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John McCain's 'grilling' sparks a Mike Huckabee response

March 3, 2008 |  3:04 pm

Lacking a Caribbean speech on his schedule, Mike Huckabee keeps plugging away. But in his latest efforts to remind voters, and John McCain, that his quixotic quest for the Republican presidential nomination remains ongoing, he may have finally overplayed his hand.

McCain, in a sure sign he's not losing any sleep over Huckabee, took the weekend off. Along with relaxing, he spent part of Sunday at his retreat in Sedona, Ariz., barbecuing ribs and chicken for a gaggle of reporters, some aides, friends and family.

That got Huckabee's goat. At a news conference today (yes, he's still having them), the former Arkansas governor had this to say: "I think his time would have been better spent at a debate and I think the people of Texas should take that into consideration when they vote" in the state's Tuesday primary. "They ought to think about, you know, what would be a better use of his time, being in Texas having a debate on issues that affect Texans or serving barbecue to the media?"

It strikes us that a barb directed at barbecuing may not be the best way to curry favor with many in the Lone Star State.

Huckabee also indicated today that ...

a staff shakeup is near.

Appearing on CNN's "American Morning," he was asked about his less-than-stellar exhibition of faux cattle roping late last week during a campaign stop in Texas -- video of which showed up on several local newscasts across the country. Said Huckabee: "I think there will be one fewer staff member on the plane today for having suggested that we try this roping thing in front of television cameras and 1,000 people."

Here's the video (note that the crowd doesn't seem quite as huge as he indicated).

On a more serious note, the Washington Times peers into the future and reports today that many see Huckabee "poised to claim political leadership of conservative evangelicals."

According to the story, his "inner circle" touts him as "the perfect bridge to re-establish the Christian right, which has suffered over the last decade, as a political force that speaks for millions of voters."

Others have speculated that Huckabee will end up with his own show on Fox News. Perhaps he'll combine the two -- seeking to rekindle the political fire among evangelicals from a perch on cable television.

-- Don Frederick