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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 8:43 am 
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I signed up at Rubio's site today and made a donation.

I then sent a separate email and told them that "Huck sent me!"

Hope others do the same today!

Let's help Marco reach his fundraising goal today and tell him that Huck sent you!


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 11:43 am 
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Man, that endorsement sounds a little like an apologetic for a vice presidential pick :lol: ...just having a little fun, of course.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 3:42 pm 
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Landon wrote:
NEWSMAX: Huckabee Slams GOP Elites for Crist Endorsement

http://www.newsmax.com/insidecover/huck ... 28446.html

Quote:
Signaling wider dissensions in the Republican ranks, former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee is slamming the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) for endorsing Gov. Charlie Crist over another, more conservative Republican in Florida�s open Senate race.

Huckabee announced his official support for former state House Speaker Marco Rubio (R) in a video Tuesday. He follows Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., in support of Rubio, a popular Cuban-American conservative from South Florida.

�I�m disgusted that they would take a position in a hotly contested race when you have a quality candidate like Marco Rubio, who was the youngest Speaker in the Florida House,� Huckabee told The Hill. �This is not just some nameless, faceless guy that decided to throw his name in, who had no chance and no credibility.�

He continued: �I thought that their endorsement not only was premature, but was outrageous. And they ought to get behind the guy who would do a whole lot more, in my mind, to unite and fire up Republicans, and that�s Marco Rubio.�

�The establishment Republicans have made this endorsement for the same reason that they�re in so much trouble,� Huckabee said. �They go out there and support stuff like TARP bills and stimulus packages, pork-barrel spending and huge debt, and they wring their hands and act like, 'This is not good, but we don�t have a choice.' "


I couldn't agree more. I am just sick and tired of the elites telling us all what candidates we should vote for. Sounds like Mike is voicing frustrations that many of us have. Keep going Mike!

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 9:06 pm 
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What a shock...Matt Lewis AGAIN IN ONE WEEK complimented Mike Huckabee for endorsing Rubio. This is on Townhall.com, hit blog, on the second page.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Huckabee Endorses Rubio; Continues to Impress
Posted by: Matt Lewis at 3:30 PM
We knew this was going to happen, but now it's official. Mike Huckabee has endorsed former House Speaker Marco Rubio over Governor Charlie Crist for the U.S. Senate in Florida. Here's his official endorsement:




As someone who has been critical of Huckabee in the past, let me say I admire his courage here -- and I also think this is smart strategy.


While many of his potential 2012 opponents all have PACs -- HuckPac has been especially good at coming out early for conservatives in tough primary campaigns. What is more, he seems to be identifying conservative candidates who -- whether they win or lose -- have a strong and loyal base in their state.


Let's suppose Rubio loses. He will still be a conservative rock star who can command crowds in Florida. And while every establishment Republican is begging Charlie Crist for support (which he will withhold until he already knows who will win so he can once again be a kingmaker), whom do you think Rubio will support in the Florida primary?


I've got one hint for you: His name is Huckabee. Why? Because candidates who are in Rubio's shoes are very appreciative of support. Anyone can send you a check and endorse you after you win the nomination -- but the early support is what matters and what is appreciated.

Go over there and make some positive comments for Mike.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 10:01 pm 
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Vote For Truth wrote:
What a shock...Matt Lewis AGAIN IN ONE WEEK complimented Mike Huckabee for endorsing Rubio. This is on Townhall.com, hit blog, on the second page.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Huckabee Endorses Rubio; Continues to Impress
Posted by: Matt Lewis at 3:30 PM
We knew this was going to happen, but now it's official. Mike Huckabee has endorsed former House Speaker Marco Rubio over Governor Charlie Crist for the U.S. Senate in Florida. Here's his official endorsement:

As someone who has been critical of Huckabee in the past, let me say I admire his courage here -- and I also think this is smart strategy.


While many of his potential 2012 opponents all have PACs -- HuckPac has been especially good at coming out early for conservatives in tough primary campaigns. What is more, he seems to be identifying conservative candidates who -- whether they win or lose -- have a strong and loyal base in their state.


