Matt Lewis
The bitter feud between former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and The Club for Growth continued this week on the Fox News Channel.  

Here's an excerpt:

WALLACE: But let me ask you about that, because you called the Club for Growth, which is a reliably conservative group, the club for greed.

Why would a conservative group single you out and run, as you say, about $100,000 in ads to warn Iowa voters that you're a tax and spender?

HUCKABEE: Well, because you've got to understand the Club for Growth or club for greed, however you want to call them...[# More #]

WALLACE: Well, it's not me. It's you, sir.

HUCKABEE: Yeah, and I did call them that, and I would do it again. They essentially operate when people give them money specifically targeted toward someone that they want to take out.

They hide behind the anonymity of the organization. They don't come out and say, "Here I am. I'm writing a check and I'm going to spend it against this guy."

NewsMax, for example, did, I thought, a wonderful story in which they pretty much debunked the Club for Growth's ad and its content and the attacks. And you know, there are nuances of a state government and running one that — I'm quite proud of having navigated a ship through troubled waters in Arkansas.

WALLACE: But in fairness, it's not just the Club for Growth. The Cato Institute, another conservative think tank, gave you a "D" on taxes for your 10 years as governor.

Americans for Tax Reform, another conservative group, said that state spending during your first eight years as governor increased by 65 percent.

HUCKABEE: But once again, if you look at our state spending compared to any others, it's about the same, because state spending is based often on federal pass-throughs on things like Medicaid, over which we have no control.

And that's why you have to honestly take an analysis of how the budget is constructed and where the set points are. Budgeting under me during my time as governor increased about 0.5 percent a year for the 10.5 years I was governor.

When you look at the things that I actually had control to control — and that's a big difference than simply throwing out these wild accusations that I'm a tax and spender.

WALLACE: The shoe that hasn't dropped yet in this campaign is that it appears that some day, maybe in the next couple of weeks, Fred Thompson is going to get into this race...

Regarding the interview, The Arkansas Times blog writes: 

Huck again more or less lied by saying the Club for Growth has distorted his record. But Chris Wallace's producers had done their homework. He noted that the Cato Institute and another anti-tax think tank had criticized the governor's record on taxes and spending in Arkansas. (We repeat: This is an area where we applaud the record from which the former governor is trying to run.)


Matt Lewis

Matt Lewis is conservative writer and blogger based in Alexandria, VA.

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