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Mike Huckabee saves a life -- and it's a Republican's!

June 8, 2008 |  5:03 pm

It looks like Mike Huckabee, the former radio announcer, Baptist preacher, governor, bass guitarist, author and Republican presidential candidate, can add another occupation to his resume: paramedic.

Republican pFormer Arkansas Governor and Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee shown before he saved yet another life with the Heimlich maneuverresidential nominee-to-be Sen. John McCain, take note.

At a luncheon preceding the North Carolina state Republican Party convention this weekend, Huckabee, the convention's keynote speaker, noticed that a fellow diner appeared to be choking on some food and having difficulty breathing.

The other diner was state Sen. Robert Pittenger, a GOP lieutenant governor candidate. This appearing to be a bad year for Republicans, they can't afford to lose even one vote.

So Huckabee, who received EMT training in college and is a former lieutenant governor himself, leapt up and immediately performed the Heimlich maneuver on Pittenger.

Pittenger began breathing normally again. Huckabee was declared a hero by unanimous vote. The breakfast and convention went on as scheduled. Pittenger is even back on the campaign trail.

After he regained his breath, Pittenger said he had been laughing when he choked on a piece of food and instinctively stood up. "The governor came over," he said, "and did the Heimlich and got the relief."

In fact, Pittenger added, Huckabee "called me in the car as I was driving home to make sure I was OK."

Huckabee's daughter, Sarah, who also serves as his spokesman, said her father reacted instinctively, as he has in other similar incidents, according to the Palmetto Scoop.

Some cynical commentators online are suggesting the incident was staged, and that Pittenger probably suffers from acid reflux or something and Huckabee's efforts were perhaps unnecessary. Not according to Pittenger.

Obviously, the commenters are Democrats worried about the possibility of a heroic Huckabee as McCain's vice presidential running mate running around the country campaigning this fall, saving the lives of Republicans, independents and disaffected Democrats wherever he goes.

And don't forget to take the vice president's poll here.

--Andrew Malcolm

Photo Credit: AP / Charlie Neibergall