ABC News’ Matt Stuart reports: Former Gov. Mitt Romney blasted Republican rival Mike Huckabee Saturday, saying Huckabee is "running from the wrong party." Romney’s comments were sparked by Huckabee’s article in Foreign Affairs, in which he says President Bush has an "arrogant bunker mentality."
Speaking at an event in Humboldt, Iowa, Romney said, "[Huckabee's] comments surprised me, they disappointed me, I expected a great deal more from the article than I saw."
"The last thing you’re gonna hear me say is that the president of the United States, George W. Bush, is a person who is arrogant, with a bunker mentality," Romney said. "That’s simply wrong and not something I would ever do."
Romney and his campaign also repeatedly said Huckabee used a "playground allegory" for foreign policy, suggesting that Huckabee was naive and inexperienced. But when pressed, the Romney campaign could not cite any such "playground allegory" used by Huckabee, only a reference to Huckabee calling for nations to "treat everyone like you’d like to be treated."
Although calling Huckabee a "great friend," Romney tried to tie the former Arkansas governor to the Democratic candidates, claiming that upon reading the report he said, "Did this come from Barack Obama? Or from Hillary Clinton? Did it come from John Edwards? No. It was one of our own. It was Gov. Huckabee."
Romney later stated that he believed he was "more conservative" on issues of immigration, spending and crime, but also stated that "together we’re a lot closer than we are to the people on the other side of the aisle."
Romney reiterated a line heard less and less often in his usual stump, "The truth of the matter is this president’s kept us safe these last six years."
Romney did, however, try to walk a fine line between allying and differentiating himself with President Bush on the war in Iraq. Although Romney claimed during his event that he "believe[s] this president has done everything he could do to keep us safe," he also claimed while speaking with reporters that "following the collapse of Saddam Hussein, we have not done adequate preparation, adequate planning, we had insufficient troop strength, we were under-managed."
Romney has faced criticism himself for a lack of foreign policy experience as a one-term governor of Massachusetts.