Duncan Hunter just held a teleconference in which one of the questions was why he endorsed the Huckster – when the Huckster’s continuation in the presidential race will likely result in John McCain as the Republican nominee. The questioner also seemed to imply he’d like to see Hunter reconsider.
Hunter explained that Mitt Romney’s refusal to work against his former company’s – Bain Capital’s – involvement with the Chinese company Huawei Technologies, or even to answer questions about the association, made Romney a “non-starter” for him. (Hunter had publicly called on Romney to terminate a deal by which Huawei was to purchase a large stake in the American company 3com.)
Hunter explained that Huawei had installed telecom equipment in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and in Afghanistan for the Taliban, work that eventually would be used against U.S. armed forces.
Though he did not say so, the implication was that Romney and Huckabee were the only two Hunter would have considered endorsing at the time he dropped out.
Of course, Hunter was under no obligation to endorse anyone. So why endorse a guy whose record on illegal immigration was so antithetical to Hunter’s own supposedly strongly- held positions? My guess is Hunter has such strong antipathy to Mitt Romney that he wanted to help ensure he would not get the GOP nomination: Endorsing Huckabee would help ensure the Huckster would continue to leech support from Romney.
Undoubtedly, Hunter would rather see McCain in the White House than Romney. Though I supported Hunter, I think this was short sighted in light of what is going to happen within the Republican party if McCain is the nominee. Hunter in effect is saying he would rather see a Democrat in the White House.
UPDATE: A couple of other comments by Duncan Hunter were illuminating and should be reported in the interest of full disclosure: He noted that during one of the debates, Romney did not get the opportunity to answer a question Hunter posed about Bain Capital because the moderator changed the subject. He also said, with reference to Romney’s reported change to a more conservative position on abortion, “I could never understand beating a guy up because he comes over to your way of thinking.”
I am not sure these comments ameliorate what Hunter surely seemed to try to do to Romney with the Huckabee endorsement, but the latter comment would possibly explain why Hunter could endorse a formerly avid open borders guy like the Huckster. Maybe Huckabee just convinced him he’d had a change of heart.