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Rude e-mail causes battle in Iowa
Brownback demanded an apology from former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee Wednesday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback demanded an apology from former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee on Wednesday for an e-mail sent to religious leaders in Iowa as part of what Brownback called an “effort to demoralize his supporters.”

Rev. Tim Rude, a volunteer for Huckabee’s campaign, sent an e-mail to evangelicals in Iowa, trying to persuade them to choose Huckabee over Brownback. Rude, a self-proclaimed “recovering Catholic,” criticized Brownback for converting to Catholicism and said that’s all he needs to “know about his discernment” to choose Huckabee over him.

Huckabee said he had nothing to do with Rude’s letter. “We are glad that Rev. Rude issued an apology and clarification for his comments. They were not authorized by, disseminated by, approved by, or condoned by the campaign,” Huckabee said in a statement.

But Brownback’s campaign still slammed Huckabee for not directly apologizing for the letter.

“Why is Governor Huckabee hesitating to denounce the anti-Catholic comments from his supporter, Pastor Tim Rude? It is hard to imagine that Governor Huckabee thinks Pastor Tim Rude’s prejudiced tactics are acceptable,” Brownback spokesman John Rankin said.

Brownback and Huckabee are two of the candidates planning to participate in Iowa’s straw poll in less than two weeks.

–CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich

CNN, August 1st, 2007