MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. -- "South Carolinians know true conservatism when they see it," said Mike Huckabee to voters at his brief touchdown at a Myrtle Beach jet hangar.
"You don't like people from outside the state coming and telling you how you oughta raise your kids. You don't like people coming from outside the state coming down and telling you what you want to do with your flag."
"In fact, if someone came to the state of Arkansas and told us what to do with our flag, we'd tell them where to put the pole - that's what we'd do," said Huckabee.
Huckabee brought up the Confederate flag issue at the first two stops of his puddle-jumping tour today -- first in Myrtle Beach and later in Florence.
Without naming the flag as the Confederate flag, Huckabee is delivering a rhetorical high note that resonates well with Republicans in this state.
It's an interesting strategy for Huckabee, given that his South Carolina campaign co-chairman and former S.C. Gov. David Beasley's effort to remove the Confederate flag from atop the Capitol dome dogged his own gubernatorial re-election campaign in 1998.