Mike Huckabee’s deployment of Chuck Norris on the campaign trail now has some blowback.
Darryl Ng, the spokesman for Fred Thompson’s presidential campaign, which ended this week, has launched a website, "Boycottchucknorris.com" to advocate shunning any Norris-endorsed products or even advertisers who sponsor reruns of "Walker, Texas Ranger" on USA Network.
"Republicans long decried celebrities telling us how to vote (see Sean Penn and Ben Affleck in 2004). Certainly, I support Chuck’s First Amendment right to free political speech, but he has gone way beyond what other celebrities like Oprah, Sylvester Stallone or Jon Voight have done. These other celebrities have publicly endorsed, and maybe even spent a day or two campaigning with their chosen candidates. Fair enough.
"But Chuck Norris has endorsed a candidate, went out on the stump with him numerous times in different states and even appeared in a commercial with him. To me, that sets him apart and makes him fair game."
But the boycott is clearly aimed at the Huckabee camp. Among other things, Ng cites the fact that Norris has endorsed a candidate whose ideas are "far outside of the mainstream" and "who does not believe in evolution" and who "has called for the isolation of AIDS patients."
Is it sour grapes? After all, Ng worked for the one true actor/candidate, whose sputtering campaign was soon overshadowed in Iowa by the rise of Huckabee (with an assist from Norris).
Among the companies targeted: Total Gym, endorsed by Norris, and "Walker" advertisers KFC, Payless ShoeSource. Nutrisystem, Tylenol and Geico.
Ng also has worked for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.