Sunday, May 15, 2011

Mike Huckabee further explains his decision to say No to 2012

Mike Huckabee went on Fox News Sunday and further explained his decision on why he will not be entering the race for the Republican nomination. What impressed me most about Huckabee's decision is that ego and vanity could have kept Mike Huckabee in the race.  But humility and faith kept him out. I can live with that!

Here is the transcript:

Governor, welcome back to "Fox News Sunday."

HUCKABEE: Thank you, Chris. Great to be here.

WALLACE: You had a good chance to win the Republican nomination. The fact that you've done nothing to promote your candidacy and you were either first or second in all the polls, didn't you want to be president?

HUCKABEE: Absolutely, Chris. And I think that I would have made a fine president. But it really came down for me to a very personal, a very intimate and -- as I explained last night in the announcement -- a spiritual decision. You know, you look at all the political possibilities. And, frankly, I don't think that I'll have a better chance, but I don't rule anything out for the long-term future. But I just somehow believe deep within me that it wasn't the right time and it wasn't to be. And whether it was a lack of sort of detailed preparation, it's not going to happen this time.

WALLACE: I'm a little curious when you say "spiritual decision." I mean, is it -- and I know you're a man of great faith. But are you saying that you didn't have the fire in your belly to go this time?

HUCKABEE: Well, I think, sometimes, people mistake fire in the belly for too much pepperoni pizza the night before. They make a great speech and people come up to them and tell them, "You could be president." And the next thing you know, they're running, not because they really ought to or have any shot at doing it, but because they have, you know, a handful of people that tell them they are looking at the next president.

For me, it was a little more introspective than that. You know, sometimes, people ask me does God speak to me in an audible voice. And the truth is, no. It's a lot louder than that.

But I do believe that for those of us who are believers, there is a sense of peace. And I'll put it this way, Chris -- last night, I laid my head on the pillow and had a very good night's sleep. And I was at peace with the decision. And I am today.

WALLACE: Will you endorse a candidate for president?

HUCKABEE: Not immediately. Frankly, my feelings and my whole emotions are still a little raw from the process, because up until just a few days ago, Chris, I honestly I thought I would be in it. And more and more, the signs were pointing that way, the objections were moved out of the way, and I could see a pathway to getting the money that I never thought perhaps I could. And, you know, things began to unfold.

But it was almost as if the more that all of the external things began to materialize, the less the internal things began to crystallize for me. So, I need to kind of process my own feelings.

There are some great candidates. Most of them are very dear friends of mine. That would have made it a little difficult in the primary, because I would have found it hard to challenge some of them in some maybe significant way personally. There may be a point in which I endorse, but right now, I'll see how the race unfolds and listen carefully to how they develop their message.

WALLACE: Well, since you are staying at Fox, I'm going to ask you to do your job as a political analyst. You're getting out of the race leaves a big hole, especially in Iowa, and especially among social conservatives. Who do you think fills that void? Who do you think benefits most from your staying out of the race?

HUCKABEE: Chris, I think there are a number of people who probably maybe jump for joy last night. I don't know. But I think there are a number of people who are similar to me in terms of point of view. Rick Santorum, for example, a strong social conservative, but he's also strong fiscal and I think defense conservative, and foreign policy conservative as well. Tim Pawlenty, another person. Newt Gingrich. Michele Bachmann.

I think all of these folks, very clearly might benefit from it. Sarah Palin, should she decide to get in. And, you know, I think people are awaiting her decision like they were mine.

But those are some folks immediately, because of their strong positions on issues like life and traditional marriage, as well as fiscal conservativism. The truth is, most fiscal -- in fact, all social conservatives I know are also fiscal conservatives. Not necessarily the other way around.

WALLACE: Now, you didn't mention Mitt Romney.

HUCKABEE: No, but let me tell you something. I've got a wonderful voice mail from Mitt Romney last night, which I thought was gracious on his part. You know, there has been a lot of talk about Mitt Romney and me. And we don't socialize together. We're not close, you know, in personal ways.

But I want to make it very clear today, if Mitt Romney is the nominee for our party, I will support him because I believe that Mitt Romney would be better president of the United States than Barack Obama on any day. And whether he is my first choice, I will support him if he is our nominee. And he very well may be.

WALLACE: Now, immediately after your statement last night, Donald Trump suddenly appears. It was kind of funny. But could you support him for president?

HUCKABEE: You know, I'm going to support the Republican nominee. I'm a Republican. And unless a person is way out there and is not clear on issues that to me are non-negotiable like the sanctity of life. I believe Donald Trump would be better for America than Barack Obama, because he understands business. Donald Trump has taken a pro- life position. He believes that we're getting shanghaied by China, which I agree with.

By the way, a little insight here. Donald Trump takes two versions of the sort of end of the show -- one that I was running, one that I wasn't. And Donald Trump did not know which one would be used, nor did my executive producer, nor did my staff, right up until the moments before the show when I finally, of course, had to tell them.

WALLACE: Well, that's interesting. It's good they ran the right tape.

Governor Huckabee, we're going to miss you on the campaign trail. But I'm delighted you will remain our colleague at Fox News. Thank you, Governor.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Mike Huckabee: I will not seek the Republican nomination for President this year

Mike Huckabee used the last few minutes of his Huckabee show to announce to Fox News viewers that he is not going to seek the Republican nomination for President.

This has been a much anticipated decision as it affects other potential candidates who have not yet declared. Mike Huckabee will be on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace where he will further discuss his decision. 

As a strong supporter of Mike Huckabee in 2008, I had hoped that he would run again in 2012.  Mike Huckabee had asked his supporters to pray for him-discernment-so that he would make the right decision.
As I was driving to go hear him speak in Dallas this week, I did just that, I prayed that Mike Huckabee would hear what God's will was for him.  That if God had other plans for him, that Mike Huckabee would clearly hear that calling.  For believers in Jesus Christ, we know that when God closes one door, he opens another.

Mike Huckabee not only consulted his strategists, family members and friends, but he more importantly consulted God.  And as many of us know, it is easy to take time to pray to God, but it is harder to take the time to sit and listen to what God has to say.

Mike Huckabee gave a thoughtful, well thought out reason for not seeking the nomination.  I for one am proud that he acknowledged that he sought the Lord in this major decision.  Mike Huckabee said that he found peace once he came to his decision.  Now his supporters must do the same.

Key aspect of Mike Huckabee's statement from HuckPAC:

When people asked me what it would take for me to run, I would tell them the same thing---pray for me to have clarity in the decision. I don’t expect everyone to understand this, but I’m a believer and follower of Jesus Christ. That relationship is far more important to me than any political office. For me, the decision is ultimately not a political one, a financial one, or even a practical one ---it’s a spiritual one.

The past few weeks, the external signs and signals and answers to many of the obstacles point strongly toward running. When I am with people encouraging me to run, it’s easy to feel the strength of their partnership and commitment to help me to the finish line. Only when I was alone, in quiet and reflective moments did I have not only clarity, but an inexplicable inner peace—a peace that exceeds human understanding. All the factors say GO, but my heart says NO. And that is the decision I have made and in it have finally found resolution. I don’t fully understand it myself—but I’m sure the pundits will. But I know that under the best of circumstances, being President is a job that takes one to the limit of his or her human capacity. For me, to do it apart from an inner confidence that I was undertaking it with God’s full blessing is unthinkable. I can’t know or predict the future, but I know for now my answer is clear and firm. I will not seek the Republican nomination for President this year.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Will he or Won't he? Mike Huckabee to announce his decision on Huckabee Show

Mike Huckabee said that even his executive producer does not know his decision on a 2012 presidential run. Only his family members were told.  

Tune into the Huckabee Show on Saturday Night to hear whether or not Mike Huckabee will run for president.

A President Mike Huckabee: What you See is What you Get

NCPA's Dr. John Goodman introduced Mike Huckabee stating "What you see is what you get-an authentic person who really understands policy issues."  I saw that today in both Huckabee's speech and the question and answer session that followed.  Mike Huckabee did not give a fire and brimstone speech.  Instead he touched on several key issues affecting America using tempered language that he likes to call vertical politics.  Huckabee feels that Americans are disappointed with today's politicians and how everything has become right or left (horizontal politics), rather than up or down.  Huckabee noted that Americans are looking for someone who can lift America up, solve the problems without tearing each other down, and bring people together to implement solutions to get America back on track.

