Sunday, December 09, 2007


3 Weeks to Iowa
New Polls: Leads in IA, SC
4th in New Hampshire
"Being attacked means you're doing better."
"I don't run from it."
Says Illegals Should Go To "Back of the Line"

Fast-rising Republican presidential contender Mike Huckabee defended a controversial statement he made on AIDS patients and clarified his position on illegal immigration a day before he graces the cover of a national magazine.

Huckabee is on the cover of this week's Newsweek, now just three weeks before the first in the nation Iowa caucuses. A new round of polls from MSNBC shows Huckabee maintaining a formidable lead in Iowa, while taking the lead in South Carolina. According to a McClatchy-Mason Dixon survey, Huckabee leads Mitt Romney in Iowa 32%-20%. The same survey gives Huckabee a slim 3 point lead over Rudy Giuliani in South Carolina, 20%-17%. Huckabee is fourth in New Hampshire, but a surprising second in Nevada.

On FOX News Sunday, Huckabee defended a statement he made back in 1992 that AIDS patients should be isolated. "I still believe this today, that we were acting more out of political correctness. I don't run from it. I don't recant it," he said. Although he did say he would articulate his position differently today.

In a Spanish-language television debate in Florida Sunday night, Huckabee issued a proposal that focuses on strict penalties for illegal immigration. At the debate, he said illegal immigrants should go to the back of the line and return to their native countries before being allowed to become legal citizens. Huckabee has taken heat from some conservatives for offering taxpayer-funded benefits to the children of illegal immigrants as Governor of Arkansas.

Huckabee will also begin airing a round of brand new television ads in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina this week. The themes are "Secure Borders" and "Better America." Huckabee supporters describe the ads as "tough but authentic." They both can be viewed on the candidate's website.

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