Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz's plan to ride the coattails of renegade antigay Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis came to a screeching halt this week, when a staffer for Mike Huckabee blocked his way.
Rachel Maddow on Tuesday featured video of that showdown, recorded as it went down, on her MSNBC program. The video shows how the staffer physically blocked an obviously shocked Cruz from talking to the press, and distracted the Senator so he wasn't on stage when Davis made her triumphant appearance to the crowd of hundreds of enthusiastic, antigay Christians.
"I so wish I could see through that flag and lip-read what that guy is saying to him here," laughed Maddow, as she described the action, as first described in a report by The New York Times. The newspaper described Cruz as having "an unusually low profile" at the event.
Huckabee doesn't deny that he put the kibosh on Cruz's plans to crash his party. He said Cruz was welcome to attend the rally his campaign had organized, but not to share the limelight.
"Well, this was our event," Huckabee told NewsMaxTV's Steve Malzberg Show. "My team put it together. We're the ones who recruited the people not only to be on the program, but we're the ones who coordinated the effort. We're the ones who secured the permits, the staging. We had no idea Ted Cruz was going to show up until the day before and he didn't call us, he called several other people on the program and asked about it."
"Of course anybody's welcome, it's a free rally," he went on to say. "He can come, but he's not free to come to an event that we're putting together and invite himself on the program anymore than I could go a few weeks ago to his event in Des Moines and just show up and expect to be a speaker. It's real simple."
Huckabee may have been hosting a rally championing a civil servent for excluding LGBT people from government benefits, but noted that he did make one small gesture of inclusion. "I did invite [him], by the way, back to visit with Kim Davis and made that possible for him. I thought that was pretty gracious."
Video from Davis' release showed Cruz leaving the jail door only to be blocked by the staffer before he could speak to the press. Moments later Davis emerged flanked by Huckabee and her lawyer, Mat Staver.
Watch how Rachel Maddow broke down the Cruz confrontation, in this clip from her MSNBC show: