McCain against Romney's criticism? I'd say the Arkansan doth protest too much. It certainly seems he's in this for whatever he can get from McCain.
Aside: Romney has racked up wins in Michigan, Nevada, Wyoming and Maine, while Huckabee ever since Iowa, with the excepton of SC where he finished a competitive second, has been a distant also-ran. So if Romney "has not been able to get traction," you'd have to say that Huck is stuck in reverse.