Mike Huckabee started the speech with his usual self deprecating humor and commonsense approach to governing.  He excoriated the insular community in Washington DC that doesn't listen to the rest of America and forgets the impact that it has on businesses.  Huckabee then introduced vertical politics stating that it is a tactical solution that we are not using very often.  "Elections are decided not by those who embrace extreme positions but by those who view things from a vertical perspective.  This view looks at whether we are getting better or we are getting worse. Are things improving or are they declining? Is my kid who just graduated from college going to be able to find a job to help pay off their college loans?  The solutions that we have to develop in this country need to be pointing people toward how we are improving the future for the next generation rather than how we are going to beat those guys on the other side."  My guess is that if and when Mike Huckabee gets into the race, his platform will be about bringing America together for the benefit of the next generation.

After his speech, the floor was opened up to questioning.  One of the things I like best about Mike Huckabee, is that he always answers the questions he is asked.  Below are the topics and his paraphrased words.

President Obama

With Obama, "we don't hear a president, we hear a candidate."  Huckabee praised former presidents Bush 41, Clinton and Bush 43 for their ability to give a policy speech that focused on policy and not the politics of campaigning.  Huckabee stated that "politicians are driven to ideological purity by primary campaigns.  But actual governing is like a football game-where you gain a few yards at a time with the goal being attained incrementally."

The Punishing Tax System

"The problem with our current tax system is that we punish those things we want to reward and we reward those things we should want to punish.  We need to reward behaviors we want to encourage and punish things we want to discourage.  We need to throttle up, not punish people for having done so.  America won't be a great country if we teach people to not work hard." Huckabee gave the example of bailing out reckless companies that are failing while over taxing prudent companies that are thriving.

Childhood Obesity

"We better bring up the issue because obesity is killing us.  The role of government is not to raise our kids, but to raise awareness and change the culture."  Examples that Huckabee gave where culture changed behavior included littering, smoking, wearing seat belts and drunk driving. He emphasized that in each case when the government codified the changes into law they only validated the new cultural norm.  

Role of the Federal Government

"Stimulate good ideas that work for individuals.  Each individual is his/her best government.  Best government is self government.  Comes down to individuals with a moral compass and families who actually raise their own kids and don't expect Uncle Sugar to do it for them. Individual health savings accounts-benefit of making good decisions. Not turning health care over to someone who does not know me and frankly who has no vested interested in my making a good decision. Government can help foster, puts more power into the hands of the individual."

Immigration Reform

"Moot process until we secure the border.  All the discussion of how we are going to reform immigration starts with that first and foremost thing. I don't think there is a real appetite in America for all the intricate policy discussion of how you deal with it until you deal with the glaring issue of do you have control of your own borders. That has to be first and foremost."

Debt Ceiling

"If we keep raising the debt ceiling without ever coming to grips with what its doing long term-devaluing the dollar and destroying our economy- then we are doing the next generation a great disservice. Raise only if there is substantial commitment, execution of lowering the expenditures."


"We have to recognize, that when dealing with terrorists, we can't negotiate, can't worry about offending them.  We as Americans have to do whatever it takes, like sending in Navy Seals and taking them out.  I think the Israeli's have it right. You don't negotiate with terrorists. You get rid of the terrorist before they get rid of you.  That's the only way to deal with it."

As Dr. Goodman said, what you see is what you get.  As president we would have in Mike Huckabee a leader who answered the questions that are asked, who served the people of America and left partisan politics up to the pundits, who brought together the best and the brightest from both sides of the aisle to find solutions that work.  We would have a president who understands that we have a responsibility to the next generation to leave America better than we found it.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mike Huckabee leads PPP National Republican Polling while Trump Fades

The spring weather saying, In like a Lion out like a Lamb, can also be said of Donald Trump's emergence onto the national stage of potential Republican candidates.  Trump quickly rose to the top and is now fading away.  Meanwhile, Mike Huckabee holds steady as the lead candidate for the 2012 Republican nomination.

2012 GOP Nomination Survey

If the Republican candidates for President in 2012 were Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin, Ron Paul, Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney, and Donald Trump, who would you vote for?

* Mike Huckabee 19% {17%}
* Mitt Romney 18% {15%}
* Newt Gingrich 13% {11%}
* Sarah Palin 12% {8%}
* Ron Paul 8% {5%}
* Donald Trump 8% {26%}
* Michele Bachmann 7% {4%}
* Tim Pawlenty 5% {4%}

Survey of 610 usual Republican primary voters was conducted May 5-8, 2011. The margin of error is +/-4.0 percentage points. Results from the poll conducted April 7-10, 2011 are in curly brackets.

