- WND - http://www.wnd.com -

Norris endorses, surge follows

Chuck Norris

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a GOP presidential candidate, is experiencing a surge in campaign cash just days after Chuck Norris wrote a column in WND endorsing him.

Huckabee, who has been among the “second tier” of GOP candidates behind leaders Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson, John McCain and Mitt Romney, also now has passed Romney in the Rasmussen Reports GOP tracking poll.

Huckabee’s campaign website showed a surge of about $550,000 after the endorsement became public.

Meanwhile, Rasmussen reported Huckabee’s move into the top four slots was the first time he’s ever ranked that high.

“Rudy Giuliani remains precariously atop the pack with support from 20 percent of likely Republican primary voters nationwide,” the survey report said. “Fred Thompson is close behind at 19 percent while John McCain enjoys a second straight day in third place with 14 percent of the vote. Huckabee continues to gain ground and is just two points behind McCain at 12 percent.”

The report said, “This is the first time all year that Huckabee has surpassed Mitt Romney. The former Massachusetts governor slipped another point and he is now at just 11 percent nationally.”

“Given Huckabee’s progress in the polls, Rasmussen Reports will add his results to the daily tracking history table starting Monday,” the report said.

Alice Stewart, a spokeswoman for Huckabee, told WND there was a significant surge in online donations after the Norris endorsement.

“I can’t give you specific numbers,” she told WND. “But the fundraiser hits have increased dramatically since Mr. Norris endorsed Gov. Huckabee.”

The “fundraiser hits” are inquiries from individuals seeking to hold a fundraiser for the candidate, she said.

She said other boosts have come into the campaign following earlier milestones, such as participation in debates or new poll numbers.

Former Gov. Mike Huckabee

“It’s going great! The good thing is the phones are ringing off the hook and we can’t even answer them all. The bad news is the phones are ringing off the hook and we can’t even answer them all,” Stewart said.

The website campaign contribution total is about $750,000 now, with a goal of a little more than $1 million by the end of the month. The total had been about $200,000 before the Norris endorsement.

As WND reported Norris, in his exclusive column for WND, noted Huckabee’s qualifications.

“Though Giuliani might be savvy enough to lead people, Fred Thompson wise enough to wade through the tides of politics, McCain tough enough to fight terrorism, and Romney business-minded enough to grow our economy, I believe the only one who has all of the characteristics to lead America forward into the future is ex-Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee,” Chuck Norris wrote.

In September Huckabee took the top position in a straw poll conducted at the groundbreaking Values Voter Presidential Debate where candidates were asked their positions on abortion, terrorism, free speech, free exercise of religion and other significant issues.

In addition to Huckabee, Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas, former ambassador Alan Keyes, businessman John Cox and Reps. Ron Paul of Texas, Tom Tancredo of Colorado and Duncan Hunter of California all were in attendance. Missing were Giuliani, Thompson, Romney and McCain.

Janet Folger, president of the Faith2Action organization which worked on the debate, said Huckabee received 63 percent, more votes than all the other candidates combined. No-show candidates – the previous top four, according to national surveys – were included in the poll.

In an interview with WND, Huckabee said the fight with terror won’t end in a draw, and the U.S. must continue its fight.

“There’s no peaceful co-existence, there’s no accommodation, there’s no na?ve nonsense that if we leave them alone they leave us alone. This is a war someone will win and someone will lose,” he told WND in the one-on-one discussion.

Chuck 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, he’s reaching a new generation now as part of an Internet craze for one-liners usually labeled not as jokes but as “facts.”

Here are some samples:

(You can contribute your favorite Chuck Norris Laughlines in the exclusive WND Forum.)

Chuck Norris’ 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 1988, Norris wrote his autobiography, “The Secret of Inner Strength,” which became a New York Times best seller. He followed up a few years later with a second book, “The Secret Power Within: Zen Solutions to Real Problems.”

Asked how he would like to be remembered, Norris answered as a humanitarian. Here are some his efforts on that score:

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.

WND was the commentary forum that first launched David Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly and others, including Farah, into national syndication. It also more recently launched weekly columns by “Ten Commandments” Judge Roy Moore, Home School Legal Defense Association founder Michael Farris and entertainer Pat Boone.

Related story:

Poll: Huckabee
in GOP top tier

Previous stories:

Pollster says Huckabee
leaps into GOP top tier

Huckabee warns fight with terror won’t end in draw

Values Voter debate now online

Previous column: