WASHINGTON (AFP) — Bass-playing Baptist preacher Mike Huckabee didn't get enough support to win his party's White House nomination, but he is sure to have the vote of a fellow Republican he saved from choking at the weekend.
"Oh, he's my best friend. I'm indebted for life," Robert Pittenger, who is running to be elected lieutenant governor of North Carolina, said after Huckabee helped him expel a piece of food jammed in his throat on Saturday
Huckabee, who earlier this year ceded the Republican presidential nomination to John McCain after a spirited dark-horse chase for the nod, told Fox News on Monday he didn't think twice when he stepped in and gave Pittenger the "Heimlich Maneuver" -- pressure on the abdomen to dislodge the food.
"I just happened to look up and I saw somebody patting on the back ...I knew that the worst thing you can do is pat someone on the back if they're choking," Huckabee said, noting that he had taken emergency medical training when he was younger.
"I just simply said, 'Excuse me," to the person to whom I was speaking, got up, walked over, pushed the person aside who was patting him on the back, and, you know, did not even think about being rude, just said, 'Excuse me,' and reached around Robert, gave him the Heimlich maneuver three or four times, the item dislodged, and he was fine.
"And I went back and sat down and went on with my business."
"I didn't want to see, you know, this incredibly very valuable political career cut short by a piece of chicken," he added.
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