[James] Gilchrist, whose Minuteman Project turned out about 800 civilian volunteers to guard the Arizona-Mexico border in April 2005, endorsed Mr. Huckabee in Iowa on Tuesday, saying he supported the former governor’s immigration policies. He said Mr. Huckabee’s immigration plan was most likely to halt “an invasion” of illegal aliens.
But Chris Simcox, who co-founded the Minuteman Project with Mr. Gilchrist and now heads the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, said no national Minuteman group has endorsed Mr. Huckabee, adding that only “one individual Minuteman has personally endorsed him.”
“Jim Gilchrist speaks only for Jim Gilchrist. He does not speak for the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, nor is he nationally representative of most patriots in the Minuteman movement, who under no circumstances could ignore the failed record nor endorse the duplicitous plan recently rolled out by candidate Mike Huckabee,” Mr. Simcox said.
Bob Wright, who heads the Patriots’ Border Alliance, another Minuteman splinter group, said although Mr. Gilchrist helped move the issue of illegal entry into the U.S. “to it’s rightful place on the national stage,” his endorsement of Mr. Huckabee “is at best disturbing.”
“While I believe it is possible for a professional politician to change his mind on a subject as he becomes more informed, I have serious doubts that is the case with Huckabee,” Mr. Wright said. “His past rhetoric about the goals of Minutemen everywhere has been vicious—parroting the tired and discredited foolishness that an American citizen’s desire to see the law enforced is somehow racist or xenophobic.”