December 23, 2007 / 11:30 PM / 12 years ago

Dallas Morning News endorses Huckabee, Obama

U.S. Republican presidential candidate and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee autographs a campaign sign at a campaign stop in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, December 20, 2007. The Dallas Morning News on Sunday endorsed former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee for the Republican nomination for president and Sen. Barack Obama as the Democratic nominee, saying both took a fresh approach. REUTERS/Jim Young

DALLAS (Reuters) - The Dallas Morning News on Sunday endorsed former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee for the Republican nomination for president and Sen. Barack Obama as the Democratic nominee, saying both took a fresh approach.

Huckabee, a folksy former Baptist preacher, has had a meteoric rise in opinion polls in recent weeks, largely because he has connected with the Republican Party’s influential evangelical wing.

This puts him in serious contention with less than two weeks before the January 3 nomination battle in Iowa, which starts the state-by-state process to pick the Republican and Democratic candidates for November’s presidential election.

“Mr. Huckabee is not an ideal candidate ... His religious conservatism, particularly his past rhetoric on women and gays, can be alarming,” the paper said in the first of twin editorials under the headline “We Recommend.”

“But religious conservatives aren’t easily pigeonholed ... Mr. Huckabee has a stout heart for working families and the poor,” it said.

For Obama, who is seeking to become the first black president, the paper said: “Race is not an overriding factor for us. But it is undeniable that America has failed to heal its racial wounds, including here in Dallas.”

The centrist paper said an Obama nomination would “inspire a refreshingly new approach” while it said Huckabee represented “a clean break from the bitter politics of the past.”

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