Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, sensing an opening with evangelicals in Iowa, is pouncing on Texas Sen. Ted Cruz for comments he made about gay marriage during a private fundraiser this summer with donors in New York City.
In June, according to a recording obtained by Politico, Cruz replied “no” when asked by a donor whether fighting gay marriage would be a “top-three priority” in a Cruz White House.
Responding to that report, Huckabee attacked his rival Cruz as someone who tells Christian conservatives in Iowa something different than when he talks with donors in New York.
“Conservatives are being asked to ‘coalesce’ around yet another corporately-funded candidate that says something very different at a big donor fundraiser in Manhattan than at a church in Marshalltown,” Huckabee said in a statement released by his campaign on Wednesday. “Shouldn’t a candidate be expected to have authenticity and consistency, instead of having to look at a map to decide what to believe and what to say?”
He added: “If issues like marriage and the sanctity of life are truly issues of principle and not just politics, then there should not be geographical boundaries to what is right and wrong.” (Islamic Coalition Responds To Terrorist Attacks By Calling For Massive Muslim Voter Drive [VIDEO])
It is no surprise that Huckabee, a former Baptist minister who won the Iowa caucuses in 2008, is using this issue to go after Cruz. The Texas senator has shot to the top of the polls in Iowa, in part to the support of the crucial voting bloc of evangelicals in the state.
The Real Clear Politics polling average has Cruz in first with 30.2 percent, compared to Huckabee in 8th place at 2 percent.
In his June conversation with the donor on gay marriage, Cruz said: “I would say defending the Constitution is a top priority. And that cuts across the whole spectrum — whether it’s defending [the] First Amendment, defending religious liberty.”
Cruz’s campaign reacted to the recording by saying: “These comments are nothing new. … This is nothing different from what he says all the time.”