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Mike Huckabee Claims He Only Played Yanked Attack Ad To Prove It Existed, Then Stands By Its Content

Reported by Ellen - January 2, 2008 -

Mike Huckabee was on Hannity & Colmes last night (1/1/08) and, naturally, the discussion turned to the controversy over the attack ad he made against Mitt Romney then yanked at a news conference (amid poster boards displaying Romney’s gaffes and policy reversals). To Sean Hannity, Huckabee claimed that he yanked the ad in order to stay positive and that he played it for reporters only to prove the ad existed. But then, during his turn with Alan Colmes, Huckabee stood by the ad’s content. With video.

Huckabee told Hannity that he pulled the ad in order “to stay positive and not to go nuclear… We just need to change the course of the discussion.”

“Why would you run the ad while you say you’re pulling the ad?” Hannity asked.

Huckabee gave an implausible (at least to me) answer: “Because If we didn’t show the ad to the reporters, I think we thought they would have said, ‘Well, we didn’t have one.’”

But later, Alan Colmes asked whether Huckabee “stand(s) by the words in that ad.”

“I never retracted the words,” Huckabee said. “But I pulled the ad because I felt like that it is the tone and the spirit of the ad, that that’s not what we need and I just want to believe that Americans really are looking for a different kind of approach.”

Colmes pressed, “But the point, the point is, Governor, you stand, you do stand by what that ad says. You’re not disavowing what (unintelligible, Huckabee and Colmes spoke at the same time).”

Huckabee said, “Alan, I made it very clear that when you say things about an opponent’s record that aren’t true or say things about your own record which aren’t true – I don’t know how else you call that but dishonest – and if I make up things about my own resume, if I say I have endorsements that I don’t have, the question is, do people want a president who has not been completely straightforward about endorsements, about positions, about events that have happened in his or her life, those are serious questions that voters have to ask.”

“Are you going negative now by saying the very things you’re saying now about Romney?” Colmes asked.

Huckabee insisted he wasn’t. “You asked me a question I’m trying to answer it. I don’t know how to answer it without being specific, within the context of not, you know, just simply going out there and making a bunch of statements that I think would be unnecessary and perhaps harsh.”