Tag Archives: statesman’s

Huckabee Raises Some Eyebrows (and some Wamp scoffing)

There were signs that the Republican big tent is fraying at the Statesmen’s Dinner, though the theme was unity and about $500,000 was raised, reports Andy Sher.
Even the choice of the dinner’s keynote speaker — former Arkansas governor and 2008 GOP presidential nominee Mike Huckabee — raised some eyebrows.
Huckabee supported U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R-Tenn., in the 3rd Congressional District 2010 GOP primary. This year, the freshman Chattanooga lawmaker faces spirited challenges from Weston Wamp, of Chattanooga, and Scottie Mayfield, of Athens.
Last week, Huckabee appeared in a new Fleischmann television ad, and they were set to tour the 3rd District before Fleischmann had to cancel so he could get back to Washington for an unexpected vote.
In a statement two days before Huckabee’s speech, Wamp scoffed that “Mike Huckabee’s credibility in Tennessee’s 3rd District is questionable based on his long-standing relationship with Chuck Fleischmann’s chief of staff and political operative, Chip Saltsman.”
He said Huckabee’s “public support of Chuck Fleischmann is a prime example of the ‘back-scratching’ that is part of the problem in Washington.”
Saltsman, a former state GOP chairman, was national manager of Huckabee’s 2008 presidential campaign.
Neither Wamp nor Mayfield attended the Statesmen’s Dinner.
Huckabee, now a talk show host on Fox News, devoted most of his speech to criticizing President Obama and praising presumed GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
Huckabee did urge attendees to “enthusiastically” make sure “Mitt Romney is our next president, [U.S. Sen.] Bob Corker returns to the Senate [and] these outstanding members of your congressional delegation.”
But he didn’t mention any congressman by name.
Republican Lou Ann Zelenik, who is battling to defeat U.S. Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., in the 6th District primary, said she didn’t take any offense.
“He’s just bringing his great inspiring message here, and I love him,” she said.
Devaney said he invited Huckabee because he won the 2008 GOP presidential primary in Tennessee, was available to speak and is a popular host on Fox News.
“We had our thing booked first and they [Fleischmann campaign] decided to do, I guess, this endorsement tour,” Devaney said. “But ours was booked first. No, there wasn’t any coordination.”
Fleischmann said he had nothing to do with Huckabee’s invitation to speak at the dinner. He said he doesn’t see his rivals running because they object to his conservative stances on fiscal and social issues.

Huckabee Targets Obama at Republican Statesman’s Dinner

Republican unity was the theme at the Tennessee GOP’s Statesman’s Dinner fundraiser Saturday and keynote speaker Mike Huckabee, former Arkansas governor and current Fox News talk show host, focused on one thing the party faithful agree upon — Barack Obama.

From the Tennessean report
:
Huckabee’s speech at the state GOP’s biggest fundraiser of the year was almost entirely centered on the November general election. The speech, at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, also included sharp rebukes of President Barack Obama and his policies.
Specifically, Huckabee questioned the Obama administration’s attitude toward the country’s industry.
When talking to the media before he spoke to Republican supporters, the 2008 presidential hopeful said that Obama is hostile toward American businessmen.
“I don’t understand why, other than he’s never experienced putting everything he has on the line and nursing a business to health,” he said.
He also criticized the administration’s calls for presumptive candidate Mitt Romney to release additional tax returns publicly.
“I’m not so much concerned about what Mitt Romney makes,” he said during his speech, instead saying he was more concerned about the federal government’s financial state than anything else
.

Note: See also the TNReport, which includes video. And Stephen Hale, who was mistaken for a waiter at the event, came away with video and commentary.

Huckabee Rally With Fleishmann Canceled; TV Ad, Statesmen’s Dinner Continue

Third District Congressman Chuck Fleischmann canceled campaign rallies with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee Thursday, but Huckabee is still the keynote speaker at the Tennessee Republican Party’s leading fundraiser of the year, the “Statesman’s Dinner” in Nashville.
Huckabee is also appearing in Fleishmann’s latest TV commercial. In it, Huckabee describes Fleischmann as “a good man… a devoted husband and father, a committed man of faith.”
Fleischmann said he would attempt to reschedule a campaign event with Huckabee later. The Thursday events were scrapped when the House scheduled a vote on the U.S. Department of Defense budget for Thursday evening, creating a time conflict for the congressman.
It’s a bit unusual for the keynote speaker at the Statesman’s Dinner to be publicly backing a candidate in a hotly-contested Republican congressional primary. Tickets for the fundraiser at the Opryland Resort Hotel start at $250 and go up to $10,000.
Huckabee, who now hosts a show on Fox News Network, ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008 and carried Tennessee before losing the election to Sen. John McCain. Chip Saltsman, who managed Fleischmann’s 2010 campaign for Congress and then served as his chief of staff, was Huckabee’s campaign manager in the 2008 presidential race.
Fleischman’s best-financed primary opponetns are Scottie Mayfield and Weston Wamp.