(CNN) - Mike Huckabee shot back at Terry McAuliffe late Thursday after the former DNC chairman and Virginia gubernatorial candidate accused Huckabee of encouraging voter suppression.
"As someone who served as a Governor for 10 years, I can say if these are the type of things Terry McAuliffe worries about and make him break down and cry, then he won't last 10 days as Governor much less four years and he doesn't deserve the people of Virginia's vote," Huckabee said in a statement to CNN.
At issue is a joke Huckabee made during a recent appearance on behalf of Bob McDonnell, the Republican candidate for governor.
Huckabee cracked that if McDonnell's supporters bump into someone who isn't planning on voting for the Republican, they should "let the air out of their tires and do not let them out of their driveway on election day."
The joke, a familiar one to those who followed Huckabee's presidential campaign, drew chuckles from the crowd.
McAuliffe, one of three candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for governor, sought to make the remark an issue on Thursday.
"There are no jokes to be made about denying people the right to vote in this country," he said in a statement. "It's not a laughing matter. This is a right that people fought and died for, so as public figures, we must be sure that we are setting the standard."