December 14th, 2007
03:00 PM ET
15 years ago

Rollins takes the helm at Huckabee campaign

Watch Rollins explain why he joined the Huckabee campaign.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee announced Friday that veteran GOP strategist Ed Rollins will serve as his national campaign chairman and senior advisor.

Rollins, considered by many the architect of Ronald Reagan's 1984 landslide election victory, said in a New Hampshire press conference Friday that Huckabee reminds him of the former Republican president more than any other current candidate.

"There's a lot of people going around talking about the Reagan days, who's the next Reagan," he said. "I was with the old Reagan and I can promise you this man comes as close to anyone in filling those shoes."

The longtime GOP strategist who worked in the Reagan White House, ran former Rep. Jack Kemp's 1988 White House run, and played a key role in Ross Perot's 1992 presidential bid also joked Huckabee's campaign is a "unique" one for him.

"It's the only campaign I've ever been in where there's no donuts and no booze, so it's going to be a real struggle for me," he said. "But one of the good things is [Huckabee] can look at me every day and he can say, I am not going back to being a fat old guy like him, I am going to stay slim and keep jogging."

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Earlier: Veteran GOP strategist signs on with Huckabee

Filed under: Mike Huckabee • New Hampshire
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Surrealist, Fort Myers, FL

    The public...has already lived through Reagan's Presidency, and his legacy in the economy. You'll have to do some pretty ingenius things to make the employees of companies who jumped on the Reagan economic bandwagon–and survived. Now many of those survivors, some in Mid to Senior Managemen, find themselves outsourced, tossed out, laid off, part-timed, underpaid, with dwindling benefits and about as valuable as a roll of paper towels to the corporate "bottom line". This guy had better be pretty good to make that many "millions of people" ignore the reality of their own existence.

    December 14, 2007 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  2. Doug Dallas Texas

    Ladies and gentlemen, the next president of the United States.... Mike Huckabee.

    December 14, 2007 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  3. Lee M, NJ

    Make no mistake, Ed Rollins is a snake but Huckabee needs one to compete with Mitt Romney and Rudy G.

    You better believe that the republican "establishment", as well as Fox News and the republican talk radio crowd will be doing everything possible to derail the choice of common republicans for someone who actually thinks like them, and doesn't just use them with wedge issues to win elections.

    December 14, 2007 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  4. Jeff, Houston, Texas

    Reagen. Indeed. The beginning of so much that is wrong with America, so much that will take decades from which to recover and reapir...if we are that lucky.

    And there are people who actually want another one of these intellectually arrested men to lead the country.

    Wake up. These men do not lead. They are only interrested in having their foot squarely on your throat and a straigtjacket on your mind.

    December 14, 2007 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  5. Kobe

    Gov. Huckabee looks slightly like former president Richard Nixon, but has characteristics of Jimmy Carter. Jury is out about his Ronald Reagan lure. Perhaps, he tagged Rollins to give him that Reaganism.

    December 14, 2007 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  6. Samantha

    Blah blah blah blah, Mike Huckabee is becoming as over publicized as Hillary Clinton. I've had enough of this man and his views for one week!

    December 14, 2007 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  7. John, Brooklyn, NY

    From the same people who brought you the era of deficit spending, slashing and burning of government support for our nation's public infrastructures, neglect of AIDS patients, Robert Bork for the Supreme Court...not to mention James Watt's attempt to define ketchup as a vegetable for our nation's school's the latest product for a naive public to buy into.....Mike "The Gipper" Huckabee!

    December 14, 2007 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  8. John, Columbus, OH

    After two failed Republican administrations led by the Bush family, its sad to think that the Republicans have to fish all the way back to 1984 to come up with reasonable talent. It is a testament ot just how toxicly tainted this current president and his team really are.

    December 14, 2007 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  9. Andrew, NJ

    the guy is just jumping on the bandwagon to try to get another good performance on his resume to boost his fees

    December 14, 2007 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  10. James Izzard

    Rollins and Upchuckabee...


    December 14, 2007 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  11. Bill, Ohio

    You should want all the info you can get on any of the canidates! But as far as Mike goes I don't think he is a fluke. The real deal needs real management.

