LUBBOCK, Texas (CNN) – The sight of Mike Huckabee side by side with Chuck Norris in Texas on Thursday evoked memories of the campaign trail in January when the former Arkansas governor effectively used the martial arts star to get supporters revved up at rallies in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.
Gone is Huckabee's frontrunner status but Norris and wife Gina, residents of College Station, Texas, are back after a few weeks off the trail. They joined Huckabee at his second rally of the day in Waco and will stay with the campaign through Tuesday when Texas holds its primary. Whether or not it was thanks to Norris , 700 people packed the hotel ballroom while 500 more had to listen to the speech over a speaker system in the hallway.
Huckabee added to the long list of Chuck Norris “facts”, telling Waco supporters, many of them students at nearby Baylor University, “Chuck Norris doesn’t just draw a crowd, he shows up and the crowd materializes.” He added, “In my administration there would be room for a Secretary of Defense named Chuck Norris!”
Norris says he decided to support Huckabee after watching him debate and doing some online research. “Being on the campaign with [Huckabee] for the last four months, I’m really impressed with this man and I really know and believe that he is the man to lead our nation in the future. So I’ll do whatever I can to help get him elected,” said Norris before going into a fundraiser with Huckabee in Amarillo.
Standing next to the six-time karate world champion, Huckabee told reporters he needs to win Texas next week to change the course of the race. “I’m not stupid, I understand that a lot of the time the crowd comes to see Chuck. But between Chuck and me hopefully we get them to go vote Tuesday.”