December 8th, 2007
03:00 PM ET
12 years ago

Anonymous anti-Huckabee fliers distributed in South Carolina

A similar flier attacking Huckabee was distributed in Iowa earlier this week.

GREENVILLE, South Carolina (CNN) – As Mike Huckabee surges in the polls, his Republican rivals are beginning to take aim at his record as governor of Arkansas. But in conservative Iowa and South Carolina, it appears Huckabee should probably start bracing for anonymous attacks as well.

Mysterious fliers attempting to paint Huckabee as too liberal for Republican primary voters were left on car windshields outside of a campaign event in Greenville on Saturday.

Under the banner, "Mike Huckabee – a 'True' Conservative?," the flier blasts Huckabee on immigration and taxes, and accuses the former Arkansas governor of "lying" about his role in the Wayne Dumond parole controversy.

[Read the flier here.]

It quotes a 2005 Arkansas News article that paraphrased Huckabee as saying, "Arkansas needs to make the transition from a traditional Southern state to one that recognizes and cherishes diversity and culture."

"Is something wrong with our Southern Christian culture?," the flier asks.

Although the flier says it is sponsored by a group called "Lynchburg Christian Students for the Truth," a web search of that name did not return any results. The flier also included an email address offering to provide "court records on the Dumond trial," but emails sent to that address were not returned.

ABC News obtained a similar flier in Iowa this week when it was slipped under a hotel room door in Des Moines, although that one came from a group calling itself "Iowans for Some Semblance of Christian Decency."

The South Carolina flier bears a strong resemblance to the one found in Iowa. Both include many of the same reference and quotations, including one from conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly saying that Huckabee "destroyed the conservative movement in Arkansas."

Both fliers are simple 8×10 printouts with bullet points attacking Huckabee's record, with particular focus on the Dumond case.

"Don't fooled by his smooth rhetoric!," the Iowa flier proclaims. Similarly, the South Carolina flier reads: "Don't be fooled by that smooth voice!"

The flier urges "those who want to learn more" to contact Betsy Hagan of the Arkansas Eagle Forum and includes her phone number. Hagan opposes Huckabee's presidential bid.

"I don’t have any idea who is doing that," Hagan said, reached by phone. "I've gotten a lot of calls from people in Iowa about that. I'm not identified with the group. I wish they would quit using my number."

UPDATE: The campaign of Sen. John McCain, who himself suffered from a barrage of anonymous attacks before to the South Carolina primary in 2000, issued a statement condemning the fliers and calling on other campaigns to do the same.

From McCain's state co-chair, South Carolina Adjutant General Stan Spears: "Unfortunately, the McCain campaign is all too familiar with these types of underhanded tactics. They undermine the integrity of the political process and cause people to distrust public servants.

"Our campaign is committed to employing only the highest ethical standards. We encourage all other campaigns to do the same and to join us in condemning this type of action."

- CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby

Filed under: Iowa • Mike Huckabee • South Carolina
soundoff (74 Responses)
  1. Jeff, somewhere, south carolina

    I cannot believe anyone would vote republican in the first place, and i think that anyone who does is an intolerant war-monger,but besides that, what kind of message would it send if Mike Huckabee became president, a former Baptist minister. Oh and by the way, I am a member of a Southern Baptist Church. Can't you see the hypocrisy, let go of the way your parents voted and help change America for the better. Tradition alienates people and is childish.

    December 9, 2007 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  2. Daniel, WA

    Hasn't Mitt Romney call Huckabee a "liberal" on issues such as illegal immigration?

    Kind of makes you think.
    Posted By Robert Burns – New York City, New York : December 8, 2007 6:49 pm

    Robert...I am not sure how much you know about Mitt Romney's background, or any of these political candidates backgrounds. Hopefully you don't pull your knowledge strictly from CNN!! Any one who thinks the news is reported without bias...What should be happening with all candidates for example.

    Take a look at Mitt Romney's business career, personal life, and life as Governor of Mass...take a close, look.

    Now I won't say that someone who wants Romney to win didn't created these fliers...(because we both know the democrats would love to get in the ring with Huck, most likely not them.), but Mitt Romney would never be behind this. He does not operate this way, and never has.

    On the flip side, start doing a little back ground on Huckabee, and you'll notice this. He is a very nice guy, truly, but he's very Bush-esk in his poor decision making...and don't get me started on him being the "Christian candidate"...

    Bottom line, people really should jump in and do the research, especially for such an important decision...before going by the media. I think many will be suprised.

    December 9, 2007 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  3. Elizabeth, Dallas TX

    I want to know what is wrong with "culture and diversity?" I think it's sad that a supposed Christian group finds those two words threatening. I am a Christian who has a personal relationship with Christ and I also believe in the separation of church and state. I don't believe in forcing my views on other people and I don't believe in other people taking away my right to practice my views. America was built on culture and diversity but it seems now that some misguided Christians are scared that their country is going to hell in a handbasket. I agree we need to keep politically correct power hungry people out of office that want to erase the orgin of Christmas by banning Merry Christmas and enforcing Happy Holidays. That a baby Jesus is offensive on the lawn of the capital is ridiculous. I also believe that we need to keep bible thumping truth twisting nit-wits out of a job in politics. Both of types of people are dangerous to this country. I think abortion is wrong but I believe in allowing a woman to make that choice. The fact that people think they're above God's freewill is ironic to me. They want a 19 year old woman who can barely afford community college with no family support to keep her fetus but they don't lose any sleep at night over the hungry baby and it's homeless mother. Some people need a reality check, maybe if they spent some time with America's scum of the streets like Jesus chilled with the hookers they would "get it."

    December 9, 2007 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  4. Dave, Camas, WA

    I wonder what it will take with this sort of nonsense to get the police involved. Hopefully they are dusting the flyers for fingerprints right now.

    December 9, 2007 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  5. Laurence, Newport News, Va.

    To Walt from Belton, Tx. Hey, Bush didn't serve in the military either, but that's still dosen't excuse any of the others now does it? Besides, all Mitt has done the hole of his adult life is serve himself. Yes, even as Governor of Mass. Guilliani is still serving himself. And when Hillary
    decides to actually reading stuff before making uneducated decisions, maybe then she'd be a decent prez.

    December 9, 2007 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  6. Calvin Johnson, Bella Vista, AR

    Hasn't served in the military... so you wouldn't vote for him? Are you kidding me? Many Presidents have not served, and not every person is cut out to serve in the military. Also, the fact that Mike is under attack is only good for him, more attention, any attention is good. You're never going to find a politician without a spot. Everyone has plenty and the fact that Mike's got a few isn't going to phase the general public. Mudslinging is expect and America knows it. Mike has a chance and the fact that everyone, including those of you who are posting here just proves that it's true, and no one can deny that.

    December 9, 2007 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  7. Steve Jones

    I am confused about Mike Huckabee???? He states that he is a Christian and is pro-life on the abortion issue. However, he supports the death penalty. Thou shall not kill means what exactly?? Save the unborn and murder the condemned??

    December 9, 2007 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  8. Steve

    I live in Alabama–deep in the heart of the Southern
    Christian Culture. While there are many loving, caring Christians, the majority are fearful, intolerant, and bigoted. They easily express hatred for blacks, gays, and, to a lesser extent, Jews. Huckabee and Romney will do well here as each has a track record of intolerance. Neither man can heal the divide in this country.

    December 9, 2007 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  9. Chris, Los Angeles

    Huckabee isn't that bad. He's just all talk with no substance, but at least he isn't an authoritarian like Guiliani. Well.. it's hard to say.. maybe he is.. can't tell cuz he doesn't say anything when he speaks.

    Go Ron Paul.

    December 10, 2007 01:57 am at 1:57 am |
  10. Gary , Branson, Missouri

    Is this the guy that Chuck Norris supports? I thought Chuck suported the 10/20/life, bill in Florida. I guess he forgot,old age and all. Anyone who lets murders or violent criminals out of jail does not need to be our President.

    December 10, 2007 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  11. Ali A. Akbar, Texas

    Do you seriously just say a "web search" showed nothing?

    You're a CNN Producer? Wow.

    No surprise I guess.

    Ali A. Akbar

    December 10, 2007 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  12. Katy, Richmond, VA

    It's clear that most of you haven't heard about how Mike destroyed over 350,000 dollars worth of computers at the end of his term as Arkansas governer. What was he hiding? Why did he destroy them? Mike is a liar

    December 10, 2007 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  13. Pat, Jordan, AR

    Maybe some of these commenters need to move to Arkansas and feel some of the impact that Huckabee created in this state with his multiple tax hikes and open-ended bond issues to placate his good-old boy buddies and the fact that he campaigned to release a convicted rapist, only to have the felon rape and murder elsewhere in the country. He may have been a preacher but that doesn't give him the credentials to lead a country as diverse as the US is.