Let's suppose Rubio loses. He will still be a conservative rock star who can command crowds in Florida. And while every establishment Republican is begging Charlie Crist for support (which he will withhold until he already knows who will win so he can once again be a kingmaker), whom do you think Rubio will support in the Florida primary?


I've got one hint for you: His name is Huckabee. Why? Because candidates who are in Rubio's shoes are very appreciative of support. Anyone can send you a check and endorse you after you win the nomination -- but the early support is what matters and what is appreciated.

Go over there and make some positive comments for Mike.

http://townhall.com/blog/g/d761cb64-2097-4e8b-8adb-ead10b294e08?comments=true#comments

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 4:00 pm 
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Quote:
Panhandle Congressman Backs Rubio Over Crist in Florida


By John McArdle
Roll Call Staff

June 25, 2009, 11:21 a.m.


Five-term Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.), who represents the Panhandle-based 1st district, announced Thursday that he is backing former state Speaker Marco Rubio (R) in the Sunshine State’s 2010 Senate primary.

Miller is the first Member of the Florida delegation to come out for Rubio, and his endorsement puts him on the opposite side of national party leaders — who have lined up behind Gov. Charlie Crist (R) in the race.

Geography is important in Miller’s endorsement. While Crist is well-known and popular statewide, Rubio needs to demonstrate that he can gather support outside his South Florida base.

“Marco Rubio possesses an impressive combination of idea-driven, principled leadership and the ability to communicate conservative values in ways that resonate at the kitchen table,” Miller said in a statement released by Rubio’s campaign. “Americans deserve better than the current big government, borrow-and-spend road we are on, and I believe Marco Rubio will be a compelling voice to lead us to a stronger and more prosperous America.”

Like Rubio, Miller is a social and fiscal conservative. While still considered the underdog in the race, Rubio has been buoyed in recent weeks by the endorsements of big-name conservatives from around the country, including former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

Crist has earned endorsements from retiring Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.), who he and Rubio hope to replace next year, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and the rest of the Senate’s top GOP leadership.

While Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) has said she is staying on the sidelines in the primary, the Miami Herald reported last week that the Congresswoman’s husband, former U.S. Attorney Dexter Lehtinen, will host an upcoming fundraiser for Rubio. Rubio once worked in Ros-Lehtinen’s office as an intern.


http://www.rollcall.com/news/36284-1.html



Others are starting to climb on board with Rubio!

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 4:26 pm 
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Quote:
Others are starting to climb on board with Rubio!


Fantastic! I can feel the momentum. I am very interested to see what the next poll looks like. Rubio has to be gaining ground.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 8:57 pm 
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Hey, everybody, Mike Huckabee is making some progress at Townhall.com. Look at this post: Maybe Mike Huckabee would be doing himself a BIG favor if he endorsed Toomey and let bygones be bygones. Also, Club for Growth would love that too...can't lose.




Thursday, June 25, 2009
Huckabee has endorsed Rubio, Toomey should be next!
Posted by: Dwayne Horner at 3:41 PM


Conservatism wins elections and leaders who embrace its principles should be endorsed, so it was great to hear former Presidential Candidate Mike Huckabee endorsed Marco Rubio for the US Senate seat in Florida.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is endorsing Marco Rubio for Florida's U.S. Senate seat.

Rubio is considered an underdog for the 2010 nomination for the seat Republican Sen. Mel Martinez is vacating. Rubio's challenging Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who has a substantial lead in early polls.

Huckabee was popular among conservatives during last year's Republican presidential primary.

He called Rubio an "energetic, articulate, principled conservative." He also said the 38-year-old former Florida House Speaker has an unlimited future.

Several Washington Republicans were quick to endorse the first-term Florida governor.

Huckabee said that could work in Rubio's favor, saying, "The last thing most people in any state want is someone who is going to be a member of the club."


