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Huckabee calls Paul’s debate comments ‘ludicrous’

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) on Thursday blasted Rep. Ron Paul’s (R-Texas) comments about Sept. 11, 2001, in Wednesday night’s debate, offering a second round of harsh criticism of what appears to be Paul’s go-to line.

“He really lit my fuse when he continued to assert that it was our fault we were attacked on Sept. 11,” Huckabee told reporters.

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The former governor, who has enjoyed an uptick in media attention since his second-place showing in last month’s Iowa straw poll, said Paul’s comments were “ludicrous and unacceptable,” and the congressman’s beliefs that American presence on the Arabian Peninsula is the reason for the 2001 terrorist attacks are “utterly naïve.”

Huckabee is perhaps looking to share the good will former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) earned by criticizing Paul in an earlier debate.

The former governor also took some shots at the latest entrant onto the crowded GOP presidential field, former Sen. Fred Thompson (Tenn.).

Huckabee criticized Thompson for skipping the debate in favor of an announcement on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.”

“I think Fred should’ve come,” Huckabee said. “What was it about that debate that he didn’t want to be a part of?”

He added that Thompson will have to do some “making up” to New Hampshire voters, and he went further, attacking Thompson’s conservative credentials.

“I’ve never been a Washington lobbyist,” Huckabee said on the call. “I’ve never lobbied for an abortion rights group.”

The former governor acknowledged that Thompson will be a “player,” but he said the former senator is in the “unenviable position” of having to live up to high expectations that Thompson has created by delaying his entrance into the race.