The list of possible running mates considered by Mitt Romney apparently now includes former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. These rumors are largely corroborated by Huckabee’s supporters: Ed Rollins, the chairman of Huckabee’s 2008 presidential campaign, said, “In a way, it’s almost a dream ticket. He’s substantive and knows domestic policy, and his personality wouldn’t overshadow Romney’s.”
Hogan Gidley, a former adviser to Huckabee, said, “If he’s not on the short list, somebody ought to put him there. He’d bring excitement to a ticket that’s lacking that, to some degree, right now. Beyond that, he’d bring a huge grassroots organization, and, to put it simply, the South.”
There are other supporters of Huckabee’s candidacy, notably Faith and Freedom Coalition head Ralph Reed, who opined, “Huckabee would be an outstanding and inspired choice. He has tremendous support among evangelicals and conservatives, and he knows how to frame issues in a way that makes it clear he has core convictions and he does it in a winsome way. Whatever differences Romney and Huckabee had during the 2008 campaign, and I don’t think they were significant; they have put that behind them. Governor Huckabee and Governor Romney, from what I can tell, have a good relationship, and each of them respects the work and views of the other.”
In 2008, Huckabee helped foil Romney’s presidential run by winning in the Iowa caucuses as well as having John McCain’s supporters throw their support to him in West Virginia to help defeat Romney. Huckabee threw some jabs at Romney, in mostly jocular fashion — but there was the New York Times Magazine interview before the Iowa caucuses where Huckabee, a fundamentalist Christian, asked, “Don’t Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?”
After Romney demanded an apology, calling the remark a religious smear, Huckabee offered a less-than-convincing mea culpa: “I just wanted to make sure that he heard directly from me, face to face, eyeball to eyeball, that I truly was sorry that that had come out that it looked like I had taken some shot at his faith.”
The prevailing consensus among supporters of Huckabee seems to be that he would bring in the Evangelical Christian vote, which would help Romney, as the general perception is that Evangelicals may have trouble voting for a Mormon. But this is selling Evangelicals short; they may have trouble voting for a Mormon, but in the end, they will be faced with the choice between someone whose religion is different but shares their values and someone whose Marxist animus for Judeo-Christian values is much more abhorrent.