Former Gov. Mike Huckabee
Martial arts champion and television and movie star Chuck Norris is inviting voters to see a fundraiser for GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee on his Texas ranch.
When Chuck Norris endorsed Huckabee in his WND column, support for the former Arkansas governor rocketed by 50 percent within days. A few more days, and a report came out that the endorsement sparked a 66 percent hike in Internet posts about Huckabee. Even other GOP candidates have noted the Chuck Norris endorsement.
Now voters across the country are being invited to “attend” a fundraiser for Huckabee at WND columnist Chuck Norris’ private ranch, via the Internet.
Norris will act as host to an old-fashioned Texas-style barbecue fundraiser for Huckabee Jan. 20 at Lone Wolf Ranch. Voters across the country can join them by logging to the Chuck 4 Huck website, and following a link to the Huckabee campaign site, where for a donation they will be given a password that provides live online access to the event.
Among the highlights will be a performance of Huckabee’s rock band, Capitol Offense, as well as a martial arts demonstration, according to a spokesman for Chuck Norris.
The band, led by the bass-playing candidate, is an eight-man musical group formed in 1996. “Not your average garage band, they have been an opening act for musical headliners such as Willie Nelson and Grand Funk Railroad,” Chuck Norris said.
“Mike Huckabee is a gifted leader and a man of the people and he will change politics in this country,” Chuck Norris said in his announcement. “Given his unprecedented success in this primary season, he already has.
“But the job is not finished by a long shot. He still needs our help as well as our vote. That’s why I am calling upon my friends and people in my community to joint me on Jan. 20 in support of ‘The People’s President’ – Mike Huckabee,” he said.
“I am tremendously honored and grateful for Chuck Norris’ support – and I am pleased that we can provide an opportunity for the online community to join us via the Internet,” Huckabee said during a campaign stop in Michigan.
On the barbecue website, Chuck Norris describes Huckabee as “cut from a
different cloth” and “not a Washington political insider.”
It started when Norris used his WND column to offer support for Huckabee. At the time, Huckabee was holding support from about 8 percent of voters, according to Rasmussen Reports. Within days, he rocketed to 12 percent. Zeta Interactive said the announcement sparked a 66 percent increase in posts about Huckabee on the Internet.
The Dubuque Times Herald wrote in an opinion piece that Obama has Oprah, Hillary’s got Barbra, but at the coffeehouse where its reporter watched one of the recent Iowa caucuses, which Huckabee won, “Chuck was more than enough.”
The ElectronicNews.net of Ireland also has credited the Internet-facilitated influence of Norris for Huckabee’s results.
“The former Arkansas governor was a relative unknown in the contest before launching an ad which featured him speaking alongside Chuck Norris, where Huckabee listed off Norris facts while Norris listed off Huckabee facts,” the report said. “The ad has been viewed around three million times. …’
Campaign spokesman Chip Saltsman said after the Iowa caucuses, “You can’t even estimate the Chuck Norris factor.”
Even a competing GOP candidate at one point created an ad quoting Chuck Norris’ promise that if he ever were president, he would “give a presidential pardon to no one, ever.”
Alice Stewart, a spokeswoman for the Huckabee campaign, told WND that the Chuck Norris endorsement definitely produced results.
“He certainly had a surge with the endorsement from Chuck Norris,” she told WND. And she said another surge came with the release of a Chuck Norris television ad with Huckabee. In it, Huckabee talks about his solution to enforcement of U.S. border laws.
“Two words,” he says. “Chuck Norris.”
“That hit the airwaves in Iowa, it was picked up nationally and the interest rose. That was a part of the surge,” Stewart said.
Norris has been writing his weekly column exclusively for WND since Oct. 23, 2006. The star of “Walker: Texas Ranger” and some of the biggest action pictures ever, Norris is reaching a new generation as part of the Internet craze for one-liners usually labeled not as jokes but as “facts.”
One such “fact” is: “They wanted to put Chuck Norris on Mount Rushmore, but the granite wasn’t tough enough for Chuck’s beard,” and many of them are available on the WND Forum called Chuck Norris Laughlines.
Some samples of the Chuck Norris Internet “facts” include:
- “Chuck Norris has already been to Mars; that’s why there are no signs of life there.”
- “Chuck Norris can lead a horse to water AND make it drink.”
- “Chuck Norris sleeps with a night-light because the dark is afraid of him.”
- “Superman owns a pair of Chuck Norris pajamas.”
- “There is no theory of evolution. Just a list of creatures Chuck Norris has allowed to live.”
- “When the boogeyman goes to sleep every night, he checks his closet for Chuck Norris.”
His career began not in movies, television or in the world of Internet trivia. The man who has employed martial arts in so many of his pictures first came to the world’s attention as a real-life martial arts star. He was a six-time undefeated World Professional MiddleWeight Karate Champion. He was also a renowned teacher in the martial arts, with celebrity students including Steve McQueen, Bob Barker, Priscilla Presley and Donnie and Marie Osmond.
He has gone on to found the United Fighting Arts Federation with over 2,300 black belts all over the world. In 1997, Norris achieved another milestone in his life by being the first man ever in the Western Hemisphere to be awarded an eighth-degree Black Belt Grand Master recognition in the Tae Kwon Do system. This was a first in 4,500 years of tradition.
In 2004, Norris wrote his autobiography, “Against All Odds,” telling how he overcame a difficult childhood and achieved success, thanks to his Christian faith.
Asked how he would like to be remembered, Norris answered, as a humanitarian. Here are some his efforts on that score:
- As spokesman for United Way, his eight-minute commercial helped bring in over $2 billion.
- Veterans Administration spokesman, visiting V.A. hospitals and speaking with World War II, Korean and Vietnam War veterans – including one from World War I.
- Actively involved with the Make A Wish Foundation for 29 years.
- He has won the Jewish Humanitarian Man of the Year Award.
For Norris, however, the most rewarding accomplishment was the creation of his Kick-Start Foundation. With the help of President Bush, he implemented a program teaching the martial arts to 150 high-risk children at M.C. Williams Middle School in Houston, Texas, as part of the school curriculum. The program was so successful in helping to instill discipline and respect in the kids, as well as getting them out of gangs, that the program is now in 30 schools with more than 4,200 young boys and girls actively participating.
Norris and his wife, Gena, last year joined the board of directors of the National Council on Bible Curriculum In Public Schools with the quest of helping students understand the Bible’s impact on history and literature. Both Norrises are featured in a popular television public service announcement that encourages citizens to bring the Bible back to America’s public schools as an available elective course of study. The announcements are aired on several national networks.
WND was the commentary forum that first launched David Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly and others, including Farah, into national syndication. It also recently launched weekly columns by “Ten Commandments” Judge Roy Moore, Home School Legal Defense Association founder Michael Farris and entertainer Pat Boone.