February 15th, 2008
06:35 AM ET
6 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. Tom Florida

    I do not blame Huck for staying in the race. All things being equal, he most likely can not win. However, all things are not equal. Anything can happen. Consider the age and health of McCain. McCain might not last through to the convention or beyond to the Primary. The media has not made much of this fact, but McCain is an man of about 70 years old. Besides, I would rather see America have a choice between a liberal dem (Obama) and a moral conservative (Huck) than between a dem wearing dem's clothing and a dem wearing republican clothing (McCain). In addition, it is not up to Romney to say which direction his delegates throw their votes. It is possible that Romney delegates realize that what they had hoped for in Romney can be realized in Huckabee. So, anything can happen on the Repub side. Huck should stay in as long as he wants to.

    February 15, 2008 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  2. Heather Brewer

    I think he's actually in this thing for the reasons that he says. I also think that's hard for a lot of people to understand. He'd have a lot of explaining to do to his supporters if he suddenly dropped out now. He's got quite a bit of donations rolling in and volunteers are working double-time it seems.

    What I don't understand is why joking about cheeseheads and ties is pandering? A more accurate description would be "comedic" I think. But hey, I'm not a reporter...

    February 15, 2008 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  3. Tom Florida

    I do not blame Huck for staying in the race. All things being equal, he most likely can not win. However, all things are not equal. Anything can happen. Consider the age and health of McCain. McCain might not last through to the convention or beyond to the Primary. The media has not made much of this fact, but McCain is an man of about 70 years old. Besides, I would rather see America have a choice between a liberal dem (Obama) and a moral conservative (Huck) than between a dem wearing dem's clothing and a dem wearing republican clothing (McCain). In addition, it is not up to Romney to say which direction his delegates throw their votes. It is possible that Romney delegates realize that what they had hoped for in Romney can be realized in Huckabee. So, anything can happen on the Repub side. Huck should stay in as long as he wants to.

    February 15, 2008 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  4. Daniel

    Good for you, Huck! Yes, McCain will likely win due to the sheep mentality of voters and the establishment alike. But you keep plowing on until McCain actually secures the nomination.

    February 15, 2008 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  5. BCNU purple state, usa

    Do any of you embrace the Fair Tax? How many even know the details?

    Learn a little...please!

    February 15, 2008 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  6. Conservative

    This is still America, some of us have voted and want Huckabee to continue to run until there is a winner. Please don't take that right away from us.

    February 15, 2008 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  7. hemnebob

    ••“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.”••

    well now, guess you know how we all felt when the morons reelected bush! huckabee is one evil dude...funny how those evangelical candidates and their followers will spew out the monies to keep their preachers in cadillacs and million dollar estates but yet they still can't identify with the rest of the world and the issues that face us all.
    i say that huckabee is hoping to eliminate the irs but when mccain is truly identified, even by huckabee, as the presidential nominee for the gop, huckabee will return to his true calling as the replacement for orel roberts/jerry falwell...and he will have his sunday morning show on the telly and be making way more money than he would as president.
    he really sickens me.

    February 15, 2008 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  8. Milton, Harrisburg, PA

    What goes around comes around Huck. You killed Romney's chances as the nominee. Now he is killing your chances as VP. Why would McCain pick you when Romney is offering up his delegate pool and had the common sense to bow out early (which traditionally votes for the candidate endorsed by their pick)? Don't bother continuing your campaign for 2012 (or beyond) since voters have a very short memory but the Republican Party has a very long one (they ain't elephants for nothin').

    February 15, 2008 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  9. Frank

    Mike you are a true American! Just like the founding fathers. Fighting to the end for your convictions and God will perform miracle.

    February 15, 2008 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  10. Dr Ward Ciac II

    You've forgotten the third man in the race: Dr Ron Paul. He is the only actual conservative in the race, the only one that will save our country from bankruptcy by stopping the foreign interventionism, and the only one who can beat the Dimocrats. Senator Juan McWar is a pro-war Dimocrat.

    February 15, 2008 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  11. Scott

    Listen, the the presidential nomination for either party isn't something that should just be given as a gift. I think it's very American what Huckabee and Paul are doing by sticking in there and challenging McCain. A lot of conseritives are not very happy with the McCain option and obviously didn't like to much of his endorsers like Romney and Guiliani. You just want to tuck tail and give someone the green light to compete for being the leader of the free world and I'll tell you it's that same mentality that gives birth to dictatorships.

    "Oh just elect him already! Who cares!". Good gravy guys you sound stupid. Billybob is "Huck" really bothering you that much? Really? And Juan I would brag about left winger options either. One wants to abolish the 2nd admendment and the other wants to mandate healthcare and steel more from your paycheck. I just can't wait until our hospitals run as great as the BMV or Post Office. Give me a break.

    February 15, 2008 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  12. Eryn in SC

    Stop wasting all your donated money!!! Shows what kind of president you would have been. Pretty bull-headed don't you think? Not listening to anyone else is not the presidential way.

    February 15, 2008 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  13. Howard Hewlett Des Moines IA

    The Romney endorsement doesn't bother him, it probably should. Let it go Huck. Romney's selling out to make gains in the party was the final nail in the coffin for your bid to become president. Too bad to for I was routing for this to drag out for a while until the Dems get their stuff sorted out.

