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Huck ads, drops 'Christian Leader'

From NBC/NJ's Adam Aigner-Treworgy
Huckabee will begin airing two new ads tomorrow. "A New America" will air in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, while "Secure Borders" will air only in Iowa. His three-state ad seems almost like a reintroduction to voters in the early primary states, now that Huckabee has a little more money and the spotlight shining on him due to recent polls.

The ad touts Huckabee's positive vision for America's future and his desire to leave the next generation "an America that's even greater than our grandparents gave us." The ad shows the candidate sitting on a couch and talking into a camera interspersed with images of Huckabee as a child. There are also the ubiquitous images of Americana, like a smiling mother and her son sitting on a stoop, a mother pushing her daughter in a swing and a factory worker being lifted up in a cherry-picker. Words displayed over the pictures trumpet Huckabee's accomplishments as governor, such as being labeled one of the best governors in America by Time Magazine.

But both ads also does something elseĀ -- they drop "Christian Leader" from the titles on the screen. "Proven Leader" is, instead, substituted.

"Secure Borders" is Huckabee's version of the anti-illegal immigration ad that many of GOP candidates seem to be making this cycle. In it are clips of Huckabee decrying amnesty and sanctuary cities at the Values Voters Summit in Washington, DC, in October, also a subtle reminder of his Christian conservatism.

The ad also shows Huckabee sitting on the same couch using a line from his stump speech to call for increased border security: "It ought to be at least as difficult to get across an international border as it is to get on an airplane in our own hometown." The words on the screen say that Huckabee will "fight to secure our borders," because he is a "proven leader" and an "authentic conservative."

This last line closes the ad, while Huckabee is shown leaning up against a fence on what looks like a farm, talking to man who looks like he could be a farmer. With this ending Huckabee seems to be slightly modifying Fred Thompson's "consistent conservative" line -- with the same intention of pointing out all of the 'inauthentic' conservatives in the race.

*** UPDATE *** NBC's Kelly O'Donnell adds that on campaign cash, Team Huckabee has a new goal to raise $1.1 million by December 15th. Campaign advisors say $598,000 has been raised as of this writing.