One candidate earns an endorsement, one earns ire

First, the endorsement. David Keene of the American Conservative Union has settled on a GOP candidate for president.

David A. Keene, Chairman of the American Conservative Union and long time Republican strategist, today endorsed the presidential candidacy of former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

In a statement issued today, Keene said that “while I certainly can’t pretend to speak for all or even most conservatives, the road that led me here today is one that many conservatives find themselves on and it is my hope that they will end up where I am today – convinced that Mitt Romney represents our best hope for 2008…

Meanwhile, a different group has offered what amounts to an anybody-but statement on another candidate.

Groups that support a crackdown on illegal aliens haven’t settled on their champion in the race for the White House, but there’s little doubt which Republican scares them most — former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

“He was an absolute disaster on immigration as governor,” said Roy Beck, president of NumbersUSA, a group that played a major role in rallying the phone calls that helped defeat this year’s Senate immigration bill. “Every time there was any enforcement in his state, he took the side of the illegal aliens.”

As Mr. Huckabee rises in the polls, his opponents are beginning to take shots at him on immigration. Just as problematic for the former Arkansas governor, however, is that the independent interest groups that track the issue are also giving him the once-over, and don’t like what they see.

“Huckabee is the guy who scares the heck out of me,” said Peter Gadiel, president of 9-11 Families for a Secure America, a group instrumental in fighting for the REAL ID Act that sets federal standards for driver’s licenses.

Read the whole thing. There’s more where that came from for Gov. Huckabee.

Update: Readers are pointing out that the Romney endorsement is coming from Davide Keene of the ACU, not the ACU itself. And they’re right, so I’ve changed the sentence above to reflect that.