Who met with John McCain behind closed doors and conspired against a competitor?
Mitt Romney supporters often claim that Mike Huckabee conspired with John McCain against Mitt Romney in order to win the West Virginia Primary.
That is a lie.
McCain’s people in WV acted on instructions from John McCain which were completely in John McCain’s own self-interest. John McCain did not want Mitt Romney to win West Virginia, becuase McCain perceived Romney as a bigger threat than Huckabee. McCain’s game plan was to defeat Romney first, and then use Mitt Romney’s dislike of Mike Huckabee as a weapon against Huckabee. McCain’s Machiavellian strategy worked.
Mike Huckabee did not cut any “back room deals” with John McCain. But Mitt Romney did…
Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee both pledged to stay in the race Wednesday [February 6, 2008] after picking off victories against front-runner John McCain on Super Tuesday…
Only one of those two men kept his pledge.
The day after Mitt Romney’s insistence that “this campaign’s going on”, Romney met behind closed doors with John McCain and other “prominent Republicans“. (Who, exactly, were those “prominent Republicans”? What role do they play in American politics?)
The outcome of that back-room deal? The very next day Mitt Romney dropped out of the race and used his CPAC speech to try to force Mike Huckabee to quit, too:
Frankly, in this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign be a part of aiding a surrender to terror.
Romney was implying that if Huckabee didn’t quit, Huckabee would be letting his campaign “be a part of aiding a surrender to terror”. Heck, it’s almost as laughable as saying, “If Huckabee doesn’t quit, the terrorists have already won!”
Two days later, the honest candidate, the man who did NOT meet with McCain behind closed doors, the man who kept his pledge to stay in the race, used his CPAC speech to reply:
We are a special nation. (Applause.) And we are a special nation because, throughout our history, we have been people who have made choices rather than simply echo the voices of others. I know that there was some speculation that I might come here today to announce that I would be getting out of the race. But I want to make sure you understand. Am I quitting? Well, let’s get that settled right now. No, I’m not. (Cheers, applause.)
If Mike Huckabee had been conspiring with John McCain against Mitt Romney, in order to make Romney quit, then there would have been no reason for Huckabee to stay in the race.
If forcing Romney out had been Huckabee’s goal, then Huckabee would have quit when the mission was accomplished.
(Just like Fred Thompson quit the race 3 days after he accomplished his “stalking horse” mission of preventing Mike Huckabee from defeating Thompson’s “good friend John McCain” in South Carolina. Keep in mind that McCain lost the South Carolina primary in 2000 to an evangelical Christian. McCain needed a “stalking horse” to draw votes away from Mike Huckabee, and his “good friend” Fred Thompson accepted the mission. McCain’s Machiavellian strategy worked.)
If Huckabee only wanted Romney out, then Huckabee would have used his CPAC speech to exit the race, just like Romney did.
But Huckabee didn’t quit the race that day, because he was in it to win it.
Any candidate who quit before McCain reached 1191 pledged delegates is a candidate who quit prematurely, and with questionable motives. (I believe Rudy Guiliani was another McCain “stalking horse” whose “mission” was to ensure Mitt Romney didn’t defeat John McCain in Florida). Staying in the race would have, at a minimum, forced John McCain to make concessions to conservatives (such as signing, like Mike Huckabee did, Senator Jeff Session’s Immigration Plan).
If Mitt Romney had stayed in the race (as he should have), and the originally scheduled February 28th Republican Debate had not been cancelled, you can bet that McCain would have been put on the spot about Immigration, just 4 days before the Texas primary. McCain wanted to prevent that, so he struck a back-room deal with Romney, had CNN cancel the February 28th debate, and refused a request to participate in alternate debate, setup by the Values Voter coalition, with Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul. Instead, “Juan McAmnesty” celebrated his Coup de Grâce at a barbeque with CNN and other “impartial journalists”.
And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
Isn’t it ironic…the McCain-Romney “back-room deal” came the day after his campaign manager Beth Myers claimed a McCain-Huckabee-Paul “back-room deal”:
“Unfortunately, this is what Senator McCain’s inside Washington ways look like: he cut a back-room deal with the tax-and-spend candidate he thought could best stop Governor Romney’s campaign of conservative change,” Myers said. “Governor Romney had enough respect for the Republican voters of West Virginia to make an appeal to them about the future of the party based on issues. This is why he led on today’s first ballot. Sadly, Senator McCain cut a Washington back-room deal in a way that once again underscores his legacy of working against Republicans who are interested in championing conservative policies and rebuilding the party.”
Beth was right about McCain, but “pants on fire” in her slander of Huckabee as “the tax-and-spend candidate”. Who Is The Most Conservative?