Joe Dugan, executive producer of the South Carolina Tea Party Coalition Convention that will be held in Myrtle Beach from January 18th to the 20th, criticized former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee for supporting incumbent Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) in an ad that ran on television networks in South Carolina during the Capital One Bowl Game Wednesday.
“I thought it was disgusting,” Dugan said of the ad. The ad was paid for by a group called the South Carolina Conservative Action Alliance, a tax-exempt 501(c)4 non-profit.
In the ad Huckabee, who placed second in the race for the 2008 Republican nomination for President and is said to be considering another run in 2016, praised Graham effusively.
“There’s a leader in South Carolina who knows what it takes to win: Senator Lindsey Graham,” Huckabee says in the ad. “Call Lindsey Graham and thank him for being a conservative champion for peace through strength.”
“I think this ad and what has gone on in the Republican party shows the absolute need for a convention like the one we’ll be holding in Myrtle Beach from the 18th to the 20th,” Dugan told Breitbart News.
All four Tea Party challengers incumbent Republican Senator Lindsey Graham who will be on the ballot in the June primary will speak at the South Carolina Tea Party Coalition Convention.
Recent polls show that the four – State Senator Lee Bright, attorney and U.S. Army veteran Bill Connor, small business owner Nancy Mace (the first female graduate of the Citadel), and small business owner Richard Cash – lag far behind Graham. South Carolina is a runoff state, however, and if the four hold Graham below 50 percent, the candidate with the most votes among the four challengers will take on Graham in a two-person runoff just two weeks after the primary.
A host of additional speakers, including Major General Paul Vallely, Breitbart Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon, Tea Party Patriots head Jenny Beth Martin, and Congressman Jim Bridenstine will also be featured at the event.
Dugan did not pull any punches in his criticism of the Huckabee ad. “I thought it was horrible,” he told Breitbart News. “Huckabee is praising Graham on Benghazi? Has that been resolved while I wasn’t looking? Wasn’t it Graham that wanted to arm the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and have us rush into Syria?”
Dugan added, “As far as a strong national defense, it has been disastrously declining on his watch. I don’t give someone points for saying present. Points have to be earned with success, and that is totally lacking in what I see in Lindsey Graham.”
Huckabee, perhaps sensing that his support for Graham in the ad may have hurt his chances in South Carolina’s 2016 Presidential primary, wrote on his HuckPAC website Thursday that his appearance in the ad did not constitute an endorsement of Graham’s campaign to win re-election to the Senate.
“To be clear,” he wrote, “I haven’t endorsed Lindsey Graham for Senate.”
Huckabee then explained, “Last year, I voiced an ad thanking him for support of Israel. It was not an endorsement for his re-election. In fact, I don’t plan to endorse anyone in [the] SC Senate race in the primary, but I will certainly help in the general election if asked.”