Huckabee: A Vote for Romney is a Vote for Hillary
From CBS News' Joy Lin:
TULSA, OKLA. -- Mike Huckabee has found a new way to deflect the headwinds of conservative pundits who, with Mitt Romney, have said a vote for Huckabee would be a vote for John McCain.
At a press conference following an enthusiastic rally, Huckabee said, "A vote for Mitt Romney may be a vote for Hillary Clinton. Because the fact is I've got a far more conservative record than Mitt Romney ever dreamed of having. Where people can come up with branding him a conservative is really, I think, tantamount to requiring an extrarodinary amount of imagination."
The candidate was much more diplomatic yesterday, saying, "a vote for me is a vote for me. A vote for Romney is a vote for Romney. A vote for McCain is a vote for McCain. Anybody who suggests otherwise is trying to put a spin on it."
Huckabee is making a concerted effort to reverse the effort to push him off the field. Conservative commentator Sean Hannity recently said he would vote for Romney, as did former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Penn.
Huckabee said any "MBA running Bain Capital" would look at Romney's campaign and see how poor the returns were. He used the Bain Capital reference to target a sensitive aspect of Romney's campaign: the "staggering amount of money" Romney has used to finance the campaign for second place in New Hampshire and Florida.
Huckabee suggested Romney would have cut losses and dismembered his own campaign by now if he were a businessman evaluating its performance.
"I know what he did when he ran companies like that. He broke them apart, turned people loose and fired them. And sold off the companies. Rather than suggest that we end our operation, I'd say maybe its time for him to turn out the lights and lock the doors."
Huckabee often points to the huge monetary inefficiencies in Romney's campaign as a warning of how he would spend the federal treasury.
Asked what voters should glean from the way McCain had to borrow money to save his campaign, Huckabee was more generous.
He said McCain "has been part of a Congress that has borrowed a lot of money and that's why we have a lot of debt. But I also think that he's made some concessions. He made a lot of cuts on his campaign staff back when things were going tough for him."
"He doesn't go around bragging he knows more about running the finances than anybody else either," Huckabee said in another jab at Romney.
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