Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee on Saturday clarified a report that he had endorsed Sen. Lindsey Graham’s re-election bid in a commercial that he taped for the South Carolina Republican last year.
“Politico makes it sound as if that spot was taped recently,” Huckabee told Newsmax in an email. “It was actually done many months ago when I was in S.C. for a pro-Israel group.
“That was its purpose: to thank Lindsey for his pro-Israel stance and to help keep the pressure to get to the facts of Benghazi,” Huckabee added. “There wasn’t an endorsement of candidacy.
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“I like Lindsey and consider him a friend, although we don’t always agree.”
In its report, Politico said the onetime GOP presidential candidate “recently taped a glowing video thanking Sen. Lindsey Graham for his tough positions on national security.”
“But this week,” the report continued, “Huckabee stressed that the spot shouldn’t be viewed as an endorsement for the South Carolina senator, who faces several primary challengers as he seeks reelection this year.”
Politico then quoted from a statement on the website of Huckabee’s PAC saying that the spot did not endorse Graham or any candidate in the upcoming South Carolina primary.
“To be clear, I haven’t endorsed Lindsey Graham for Senate,” the statement said.
Huckabee taped the TV spot for the South Carolina Conservative Action Alliance, urging viewers to call Graham to thank him for “being a conservative champion for peace through strength.”
A Graham campaign spokesman did not offer comment when reached by Politico — but the report quoted David Wilkins, the South Carolina organization’s chairman, as saying, “We agree with Governor Huckabee’s statement that this was not an endorsement.”
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By Todd Beamon