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Monday, December 03, 2007

When Supporters Hurt Their Candidate

I have often said that although I dislike Ron Paul, it was his supporters that do him the most damage by spamming emails, hate filled comments on blogs and forums and acting like crazy lunatics by doing constant Ron Paul searches then flooding every site that mentions him with the exact same comments as they left on the site before that, (No denials, the proof of this is in my own comment section and sitemeter showing where they were referred from) and we see reports today of another candidates supporters causing negative reports associated with Mike Huckabee.

Mike Huckabee's campaign is being aided by an independent group run by a former top aide at the NRSC and funded in part by a group of retired Procter & Gamble executives in Ohio.

"Trust Huckabee," whose website went live last week, was responsible for flooding Iowa with automated calls last night praising the former Arkansas governor and criticizing his GOP opponents.

Patrick Davis, a Colorado-based political consultant who served as political director of the NRSC in 2004, is running the organization and confirmed in a telephone interview that they were a pro-Huckabee outfit and were responsible for the calls.

The difference is not just in the methods used by the supporters, the difference is also in how the candidate addresses the issues.

Where Paul does not denounce the email or comment spammers, does not denounce the white supremacists and does not denounce the 9/11 conspiracy theorists aka Truthers, Mike Huckabee immediately issued statements as did his campaign, denouncing this type of "support" and the tactics being used..

Huckabee's campaign sent out comments the candidate made about the calls this morning on the trail in Iowa.

"Our campaign has nothing to do with the push polling and I wish they would stop," Huckabee said. "We don't want this kind of campaigning because it violates the spirit of our campaign. I don't want to become President because I disabled the other candidates, I want to become President because I am the best candidate."

Huckabee's campaign manager, Chip Saltsman, also issued a statement describing the calls as "extremely counterproductive."

"It takes the campaign off message at a time when Governor Huckabee is resonating with voters as never before," Saltsman said. "It loses votes rather than gains them. It's an underhanded way of doing business that is not welcomed by the campaign and it flies in the face of what Governor Huckabee stands for: integrity and clean politics. On behalf of Governor Huckabee and his campaign, I ask that these calls be stopped immediately."

Politics is ugly, it always has been and I have not paid too much attention to Mike Huckabee, but his immediate action and public statement denouncing these tactics, already puts him heads and shoulders above Ron Paul's deafening silence about his supporters actions.

Hot Air wonders if this group that owns the Trust Huckabee website is responsible for the anti-Mormon calls a few weeks ago.

Update: Robocalls in Iowa going negative on Fred, McCain, and Rudy? Huck says he has nothing to do with it but the group’s webpage is slick. Everyone’s thinking it so I’ll just wonder aloud — did they have anything to do with the anti-Mormon calls a few weeks ago?

All candidates are going to have a mixture of supporters, some arguing issues, others arguing for sake of arguing and some quite unhinged.

The candidates reactions and responses and well as the timing of both, tells us volumes about the candidate themselves.

TheTrust Huckabee site can be found here.

It is reasonable to come to the conclusion that you cannot be held responsible for what your supporters do in your name, but you can, are and should be held responsible for how you react to those actions.

Mike Huckabee seems to understand this and has acted accordingly.