Gov. Mike Huckabee's campaign manager, responding to demands that the Huckabee campaign apologize to Sen. Sam Brownback and disavow a pro-Huckabee, anti-Catholic letter written by an Iowa pastor, wrote this afternoon that it's Brownback who needs to show "Christian character"
and "stop whining."

Courtesy of the Brody File, here's part of Chip Saltsman's broadside:

For Brownback to claim that the Governor "owes him an apology" is nonsense and indicates that if Brownback is going to fall to pieces every time a supporter of the Governor says something he doesn't like, he clearly isn't tough enough to be President.

Brownback's campaign has just responded, again calling on Huckabee to denounce the "bigotry" associated with his supporter.

Here's the full text of their response, which includes an internal e-mail Brownback's national political director sent to Huckabee's campaign manager giving them a heads up that the pro-Huckabee pastor had sent an anti-Catholic e-mail.

DES MOINES - The Brownback for President campaign today made the following

"Last Sunday, the Brownback for President campaign privately contacted the
Huckabee campaign and asked them to intervene and stop this anti-Catholic
whisper campaign," said John Rankin, Iowa communications director of
Brownback for President. "After two days, the Huckabee campaign did not
respond, which left the impression that they would not take action to end
the anti-Catholic whisper campaign by their supporters. While we are all
delighted that Mr. Saltsman is a lifelong Catholic, we deplore the
anti-Catholic whisper campaign being perpetuated by Huckabee supporters. The
Huckabee campaign's response lacked a clear denunciation of the offensive
contents of the email."

"On a further note, the website that Mr. Saltsman refers to--Baptists for
Brownback--is a spoof site with no ties to the Brownback campaign. We are
sorry that this obvious parody was lost on Mr. Saltsman."

"In the final week before the Ames straw poll, Senator Brownback wants to
focus on the issues that Iowa Republicans care about: a winnable solution in
Iraq, scrapping the tax code, restoring the protection of all human life,
defending marriage, and the appointment of strict constructionist judges. We
are saddened that the Huckabee campaign has criticized Senator Brownback for
calling out an anti-Catholic whisper campaign for what it was. The Huckabee
campaign's hysterical response is an effort to distract Iowa conservatives
from Huckabee's record of tax increases, big government and the pardoning of
violent criminals."

Below is the email that Martin Gillespie, national political director of
Brownback for President, sent to Huckabee campaign manager Chip Saltsman two
days before this incident became public.

-----Original Message-----
From: Martin Gillespie
Sent: Sunday, July 29, 2007 2:02 AM
To: Chip Saltsman
Cc: Rob Wasinger
Subject: Fw: the presidential campaign

Chip, earlier this afternoon, this was fwded to us by a key evangelical
pastor in Ames. I don't know if the author is officially aligned with your
campaign in some capacity, but this is disgusting. We've been picking up on
a whisper campaign anecdotally from some of our evangelical supporters.

Can we count on you guys to put an end to this trash on your end?

The only upshot for both of these candidates is that this spat is getting them quite a good amount of publicity before the straw poll.


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