WASHINGTON (CNN) – Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee strongly denied Saturday any involvement in push-polling in New Hampshire that reportedly is conducted by a group supporting his presidential bid.
"As I've said before, our campaign has nothing to do with push polling, and I wish they would stop," Huckabee said in a statement. “We don't want this kind of campaigning because it violates the spirit of our campaign."
Huckabee's comments came after rival John McCain's campaign claimed it had received reports of push-poll phone calls "designed to disparage John McCain in an effort to advance Gov. Huckabee's campaign."
"Gov. Huckabee should immediately condemn these tactics and urge his supporters to stop this activity attempting to smear John McCain or any other candidate, and allow this campaign to be waged on the issues and each candidate's merits," McCain's New Hampshire Vice Chairman Chuck Douglas said in a statement released earlier Saturday.
The practice of push-polling is a political attack disguised as legitimate polling. Callers portray themselves as nonpartisan members of a polling organization, then provide negative or misleading information about a candidate in an effort to discourage voting for that person.
Last month, McCain asked the New Hampshire attorney general to investigate similar calls that appeared to target former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney