Washington (CNN) – Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor and full-time presidential pot-stirrer, defended Chris Christie on Thursday as the New Jersey Governor faces continued questions about his knowledge of the multi-lane George Washington Bridge shutdown last fall.
"I think it's much ado about nothing," Huckabee told reporters Thursday when asked about Christie. "There is nothing that's tied him to that, and I think he did what he should have done. He went and answered every question that was thrown at him. He took responsibility even though he didn't personally order the decision to be made about the bridge."
"I think it's all behind him, I really do," Huckabee said.
Before delivering a speech to a Republican National Committee luncheon in Washington, Huckabee spoke in greater detail about his possible campaign for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, a prospect he insists he is taking seriously.
Huckabee, a onetime Baptist pastor and current Fox News talks show host, ran for president in 2008 and won the Iowa caucuses. But despite flirting with another bid four years later, he passed, citing family reasons and his personal financial security.
But he said he's received even more calls to run in 2016 than he did last time around.
"The encouragement has been much stronger than I would have anticipated," Huckabee said, mentioning "the need to have people who actually recognize the role of how to govern."
"It's not just a campaign," he said. "It's really about being able to govern and experience governing in an environment that is not altogether your own party. And certainly nobody governing bring that quite like I could."
Huckabee said that was not a comment on the field of prospective Republican candidates, a deep roster that includes a number of senators as well as governors.
"It's not being disparaging about somebody else and what they bring, but I do think it's an important criteria right now that you understand the nature of governing is very different than the nature of campaign," he said.
"Most importantly when you're working on divided government, it's a different dynamic involved," he said, a reference to the Democrats he worked with in the Arkansas legislature. "You don't walk in knowing they love you."
Asked how Christie would be received in Iowa if he runs for president, Huckabee said "I think they would like him."
He had a more measured take on whether the state's tough-to-please social conservative community would be receptive to a Christie candidacy.
"Well, I don't know," Huckabee said. "Look, he'll have to understand and learn Iowa. But we all do when we go there. That's part of the process."