Duncan Hunter announced today that he was going to endorse Mike Huckabee for President of the United States. The endorsement comes at a critical time for the Huckabee campaign as they tighten the purse strings and batten down the hatches for the rapidly approaching Super Tuesday primaries.
The endorsement has/will undoubtedly cause a stir among the conservative talking heads who have been quick to criticize Huckabee on everything from his tax record to his supposed lack of foreign policy experience. Hunter was one of the most conservative candidates in the field when he was running. Two of the things that he touted while campaigning were his tough stance on illegal immigration and his foreign policy credentials from his experiences on House Armed Services Committee. His decision to endorse Huckabee will allow the governor to shore up his platform in those two areas that have often been perceived as two of his weaknesses.
Huckabee has had a relatively quiet week as the focus has shifted from him to Rudy, Romney, and McCain and the race in Florida. The endorsement from Hunter and the debate tomorrow night give Huckabee the opportunity to turn the negative momentum of the last couple of weeks into positive momentum that can carry him into Super Tuesday.
After the disappointing finish in South Carolina, many felt that Huckabee was finished. Indeed, the polls after the SC primary showed him losing votes. There was a sense of dismay among many supporters. However, as soon as this endorsement was announced, the mood immediately changed. It appears that Huckabee supporters are once again ready to do battle to carry their candidate to victory.
Following is the announcement of the endorsement from CNN:
January 23, 2008
WASHINGTON (CNN) — California Rep. Duncan Hunter, a former presidential candidate, announced Wednesday he is endorsing Mike Huckabee’s White House bid.
“I got to know Governor Huckabee well on the campaign trail,” Huckabee said in a statement. “Of the remaining candidates I feel that he is strongly committed to strengthening national defense, constructing the border fence and meeting the challenge of China’s emergence as a military superpower that is taking large portions of America’s industrial base.
“Along with these issues of national security, border enforcement and protecting the U.S. industrial base, I see another quality of Mike Huckabee’s candidacy that compels my endorsement,” he added. “Mike Huckabee is a man of outstanding character and integrity. I saw that character over the last year of campaigning and was greatly impressed. The other Republican candidates have many strengths and I wish them all well.”