H/T the Argo Journal for data compilation

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mike Huckabee to Speak at Dallas NCPA Distinguished Lecture Series May 12th

Mike Huckabee will be in Dallas this Thursday, May 12th to speak at the National Center for Policy Analysis
Hatton W. Sumners Distinguished Lecture Series

When: Thursday, May 12, 2011, Noon to 1:15 PM
Where: San Antonio Ballroom, 4th Floor, Westin Galleria Dallas, 13340 Dallas Parkway, Dallas, TX 75240

Complimentary self-parking is available in the parking garage. Valet parking is available at the discounted rate of $12 per vehicle.

On May 12, join the National Center for Policy Analysis as we welcome Mike Huckabee, former Governor of Arkansas, former candidate for the Republican nomination for President of the United States, and host of the Fox News Channel program “Huckabee,” as a part of the Hatton W. Sumners Distinguished Lecture Series. Huckabee is also an author of several books, including A Simple Government and Do The Right Thing

You can register here.

Gallup: Mike Huckabee leads Biggest Array of Categories in latest Presidential Trial Heat

Republican voters will be looking to elect a candidate who can win across a broad spectrum of categories. Mike Huckabee is that candidate as he leads amongst Men, Women, Conservatives, Middle Income, Non-College Educated, Youth, Middle Age, Midwest, and the South.

Results are based on telephone interviews conducted as part of Gallup Daily tracking April 15-20, March 18-22, and Feb. 18-20, 2011, with a random sample of at least 1,000 Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, at each of these time periods.

For results based on the total aggregate sample of 3,304 Republicans, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±2 percentage points.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Tim Pawlenty beams "I Love the Huck"

Mike Huckabee was not at the first Republican debate in South Carolina because he has not made a final decision on a run. Newt Gingrich who announced he was testing the waters declined the debate invitation even though word has it that he will announce next week. Mitt Romney has formed an exploratory committee but was not ready to take the debate stage. That left former governor Tim Pawlenty with the opportunity to light up the stage. And he did by stating "I Love the Huck!"

Mike Huckabee sits down with Bill Hemmer and talks about the debate, Afghanistan, Ronald Reagan, and a possible run for the Republican nomination.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Mike Huckabee Continues to Lead CNN Republican Survey

Mike Huckabee continues to lead the CNN Republican Nomination Survey. As CNN indicated in their write up, the eventual GOP winner was leading the polls taken in April of the previous year. For the third month in a row, Mike Huckabee has led the CNN polling no matter which other potential candidates are added into the mix.

Mike Huckabee 16%
Donald Trump 14%
Mitt Romney 13%
Sarah Palin 11%
Newt Gingrich 10%
Ron Paul 10%

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted April 29-May 1, with 1,034 adult Americans questioned by telephone. All interviews were completed before the president announced that bin Laden, the founder and leader of the al Qaeda terrorist network and the man responsible for the 9/11 terrorist attacks, was killed by U.S. forces in Pakistan. The survey’s overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

CNN Nuggets:
GOP primary match-ups are another matter – since the modern era of presidential primaries began in 1972, there have been six times when the GOP nomination was up for grabs. In five of those six election cycles, the eventual GOP winner was leading the polls taken in April of the previous year.

This indicator is another good reason for Mike Huckabee to jump into the race this summer.  

Mike Huckabee Ramping Up for a Run (Updated)

Supporters of Mike Huckabee will be happy to learn that after Memorial Day their choice for the Republican nomination may be throwing his hat into the ring. A detailed report out today by Erin McPike of Real Clear Politics states that Fox News has given Mike Huckabee until the end of May to make his decision. This coincides with Huckabee's contract which is up for renewal in June.

Yesterday Huckabee was inside the Beltway raising funds for republicans as well as his own PAC. According to the Wall St Journal, supporters who donated $1000 were given the opportunity to ask Huckabee exclusive questions about his intentions for the nomination.

Ed Rollins recently stated that Huckabee would need to make a decision by June 1st. In McPike's article, we learn:

Edward J. Rollins, who joined Huckabee's team as national chairman in mid-December of 2007 -- just weeks before Huckabee solidly won the 2008 Iowa caucuses -- has been charged with setting up shop.

According to a confidant of Rollins who has been slated for a high-level position in the potential campaign, "Ed has had long and serious discussions with Mike as recently as this past weekend." Rollins would manage the first phase of the Huckabee campaign this time.

