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. anonymous_coward

    I'm an Obama supporter and I disagree with Huckabee on EVERYTHING but I love the guy to death!
    I don't want to see him go.

    February 15, 2008 04:07 am at 4:07 am |
  2. Jabys Nicholson

    Send Dana Bash to Rehab
    TV reporting by this fine lady leaves much to be desired.
    The quality is too inferior to her peers.
    It appears her mouth runs ahead of her thoughts.
    She needs to learn how to organise her thoughts before opening her mouth to speak.
    Maybe, speech therapy could help or pre-writing her ideas on paper and reading them on the air

    February 15, 2008 04:28 am at 4:28 am |
  3. Charles D. Brown

    Has Jesus givin up on Huckubee? Does he realy have a god to believe in? Or is it convient for him to gain policital status by talking Jesus to win status? Look to see where all of his money comes from. How much money does his church give to him to run for president??

    I believe we need to keep seperation of church and state. Because there are people in the USA that beileve in different gods or no gods at all. You cant be a president without accepting all of other faiths, and the ones that have no religous beliefs.I have no religous beliefs. Does that make me a bad person unacceptable to vote ? Why do I need religion to tell me how to vote? Why do I need to vote because of race , color, and origion.

    I will vote for the one that is honest and has integraty. I dont need Jesus shoved down my throat!!

    February 15, 2008 04:35 am at 4:35 am |
  4. Belfast

    Huck's a breath of fresh air in American Politics.

    February 15, 2008 06:47 am at 6:47 am |
  5. Marilyn

    My God how annoying, another case of the media telling us who to vote for. This election has been so controlled and manipulated by the media it would make a great book to tell the story .

    Simply cut the candidates airtime, tell everyone he cant win, and get them to believe it and your candidate is in.

    In this case the liberal media wants McCain to win.

    He then is garenteed to loose against the Democratic candidates because so many Republicans dont like him and will cross over to the Democrats or simply not vote at all.

    Thus the liberal media has manipulated the election to make it advantageous for the Dems to win.

    I see no reason for Huckabee to get out of the race. This is about the American people having thier say, not the media telling us who should leave the race to make way for the Dems in the end.

    Huckabee could still be a write in vote, did anyone think of that? Or he could still run as an Independant candidate. Why should he get out of the race at all? This is the peoples choice not the medias!

    February 15, 2008 06:48 am at 6:48 am |
  6. Jason virginia

    Complete and utter disregard for fact. How does this make someone a viable VP?

    February 15, 2008 06:52 am at 6:52 am |
  7. Reality

    "Herd mentality" that pretty much sums up his supporters. Don't even look at his abysmal record as Governor, just as long as they hear "Christian Leader" and "against abortions" they'll come running like a bunch of lemmings.

    February 15, 2008 06:53 am at 6:53 am |
  8. Conservative Republican

    It is unclear to all of us why Mr Huckabee is persisting in his Quixotic quest for the White House. The Republicans have made there will abundantly clear. His stubborn refusal to bow to their will does not accomplish anything but maintain the rift that McCain is trying to close. Frankly it does not make him an attractive choice for VP either. He puts his pride before the will and good of those he is professing to want to represent. This is not the kind of person you want standing beside you on a presidential ticket.

    February 15, 2008 06:58 am at 6:58 am |
  9. Ron

    This is just who Mike is!!! He doesn't quit because the going gets tough. He doesn't want to be a VP on a ticket that doesn't stand really close to his side of the party. Why bother? Real Principles! It will pay off big one day.

    February 15, 2008 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  10. nolan

    What disgusts me most of Huckabee is that he has tried to use God
    to further is own agenda. The most deceitful political tactic of all.
    This man has no religion or he would have not acted the way he has.

    February 15, 2008 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  11. Leo, TX

    Huck, it's now time to pull up your tent stakes and move your circus elsewhere. The "Chuck and Huck" roadshow is over.

    February 15, 2008 07:13 am at 7:13 am |
  12. OpinionatedProf

    There is a simple explanation for Huckabee's persistence – Money. As a Minister, he used to accept contributions from his flock even while he was Governor of Arkansas. Now he has a bigger bull horn to rally the folks and so beseech them to send more money so "the establishment cannot simply crown a candidate and let you all have a vote".

