Saturday, January 12, 2008

Sen. Scott Defends Huckabee

"I voted to raise taxes too . . ."
Says Huck Campaign Is Organizing Missouri Churches
The chair of Mike Huckabee's presidential campaign in Missouri is defending his candidate's decision to raise taxes years ago in Arkansas.

Huckabee has taken a good amount of criticism from some economic conservatives within his own party for raising taxes in Arkansas to pay for new roads. Groups like the Club for Growth have called Huckabee's candidacy unacceptable. Others have charged he's not a true economic conservative.

"I voted for the 1987 gas tax, and the 1992 gas tax in Missouri, because they were absolutely necessary to keep the state where it needed to be," Sen. Scott said in an interview, noting that those cuts were passed under Republican Governor John Ashcroft.

"From that standard, not ever having to have in increase in taxes or spending, then I'm a wacko liberal also," Scott added. "It's a lot easier to talk about governing than it is to actually govern."

Scott, a 24-year veteran of Jefferson City, said he's helping Huckabee build on his base of support here in Missouri. He said there's also a separate effort to organize Missouri churches for Huckabee. "I decided if I was going to work for someone, I wanted to work for someone I could get excited about," he said.

Scott said the biggest challenge so far has been the lack of resources needed to boost Huckabee's name identification. "Just not having the money for TV, billboards and yard signs is tough, that's why we are trying to expand the local Meet-Up groups," Scott said. "When you have 22 states in one day, somebody has to decide where to spend the resources."

Scott was unsure if Huckabee would run ads in the Show-Me State but did believe the candidate would visit at least once before February 5th.

Until then, he's just closely watching the delegate count.

"It's a wide open battle until somebody reaches that magic number," Scott said.

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