Indianola, IA -- Greetings from Signatures restaurant, where Mike Huckabee just finished speaking to a packed room (people spilled well down the stairs). The man is clearly feeling the heat. Continuing his aggressive posture from yesterday, Huckabee spent nearly half his time responding to Mitt Rommey's escalating attacks, suggesting that they're taking a serious toll. "Over the last few days there have been some incredibly desperate and dishonest things said about me," Huckabee said.

"He's now attacked John McCain, he's attacked Rudy Giuliani," Huckabee said. "He's not telling people why he should be president. He's telling people why we shouldn't be president." He addressed Romney's toughest charges--that he doled out pardons too generously in Arkansas, and that he didn't crack down on meth abuse, then continued: "You're electing someone who's gotta shoot straight with you if they get to be your president. Somebody who had better be honest with you, who if they look you in the eye and tell you your kids need to go and fight for this country  ought to be able to tell you the reason why, and it's something you can trust and believe in."

(For what it's worth, by the way, a lot of reporters out here are surprisingly skeptical that Huckabee is going to win.)   

Update

Mewanwhile Huck adds of Romney, "If you get a job by being dishonest to get it, how can you be trusted once you’re in that job?" Excerpt:

--Michael Crowley