Huckabee says Romney has been "all over the board."
(CNN) - Mike Huckabee questioned GOP rival Mitt Romney’s social conservative credentials Sunday in an interview on CNN's "Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer."
“Mitt has changed his position,” the former Arkansas governor said. “He’s been all over the board. But my conservatism has been consistent. When he was pro-abortion, I was still pro-life and always have been. When he was for gun control, I was against it. When he was against the Bush tax cuts, I was for them. When he was against Ronald Reagan's legacy and said he wasn't part of that Bush-Reagan thing, I was a part of that Bush-Reagan thing.”
Romney has long been the frontrunner in most Republican polls in Iowa, but surveys in the past two weeks indicate that Huckabee has closed the gap with the former Massachusetts governor. Huckabee told Blitzer that Romney’s changing views were a major reason why the polls have tightened in the Hawkeye State, which is the first state to vote in the presidential primary season.
Romney has been under attack from his Republican rivals for what they consider a shift on his stance on such conservative issues as abortion, gay marriage, taxes, illegal immigration and gun control.
Huckabee, who’s the only minister among the presidential candidates, added to that chorus today, saying that it’s “not just about where we are now, it’s where we have been and can be expected to be if elected president. It’s not just authenticity, but consistency.”
The Romney campaign fired back, saying “Governor Romney is only being attacked by other campaigns because of his growing support from Republican voters who believe he has the vision, the experience and the values to lead the nation.”
The campaign went on to say, “There are big differences between Governor Romney and Mike Huckabee on taxes, spending and immigration. Mike Huckabee has a very troubling record of raising taxes, increasing spending and advocating that taxpayer dollars for in-state tuition be provided to illegal immigrants. Mike Huckabee is wrong on those issues and he has found himself entirely at odds with many Republican voters as a result.”
With three days to go before the CNN/YouTube Republican presidential debate, it appears the race for the GOP nomination is getting even testier.
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- CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser