Thursday, September 18, 2008

Gov. Huckabee addresses National Conference of Editorial Writers

Huckabee Defends McCain Over Economy Comments

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) _ Mike Huckabee says criticism of Republican presidential nominee John McCain over his remarks that the economy's "fundamentals" remain strong is as silly as trying to paint Democrat Barack Obama as sexist.

"It's nonsense. If that's the best argument they've got, they're in real trouble," the former GOP presidential candidate told The Associated Press on Wednesday. "That's like trying to say Obama's 'lipstick on a pig' comment was substantive, and that's just as silly."

Obama has called McCain out of touch on economic issues for proclaiming that "the fundamentals of our economy are strong."

Republicans, however, have tried to say Obama was slurring vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin when Obama call McCain's call for change in Washington "lipstick on a pig," days after Palin made a lipstick joke at the Republican convention. In a post on his political action committee's blog and as a commentator on Fox News Channel, Huckabee has said he doesn't believe Obama was referring to Palin.

The former Arkansas governor addressed members of the National Conference of Editorial Writers at the group's convention in Little Rock.

Huckabee, who dropped out of the race in March after McCain won enough delegates to claim the party's nomination, said that he was working on a "provocative" book about his failed presidential bid, to be released in November.

"It's going to give a lot of insight on what happened behind the scenes and not only behind the debate stage, but also in the conservative movement and the Republican primaries," Huckabee said.

Huckabee also defended McCain's campaign for not making Palin available for many public interviews since the Alaska governor was tapped as McCain's running mate.

"I think the McCain campaign wanted to make sure she was ready for the onslaught of having 75 people yell questions at her and that would be a pretty different experience for an Alaska governor to be throw into," he said. "I don't think it means she can't handle it. I think she's shown so far she can hold her own."

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