(CNN) - John McCain said Friday he isn't counting Mike Huckabee out, even though it's now nearly mathematically impossible for the former Arkansas governor capture the Republican Party's nomination.
"Gov Huckabee is still in this race, and he is a viable candidate and I'm sure will continue to show strength and that's why we're moving forward with our campaigning," McCain said. "Obviously we are pleased with the events that have happened, but we still have a ways to go and we'll continue campaigning."
McCain also refused to comment on who he might consider as a potential running mate, though he discounted the notion that he has to pick a Southerner to balance the ticket.
"From a practical standpoint, I think former President Clinton and former Vice President Gore showed us you don't have to be regionally different," McCain said. "I think America is such that, quote, ‘regional differences’ don't play the role that maybe they did in earlier times."
Mitt Romney abandoned his presidential bid Wednesday, essentially clearing the way for McCain to win the GOP nomination. Huckabee has won 181 delegates - 533 less than McCain. To capture the Republican nomination, he would have to win more than 80 percent of the remaining contests.
– CNN Producer Alexander Mooney