Sarasota, Florida (CNN) – Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee may wait until the second half of 2011 to announce whether he will make another run for president.
"That would be more likely. It certainly won't be the first three or four months," Huckabee said at a news conference following a book signing in Florida.
Huckabee is the latest potential GOP contender to muse publicly about a later entry into the presidential race. Just this week, another possible candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum indicated he was awaiting a decision from party heavyweight Sarah Palin before taking the plunge.
One of several potential GOP contenders on the payroll at FOX News, Huckabee recently complained he doesn't generate as much presidential buzz as the former Alaska governor.
Huckabee told Politico: "I'm never going to be breaking news because I made a comment on Twitter or Facebook," an obvious reference to Palin, another FOX contributor who's use of social media can whip up a news frenzy.
Another contrast is Huckabee's handling of the press. At Palin book signings, reporters who ask questions risk getting tossed out of her events. See her event in Iowa last week.
Promoting his latest book Tuesday in Sarasota, Huckabee was much more accommodating to the news media, fielding questions from reporters for nearly half an hour.
He declined a one-on-one interview with CNN citing his contractual obligations with FOX.
Asked why so many potential White House challengers are employed by Fox, the Huckabee humor was on full display. "We all needed jobs. In the time of high unemployment, we did not want to become yet another statistic," Huckabee joked.
"I probably speak to more Republican voters at Fox News than on any other forum," he added more seriously.
Huckabee's softer touch was also back. Proposing that the upcoming GOP nomination contest not become a "demolition derby," Huckabee said he didn't question Palin's decision to resign as governor of Alaska - something Mitt Romney did last week.
"I'm not gonna second guess Sarah Palin's decision because I wasn't in her shoes," Huckabee said. "I don't consider her an opponent. I consider her a colleague," he added.