What should be next? I call on Governor Huckabee to again endorse Pat Toomey for Senate in Pennsylvania. I know there is a bitter taste in Huckabee's mouth over the Club for Growth criticism during the '08 campaign - but it's a time for conservatives to stand up for conservatives and it's time for Huckabee to endorse Toomey. Consider the positive message it sends that we can put the past behind us and move forward on principle.





Need some good input on the blog at Townhall.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 10:07 am 
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Vote For Truth wrote:
Hey, everybody, Mike Huckabee is making some progress at Townhall.com. Look at this post: Maybe Mike Huckabee would be doing himself a BIG favor if he endorsed Toomey and let bygones be bygones. Also, Club for Growth would love that too...can't lose.


Well, I read Rubio is seeking Club For Growth endorsement, evidently because there is some fear that he could be perceived to be a candidate of a narrow group of supporters, without a broad-based coalition of center-right voters.

He needs to be able to run well statewide. Also, possibly with Crist tying up all the official party organs, Rubio needs PACs, issue advocacy groups, blogs and other righty voices.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 10:23 am 
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VertiCon wrote:
Vote For Truth wrote:
Hey, everybody, Mike Huckabee is making some progress at Townhall.com. Look at this post: Maybe Mike Huckabee would be doing himself a BIG favor if he endorsed Toomey and let bygones be bygones. Also, Club for Growth would love that too...can't lose.


Well, I read Rubio is seeking Club For Growth endorsement, evidently because there is some fear that he could be perceived to be a candidate of a narrow group of supporters, without a broad-based coalition of center-right voters.

He needs to be able to run well statewide. Also, possibly with Crist tying up all the official party organs, Rubio needs PACs, issue advocacy groups, blogs and other righty voices.

Been working to mend the fences between Mike and CFG......we should continue to contact CFG boardmembers like Louis Woodhill


Louis,
Thanks for your review of the book. While I agree that there was some excessive (while true) targeting of Gov. Romney in the book, I suspect it was with the intent to drum up some controversy and increase book sales more than anything else (seems to have worked - still on the non-fiction best seller list!) Again, I agree with you that the name calling of CFG is somewhat less than presidential but I think that was more out of frustration than ego. Throughout the campaign, your group painted a picture of Governor Huckabee as a tax and spend, big government, fiscally liberal candidate when his record showed that not to be true at all. This label hurt him with the FiCons and pigeon-holed him as the "Values" candidate.
Does he need work.....sure, who doesn't. What I'd like to see happen is that the media and groups such as yours just give him a fair shake. I'm glad that open-minded people like yourself and Ken Blackwell (see: http://townhall.com/columnists/KenBlack ... ments=true )are on the board of CFG. I hope you can continue to be voices for factual/unbiased evaluation of candidates.
Regards,

Steven

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
From: Louis Woodhill
Sent: Saturday, December 27, 2008 12:09 AM
To: Steven, GBM
Subject: I read "Do the Right Thing"


Steven:



Before I comment on what I got from “Do the Right Thing”, I want to reiterate that, from what I saw in the debates, I liked Mike Huckabee a lot. Starting from there, his book was disappointing to me in a number of ways that I believe are crucial to his viability as a leader for the Republican Party (which sorely needs a leader right now).



First of all, Mike does not yet have his ego completely under control. I can’t blame him for this. I am 60, and the crucial breakthroughs for me in this area came when I was older than Mike is now. Also, Ronald Reagan, who I consider the ultimate example of a leader with no ego, was in his late 60s when he took command of the national stage. Unfortunately, even when it is understandable and forgivable, ego gets in the way of accomplishment. All of Mike’s complaints in his book about Romney were ego. Romney’s arrogance was *Romney’s* problem, and it cost him dearly. There was no need for Mike to make it into a problem for himself.



Also, to call the Club for Growth “The Club for Greed” is middle-school name-calling, which is ego. There was no need for Mike to make the Club for Growth into an enemy. I suspect that Mike thinks that he had good reasons for all of this, but that has to be ego, too.



