Huckabee Endorsement Continues to Inspire Minutemen Infighting, Break-Ups

After Minutemen co-founder Jim Gilchrist endorsed Mike Huckabee last week, other anti-immigrant border vigilantes rushed to repudiate their erstwhile comrade. Chris Simcox, who split with Gilchrist in 2005, dismissed the latter’s influence and criticized Huckabee’s “duplicitous” immigration program. The leader of another Minutemen splinter group called the endorsement “disturbing.”

A variety of anti-immigrant groups also came out of the woodwork to pile on Gilchrist in a letter distributed by Americans for Legal Immigration: “We denounce Jim Gilchrist’s solo endorsement of a pro-amnesty and Open Borders candidate for President. Mr. Gilchrist does NOT speak for us!” Signatories included representatives of a number of local Minutemen franchises, a FAIR front group, Mothers Against Illegal Aliens, Save Our State, California Coalition for Immigration Reform, and many more.

This week, Gilchrist is facing heavy pressure from WorldNetDaily reporter Jerome Corsi, the premier advocate of the “North American Union” conspiracy theory. Corsi’s approach, rather than simply denouncing Gilchrist, was to confront him with the claim that Huckabee’s immigration program contained some element making it unacceptable to them. In response, Gilchrist “backtracked” on his endorsement, according to a Corsi article titled “Minuteman reconsiders Huckabee endorsement.”

The only problem with Corsi’s friendlier approach—helping Gilchrist along with his retraction of the endorsement—is that Gilchrist denies it:

But Gilchrist says Corsi’s article is not accurate. “I am holding firm. I am endorsing Governor Mike Huckabee for president. I’m not wavering or waffling,” he states.

And as for the WorldNetDaily report? “I have to say that Mr. Corsi really made me feel like he was interrogating me like a police investigator or a prosecuting attorney, rather than interviewing me,” Gilchrist asserts. “He kept insisting that I was waffling — and I did not say that; he kept saying that. And apparently he had an agenda.”

But Corsi says he sticks by his story. “If Jim can’t keep his story straight from one day to the other, … I’ll be happy to play back [for him] the recordings I made of him each day and Jim can listen to himself saying that he was going to reconsider the endorsement of Huckabee,” he says.

What’s strangest about this exchange between Corsi and Gilchrist—with misunderstandings, hurt feelings, agendas—is that the two know each other very well. They wrote a book together on the Minutemen last year. Now, sadly, it seems they are no longer on speaking terms: Corsi’s latest article, which accuses Gilchrist of going soft, ends with the poignant line, “Gilchrist declined to comment.”