OSCEOLA, IOWA – A lot can change between now and Jan. 3, Mike Huckabee said while pheasant hunting today.
Out in the brittle, snowy fields, Huckabee shot the third of three pheasants killed by his hunting group. Reporters watched from a distance and circled around him when he came back with the dead birds.
One reporter said, "Governor, you like to speak in metaphors. What's the metaphor here?"
"Don't get in my way," he said.
She asked if the birds had "names like Romney, Thompson…"
Huckabee: "No I'll let you decide that."
With a firing shot, Huckabee launched into the final stretch of campaigning in Iowa with a photo op. Less than twelve hours after Christmas, reporters were already asking Huckabee about his rival opponents and the effect negative campaigning will have against his did.
Huckabee said he wasn't sure what effect would be but said Iowan caucus goers were seasoned enough to "see through" the negative campaigning.
"The magician plays the game of keeping your focus over here on this hand while he's doing something with the other one," said Huckabee. "And I think people understand that slight of hand is not why you elect a president."
A journalist jumped in and said Huckabee just accused Romney of being a magician.
"No I didn't," said Huckabee to a group of laughing gaggle. "There you go again, you guys are always putting words in my mouth. I'm going to load this thing up right here," he said looking down at his gun.
"Just speaking Huckabese," joked another reporter.
"Is that a new language?" asked Huckabee, chuckling. "Must be."