Last week, we reported that the on-line activists who constitute Huck’s Army were warning that they would not support John McCain if Mike Huckabee was not named his running mate or at least chosen to deliver the keynote address at the upcoming convention.
While Huckabee obviously can’t control what his on-line supporters do, that doesn’t mean he can’t undercut them:
Huckabee said he assumes he will be asked to speak during the convention, but didn’t know whether he’d be a major player in the GOP’s quadrennial pep rally.
“My goal right now at the convention would be to be the most helpful I can be to Sen. McCain,” Huckabee said. “Whether that’s visible or invisible, that’s something he’s got to decide, not me.”
His schedule will include a couple performances with his Arkansas-based rock band and a conference on obesity. Huckabee also will join the Creative Coalition for a news conference on the importance of music and art education in schools.
“What I want to do is help not just Sen. McCain, but my party and my country,” he said, adding, “This isn’t about me anymore. It’s really about John McCain and winning.”
And predictably, the activists behind Huck’s Army have now sent out a clarifying email saying that the previous message was not the official position of the group:
The message that went out to our forum members today is not the official position of HucksArmy and was a communication from a few of our members who were concerned by some dismissive treatment toward supporters of conservative cultural values.
Many of our members and leaders consider the earlier statement overly harsh and demanding. Understand that any directives that HucksArmy sends out is not a command but an option.
HucksArmy is a community and not an organization and so we rarely issue statements representing the whole of our community.
HucksArmy as a whole is not demanding that Huckabee be the VP or be given a keynote at convention or else. While we would love to see these things happen, we do not have any official demands as a collective group.
But just because Huckabee and his supporters are playing nice, that still doesn’t mean they’ve given up their almost militant opposition to Mitt Romney:
Bauer said he personally believes that Romney “would be a great running mate” and said he has conveyed that message personally to Romney. Bauer, chairman of the Campaign for Working Families political action committee, said he was not allowed to say whether he advised McCain to pick Romney.
Bauer said that he recently conducted an unscientific poll among activists about who should be picked for vice president and said that Romney won a plurality of votes. He said that “it was notable” that among those who backed Huckabee, “many of them said negative things about Governor Romney.”
In fact, a battle between Huckabee and Romey supporters continues to unfold in Michigan:
In a blistering e-mail Friday to Michigan Republicans, a former aide to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign accused Michigan social conservative activist and Mike Huckabee supporter Gary Glenn of “a vicious smear campaign” against Romney.
Katie Packer, the strategist for Romney’s successful Michigan primary campaign, accused Glenn, the head of the American Family Association of Michigan, of distorting Romney’s record on social issues and “declaring war on other members of the Republican party.”
Glenn, in an e-mail to The Detroit News, responded with a list of criticisms of Romney’s record on social issues. “If Katie wants to have another full-fledged public debate about Mitt Romney’s pro-abortion, pro-homosexual record, now is an excellent time,” he wrote.