VA Dems Exploit Huckabee in Gov. Race - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
VA Dems Exploit Huckabee in Gov. Race

Mike Huckabee is under fire from Virginia Democrats for several statements he made while campaigning for Republican candidate for governor, Bob McDonnell, in southwest Virginia yesterday.

Huckabee joked to those at a Tazewell County appearance that if they know people who will be voting against McDonnell, they should “Let the air out of their tires and do not let them out of their driveway on election day.” This is a line that Huckabee has used at least as far back as the Iowa caucuses, when I remember him joking that people should shovel snow into the driveways of people who weren’t voting for him.

But former Clintonite Terry McAuliffe, one of the Democratic candidates for governor, can’t take a joke, so he ended up hyperventilating. “This is no joking matter,” he wrote in an email to supporters, asking them to sign an online petition. “People died for the right to vote in this country, and we have to protect it.” (Emphasis McAuliffe.)

The other trumped up controversy came from these remarks:

“You can’t let one vote get left behind here, because there’s going to be some folks up there near the Beltway — and I need to let you know, I’m sure you already know this — they aren’t necessarily thinking the same way folks like you and me think.

He added, “They may never have fully understood how hard it is for a lot of people to put a paycheck together, to be able to feed a family.”

Democrats immediately pounced on the comments,  and this afternoon the state party held a conference call, “to discuss the divisive comments of Bob McDonnell surrogate Mike Huckabee, pitting Southwest Virginia against Northern Virginia.”

It’s pretty clear what’s going on here. The once-solidly Republican Virginia has trended Democratic this decade because of the explosion in growth in the northern, more liberal, part of the state. The Democrats have been successful at painting Republican candidates as backward, culturally insensitive, and anti-Northern Virginia during this period. George Allen drew fire not only by uttering the word “Macaca,” but also for saying, “Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia!” During last year’s presidential election, McCain adviser Nancy Pfotenhauer declared the southern part of the state, “real Virginia” around the same time Sarah Palin, in North Carolina, said she was happy to be in the “pro-America areas of this great nation.”

The 2009 Virgina Governor race is being touted as one of the key off-year barometer elections. Democrats are clearly seeking to continue their strategy by trying to link McDonnell to the socially conservative Huckabee and try to portray his comments as divisive, but they seem to be grasping for straws at this point.

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