Kilmer: “[Huckabee] on [Russert’s Meet the Press], Republican Presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee covered a list of what he said were Romney mischaracterizations of him and his records—[Huckabee] was effective here, and he did not slip when defending his foreign policy or his faith.”

Consistent with David Brody’s point that Romney’s attacks open up opportunities for Romney’s rivals to respond using earned media, Tim Russert of Meet the Press turned the microphone over to Gov. Huckabee this morning and allowed the Governor to answer each of Romney’s false and baseless charges one after the other. This is an excerpt from Kilmer of Redstate’s account, available in post titled The Sunday Morning Talk Shows—The Review:

Russert asked if Mitt Romney had said anything about Huckabee which was untrue. Huckabee started the list.

  • Mitt claimed that Huckabee had reduced Meth sentences in Arkansas when the truth is that he signed a bill in 1999 which doubled Meth sentences, which are four times greater than those in Romney’s Massachusetts.
  • Huckabee said that Romney accused him of giving “special breaks” to illegal immigrants. Actually, it was a bill concerning the children of such people who had “earned” scholarships, and it never made the legislature.
  • Romney accused Huckabee of increasing spending “by some ridiculous amount,” and even the New York Times “took him apart” on this false claim.
  • Huckabee said that Romney’s claim about tax increases was wrong because the tax increases in Arkansas were either court ordered or approved by the voters, such as the one to improve roads.
  • Huckabee said that he left Arkansas with good roads, while Romney’s “were a mess” in Massachusetts.
  • Romney claims that he did not raise taxes, when actually he did raise taxes in the form of fees by a half-billion dollars. [Huckabee] said that he raised taxes for “educational purposes” and for roads. (I take it, then, that he opposes abolishing the Department of Education.)

The formatting is ours, all ours.

Kilmer issues this coda to his account of Gov. Huckabee’s performance: … “It went on for a while. Russert’s questions, while not softballs, were not as tough as some of the questions I’ve seen asked here at RedState. Huckabee did not implode, by any stretch, and handled himself well” …

Our conclusion: What is happening in Iowa to Gov. Huckabee would offend anyone’s sense of fair play, even Russert’s. Hence Russert’s performance this morning. This is a part of the price Romney pays for his viciously negative campaign—others are coming to the defense of Romney’s rivals.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

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