The Huckabee campaign has taken a bizarre turn this afternoon.
The former Arkansas governor announced a press conference in Des Moines, Iowa Monday afternoon to launch a negative attack ad on his rival former Gov. Mitt Romney, R-Mass., and go after what he thinks are Romney’s flip-flops.
But then, Huckabee said, he changed his mind. He didn’t want to launch the ad.
Huckabee now says he will run a positive campaign, even though he’s been calling Romney "dishonest" since Friday, spoke to the press surrounded by placards slamming Romney, and has a passage on his website comparing Romney to Seinfeld’s lying friend George Costanza.
"It’s never too late to do the right thing," Huckabee told reporters.
Huckabee took the unusual step of showing the media the anti-Romney TV ad, the one he said he told TV stations to pull from the airwaves.
The ad began like this:
HUCKABEE: I’m Mike Huckabee and I approved this spot because Iowans have the right to know the truth about Mitt Romney’s dishonest attacks on me and even an American hero, John McCain.
NARRATOR: Romney’s record? Over 700 million in new taxes. Left office with a deficit. No executions. Supported gun control. And Romney’s government-mandate health plan provided a $50 co-pay for abortion.
HUCKABEE: If a man’s dishonest to obtain a job, he’ll be dishonest on the job. Iowans deserve better.
Huckabee said he knows some will view the decision to show the media the ad with skepticism — a way to get TV play for the ad, regardless — but he says he wanted to show the media there was indeed an ad, which campaign adviser Ed Rollins said cost the campaign $30,000.
He said he knows some will view the decision to show the media the ad with skepticism — a way to get TV play for the ad, regardless — but he says he wanted to show the media there was indeed an ad, which campaign adviser Ed Rollins said cost the campaign $30,000.
"The tone of the campaign has gotten out of control," Huckabee said.
Huckabee acknowledged that Romney’s steady barrage of negative ads against him has hurt him in Iowa. But, he says, "the decision had to be made" to change the tone of the campaign.