February 15th, 2008
06:35 AM ET
10 years ago

McCain's Romney endorsement doesn’t faze Huckabee

Huckabee: McCain ‘hasn’t won yet’

Huckabee: McCain ‘hasn’t won yet’

GREEN BAY, Wisconsin (CNN) – If Mitt Romney’s endorsement of John McCain did anything to dampen Mike Huckabee’s desire to stay in this race, it didn’t show.

“I think still the Republican Party ought to be big enough to have the debate, the discussion and an election. I’m not just willing to be part of the coronation yet,” Huckabee told CNN Thursday. “If we have a battle and [McCain] wins, he wins. But he hasn’t won yet so I just think it’s a little bit premature to go ahead and slice the cake when you haven’t had the wedding yet.”

Huckabee described McCain’s growing support as “a ‘me too’ herd mentality.” “There's a lot of folks in the establishment of the party now not wanting to be left out,” he told reporters.

“But what I'm concerned about is that there are a whole lot of people out here in middle America who are feeling left out. They're feeling their votes aren't even going to be counted.”

Huckabee repeatedly points out that Republicans will have to win the states he’s won to keep the White House. He then ticks off the big states McCain has won primaries in that are typically Democratic strongholds in the general election.

By the time Wisconsin holds its primary on Tuesday, Huckabee will have spent six days campaigning in the state. In just the first two days he has become an unabashed panderer, regaling crowds with a story (sort of) about singing the national anthem at Lambeau Field and promising them he’ll put on a famed Cheesehead if they carry him to victory.

At his second to last stop of the day, a local television reporter asked if the difference between a victory or a loss on Tuesday were to hinge on putting on a Green Bay Packer tie, would he do it? “Absolutely,” grinned Huckabee, taking the tie from the reporter and tossing the green one he’d been wearing all day to wife Janet. He then successfully tied on the new tie without a mirror in front laughing reporters and a bank of cameras.

Seconds after Huckabee left the room, an aide rushed back in to return the reporter’s tie, a gift from his grandparents.

- CNN Political Producer Alexander Marquardt

Filed under: John McCain • Mike Huckabee
soundoff (132 Responses)
  1. Ed K.

    Democrats and republicans both like Huckabee for his true grit. If this guy had the organization and money the other candidates have he would be the man cut and dry for the republican party. I am a hard core democrat but I find it hard not to respect such a fine man.

    February 15, 2008 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  2. Rosa

    Egotistical comes to mind when I hear Huckabee's comments. I mean after all, what possible good is he going to bring about for the republican party if he stays in race? It brings good publicity for him for his speaking engagements and is free advertising. It might of course allow him to become the reigning leader of the "conservative right wing church nuts". Who knows what Huckabee is trying to get out of this but it doesn't show much humbleness on his part.

    February 15, 2008 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  3. Virgie Mitchell

    Equal opportunity should be applied by the Republican Party for all of their canidates. This party has a communistic view. I want to see
    Huckabee run if that what he wants to do. Yesterday history lesson may not help us today. I am not for McCain or Huckabee but this man is being treat wrong.

    Next thing; I would love to see the National Media report the news and not intrepid the news for us. We are intillgent people. I would love to hear what President Bush and other people say for my self and not have the someone from the media explain it to me.

    February 15, 2008 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  4. jeannette

    It is interesting why people are not asking Ron Paul to drop out and why just Gov. Huckabee. Just let then man run the race and let Sen. Mccain just wait until its all over-sheesh!
    Why are we in such a rush anyways? Gov. Huckabee deserves to run as long as he, and his supporters choose him to. If America is America, then its free country and people should not have a problem with it. An election is to be done democratically I thought.

    February 15, 2008 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  5. Ennis, LA

    Since the GOP convention isn't till September...Huckabee

    should stay in till he's mathmatically eliminated.

    February 15, 2008 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  6. SlapStick, Florida

    I'm a dem but if Hillary win I would either not vote or look in the other direction only if Huckabee won. McCain is for the same ole same ole Bush politics. Once again it will be GRIDLOCK in Washington if McCain wins.

    February 15, 2008 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  7. rs-ohio

    I believe that Huckabee is doing the right thing and can't understand why the press can't realize that there are many Americans who want a true conservative, defending human life as well as our country. As long as Huckabee is in the race, I'll be supporting him. If McCain gets the nomination, then I'll be forced to support him. He is not the candidate that represents me best. I wish the press could be a little more understanding of those of us with differing opinions.P.S. Check out the fair tax plan, immigration reform and his energy conservation plan-he has alot to offer...and you know where he stands!

    February 15, 2008 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  8. james

    You've got to admire this guy, even if he's said some strange crazy things before. He's likeable and he's having fun and making some good points. In the end he will win when McCain loses to the Dems in November. Huckabee is getting his name out there so in 2012 he will be well know, in 2012 McCain will be 76 which goes beyond ridiculous if he tries again, he's over after this November.

