It's getting nasty out here in Iowa. In the wake of sharp new Romney ads – called "comparisons" by Romney and "negative by just about everybody else – the target of the ad running in Iowa, Mike Huckabee, is firing back.
Huckabee supporters came from Arkansas today to follow Romney on his Iowa campaign swing, to "set the record straight," they said.
In kind of guerrilla theater, three current and former GOP legislators from Arkansas stood outside Romney's second event, snaring reporters as they walked back to the Romney bus. Agitated and irritated, they blasted Romney's TV ad as "negative" and "wrong."
Far from being soft on crime, as Romney claims, Huckabee, they said, had sent 16 convicts to death, had actually turned down the vast majority of the pardon and commutation requests. Soft on immigration? No way! Arkansas, under Huckabee, they said, was the second state in the nation to pass a law requiring state and local law enforcement to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.
But what raised their ire most was a "comparison" pamphlet they said they'd picked up at a Romney rally. The pamphlet quoted Huckabee as saying some anti-immigration fervor was driven by "sheer racism." The Arkansans insisted Huckabee never said that. Back on the bus the Romney campaign e-mailed the traveling press corps several newspaper and Internet clips quoting Huckabee saying – you guessed it – that some anti-immigration fervor is driven by "sheer racism."
The Huckabee volunteers didn't show up at the next Romney event to explain the discrepancy. But never fear, both sides vow to keep up, even heat up the attacks – excuse me - "comparisons" in the days to come.