ABC News’ Kevin Chupka Reports: Last night in Iowa, a new and apparently independent group of supporters began calling voters in support of former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. The calls, however, did not stop there. Rather than pointing out the strengths of Huckabee, the calls purportedly focused on the weaknesses of rivals such as Governor Mitt Romney and Senator Fred Thompson and ended with a message to visit www.TrustHuckabee.Com.
A disclaimer of sorts on the webpage reads, "Trust Huckabee is a grassroots independent organization committed to educating voters to support Governor Mike Huckabee for the Republican Nomination for President of the United States. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee."
Huckabee himself was angered by the negative tactics, "Our campaign has nothing to do with the push polling." Huckabee said, "I wish they would stop. We don’t want this kind of campaigning because it violates the spirit of our campaign. I don’t want to become President because I disabled the other candidates, I want to become President because I am the best candidate."
National campaign manager Chip Saltsman called for an end to the calls "Anyone who has the slightest understanding of the race in Iowa and the mindset of Iowans would know this sort of activity is extremely counterproductive….It loses votes rather than gains them. It’s an underhanded way of doing business that is not welcomed by the campaign and it flies in the face of what Governor Huckabee stands for: integrity and clean politics."
This afternoon, the website Politico.com reported that the calls were the brainchild of Patrick Davis, a former aid at the NRSC and were financed by several former executives from manufacturing giant, Procter & Gamble.