Hucakbee, GOP Presidential Hopefuls Court Restless Conservatives

MARCH 2, 2007 - Posted at 3:27 p.m. CST

WASHINGTON - Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee is offering himself to Republican presidential primary voters as a lifelong conservative and as an alternative to the front runners - Arizona Senator John McCain, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

At the annual Conservative Political Action Conference today in Washington, Huckabee told the group that Republicans can't afford to nominate a candidate who does not have a deep set of conservative beliefs.  He suggested that better known candidates are merely trying to say what voters want to hear.

Huckabee was one of several White House hopefuls in the crowded field to address thousands of activists.

Huckabee emphasized his conservative positions on abortion, gay marriage and guns, while seeking to reassure the activists that he's a fiscal conservative despite raising taxes as governor.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)