Rep. King questions Huckabee move; Thompson said he had ‘a nice laugh’

URBANDALE, Iowa – Rep. Steve KingSteven (Steve) Arnold KingMother of child in viral meme sends Steve King cease-and-desist for using image in fundraising Nebraska Democratic Party Chair: Rural vote should be 'bedrock' of party With surge in anti-Semitism, political leaders need to be aggressive and reflective in response MORE (R-Iowa), who is supporting former Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.), questioned former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s motives in showing a negative ad to reporters after telling them that he would not put it on the air.

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King suggested to The Hill that Huckabee’s plan was to get a lot of play for the ad without having to pay for it.

“Doesn’t he have any money?” King said, laughing. “That’s what I’d have to do if I didn’t have any money.”

Huckabee drew laughter from a room full of reporters when he told them that he was going to show the ad he had just said he wasn’t going to run.

The former governor said the ad cost $30,000 to make. It was a spothighly critical of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s (R) record as governor.

King joined Thompson Monday afternoon at his campaign headquarters here, where the former senator stopped by to thank volunteers and supporters who were burning up the phone lines trying to reach undecided voters.

Thompson was asked about Huckabee’s unusual move, and he responded that he had been told about it on his campaign bus but that he knew little about it.

“We all had a nice laugh,” Thompson said. “He’s on his own. I can’t help him.”

He added: “You’re going to have to decipher that one for me later.”

The Huckabee press conference turned out to be the big news event on a very cold New Year’s Eve just three days out from the caucuses.

His decision to pull the ad was a surprise in and of itself, but the former governor drew loud laughter from the dozens of reporters assembled when he announced that he would show the ad once.

An aide to one rival campaign said Huckabee “has run his whole campaign trying to be too cute by half.”

At his spacious headquarters, Thompson took time to talk to one undecided voter on the phone. It was unclear if he succeeded in bringing her over to his side.
Volunteers at the office seemed upbeat as they posed for pictures with the former senator, and many of them told Thompson that he would “surprise” a lot of people in the caucuses.

“That’s what we’re feeling,” Thompson said.

After Thompson left, King said the former sensator’s campaign has picked up momentum, and Thompson will do better than most observers might think.

“These expectations will shift between now and caucus night,” King said. “I think where he is now, he’ll exceed those expectations.”

King said Huckabee is starting to “crack,” and Romney’s support seems to be soft.