Huckabee Decides Not To Air Those Nasty Ads...And Then Airs A Nasty Ad

The Romney campaign is already calling this a "meltdown." Whatever it is, it's a little bizarre.

So Mike Huckabee schedules a news conference to talk about the negative ads he's decided to run against Mitt Romney. The campaign staff dutifully prints up large placards highlighting points from the ad. A few minutes before the press conference is set to begin, Huckabee apparently changes his mind and asks his staff to pull the ads -- they'd already been sent to television stations.

But -- what the heck -- Huckabee decides to play the ad he won't broadcast for the media at the press conference, presumably hoping that gullible news executives will run the ad that Huckabee is too much of a saint for not airing -- for free.

CBS's Joy Lin transcribed Huck's quote:

“We prepared it, sent it to the stations, supposed to start running at noon today. This morning, I ordered my staff to pull the ad; I told them I do not want it to be run. If it was run at all, it would be until the stations pulled it off their schedules. And we are now committed, from now through the rest of the caucuses, that we will run only the ads that talk about why I should be president, and not why Mitt Romney should not. I know that some of are up saying, well did you really have an ad? Well, I’m going to show you the ad. You’ll get the chance to find out.”

The Dallas Morning News seems to buy the Huckabee spin:

In a news conference Monday designed to launch an all out assault against Mr. Romney, Mr. Huckabee said he would instead remain positive. "At some point we have to decide can we change politics and the level of discourse?" he said.

Most reporters did not.

They started to laugh.