A disagreement between the Sam Brownback and Mike Huckabee campaigns, that I’d rather prefer to have ignored, has been escalating. And this makes me sad. Somebody should just apologize and get it over with.
Gov. Mike Huckabee’s campaign manager, responding to demands that the Huckabee campaign apologize to Sen. Sam Brownback and disavow a pro-Huckabee, anti-Catholic letter written by an Iowa pastor, wrote this afternoon that it’s Brownback who needs to show “Christian character” and “stop whining.”
Just apologize and get it over with. Huck, you’re a better man than this. And you know it. This isn’t about who has more “Christian character.” I don’t think that’s a battle you decent men want to wage before the eyes of the world. Rather than simply apologizing, your campaign has made this whole thing worse with that antagonistic response.
For those of you not following this, here’s what happened that led up to this war of words: an Iowa pastor and supporter of Huckabee’s going by the rather apt name of Tim Rude, sent an insulting email to Brownback supporters.
“I know Senator Brownback converted to Roman Catholicism in 2002,” the Rev. Tim Rude, pastor of Walnut Creek Community Church, wrote in the e-mail. “Frankly, as a recovering Catholic myself, that is all I need to know about his discernment when compared to the governor’s.”
In the e-mail, Rude calls Huckabee “one of us.”
The predictable and understandable result was this:
Republican presidential hopeful Sam Brownback said rival Mike Huckabee should apologize for a supporter’s “prejudiced whisper campaign” against him for being Catholic.
The Huckabee campaign’s response, “stop whining” is where we’re at now.
It seems to me to be a reasonable request coming from the Brownback campaign: “apologize to Sen. Sam Brownback and disavow a pro-Huckabee, anti-Catholic letter written by an Iowa pastor.” And why not? What’s the downside of doing the right thing? Frankly I’m puzzled by this whole thing.
The battle seems to be ongoing. Where will it stop? I don’t know, but it’s high time somebody stood up and put and end to it. We shall see who that person will be.
Marc Arbinder looks at the bright side (if there is one):
The only upshot for both of these candidates is that this spat is getting them quite a good amount of publicity before the straw poll.
Update: The Brody’s File’s conclusion about this battle:
You know what all this says to me? It means the August 11 straw poll is just around the corner. Huckabee and Brownback are competing hard to do well there, hoping that a strong finish will catapult their campaign. Iowa Christian conservatives are important here.
David Brody adds:
The Brody File has great timing because I sit down one on one with Senator Brownback tomorrow in his D.C. office. Check back on The Brody File. We’ll play video clips. Bring popcorn.
This should be interesting. B4B will keep you up to date on the latest Brownback buzz, so stay tuned. Only nine more days until the Ames straw poll. Go Brownback!
Update 2: More background on the bruising brawl.
Update 3: In a statement today, the Huckabee campaign referred to Obama as “Osama.” The reaction was a revised statement with this:
“That was obviously a typo,” Huckabee spokeswoman Alice Stewart wrote in an e-mail when asked for an explanation. Obama’s campaign didn’t immediately comment.
Gosh, that “typo” excuse sounds vaguely familiar. Osama is to Obama what Capitol is to capital. Hmmm.
Update 4: Did Pastor Rude jeopardize his church’s tax-exempt status?