Pandermania! Huckabee no longer supports federal smoking ban

First the reversal on immigration, now this. Pinkerton’s wasting no time, huh?

You’ve got yourself quite a Charlie McCarthy to work with there, Jim. Keep up the good work.

Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has reversed his position on a federal ban aimed at workplace smoking and now believes the issue should be addressed by state and local governments.

The about-face is apparent in a Huckabee campaign statement, sent to The Hill Tuesday evening in response to questions about the smoking ban proposal. It clashes with the stance Huckabee has taken during his race for the White House and with his record as governor of Arkansas, when he signed into law a measure prohibiting smoking in most indoor public places…

In its statement to The Hill, the campaign stated, “At a Lance Armstrong cancer forum last August, Governor Huckabee said that if Congress presented him with legislation banning smoking in public places, he would sign it, because he would not oppose the overwhelming public support that such a congressional vote would reflect. However, since such sentiment for federal legislation doesn’t exist at this time, and since he has said that the responsibility for regulating smoking initially lies with the states, the governor believes that this issue is best addressed at the local and state levels.”

Really? Huck supported the ban only because the public dragged him to it kicking and screaming? Here’s the clip. Judge for yourself how reluctant he is.

Update: I linked this in the Romney victory thread but it belongs here, too. Huckabee split the evangelical vote in New Hampshire evenly with McCain and Romney; if the trend holds here he may actually lose to Mitt within that group. If you’re curious as to why Huck’s suddenly tacking right on a host of red-meat issues, it’s probably because he realizes the base he’s leaning on to carry him through can’t be leaned on as heavily as he thought.