The second problem is that Mike seems to put “doing the right thing” ahead of the Constitution of the United States. Our Constitution does not give the Federal government the power to direct K-12 education, tell citizens how to take care of their health, or to make the U.S. “energy independent”. Perhaps the Constitution should be amended to give the Federal government those powers, but Mike seems to be taking the position that the Constitution can and should be ignored for the sake of doing what he believes is “the right thing”. This is what Liberals believe about the Constitution, and America does not need this from conservatives.



The third problem is that Mike does not seem to have an adequate understanding of how the economy actually works. The tax system is less than half the problem. An even bigger problem is “money”. The current economic/financial crisis was caused by the undefined, unstable dollar and a feckless Federal Reserve. If you look in the back of “Do the Right Thing”, you find that “money”, “dollar”, and “Federal Reserve” aren’t even mentioned in the Index. Mike also doesn’t seem to understand that the “problems” of free trade are actually symptoms whose underlying cause is the unstable, undefined dollar. Also, Mike’s support of agricultural subsidies seems strange to me. All subsidies do is to cause people to produce stuff that costs more than it is worth. Doing this can only make the country poorer.



I would love to be wrong about this, but my reading of “Do the Right Thing” suggested to me that Mike has invested a lot of his policy positions with ego. For him, they aren’t just what he thinks the electorate wants, or what will work, they are *right*. This is unfortunate, because Mike seems like he has a lot of talent, and the Republicans are desperately in need of someone to lead them out of the wilderness.



Louis



FWIW, I believe that the Republicans can take back power on the strength of three ideas:



A defined, stable dollar
The FairTax
National referendum votes on all major issues, including the above.









-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sent: Thursday, November 20, 2008 3:10 PM
To: Louis Woodhill
Subject: Re: I spoke with Pat about Mike Huckabee

Louis,
Thanks for the update on your meeting w/ Pat. I'm glad to hear that he had some good words for Mike, and optimistic that the Club might change its position on him should a productive dialogue commence. I got the book a few days ago, and plan to start reading it this weekend. I'm curious to find out what could be in it that Pat would say strengthens his position (hope it's not the few lines about Mitt which have been making all the headlines - I'm sure the book is about much more than that.). Please feel free to write me on your thoughts of the book after you read it.. I will be in touch when I get a response from Mike's team.
Steve






"Louis Woodhill"

11/20/2008 03:49 PM


cc


Subject
I spoke with Pat about Mike Huckabee





Steven:

I need to tell you that Pat is a very reasonable guy whom I both like and trust. He described what sounded to me as very good reasons for the Club’s position on Mike. Pat urged me to buy and read Mike’s latest book, which he said lends support for what he told me. I have done this and should have the book in a few days. Pat actually had a lot of positive things to say about Mike.

I am well aware that I have only heard one side of the story thus far. I assume that Mike’s book fairly represents his views, and I will read it as soon as I can. I would be interested in discussing all of this with Mike at some point. However, my greater interest would be in helping Mike be an effective leader for the R’s, who sorely need one right now. I can not imagine why there should be a *substantive* reason for conflict between Mike and the Club. However, I have not heard all of the facts.

Louis







--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sent: Tuesday, November 18, 2008 9:30 AM
To: Louis Woodhill
Subject: Fw: Mike Huckabee


Louis,
Thanks for responding. I think it would be great for Mike to open up a dialogue with you. I will make contact urging him to do so and will be in touch if/when I get a response. Please let me know how your conversation w/ Pat goes.
Regards,
Steve



"

11/17/2008 06:33 PM



Subject
RE: Mike Huckabee

















Steven:

Obviously, the R's need new leadership. I liked a lot of what Governor Huckabee said in the primary debates. I'm certainly willing to talk to him about how he could change his image with the Club. I'm going to be speaking with Pat Toomey this week and I'll take his temperature on this when I do.

I would certainly consider being a guest on a TV show, although I have never done this before.

I have copied my Outlook e-mail on this so we can continue the discussion from there if you wish. Below is my contact information.

