TIGERVILLE, S.C. -- Mike Huckabee signed a big placard with a "No Amnesty" pledge in front of members of the press.
"You know, I think sometimes people have misrepresented my position not on the past, but also present and I think its important to be very clear," said Huckabee.
"People read the plan that I have, they shouldn't have any doubt. But not everybody reads, so I'm going to put it on this big board, let folks read it loud and clear and know that our plan is not amnesty or sanctuary city plan, it is the proper plan for the rule of law"
Huckabee kept his hands clean as the the sponsor of the pledge attacked Huckabee's opponents, calling them out by name. Roy Beck, founder of NumbersUSA, explained his non-profit does not endorse candidates and instead rates them with a sixteen category grade system. But Beck continued, "Every candidate, in both parties, says he or she is against amnesty. So then you have to ask, are they speaking English or is it political-ease"
Beck grouped John McCain with Sens. Ted Kennedy, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton for supporting "massive rewards to allow illegal aliens to keep the things they broke the law to steal - it allows them to have permanent residency and American jobs."
"We have found in the last couple weeks is that Senator McCain and Mayor [Rudy] Giuliani have, instead of moving to the direction of siding with a pledge like this...have actually moved in the other direction. Both Senator McCain and Mayor Giuliani have made very clear that, after deporting, maybe 2 million illegal aliens who have broke other laws, they would allow all the rest to stay in this country permanently and keep their American jobs"
Asked if he thought McCain should sign the same pledge, Huckabee declined to answer.
"I'm not going to speak for him. I have trouble enough speaking for me," he said. "Now if I thought I could mess up speaking for him, I'd go ahead and speak for him and mess up, but I'm not able to do that today so I won't."
Huckabee stepped aside after the question was redirected at Beck.
Beck: "We've had very civil discussions with Senator McCain and his staff last week again offering it but I think he made it clear in the South Carolina debate last week that at least 10 million illegal aliens ought to stay here permanently."
At an earlier press conference, Huckabee clarified remarks he made yesterday calling for a "hiatus" of and a "permit" for immigrants coming from countries with state sponsored terrorism.
Steering away from the word "hiatus," Huckabee said, "I think we just need to do a more thorough job of insuring that when people come here and they come from nations that have been designated by the State Department as terrorist nations, that we are dilligent in the background search," Huckabee said, reiterating the point that 19 hijackers on 9/11 entered the country legally and overstayed their visas.
Asked if he was singling out Saudi Arabia in his comments, Huckabee said, "Well the Saudis are not designated as a terrorist nation but I think we have to realize that money that the Saudis have has gone to madrasas that have trained those in terrorism...I think we need to be more explicit with the Saudis in our displeasure and also, again, it goes back to my point that one of the ways we have the authority to be more diligent in our demands is that we reduce our need and consumption of their oil. And the sooner we do that, the bolder we can be."