Huckabee: Cruz is not consistently conservative

Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee speaks during the CNN Republican presidential debate on December 15, 2015.

Story highlights

  • Huckabee argues Cruz is misleading conservative voters in Iowa
  • Cruz says that's all wrong, and his views are consistently conservative

(CNN)If Ted Cruz can say it in New York City, he should be able to do the same in Iowa.

That's Mike Huckabee's message to the Texas senator as controversy swirls over a clip of audio, used in an ad by a Huckabee-aligned super PAC, which some have argued is edited and presented in a misleading way.
"There's nothing selective, there's nothing deceptive," Huckabee said during an interview on Fox News Sunday.
    The audio features a questioner asking Cruz, "Would you say it's like a top-three priority for you -- fighting gay marriage?"
    Cruz says "no" and the narrator breaking in to say, "Remember, the next time Ted Cruz tells you he shares your values, there are two Teds."
    What the ad cuts out is the rest of Cruz's response, which offers a broader explanation of his priorities, foremost of which he explains is, "defending the Constitution."
    "And that cuts across the whole spectrum," he adds, "whether it's defending the First Amendment, defending religious liberty, stopping courts from making public policy issues that are left to the people. And I also think the 10th Amendment to the Constitution cuts across a lot of issues."
    On Sunday, Huckabee argued that in failing to single out same sex marriage, the senator had shown a second face he's hidden from conservative voters in Iowa.
    "I think we all are looking for people who are consistent and consistent means you say the same thing regardless of where you are geographically," he said. "You don't take a different or slightly nuanced position because it would help you or hurt you with Manhattan fundraisers."
    As for the former Arkansas governor's own plans, Huckabee didn't deny earlier comments that he'd drop out of the race if he didn't finish in the top three in the Iowa caucuses.
    Still, he asked for patience.
    "Not one person in America has even voted," he said. "This idea that this thing is all sewed up or fixed? I've been in that state enough to know that it's just not quite like that."