Louis






-----------------------------------------------------------


Mr. Woodhill,
I am a strong supporter of Governor Mike Huckabee. I think that he would have made an excellent president and I spent a good deal of time over the past year working to help that happen. I am not particularly religious person, and certainly not a "values voter" or part of the Evangelical base of the G.O.P. (in fact, I'm a registered Independent). While it is clear why these SoCons would like him, I believe that he is just as appealing to FiCons. One of the most discouraging things of this past election cycle was the campaign's inability to successfully counter claims that he ran Arkansas in a fiscally liberal manner. I would suggest quite the opposite and to this day I do not understand why the G.O.P. establishment, the talking heads (e.g. Hannity, Limbaugh, Coulter, et.al.) and most importantly the Club for Growth worked so vigorously to prevent him from winning the nomination. In light of your shared support of the Fair Tax and more recently, the Governor's aggressive opposition to the federal "bailout" plan, can you offer any advice on how Mike can change the perception of him from a fiscal standpoint? Could you use your position on the Leadership Council of the Club for Growth to help mend the fences with him? Might you consider being a guest on his show if you were to be invited? In review of the Governor's 10 1/2 year record:

He cut taxes almost 100 times in the state of Arkansas.

He returned almost $400 million to Arkansas taxpayers.





He was the first Governor of Arkansas to pass a broad-based tax cut in the history of the state. He also doubled the standard deduction to $2,000 for individuals and to $4,000 for married couples, as well as the child care tax credit and eliminated the marriage penalty.
He eliminated the capital gains tax on the sale of a home.
He eliminated the state income tax for families below the poverty line.
He reduced the capital gains tax for businesses and individuals.
He indexed the income tax to protect people from paying higher taxes because of “bracket creep.”
Governor Huckabee left the state with almost a $1 billion surplus- a state record, setting the stage for further tax reductions. The “Huckabee Surplus” enabled his successor to follow Huckabee’s lead to begin the elimination of the state sales tax on food.

He cut welfare rolls by almost 50 percent.

With respect to the tax and spending that he had under his control, spending rose about six-tenths of one percent a year during his ten-and-a-half year tenure.
He established the Murphy Commission by Executive Order (his first as governor) to streamline government to save taxpayers’ dollars and make government more efficient.
He also led efforts to establish a Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights and a Property Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights, which established a uniform notice and due process procedure guaranteeing all Arkansans they will be treated fairly in the assessment of property taxes.
On tax increases:

In 1996 voters approved an increase in the sales tax to support conservation which was a wonderful investment in Arkansas. 1/8 cent sales tax increase approved by voters to fund conservation and park services to preserve Arkansas natural and cultural heritage.
In 1999, Arkansans supported a fuel tax increase that allowed Arkansas to completely rehabilitate the interstate highway system, changing the interstate system from one of the worst in the country to the best according to Truckers Magazine. The $1 billion project was completed on budget and on time. The legislature passed the gas tax, but it wouldn’t be implemented unless the people voted on, and approved, the bond issue; which was passed by an 80% vote of the people in 1999.
In 2001, a sales tax increase offset revenue lost from constitutional amendment cutting property taxes by $180 million. The sales tax increase and property tax cut were voted on by citizens of Arkansas – they chose how to be taxed.
In 2003, a cigarette tax increase of 25 cents per pack funded state healthcare obligations. Arkansas tobacco taxes are still low, 33rd in the U. S.
In 2003, there was a temporary increase in the income tax to offset the economic recession our country was facing in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. They were needed for one year, and unlike most “temporary taxes,” Governor Huckabee made sure that the legislature kept its promise to the people that it was eliminated after two years.
In 2004, he allowed a 7/8 cent sales tax increase to become law without his signature to comply with a Supreme Court order to increase funding for education, which avoided the courts taking over public education in Arkansas.
On spending:
He cut state budget by 11%.

