Confederate flag ad praises Huckabee
By JIM KUHNHENN, Associated Press Writer
24 minutes ago
WASHINGTON - A group that promotes protection of the
Confederate flag is airing radio ads during
conservative talk shows in South Carolina that praise
Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee and
criticize John McCain and Mitt Romney for voicing
objections to the flag.
The ads are paid for by Americans for the Preservation
of American Culture, a Tennessee-based political
organization that has been in existence since 2001,
according to Federal Election Commission records. The
ads began airing just three days before Saturday's
Republican primary in the state.
"Waving a confederate battle flag in front of
Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney turns out to be
like waving a red flag in front of a bull he
charges," the ad states. "Romney let fly in the CNN
debate, saying, "That flag shouldn't be shown,' and
'that's not a flag I recognize.'"
In its anti-McCain ad, an announcer states: "Mitt
Romney is trying, but when it comes to bashing the
Confederate flag he can't hold a candle to John
McCain. McCain's been doing it calling the flag a
racist symbol for years."
Both minute-long spots go on to applaud Huckabee, a
former Arkansas governor, saying he is more in tune
with Southern values.
"Governor Huckabee understands that all the average
guy with a Confederate flag on his pickup truck is
saying is he's proud to be a Southerner," the ad
states. "Mike Huckabee understands we value our
heritage and why."
The flag, long seen as a symbol of racism by some and
as an emblem of Southern pride by others, once flew
atop the Capitol in South Carolina. A 2000 compromise
removed it from the dome, though it remains on the
Statehouse grounds and flies next to a Confederate
Campaigning in South Carolina on Thursday, Huckabee
said the government should stay out of disputes over
the Confederate flag.
"You don't like people from outside the state coming
in and telling you what to do with your flag,"
Huckabee told supporters in Myrtle Beach, S.C. "In
fact, if somebody came to Arkansas and told us what to
do with our flag, we'd tell 'em what to do with the
pole, that's what we'd do."
Americans for the Preservation of American Culture is
the third group spending money in South Carolina
either in support of Huckabee or against his rivals.
Vietnam Veterans Against McCain distributed a leaflet
that accused McCain of collaborating with the
Vietnamese during his years as a prisoner of war.
Common Sense Issues, a group financed by Huckabee
supporters, was placing automated, interactive phone
calls that praised Huckabee and were critical of his
McCain responded in a Web ad, using praise from
Huckabee himself: "Senator McCain, no matter what
anyone may say, is a genuine conservative," and "John
McCain is a hero in this country. He's a hero to me."
"If you want the truth about John McCain," the ad
states, "just ask Mike Huckabee."