Huckabee on Christ Ad Brouhaha: ‘Paul is Dead’

By Jennifer Parker

Dec 18, 2007 3:07pm

ABC News’ Kevin Chupka Reports: Former Governor Mike Huckabee, R-Ark., had some fun Tuesday answering a question about a brewing controversy over his latest TV ad called "What Really Matters."

Huckabee is running a Christmas ad in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina where the former Baptist minister invokes Jesus Christ — the first 2008 Republican candidate to do so in a campaign ad.

In the ad Huckabee says that that at this time of year, "what really matters is the celebration of the birth of Christ and being with our family and our friends."

Some have suggested there is an image of a cross behind Huckabee’s shoulder as he talks to the camera in the ad, but Huckabee dismissed that Tuesday.

"That was a book shelf behind me, a book shelf," Huckabee told reporters while campaigning in Houston, Texas.

Huckabee was asked if his language crossed the line between faith and politics:  "Absolutely not," he said.

Huckabee went on to joke, to the delight of the reporters in the room, "I will confess this; if you play the spot backwards it says ‘Paul is dead, Paul is dead, Paul is dead.’"

The Republican candidate likened the dissection of his Christmas campaign ad to rumors that Paul McCartney was killed in a car crash at the height of the Beatles popularity and replaced by a doppelganger, and that subtle clues were placed inside the group’s music for years to come.

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