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Mike Huckabee rebuts Glenn Beck's 'progressive' attack

Mike Huckabee is siding with Michelle Obama over Glenn Beck after the conservative talk show host jabbed him for his "bigger government tendencies."

On his HuckPAC web site Thursday, the former Arkansas governor defends his support for the first lady's "Let's Move!" anti-obesity initiative, which he says is about personal responsibility and "not the government literally taking candy from a baby's mouth."

"I'm no fan of her husband's policies for sure, but I have appreciated her efforts that Beck misrepresented -- either out of ignorance or out of a deliberate attempt to distort them to create yet another 'boogey man' hiding in the closet that he and only he can see," Huckabee writes.

What's the blow up really about? On his radio show Tuesday, Beck and his sidekicks were discussing the potential candidacy of real estate mogul Donald Trump -- who they branded a liberal.

"Anybody who's lining up with Donald Trump, good luck. Good luck. You haven't done your homework," Beck said.

The conversation led to Huckabee, someone Beck described as "the perfect progressive candidate for the Republican Party." Beck briefly alluded to Huckabee's support for Mrs. Obama's program, but the hosts focused more on his fiscal policies, including raising taxes as governor.

"He doesn't want to disrupt giant government," Beck said, repeatedly calling him a "progressive."

Huckabee points out that Beck has described "progressives" as a "cancer" and "Nazis," and says he's gone too far with his critique.

"Why Beck has decided to aim his overloaded guns on me is beyond me. But he ought to clean his gun and point it more carefully lest it blow up in his face like it did this time," Huckabee writes.

Both Huckabee and Beck, of course, share a common employer in the Fox News Channel. Beck is ending his daily show on the network, while Huckabee is, for now, still hosting his weekend program.

Whether Huckabee will ultimately seek the presidency again is unclear, though he has not been taking the steps toward a run that some of his would-be rivals already are making.

A Marist-McClatchy poll released this week found him just one point behind Romney among Republicans and GOP-leaning independents, and the favorite of self-described "tea party" supporters.

michael.memoli@latimes.com

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