Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) stressed Friday that he did not endorse Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) for reelection in a recently aired conservative ad.
“To be clear, I haven’t endorsed Lindsey Graham for Senate,” Huckabee said in a statement on his HuckPac.com.
Huckabee’s statement came a few days after a conservative outside group, the South Carolina Conservative Action Alliance, aired an ad featuring the former Arkansas governor praising Graham’s stance on Israel. The ad was interpreted in some circles as an endorsement from Huckabee. Graham is up for re-election this year but has attracted a handful of primary challengers. The ad was taped in 2013 but did not air until Wednesday during the Capitol One Bowl in South Carolina.
“Last year, I voiced an ad thanking him for support of Israel,” Huckabee continued in the statement. “It was not an endorsement for his reelection. In fact, I don’t plan to endorse anyone in SC Senate race in the primary but I will certainly help in the general election if asked.”
The chairman of the SCCAA, David Wilkins, said that the ad was never meant to serve as a vessel for an endorsement by Huckabee.
“That was not the intention. We agree with Governor Huckabee that this was not an endorsement,” Wilkins said in an email to TPM.
In the ad Huckabee described Graham as a “leader in South Carolina who knows what it takes to win.”
“He demands answers on Benghazi, backs our allies in Israel, and he fights for a strong national defense,” Huckabee said in the ad. “Call Lindsey Graham and thank him for being a conservative champion for peace through strength.”
Watch the ad below: