Huckabee Goes Negative ... Sort Of

Candidate ditches anti-Romney spot after screening for the media
By J. Kelman,  Newser User
Posted Jan 1, 2008 12:38 PM CST

(Newser) – Negative campaigning has finally gone meta. Mike Huckabee held a press conference yesterday to announce that he wouldn't air his latest campaign ad—a 30-second attack on his closest rival, Mitt Romney—then aired it in full for the press corps, the Washington Post reports. Huckabee says he pulled the ad himself, hoping to change the "level of discourse."

Others were a touch more cynical, pointing to the free airtime the stunt won the dark-horse candidate. Huckabee has fallen behind Romney in recent weeks, even after bringing in GOP big guns like Ed Rollins—who approved the ad—to complement his folksy, grassroots campaign. Still, the ex-preacher said his latest move represented true conversion, not pure politics. "It's never too late to do the right thing," he said.