    If I were a reporter, I'd dig into his campaign finances – see where the money is going and relationship between what is coming in and what is being spent. I will then look for him to move into a mansion after his run. Perhaps a private plane also.

    February 15, 2008 07:13 am at 7:13 am |
  13. Alice Newman Center Harbor NH

    As a former Governor, Huckabee sounds mathematically challenged – must be because his higher education is only 2 1/2 years at a Bible College ...

    Maybe Huck is considering a miracle ... like the bread and fishes ... the delegates will magically multiply ...

    Maybe he is just enjoying the spotlight, the bully pulpit.

    February 15, 2008 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
  14. psikic

    How is it impossible? If McCain doesn't get enough delegates because Huckabee stops him...the first round of voting at the convention will be a stalemate. The second round of voting could go to anyone, and could possibly go to Huckabee because the delgates would no longer be bound.

    This talk of impossible is just from a media who has already picked who is in their best interests, and is trying to convince everyone that their vote won't count if they vote for someone other than McCain.

    February 15, 2008 07:24 am at 7:24 am |
  15. Nick Wright

    It's clear he's just doing it for the attention and name recognition for any future endeavors he may be cooking up.

    This could be for a future candidacy (2012 maybe,) a possible third-party run this year, or possibly just a new book deal.

    February 15, 2008 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  16. Juan Grain

    Mike you have more character and guts for not being a quiter and appeasing a party. Instead you truly are stepping out for the party that means the most, Amaricans.

    February 15, 2008 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  17. lvancil

    No, I think Huckabee should do exactly what he is doing. Most people don't even see the exciting adventure in political history we are close to making on both sides of the fences. Unless McCain and Obama hit the the decided amount of votes to obtain the nods from their party....BOTH SIDES will have to go before convention. BOTH will have to plead why ThEY are the ones. This is correct in what he is doing, and ALL candidates should stand up for the electoral RIGHTS. Huckabee has already said, in the end if McCain wins...he wins. But, at least EVERYONE has had their say by then. The same for the other side...if Obama doesn't land those votes...Hillary has the chance to plea why she should win.I think this is grand. It is showing the people that yes, WE ARE DIVIDED, and real change is needed.

    February 15, 2008 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  18. Praetorian, Fort Myers, FL

    I see no problem with him hanging in there if he chooses. Sadly, he will not likely gather enough delegates or populist ranking to achieve the nod for President...but he'll help to remind the GOP of the right-wing base of the party.

    As for VP..I think McCain would prefer someone with a seasoned history of dealing with the armed services and with some economic and foreign affairs savvy–which Huck does not.

    February 15, 2008 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  19. Bri

    Huckabee's said he's bad at math but good at miracles. Evidently, he hasn't been paying attention to how well that's served the current president the last seven years, or how well it's serving him now.

    February 15, 2008 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  20. Joe P

    Go mikie go! You are the only one who has maintained a constant course. Don't let the people who don't know what they want or where they are going to explain to you what you should be wanting and where you should be going.

    February 15, 2008 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  21. Josh

    Lord have mercy! Mike you had a great run. You went from 6th place to being at the top(briefly). Just bow out gracefully while people still can tolerate looking at you!

    February 15, 2008 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  22. S Graves

    Huckabee should stay in the race until the convention. You'll find in the General Election you right winger did not vote for the right people. You started out with a good field to vote for. But you picked another Bush supporter. More of the same if he get in.

    February 15, 2008 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  23. Dean

    Seems that you miss the point. The Republican party is walking away from a large block of voters that Huckabee represents. Be careful, there may be crossover at the general election if those voters do not believe that they are being heard by the Republican leadership.

    February 15, 2008 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  24. Heather

    I'm a Democrat voting for Obama but I think Huckabee is commendable. You go Huck. I too admire what you are doing. Let the people have a say. If Obama wasn't running I would have voted for you.

    February 15, 2008 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  25. OSUCop

    There is not a nomination until someone gets 1191 delegates CONFIRMED. If Huckabee draws enough delegates so that McCain can only attain 1190 before the convention, all mathematical equations are thrown out the window and the nomination will be decided at the convention like it should be!

    February 15, 2008 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
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