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As Mitt Romney attacks Bob Dole (“He’s the last person I would want to write a letter for me…”) and as his surrogates complain about his loss to a coalition of McCain and Huckabee supporters in West Virginia today, Mike Huckabee is gaining on him both in the polls and on the ground.

Fox News reports the following:

Back on his home turf of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee counter-punched Mitt Romney on his ” no whining” comment after Huckabee accused him of “voter suppression”. The contentious squabble initiated after Romney, while on  FNC’s Hannity and Colmes equated a Huckabee vote, essentially, to a wasted vote for McCain.

“I’m hoping he’ll live up to that because he’s the one that everytime, he’s spends millions of bucks on John McCain, or me then we push back then he just jumps up and down and screams and hollars and says ‘oh its a personal attack, its a personal attack.’ This is running for the presidency, this ain’t bean bag.”

It must be really hard to run for president.  Lots of people you don’t know are saying unkind things about you, commercials on national TV exploit your past mistakes for someone else’s political gain, and if you aren’t careful, you can begin to associate your self-worth with your performance in the world’s most important popularity contest.  I have some sympathy for Romney (not a lot) as he surveys his current situation.  He’s spent nearly $90 million to get about 25% of the vote, his campaign is $35 million in debt, and his main conservative rival (Mike Huckabee) has spent only $8 million to get 20% of the vote.

Under the circumstances it’s probably natural to want to lash out.  But as Romney said a couple of days ago, “there’s no whining in politics.”  Suck it up, Mitt.

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