Is Hope Now A Dirty Word?

Stalled GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney is chasing rising foe Mike Huckabee in an unusual way: He's calling the most recent Arkansas governor a Bill Clinton copy. And it's not just that he's labeling Huckabee a liberal. Romney also has printed up some fliers that suggest Huckabee and Clinton are clones, both being born in Hope, Ark. "Two Governors from Hope: One Was President, One Wants to Be," says the flier. Well, it's not just the flier. Our Suzi Parker reports that a freelance film crew was recently in Hope making videos to tie Clinton to Huckabee, as well as other footage. Gary Johnson, museum director at the Hope Visitor Center & Museum, Hope says that when he got to work last Saturday morning, a 10-person crew was shooting outside the facility. A handwritten sign that Johnson said the crew created was in front of the museum. It said "Birthplace of Bill Clinton and Mike Huckabee" and in the corner in smaller type "And Hillary, too?" (She was born in Illinois.) The crew shot at the museum, the high school where Huckabee graduated, and the train station. According to Johnson, the group said it was doing freelance work for Romney, though the campaign hasn't confirmed that.

Not surprisingly, Huckabee isn't too keen on the effort to link him with Bubba, telling us: "Political dumpster diving isn't really new, but Romney is now giving a better understanding of how he's spending those millions of his -- people in my hometown were laughing about a big film crew coming to Hope to try and find something negative about me. Maybe they will find that I broke lunch line in kindergarten or was forced to sit next to the teacher's desk for talking too much in fourth grade. If Romney had spent as much time telling people who he is today instead of telling them who he thinks I was when I was a child, he might not be watching his numbers plummet."

By Paul Bedard