MACON, GA. -- Mike Huckabee unleashed his harshest criticism to date of Mitt Romney today, calling him "arrogant and presumptuous" to think that he's taking votes away from Romney.
"How presumptuous and arrogant must a man be to assume that if I did drop out of the race that the people who voted for me would vote for him?" Huckabee asked at a rally in Macon.
"I'm going to tell u something, there is one of us who grew up in the South like you. One of us who understands how to cook grits, and fry catfish, and who didn't have to be taught which end of a rifle to point, when you point at a white tail deer," Huckabee said in one of the few Super Tuesday states where he's running second in the polls. "We got candidate who says he's a lifelong hunter but never had a hunting license - we call that a poacher where I come from."
"And I want to say something to Mitt Romney: Mitt the people that support me support me because they know where I stand on the issue of human life, they don't know where you stand," he said, referring to Romney's recent conversion to a public anti-abortion rights stance.
"People who support me know that I support the Second Amendment and, in fact, was the first sitting governor in America to have a concealed carry permit, as was my wife. And I'm not confused about the fact that the Second Amendment is not about hunting it's about freedom, it's about protecting ourselves, our families and our property and nobody has the right to infringe upon that. People are supporting me because they know that I am not confused about the meaning of marriage and they know that I am not confused about whether or not the future of this country ought to belong to hard working people who drive truck and who lift heavy things and who get their hands dirty everyday and if our country doesn't work for folks like that it doesn't work anybody."
"Mr. Romney has spent about $100 million [$87.6 million, actually] to have basically the same number of delegates as I have and I've spent about $7 million. You know with the business background he has, you'd think by this point with his Harvard-educated MBA, he'd come to the conclusion that he's not selling his soap very well if it takes that kind of money to have no more market share than I've got for about a fifteenth of the expenditure. So I've got a suggestion, Mr. Romney, rather than Mitt drop out, why don't you give it up and go back to Boston!"
"I want to make real sure that he understands something. This old Arkansas boy is not for sale. He doesn't have enough money to buy me. I'm not some troubled company that he can buy, sell off the assets and send us home. There's a whole lot of people like me in this country who are tired of people waving their checkbooks at us and making us think they own us and they can buys us. Well you can't buy us, you can't even rent us. We're not for sale. We're going to the polls Tuesday and we're going to show America this country is about ordinary people who believe in the extraordinary power of the American dream and we're going to prove it at the ballot box Tuesday."