Arkansas spending increased 49% during Governor’s ten-year tenure - in line with a 46% state average over same time period, and much lower than the 70% increase in federal spending for that period.
Arkansas ranks 43rd so far this decade in spending as a percentage of personal income – this is a fairer judge of spending given disparity between poorer and richer states.
States have to increase spending every year by at least 5-6% just to keep up with rising costs of healthcare, education, and other services.
Spending that Governor controlled, not federal pass-throughs and programs controlled by the Democrat legislature, rose only about six-tenths of one percent a year during his tenure.
Minimum Wage –he increased minimum wage by $1.10 to avoid passage of a constitutional amendment that would have increased minimum wage annually by the amount of inflation. The Governor accepted one-shot deal as price of avoiding regular increases.
Regards,


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 11:50 am 
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Personally, I don't think it had so much to do with ego as frustration where both CFG and Romney are concerned. I think if this guy would have been on our side and seen what went down from our viewpoint with the lies and misrepresentations and disrespectful nose thumbing, he would see it a lot differently. I think Mike is confident, yet humble. An "ego" label is not something I would ever think to place on Mike Huckabee.

Look at how Mike worked so hard for McCain, when allowed to, even after McCain totally snubbed him for VP. It does bring up the question, how would he have handled it if Romney had been the candidate? Mike is such an honest Abe, that it may have been harder for him to put those feelings aside for someone who had so blatantly lied and disrespected him, and his feelings about the man may have been apparent to those watching.

I think this segment should be a separate thread, by the way. Otherwise, it may get lost.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 11:55 am 
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Steve, keep up the good work. It's great to know people like you are taking on such monumental tasks behind the scenes. I would love to have CFG on our side (or at least not out to get us) next time. Keep us posted.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 7:49 pm 
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Its not that hard to imagine ego in these things. Whoever heard of an egoless politician?

And, there are multiple reasons for this or that. But, my sense is Mike Huckabee felt that there were so many news organs and other center-right sources shilling for Romney --which were also derelict in critically evaluating him they way they supposedly did Mike.

But, Mike's problem, which Mr Woodhill notices, is that its a little tacky for the one maligned to raise the concerns other surrogates should have. It can't look like anything but settling scores. Statesmen-leaders have to be above such things. It looks petty. Hopefully Mike will be more prudent in the future.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 12:23 am 
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Made this video today for Marco (using lame-o Windows Movie Maker) and sent it to his campaign manager. Got this response:

Quote:
This is great!

I will talk to our web guys and figure out to get this out wide.

THANKS so much.

-B


I'm kinda pumped. I hope it shows up on his website. :D


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 2:26 am 
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Turned it into a blog post:

http://hucksarmy.com/2009/06/marco-rubio-crossroads/

That then went out to the HucksArmy Facebook & Twitter.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 2:31 am 
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Sweet. Thanks, David. I had a lot of fun making it (though I think I almost drove my wife crazy...Chris Matthews voice gets pretty annoying after awhile). I hope it helps Marco's campaign.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 9:12 am 
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Alright, here's the deal, Marco's campaign manager would rather my video start off as organic before they pick it up and run with it.

In other words he needs us to promote it anywhere and everywhere to help it get as much attention as possible before they'll run with it. I already emailed it to RealClearPolitics and I'm going to try RedState, Politico, and any others I can come up with. I really can't get it out sufficiently without some help, though.

Can any of you guys help with this? (David, posting it on the blog is a great start. Thanks again!)

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 12:29 pm 
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Interesting......
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/7/1/ ... -defection
FL-Sen: Another potential Republican defection
by kos

On March 4, then on March 10, and a week later in The Hill, I noted Arlen Specter's precarious position within his own party, and suggested his best ploy for survival was a party switch.

On April 28, Specter switched. It really was his only rational course.

Much the same dynamic will soon be playing out in the Florida Senate race between former Florida House speaker Marco Rubio and Gov. Charlie Crist. Currently, the polls show that Crist's greater name recognition gives him a fairly dominant lead. But the primary is 14 months away, and grassroots conservatives are moving over to Rubio en masse. He will have enough money to compete (Club for Growth, among others, are behind him), he's got big names like Mike Huckabee gathering behind him, and the right-wing noise machine loves him -- and not just Florida wingnut radio, but national outlets like Fox News and the Wall Street Journal editorial board.
It won't take 14 months for that alliance to drag Crist through the mud and trash his name with Republicans in a state with a closed primary. All those Dems and Independents who love Crist won't have a say in the matter in the Republican contest. And I predict that by the end of the year (or end of Q1 2010 at the latest), the polls in that Republican primary will be tied.