    February 15, 2008 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  9. Stew

    does he just want us to remember his name. Trust me we won't forget it. Huckabee. you don't forget a name like that.

    February 15, 2008 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  10. mike

    You see everyday I gain more and more respect for this guy. How comes whenever somebody wins a couple of primaries that EVERYBODY seems to jump on the bandwagon and vote for him? Really? Are we that sheep like? C'mon.

    McCain is basically a democrat in disguise.

    February 15, 2008 01:56 am at 1:56 am |
  11. mike, Columbus ohio

    Keep at it,, Huck. Don't drop out for the "good of the party". There is no party, the blue bloods have hijacked it! Hey McCain, good luck winning without the conservative vote, it ain't gonna happen. They won't vote for Hitlery or Osama Obama, but they won't vote for you either. Better the dems take the hit then the repubs!

    February 15, 2008 02:01 am at 2:01 am |
  12. Aaron

    Huckabee needs to give it a break. Mathmatically he can't win the nomination since there aren't enough delegates left. It's clear to all of us this his campaign is about him and not about our country.

    February 15, 2008 02:08 am at 2:08 am |
  13. Terry D

    Huckabee staying in the political race is a benefit to McCain. It keeps him from devolping the Guiliani syndrome. That is being neglicted and forgotten by the media. Their in no need for Huckabee go negative against McCain. He could,however, do a lot of good by helping to decharismatize Obama.

    February 15, 2008 02:11 am at 2:11 am |
  14. nancy

    Is Huckabee in this race for the good of America ? or the good of Huckabee? Will the cost of his future speaking engagements go up if he stays in a fruitless race longer? Does he sound like a President to you? Does he understand foreign poilcy? Would he know how to keep America safe? These are a few questons you should ask yourself.

    February 15, 2008 02:30 am at 2:30 am |
  15. Jack

    I sure hope that Gov. Huckabee can stay in the race through Ohio. I can't wait to cast my vote for him. My whole family wants to vote for him . I don't feel that I can honestly cast a vote for John McCain and I don't feel that I can vote for Obama or Clinton. If Gov. Huckabee can't stay in as a Republican, I hope he considers a run as a third party candidate. WE NEED AN ALTERNATIVE TO McCAIN AND THE DEMOCRATS.

    February 15, 2008 02:32 am at 2:32 am |
  16. G. Penley

    Huckabee should get out and stop muddying the water. You've lost, Mike, you've lost. Stop stirring the Republican party's pot.

    February 15, 2008 02:33 am at 2:33 am |
  17. procrastinator

    What is Huckabee trying to accomplish? He's made his point; you're a viable VP, okay? Now get out of the race! It's mathematically impossible for you to make a difference. Why bother?

    February 15, 2008 02:36 am at 2:36 am |
  18. Juan Carlos(Vegas)

    Crazy right wingers, you have no options but McCain LOL

    February 15, 2008 02:59 am at 2:59 am |
  19. billybob

    OK Huck , its time to go away and stop bothering people

    February 15, 2008 03:08 am at 3:08 am |
  20. Erik

    procrastinator: I don't think he believes in maths 😉

    February 15, 2008 03:43 am at 3:43 am |
  21. mark

    Is this guy serious? Isn't America sick of the religious right? Is he just trying to force himself on to the American people even though he is no where near McCain in this race? I don't get it, and Huckabee is starting to look desperate and a little crazy.

    February 15, 2008 03:44 am at 3:44 am |
  22. Steve

    What would happen if Gov. Huckabee dropped out, then in a few weeks McCain suffered a serious medical condition forcing him to quit the race. We'd be left with Ron Paul. People need to come to grips with the fact that McCain's age must be considered a severe liability in the job of president. In all reality a vote for McCain is a vote for his VP who hasn't even been chosen yet. Scary.

    February 15, 2008 03:45 am at 3:45 am |
  23. cm

    There is no doubt that the situation seems to be dire for Mike Huckabee, but he is absolutely right that many voters (whether Independents or Republicans) who usually vote Republican feel like any real choice is being taken from them.

    February 15, 2008 03:46 am at 3:46 am |
  24. Bern

    Unlike a lot of conservatives, I will stand by my first statement that I will not vote for Juan McAmnesty. I will not vote for Billary Clinton and I will not vote for Obama either.

    I will stay home for the first time in my sixty three years. Unlike Senator McAmnesty, I am truly a "Straight Talker" who will not "Flip-Flop" just to get on the bandwagon.

    CNN, why won't you paste any blogs like mine?

    February 15, 2008 03:51 am at 3:51 am |
  25. Mohammad, LA CA

    I agree. But keep Huck. Let's us democrats catch up. We need 2 more weeks to get rid of Billary.

    February 15, 2008 03:55 am at 3:55 am |
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