COUNCIL BLUFFS, IOWA -- Snowed in, the Mike Huckabee campaign cancelled his morning events and organized an impromptu news conference where he received the endorsement of Jim Gilchrist, the founder of the anti-illegal immigration Minuteman Project.
Huckabee accused the federal government of "failing" to put together an immigration policy where people "come through the front door, not the back door" and live with their "head held up high. Calling the "amnesty of the 1980s" a "miserable failure," Huckabee said "we've created" a "society where people are forced into hiding."
Gilchrist said he had been made aware of Huckabee's plan a month ago and Huckabee said the endorsement had nothing to do with Romney's new ad criticizing him on the immigration issue and was merely "providential."
Asked about the Romney ad, Huckabee said he was "somewhat flattered" that he had the first attack ad made by a GOP opponent and saw it as a "sign of desperation."
He predicted people of Iowa want to vote for a "guy who has a plan for the future of America" and "not the tattletale in the third grade." When asked to clarify, Huckabee denied calling Romney at a tattler.
"We're running a very positive campaign," he said, by "following the Reagan 11th commandment," which is widely cited by Republicans: "Thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican."
In terms of how he's dealing with the increasing number of jabs from his opponents, Huckabee added, "There's just a point at which if all you do is play defense, you never can score."
"We obviously are scoring and our offense is working, and I think that's what we want to focus on – why I should be president and why somebody else shouldn't."