    December 10, 2007 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  14. Lu, New york

    Huckabee will win in 2008. He's the only candidate that is truly Christian and coservative on the issues that count most. History proves it.

    December 10, 2007 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  15. Richard, Tulsa, OK

    Annonymous flyers make this major news???!!! Ofcourse, if your goal is to discredit a candidate you do not support, this unimportant garbage becomes news. What about real issues, what's really important; not so if you are a yellow journalism rag.

    December 10, 2007 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  16. Laura, Des Moines

    Scott – Exactly. The attacks do nothing but propel Huckabee further up in the Polls. And for those who posted that this is something only the Republican's do....Wake up and read the news! The Dem's have been attacking each other since the beginning of this campaign. Each other, Republican's and anyone else who might appear to get in their way. Or is it that you wish to remain oblivious to that fact as a means to support your own political views?

    December 10, 2007 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  17. Allen Ridge

    If Huck wins the GOP nomination then the Democrats crush the GOP in November 2008. Huck is a product of our corrupt liberal MSM press which is really sad indeed. As a life-long Republican if Huck is the nominee I will sit out the November 2008 election.

    December 10, 2007 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  18. Alex, Winter Springs

    Although I think that Huckabee is a true Christian, and an excellent person, I dont want him as the president. He is too liberal fiscally. The media is building him up to tear him down in the general election. Not to shill, but if you want a candidade that can stand up to anything, and beat Hillary or Obama, vote McCain.

    December 10, 2007 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  19. Steve Blaine Washington

    There is an AP story on Comcast news which is very damaging. Many times worse than Wayne Dumond Story.

    December 10, 2007 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  20. Keith Apopka, FL

    I'm reading all these comments from all the card carrying liberals from the Communist News Network "CNN." Of course, this comment probably won't be posted because it's not considered politically correct. Can't vote for Hillary or Billary Clinton because of her pro-abortion stand, socialistic national health care plan that works so well in Canada that all the Canadians come into upstate New York to get health care that have been waiting for months to see a docter. Go Huckabee! Yes, he's anti-abortion, a Christian who's not afraid to express his views. As for letting the rapist out of jail. This report was released by a typical liberal blog "pro-Billary Clinton." Actually, Bill Clinton supporters were behind the rapist release. This will be a interesting primary and election season especially in Florida with more than half the state filled with liberals New Yorkers /New Jersey people. Take I-95 North and don't come back. If you think, I'm a Southern I was born in Michigan one the hotbeds of liberalism.

    December 10, 2007 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  21. Steve Martin

    Another fundamentalist? God help us. If Huckabee is elected President, where on earth will people with any education, any understanding that church and science DO mix, who understand that stem cell research is NOT immoral, who know that you will NEVER rid the world of abortion no matter what you do with Roe and who have better things to worry about than what gay people are doing going to go? I

    December 10, 2007 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  22. Charlie Andrews, St. Louis, Mo.

    After reading your story, "Anonymous anti-Huckabee fliers distributed in South Carolina" I checked out the Eagle Forum website. What a trip. I even listened to the radio broadcast "What we want in a President" by Ms. Schlafly. Based on the radio propaganda, it appears the only candidate that fits the Eagle Forum mold in Thompson. Romney is wrong on religion; Rudy is too liberal; McCain is done. I also read the flier. Good hatchet job. Sounds like the brain child of Missouri Speaker and Romney supporter Rod Jetton and Governor Matt (win at all cost) Blunt. These guys are the kings of sleaze in Missouri and bring political dirty tricks to a new low. Where's the FEC at times like this?

    December 11, 2007 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  23. Karen

    HUCKABEE is a two faced liar.. he had a group do push polling in IOWA to hurt Ronney now he has that same GROUP push polling WHICH IS AGAIST THE LAW! In SC against Thompson telling total lies.. Huckabee is the most scandalous dishonest man who calls himself a preacher, this election has ever seen..

    Huckabee is a Wolf In Sheep's clothing, and a LIBERAL!

    Good for whatever group this is that's giving Huckabee a taste of his own medicine!

    January 16, 2008 01:59 am at 1:59 am |
  24. TC

    HUCK WAS A ONE-HIT WONDER. Soon, we'll all wonder who he was and why we cared at all about him. It's down to Mitt and McCain. Giuliani keeps dropping like a brick and Huckabee can't even reliably win the Evangelical vote against Romney.

    Go Mitt! Go Mac! Either is better than the two-faced Huckster.

    January 23, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
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