On a national level, Rollins has gotten verbal agreements from experienced Republican operatives who would join the team. A political director, fundraising team, media team, communications director, press staff, policy shop and opposition research outfit are locked and loaded. Serious discussions with a respected national pollster are ongoing, and several national Republican operatives have told RealClearPolitics that they've gotten calls with the message: "This thing is happening. Do you want to be a part of it?"

The gathering national team has a different take, though. Rollins has worked on nine presidential campaigns and has developed many contacts over that time, and he has recruited a team over the last four months that will be ready to roll if Huckabee pulls the trigger.

As a consequence of that more professional, experienced team, some of the players who surrounded Huckabee last time aren't necessarily needed anymore. In other words, Huckabee was an upstart last time and couldn't attract top-tier talent, and he didn't even have some of the most significant leaders of the religious right on board when he started in 2007.

More than 40,000 Iowans picked him in the 2008 caucuses, and those in Huckabee's inner circle expect that his daughter, Sarah Huckabee, will run the operation for her father in the Hawkeye State this time, coming off of her successful role in managing Arkansas Republican Sen. John Boozman's 2010 race.

Now, he may have to offer his decision by the end of the month. Republican operatives familiar with the deliberations at Fox News say that the network has told Huckabee he has until the end of the month to make up his mind about the race or he'll be cut off, just as Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum were when the then-contributors were still in the consideration phase.

Noting Barbour's decision not to run, Beasley said, "I think the landscape is conducive for a Mike Huckabee entrance. Right now, we're putting together the team and putting the word out that Mike Huckabee is seriously considering this race."

He added that with Huckabee's current national notoriety, "this time around it's a whole different ballgame. He's in a good position at this stage of the process.

Mike Huckabee has consistently said that if and when he decides to run, it will be his race, his pace. Looks like Huckabee is ready to get into the starting block. His supporters are not only ready in the stands to cheer him on, but are anxiously awaiting the sound of the starting gun, so that they themselves can work to get him the nomination.

* Update:  Since this posted earlier this morning, Mike Huckabee has issued a statement via Huck PAC:
During a Huck PAC fundraiser yesterday in the DC area - Gov. Huckabee was asked about a Presidential run and he told the group privately the same thing he's said countless times publicly. The Governor's comment was tweeted by a Congressman who was in the meeting: 'people that say they definitely know I'm not running, don't know - those that say they definitely know I am, don't know - I don't know.' What does it say about the news when a Congressman can report real quotes that actually came from Governor Huckabee - while journalists use other sources and unsubstantiated rumor?

The Governor has been clear - his timeline for a decision is this summer and that has not changed. Fox is aware of the Governor's timetable and he is aware of his limitations in considering another run.

** Additional information regarding Fox News deadline:
Fox News denied that it has given former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) a deadline of the end of May to decide whether to run for president.

A senior Fox official disputed a report Thursday by Real Clear Politics that Huckabee has been given a deadline of the end of May to decide whether to enter the race for the Republican presidential nomination, which would prompt him to forfeit his lucrative contract with the network.

"There is no truth whatsoever to this report," said Bill Shine, the executive vice president of programming for Fox. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Mike Huckabee: Postmarked Pakistan

In an interview with CNN's Suzanne Malveaux back in 2007 Mike Huckabee stated that all indications were that Osama bin laden was in Pakistan and that if we had another terrorist attack it would be postmarked Pakistan. He went on to describe American tax dollars being wasted by a government that was not producing results. Huckabee said we needed to be very clear in holding that government accountable for not only the way they treat their people but also in helping us locate and destroy Osama bin Laden.

Politico reports that in November 2007 Mike Huckabee also stated:
"We need to make sure we are clear that if we have an actionable target in Pakistan, that we will take action on that target because if that helps save and preserve American people," Huckabee said at the time, according to CNN, saying he would respond that way if he saw an "imminent threat" within Pakistan's borders. "That's the foremost thing we need to be worried about."

Sen. John McCain criticized Huckabee at the time for it, calling it evidence of political naivete and saying, "I certainly wouldn't telegraph my punches."

In December 2007, Mike Huckabee went on Meet the Press with Tim Russert.  One important issue they discussed was Pakistan:

"One of the things I want to point out about that article, I spoke about Pakistan extensively back in September, and a lot of people criticized the article, saying `You talk so much about Pakistan, and you didn't speak as much about Iran.' You know, a lot of people have criticized my foreign policy views, but the fact is, in light of what's happened in the last week, some of my comments on Pakistan seem almost prophetic."