GOP presidential candidate former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee separated himself from one of his GOP competitors during a campaign stop in Iowa, where he said Cruz is a good lawyer, but the United States needs a leader.
“Look, Ted’s a great lawyer,” Huckabee said. ”But I don’t think America needs a good lawyer right now, it needs a good leader. My question to you would be: Can you name me what efforts [Cruz] has been a leader in? He’s been a senator. He’s been a lawyer and a lobbyist…What has Ted Cruz done in his life that prepares him to the President of the United States?”
Huckabee – who rarely speaks ill of his competitors – wasn’t shy about separating himself from Cruz.
Huckabee’s statement about Cruz occurred during a discussion with Marion Avenue Baptist Church Pastor Joseph Brown, according to the Des Moines Register.
“Brown, who started a coalition of Iowa pastors who support Cruz, began the conversation with a question about why the candidate has said Cruz tailors his comments about same-sex marriage to the audiences he addresses,” reports Des Moines Register’s Kathy Bolten.
Huckabee was referencing a report by Politico that suggested Cruz spoke differently about traditional marriage as a priority while campaigning at a fundraiser event in New York.
Brown said that Cruz and Huckabee are saying the same things on the campaign trail. However, Huckabee disagreed.
Huckabee argued that Cruz said, “He would leave marriage issues up to the states and therefore would not support a federal marriage amendment,” adding, “He knows, like good lawyers do, how to say things that sound almost the same as something else.”
Kathy Bolten reports the exchange between Huckabee and Brown occurred in front of more than two-dozen people.
“Huckabee pressed Brown several times to explain when Cruz has been a leader. Brown cited Mojave Memorial Cross, a case Cruz argued before the U.S. Supreme Court,” Bolten reports.
“He fought and won that issue,” Brown responded. “He’s stood up for the Second Amendment.”
Huckabee then replied, “Sounds like he’d be a great lawyer. I’m asking you, what has he done that gives you reason to believe he would be a great executive, which is a very different job than a lawyer.”
Brown answered, “That’s what I like about you — you’ve been an executive for 10 years.”
Brown reportedly caucused for Huckabee in 2008 when Huckabee won Iowa.