Posted: June 18, 2007 4:02 PM
Huckabee Chooses to Enter Iowa Straw Poll
Republican presidential candidate and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said this week that he will participate in the Iowa straw poll after all.
The late-summer event has traditionally been the first informal test for presidential candidates. Huckabee had earlier said he would have to re-evaluate the value of competing in the poll, after front runners Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said they would forego it.
But on Wednesday, during opening ceremonies of his campaign headquarters in Des Moines, Huckabee chided his opponents’ decision to opt out, saying, “If you are playing a game and you walk off the field before it starts, that is usually not an indication that you thought you were so strong that it wasn’t work playing.”
He added that he still sees Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina as key for securing the presidential nomination.
While in Iowa, Huckabee also faulted the media for devoting too little coverage to the presidential candidates.
“One of the frustrations is that there is more attention on Britney Spears getting out of a car without underwear than there is about who is going to be the next president,” he said.
The Baptist minister has long complained that the press has slighted the lesser known candidates to focus on their better known and funded rivals. Asked how he might find a place in the spotlight, he said, “Accompanying Paris Hilton to jail might work.”
In the coming week, the candidate plans to attend fund-raising events in Texas and Arkansas, and make additional campaign stops in South Carolina.