I’m a civil man. My fighting days are behind me. Since recommitting my life as a Christian in the mid-’90s, I’ve done my best to save the gloves for the World Combat League or culture wars.
However, presidential candidate Mitt Romney rang the bell last week when he ran an ad distorting my intention for the purpose of ridiculing his contender Mike Huckabee. We noticed it last week as we toured with Huckabee in Iowa and New Hampshire.
The ad mysteriously aired on the Web after a blogger asked me on the campaign trail, “How much do you want to roundhouse kick Mitt Romney?” Picking up on his martial arts sarcasm, I laughed and quipped, “I don’t roundhouse kick. I choke.” Of course I was joking – except, I guess, to one apparently hypersensitive Republican contestant.
Romney wants in the ring with me?
Mitt’s Internet commercial begins by showing a photo of Mike and me with a narrator saying, “Two good men, both into fitness. Both love Chuck Norris. But where do they stand on crime?”
The first answer comes by quoting my satirical WorldNetDaily article from June 2007 titled, “If I am elected president,” in which I give a list of exaggerated tongue-in-cheek campaign promises. It is from those that Romney’s narrator pulls the plug, “Chuck Norris: ‘Give a presidential pardon to no one … ever.'” (Hoping to add a sense of sincerity to the statement, they left off the following tough-guy tutelage, “Beretta was right in the ’70s, ‘Don’t do the crime, if you can’t do the time. Don’t do it!'”)
From there the Romney ad tries to smear Mike’s record on crime, despite that he denied 90 percent of the 8,700 commutation and pardon requests that came before him in his 11 years as governor of Arkansas. Then it attempts to contrast Romney’s politically advancing denial record of all pardon and commutation requests, sourced from an Associated Press report in 2003, when he was governor of Massachusetts.
What you won’t get in a Romney ad or presidency
Mitt, of course, never mentions that as governor he had only 100 requests for commutations and 172 for pardons. What Mitt also never discusses is that this 2003 Associated Press report is focused upon his “most noteworthy pardon denial: His rejection of the request of an Iraq war veteran who was trying to become a police officer after his National Guard service” (unlike Huckabee who enthusiastically supports our veterans through the “Veterans’ Bill of Rights”).
It’s amazing to me that Romney even jabs at Huckabee’s fight on crime, when Mike initiated a toll-free hotline to report tips on government corruption, has proven he’s a passionate advocate of the Second Amendment and gave permission 16 times for executions to proceed – more than any governor in the history of Arkansas.
And what about Mitt Romney’s gubernatorial record? He supported gun control, and not once did he have to face a long night of soul in deliberation of a man’s life and societal civility. And he only began to draw legal lines on capital punishment when it might “bolster the governor’s standing among conservatives nationally as he test[ed] the waters for a run for the White House in 2008.” (Testing the waters for political gain seems to be a forte among Mitt’s fabulous flip-flopping faculties.)
The real rub in Romney’s craw
Now I can take a joke as good as the next guy – after all, it was Huck and I who introduced the humorous political parodies in this race.
I almost wish that Romney’s broadcasted roundhouse had a little more kick, but it (like his campaign) is simply falling flat in the ring. Even reviews disclaimed it as “all somewhat disjointed. The moral: this seems like a bad time for any campaign to be ‘experimenting’ with comedy, which is for Romney particularly uncharted terrain.” (Apparently Mitt’s script writers are on strike too.)
With his entire broadcasting arsenal, did Mitt run out of ideas for another negative commercial? Would he not have been a better steward of his campaign funds by investing them in conveying his vision for America than attacking me? Is it not an all-time presidential contender low when he goes after a rival’s supporters?
The real problem with this Internet bit goes beyond the fact that it is a non-humorous marketing dud. It truly plummets political-commercial negativism into an abyssal low by maligning a candidate’s supporter and deliberately distorting his words. The gravest grief is that now we know Mitt will pay millions in producing and airing 14,000 ads to even twist my words – and I’m not even running for president! (Though, as Mike has joked, secretary of defense might not be a bad option!)
Mike was right about Mitt in his ad that never aired, “If a man’s dishonest to obtain a job, he’ll be dishonest on the job.” I don’t think the type of president America wants is one who will lie, distort and badly steward funds to nip at the heels of even his opponents’ supporters for the sake of his political gain.
Who deserves the roundhouse kick?
So did Romney’s Internet-transmitted roundhouse connect with Mike or me? While he tried to kick both of us, he ended up only creating a whiff of air by his bypassing foot, which propelled him spinning around like an inexperienced martial arts fighter and getting clocked by Huckabee’s left hook in Iowa!
Mike’s victory over Romney in Iowa proved that it’s a candidate’s message, not money, that wins votes. Though outspending Huckabee by 15-1 in ads and political puff, Mike delivered a blistering knockout to Mitt in Iowa, and I believe (with his message getting out and being objectively reviewed by more Americans) he will do the same in other states too.
It’s not too late, New Hampshire. Isn’t it time for an honest, positive, straight-talking president, who grew up poor, not privileged? One who understands the needs and plights of average Americans? If you believe so, as I and millions of others do, then join us in voting Mike Huckabee for GOP presidential candidate!
Incidentally, Romney’s ad ends with the narrator asking, “Chuck Norris, Mike Huckabee, now who deserves the roundhouse kick?” The ad answers the question by manipulating my photo, which delivers a blow to Huckabee’s head with the cartoonish lettering “POW!”
Of course my real response would be quite to the contrary. I think you can guess where my heel might land. POW!
(Next week my column begins to run in syndication through Creator’s Syndicate. Subscriptions can be obtained through their contact information. In my next article I’ll also tell you how you can join Mike Huckabee and me on Jan. 20 at a “virtual barbeque” and on a personal tour of my 700-acre ranch in Texas.)