ABC News’ Kevin Chupka Reports: Governor Mike Huckabee is still grasping at straws in his effort to create a scenario — any scenario — in which GOP Rival Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., would NOT wind up capturing the Republican nomination for President. Huckabee is quick to point out the differences between he and McCain on issues like life, marriage and tax reform.
Today in Texarkana, Texas however, Huckabee took a page from the McCain play book: criticizing the platform of Democratic front runner, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill.
McCain’s rhetoric criticizing Obama is due in most part to the spreading belief in both parties that the Senate colleagues will face off in the general election. Huckabee, however, will almost certainly not be facing Obama or any other Democrat this cycle. It didn’t stop him from criticizing Obama’s suggested spending to the gathered crowd of approximately 250.
"And so here’s the challenge," Huckabee said, "when I hear Barack Obama say that he’s gonna provide everybody with health care and college tuition and pave the streets with gold, ya know the American Taxpayers Union has already figured out that just the proposals he’s put on the tale so far, already are going to cost about $287 billion, so far."
Huckabee continued, "What we don’t know is how much will it cost when we walk away and leave Iraq in a mess and the Middle East blows up. How much will that cost…If we were doing the Master Card commercial we’d simply say we know what some of the costs are. Some of the items on his agenda? Priceless."
Obama was not the only one under Huckabee’s microscope this morning however. Immediately following the rally, Huckabee spoke with reporters to express his displeasure over McCain’s apparent refusal to debate. "I think debate is something that’s healthy, always. It’s good to have the issues discussed and I feel it would be good for voters of Texas, Ohio and Rhode Island if they had a chance to see the two candidates they have to choose from and if they don’t have the opportunity I hope they’ll remember that — maybe they’ll just vote for me and that will force future debates."
One debate that has been proposed is with the Values Voters, a group Huckabee has had great success with throughout his campaign. As for McCain’s apparent refusal to debate in such a forum (or any forum at this point) Huckabee said, "if you’re going to be President you ought to be willing to sit down in front of any group."