This is from today’s show. El Rushbo chides Huckabee for Ed Rollins’ attack on him and for the Huckabee campaign’s use of identity politics:

He also said flatly that Huckabee “is not a conservative.”

After yesterday’s conspicuous praise for Romney on Rush’s site and his past praise for Thompson, his chiding of Huckabee takes on a bit more significance.

Campaign Spot caught the show and transcribed a different but relevant part:

His campaign people in Arkansas know full well how to reach me. They’ve got access to office phone numbers, they’ve got access to e-mails. Huckabee was saying, ‘I don’t know how to reach him.’ … He was saying, ‘I can’t repsond to what because I don’t know who said it or what was said.’ This was three or four days after it appeared on the Atlantic.com blog… He was saying that he would love to respond, but he didn’t know what was said. Now, he might not know who said it, but it was hard for me to believe he did not know what was said, three or four days after it was posted. Now, none of this is personal to me. But how can you not know what was said, and yet reach out to me?”

“I did not reply to Governor Huckabee’s e-mail. I didn’t reply because I wanted to avoid the possibility that any little phrase that I use in the e-mail could be waved by the governor or his staff as a sign that all of this was over. There was no need to make peace. This isn’t beanbag. This is the big leagues. My feelings are not hurt. I’m not taking any of this personally.”

Heh. Rush was intent on avoiding the John Bolton problem.

Huckabee told reporters in Iowa recently that he was being advised by John Bolton, the former US ambassador to the United Nations. But Bolton has said he never talked with Huckabee. Huckabee then said he had sent an e-mail to Bolton.

It’s just not credible for the Huckabee campaign to assert that they didn’t know how to get in touch with Rush if they really wanted to. To start with, all conservatives probably have 1-800-282-2882 committed to memory just from years of listening to the show. If you don’t have it in the memory banks, Rush has one of the most visible sites on the net and he’s only on a couple hundred radio stations around the country. And that’s for us rank and file people. Surely Huckabee’s top guys have a line to get to Rush more directly. But what does it say about a Republican presidential campaign if it really can’t get in touch with someone like Rush? I’m not sure what it says, but it’s probably not good.

*Ironically, I originally had Rush’s number wrong. It’s fixed now. I’m not giving back the official EIB mug, though.