    I wonder what it will take for Hillary to drop out for even her die-hard supporters must realize that Obama will have a better shot at taking out McCain than she does.

    February 15, 2008 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  14. Jermaine Travis Fanfair

    Huckabee serves as the sole voice of dissent in the party right now. Everyone likes choice in the beginning, at least so people can feel like there has been some sort of political process. It really hasn't come together as a competition, though and unfortunately that does not work for swaying people who aren't impressed with mcCain right now. And for the record I am not a republican, just expressing my opinion...lol-Jermaine Fanfair

    February 15, 2008 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  15. Jim, Burlington

    Although I don't agree with his stance on most issues, Huckleberry has a point.

    Reguardless of whether he can win the nomination, Huckabee is correct in the statement that McCain hasn't yet won the nomination.

    There is a distinct posability that nobody is talking about that the Republicans end up going into their covention in September without any candidate having enough delegates to win the nomination in the first round.

    Now that would be a convention worth watching...

    February 15, 2008 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  16. BJ

    Huckabee is really being a spiteful, childish candidate. This does not reflect well on his future as a Senator much less anything even remotely close to high national political office.

    He has nothing to gain by staying in the race. He's been dead in the water for sometime now. So what's his problem?

    These are the behaviors of a Baptist minister? Glad I'm not a religious person then.

    February 15, 2008 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  17. Cantrell

    I want a debate. McCain needs practice and Huckabee is willing to comply.

    February 15, 2008 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  18. RenaP

    Its pretty scarey that people would even vote for John McCain. I guess no more scarey than the fact that the American people put Bush in there for two terms to totally screw up this country. I guess they felt like he didn't cause quite enought damage in his first term. They wanted to take it to the extreme. Whomever is elected is going to have a hell of a job cleaning up such a mess in every aspect!

    I saw McCain the other day speaking about the war and how he would never back down and I swear it looked like he was having a "Howard Dean Moment."

    February 15, 2008 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  19. Angela

    It's MATHEMATICALLY POSSIBLE to go to a brokered convention. If you don't like the Republican platform which is what Huckabee is about, then go to the Democratic side. Don't try to change the Republican one. That's why we have two parties. They have two entirely different ideologies. I wonder if people told Reagan to quit when he forced it all the way to the convention.

    February 15, 2008 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  20. Lee

    He should stay in until McCain truly wins. If he doesn't get the required number of delegates we have a brokered convention. This is keeping folks paying attention. This makes everyone vote matter!. We are all better served by him staying in the race.

    Rather than focus on whether or not he should stay in the race, GO read his record as govenor ... and ask yourself then .... Why shouldn't this guy be our next President.

    February 15, 2008 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  21. Well

    Let Huckabee stay in the race; he makes McCain look sane and reminds people of all the conservative wackos that we've had for the last 8 years who have driven this great Nation into debt and despair.

    February 15, 2008 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  22. HOOAAAH

    It's telling now that McCain is going to get the nomination, how everyone, including the face man of the right wing (and the hope of extremists like Karl Rove), is hopping aboard his wagon to get a piece of the action and show a untied GOP. What a bunch of political theater!

    The GOP is truly in the greatest disarray in a generation! More fall out from eight years of Bush and his right wing extremist cabinet who managed to completely bungle foreign policy (invade countries on a 'gut feeling' rather than solid intelligence, for example) and turn off most of the American electorate in the process. Fight extremism with extremism Mr. President always says! Our enemies win when America compromises it freedoms and sullies its moral standing in the world.

    Gov. Huckabee: Why stay in the race just to prove a point? Who would donate to a dead campaign? Do wealthy evangelists really need a tax write off that badly?

    February 15, 2008 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  23. Mrs.H.

    You can be democrat, republican, or an independent, but we should all have some respect for Mike Huckabee. Here is a man willing to stay in the race when people from all sides are saying get out and that he is foolish to continue. Why bother? He is standing by his principles; he believes it's not over til it's over because everyone has a right to a voice in an election, even the states that have not yet had their primaries. I think this shows tremendous stength of character, a quality we used to look for in a president.

    February 15, 2008 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  24. WHYQUIT?

    There is nothing saying this guy has to quit because everyone else did. This is supposed to be a democracy right? He should stay in and milk this thing for what it is worth. Did anyone outside his state of Arkansas now who he was, no! Now his is going to start giving paid speeches after this is done with, America, you got to love it right?

    February 15, 2008 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  25. Todd

    Huckabee represents a voice for us that are fed up with the status quo. He represents change in getting our country back to the way it should be where we the people run the country not the few who are career politicians that are only in it for personal greed and or the people who paid them off for their own personal agenda. I for one, regardless of if he wins the Republican nomination, would like for him to run as an Independent in November. And for those of you that think giving a tax break to the wealthy is a bad thing even though they already pay the majority of taxes collected in the U.S., please remember that the vast majority of those are small business owners who employee a lot of people. Those tax breaks could help hire new people. Putting restrictions on them or taxing them more because you think they make to much money, one may find himself standing in the unemployement line because your employer couldn't afford to keep you.

    February 15, 2008 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
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