It was the joke that landed Mike Huckabee on every nightly news program in America: “We have a congress that spends money like John Edwards at a beauty shop,” Huckabee laughed during the South Carolina debates.
Democratic candidate John Edwards has been criticized for spending $400 on a haircut. Now the Republican presidential candidate is attempting to parlay the joke into fundraising momentum. According to a press release from the Mike Huckabee campaign, individuals are being asked to donate the same amount as their last haircut.
Huckabee’s goal is to collect 400 such donations by 5 p.m. Eastern time on Saturday, May 26. With two days left in the fundraising drive, a countdown meter on Huckabee’s official website show that 350 people have donated since the Tuesday kick-off.
According to the press release, Huckabee says, “A joke I used in the last Republican debate comparing Congressional spending to John Edwards spending money in a beauty shop seems to have gone over pretty well. While I used humor to illustrate my point, the fact is, most hard-working Americans have to budget for everyday expenses such as getting a haircut. Perhaps if Senators and Members of Congress were more in touch with the real concerns of average Americans, they would be more responsible with the money of their constituents.”
The press release also quotes Huckabee as saying that, “connecting with average Americans is critical to the Republican Party’s prospects” for retaining control of the White House.
The Huckabee campaign is in dire need of a fundraising boost. In the first quarter, Huckabee claimed $500,000 was raised, compared with $23 million for Republican front runner Mitt Romney, $15 million for former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and $12.5 million for Arizona Senator John McCain. He is also trailing Kansas Senator Sam Brownback, who is appealing to the same conservative base. Brownback reported $1.27 million in donations for the first quarter. According to Aaron Sadler of the Arkansas News Bureau, Huckabee has received no major donations from Iowa, the site of the nation’s first caucus. Huckabee has raised only $2,725 in New Hampshire and South Carolina combined.
Of the half a million dollars raised, half came from Huckabees native state of Arkansas. Campaign records show that Huckabee spent $170,239 in the first quarter. He entered the second quarter with $373,918.
Supporters that wish to contribute to the Haircut Campaign can do so at www.explorehuckabee.com, but according to the Huckabee campaign press release, “the donations are not tax deductable as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes.”
Source: Huckabee Campaign Press Release
Aaron Sadler “Huckabee Struglles for Money in Early States”- Arkansas News Bureau