So the question will then be -- at what point will Crist realize that he's in deep *? It took collapsing poll numbers for Specter to hit the "panic!" button and switch parties. That's probably what it'll take for Crist to realize his problems, and when he does, he'll have a tough call to make: go down with his party, or pull a Specter and ditch it for better electoral prospects on a different line. That could mean a switch to the Democratic Party where he'd likely be no worse than the other senator from Florida, Bill Nelson -- a marginally good Democrat, a step up from Landrieu, Nebraska's Nelson, and the Wal Mart Twins (and no better). Or it could mean an independent run, where he might be able to pull a Lieberman (complete with a Joementum fundraising campaign visit) and work to attract independents, mainstream Republicans, and Democrats disaffected by their poor field and try to win a split three-way field.

The Florida candidate filing deadline is May 10, 2010 (the primary isn't until August). So there's plenty of time for this scenario to unfold. Now to be clear -- this isn't something I'm rooting for, just an observation based on political realities, but it sure would be hilarious to see Sen. John Cornyn see another of his highly touted Senate candidates defect to the Democratic Party. That alone might make it all worth it.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 8:28 pm 
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Steve, those emails were a stroke of genius. This is precisely what we need to do to prepare for 2012.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 10:09 am 
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Mrs. P wrote:
Steve, those emails were a stroke of genius. This is precisely what we need to do to prepare for 2012.

Will be contacting Bill Kristol - to discuss his common ground w/ Gov. Huckabee......
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/loc ... rint.story
OrlandoSentinel.com
Upstart Rubio's Senate run bucks GOP etiquette
By Aaron Deslatte

Tallahassee Bureau

July 4, 2009

TALLAHASSEE

It is hardly the path to the top of the ticket many envisioned for Marco Rubio just a few years ago.

The West Miami lawyer, now 38, had a national profile even before he took the gavel as Florida House speaker in 2006. He held "100 Ideas" forums with the likes of the late Jack Kemp and Newt Gingrich. A Senate president predicted his charisma would ultimately lead him to the Governor's Mansion and White House. Outgoing Gov. Jeb Bush even christened him his ideological heir by presenting him with a sword on the House floor.

But today, Rubio is running what amounts to a right-wing insurgent campaign for the U.S. Senate — shut out by the state and national GOP apparatus and snubbed by most of the party's biggest givers.

His crime: challenging Gov. Charlie Crist, the anointed heir apparent to the seat being vacated by Mel Martinez, R-Fla.

So Rubio has taken his campaign underground.

Hoping to capitalize on a wave of anti-Washington animus over Crist's support of Democratic President Barack Obama's economic bailout and cap-and-trade proposals, Rubio has courted conservative bloggers and advocacy groups battling for the discombobulated core of the party.

"The scourge of national politics is people that will be, and say, and do anything to be elected. They will be for whatever the pollster says is popular at the moment," says Rubio, who'll bring his anti-tax, pro-growth message to a taxpayer "tea party" on the steps of Amway Arena at 11 a.m. today, and to a 2 p.m. rally at the Lake County Fairgrounds in Eustis.



Some big-name support
Rubio's candidacy has gotten the attention of national conservative groups such as the Club for Growth, which is contemplating buying ads against Crist.

And he has racked up high praise from some big-name conservatives — from Weekly Standard columnist Bill Kristol to former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee — who are more concerned with reigniting the Barry Goldwater wing of the party than with more pragmatic goals such as denying Democrats a filibuster-proof 60-seat Senate majority.

"People are going to know Marco better and better," U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., said this week in a conference call. "I'm betting on Marco to win this whole thing and show the whole Republican Party that with candidates who really believe in something, we can take back the majority."

