Mike Huckabee Hogs Kim Davis's Limelight, Physically Blocks Ted Cruz From Photo Op (VIDEO)

Mike Huckabee Hogs Kim Davis’s Limelight, Physically Blocks Ted Cruz From Photo Op (VIDEO)

Kim Davis, the Rowan County, Kentucky clerk who was held in contempt of court after refusing to certify same-sex marriage contracts, citing her ‘religious liberty,’ was released from jail Tuesday. She emerged to a pre-planned political rally. Former Arkansas governor and 2016 Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee took the stage and stuck close to Davis. Just as Davis’s religious lawyer has tried to paint Davis as a martyr, Huckabee tried to get credit for willingness to be martyred in the name of religious bigotry, saying that he would be willing to go to jail on Davis’s behalf. Fortunately, jail doesn’t work that way in our society.

But Huckabee wasn’t the only politician trying to scare up evangelist votes. Ted Cruz also descended on the jailhouse rally. But it became clear that the stage, and Kim Davis’s far right Christian political limelight was only big enough for one Republican presidential candidate. A Huckabee aide physically blocked Ted Cruz from joining the stage, and Cruz was shocked. Huckabee was more prepared for the moment. He had sent staff to the area preparing for the photo op days earlier, while Cruz was just swooping in. Huckabee outflanked Cruz. The New York Times reports,

Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, also a Republican presidential contender, made an appearance, but it was Mr. Huckabee, a former Baptist pastor, who grabbed the political spotlight.

When Senator Cruz exited the jail a throng of journalists beckoned him toward their microphones, but an aide to Mr. Huckabee blocked the path of Mr. Cruz, who appeared incredulous.

Moments later, Mr. Huckabee appeared, joined by Ms. Davis. He stuck close to her side as she approached the reporters, and again when she took the stage, and cast her fight as a choice of tyranny or religious freedom.

Buzzfeed reporter Chris Geidner showed that Ted Cruz looked sad about being blocked from the stage.

Huckabee and Cruz are both trailing in the polls, though Cruz is doing slightly better. Cruz has 6.5%, while Huckabee has 4%. Cruz is trailing Trump, Carson, Bush and Rubio, while Huckabee is also trailing Fiorina, Walker and Kasich. Even though both are in rough shape, they are competing for the same hard right evangelical voters. The melodrama of Kim Davis’s bigoted appeal to the Christian right is flypaper for demagogues like Huckabee and Cruz. Both seek to siphon off some of her growing notoriety, but Huckabee checkmated Cruz at the rally.

Feature image via YouTube.