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Huckabee on the Offensive Ahead of Super Tuesday

Sen. John McCain may be the current Republican front-runner in the presidential race, but former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee insists that the contest is far from over.

"It's only a two-person race if the national media tries to pick the president for the people. It's absurd to let this become a play-yard shouting match between John McCain and Mitt Romney," Huckabee tells Michele Norris.

But the former Baptist minister has sharp criticism of his own of Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts.

"[Romney] can spend all the money in the world, [but] he can't change the fact that he's got a very, very tough message to sell because he's had so many different products out of the same box. He has a lot of money, and he's spent a lot of money. But for the amount of money that he's spent, he hasn't done that well.

"If people look at the money we've had, and how well we've done with it, I think that's the story that gives us some credibility to say we're in this thing for the long haul," Huckabee says, noting that his campaign has been frugal, relying on volunteers and limited resources, and has never gone into debt.

In addition, Huckabee says that he finds it difficult when he hears Romney "speak with such boldness about … being a conservative."

He cites video of Romney distancing himself from Reagan and Bush and also of him saying he would do more for the gay and lesbian agenda than Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA).

"For him to come along now and try to suddenly step in front of many of us who have been conservatives, when he obviously was not one, is just a little difficult to take.

"For many of us, we find [it] hard to believe that a person has just hit political puberty at age 60," he says.

Huckabee says he is now focused on the races at stake on Super Tuesday, Feb. 5. He says his campaign has a "real shot to win and pick up significant delegates" in key states in the South and Midwest: Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Montana and West Virginia.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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