But deep-pocketed campaign contributors also like a safe investment. And when Crist entered the U.S. Senate race in May, his status as perhaps the most popular governor in America drew instant endorsements from national GOP leaders — soon followed by efforts by top party fundraisers and even Florida GOP chief Jim Greer to install Crist as the de facto incumbent, despite grumbling by some rank-and-file conservatives.

"It is unusual to have someone running against a highly popular Republican governor. And at the end of the day, we'll have to see what the results are," Greer said. "I certainly see that the donor base is fully supportive of Charlie Crist here in Florida."

Indeed, big-time fundraisers have lined up. Friday night, St. Petersburg physician and GOP financier A.K. Desai, who is Crist's finance chairman, held a $2,400-per-person fundraiser for him at the Car Club in Orlando. Other prime donors, such as former Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga, have done the same.


Turning to Web for dollars
To combat that financial advantage, Rubio has relied heavily on social-media tools such as Twitter, Facebook, Web videos and an active e-campaign to stretch his dollars. He boasted this week that he was able to raise more than $125,000 online for the quarter that ended Wednesday.

But an anti-establishment appeal to tech-savvy GOP activists will go only so far in a mega-state such as Florida with 10 TV media markets. Later this month, Crist is expected to report he raised close to $3 million in just six weeks; Rubio likely will report less than one-third of that.

Still, he has managed to attract viral publicity, as he did two weeks ago when he wrote on Twitter that if Iranian protesters had Second Amendment rights, the protests would have gone differently.

"It is a wild-card strategy," said Will McBride, the conservative Orlando trial lawyer considering a bid for attorney general. "It helps to get a viral-type message out, but there's a threshold where you've got to get on television."

It wasn't supposed to be this way for Rubio. But after he was term-limited out of Tallahassee in 2008 — amid lackluster reviews of his speakership — he returned to Miami to practice law.

Friends urged him to run for a Cabinet post, such as attorney general, where he would be an instant favorite. Instead, he opted to take on Crist.

The behind-the-scenes urging to switch races has not relented, although Rubio says the die is cast.

"The likelihood of me switching to another race is as likely as Charlie Crist switching to another race," he said. "I'm not just interested in serving in some political office, to run for another. I'm interested in the United States Senate."

The hoped-for 5,000 people at Amway Arena today would be one of the largest crowds to hear Rubio's message. But Rubio said the Independence Day audience was perfectly tailored to his needs.

"They're representative of people who are going to vote," he said. "If someone's going to spend their Fourth of July at a tea party, you can rest assured they're going to vote in the primary."


Dark horse gaining speed?
And there is evidence that Rubio is making strides.

Though polls have shown Crist with a massive lead 14 months out from the primary, one recent Mason-Dixon poll suggested that Republicans familiar with both men were evenly divided. Those voters gave Crist a statistically insignificant lead of 33 percent to 31 percent, with 36 percent undecided.

In a low-turnout primary — only about 1 million of the state's 3.9 million GOP voters voted in the hotly contested 2006 gubernatorial primary between Crist and Tom Gallagher — hard-core conservatives could carry the day.

"There's an underbelly of anti-Crist vote among Republicans," said Mason-Dixon pollster Brad Coker. "If Rubio kind of plods along, he can be the tortoise. He doesn't have to be the hare."

But it's only a matter of time before the Crist campaign tried to define Rubio — perhaps as a tax-hiker who as speaker tried unsuccessfully to raise the sales tax by 2 cents in order to phase out property taxes.

"It's not always what you say about yourself. It's what others say about you," said Brian Ballard, one of Crist's top fundraisers and a veteran GOP operator in Tallahassee.

"If he's in the race to the end, he's not going to have the luxury of throwing spitballs at the governor unchallenged."

Supporters hope that the attack, when it comes, won't stick.

"The true Republicans that vote party line all the time know that Charlie Crist is not a true fiscal conservative," said Matthew Falconer, a developer and Orange County mayoral candidate organizing today's Orlando tea party.

"The only hope Crist has is that Marco Rubio doesn't get enough name recognition. If he can get his message out, he'll win, hands-down."


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