    December 14, 2007 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  12. Walt, Belton, TX

    Getting Ed Rollins as chief advisor is a huge plus, but Huckabee has too many negatives to get my vote. If only McCain had taken a stronger national security stand on the illegal alien issue (no amnesty) and insisted on a secure border he would have been #1.

    Now it is going to boil down to what it has been for the past 35 years, except for Reagan:


    December 14, 2007 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  13. Jon B Olathe KS

    I've got a little math for everyone:

    75% of the population is not a strong evangelical.
    70% of the population is against the war in Iraq.
    Less than 30% of registered voters are Republican.

    So 250 out of 1000 are Evangelical of which say 80% are republican. (200/1000)

    300 of 1000 are republican, 240 of 1000 are indpendent so half that and 420 of 1000 are Republican or Right leaning.

    Now Huckabee's # are 24%, take 24% of 420 you get about 100 people. Remember that 200 Repbulicans are Evangelicals.

    So lets add it up, what does it all mean?

    30% Rep + (1/2 of 24% Indy)= 42%

    42% * 24 % = 10.08%

    Draw your own conclusions about how well Huckabee is doing.

    All this guy has is is charm and his religion. He will never get the non-evangelical conservatives or the independents votes.

    Unless Obama runs as an indpendent and steals 30%+ of the democrat vote and none of the Republican vote, then a Huckabee Nomination GURAUNTEES a democrat victory.

    Could probably make an indpendent candidate viable if they could grab a good amount of Democrat vote to got with the half of the Republican votes.

    December 14, 2007 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  14. Rex Chapman, Newport Beach, CA

    What a choice Huckabee, giving a voice to the intolerant minority, or Guiliani the second coming of Nixon (where is Agnew when we need him to call out these nattering nabobs of negativism right Rudy?), or Mit who stands on nothing except his wallet, is Fred still running or did he poop out already? And then McCain is still trying to tell us that the war was a good thing. Um other than that, who is Ron Paul and why are his donations going up?

    December 14, 2007 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  15. Jen, Cedar IA

    No, it's more like "Ladies and Gentlemen, I'd like to introduce to you the Rev. Mike 'The Dean' Huckabee"! This guy is nice, I'm sure much nicer than Howard Dean, but he is NOT Presidential material! Think, people, THINK! We are looking for a Leader of our entire COUNTRY, not a pastor to make us feel good and fuzzy!

    December 14, 2007 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  16. Nick, Urbana IL

    Let me get this right. Mike Huckabee wants the federal role in education to be hugely expanded. Ronald Reagan ran on a platform that included the elimination of the Department of Education. Now Ed Rollins says that Huckabee resembles Reagan more than any other candidate?

    Mike Huckabee is a liberal who doesn't believe in States' rights. I don't understand how Republicans can support him.

    December 14, 2007 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  17. Tim

    Well this proves it, Hackabee is finished. Rollins is just a washed up underhanded mudslinging detriment.

    He should of relied on his faith...LOL 🙂

    December 14, 2007 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  18. Dale Davis, Glendora, California

    Rollins is just looking for work, like any other bloke. He has bills to pay too. He just has a loser now. He won't be able to steer that idiot's mouth, once the real debates get going, and Huck has much tougher questioning coming up ahead. Laura Ingraham is definately not impressed with Huck and neither are the Wall Street experts. Look for the best money manager for the next President America, not the "authentic looking" guy.

    December 14, 2007 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  19. Joe,NY

    rom the same people who brought you the era of deficit spending, slashing and burning of government support for our nation's public infrastructures, neglect of AIDS patients, Robert Bork for the Supreme Court…not to mention James Watt's attempt to define ketchup as a vegetable for our nation's school children…here's the latest product for a naive public to buy into…..Mike "The Gipper" Huckabee!
    Posted By John, Brooklyn, NY : December 14, 2007 5:27 pm

    And don't forget-took the Berlin wall down. You just don't recognize a good man when you see him. Could you, by chance, be a democrat?

    December 14, 2007 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  20. Bullofmizzou, MO

    Rollins must be getting a bit Senile in his old age. Is he serious??......and , Sorry Folks, but Im just not "cristian enough" or Naive enough to support "Holy Joe Huckabee"....Hmmmmmm, does the term "Bully Pulpit" come to mind when thinking of this guy as president?? Oh, gimme a break!! Sorta reminds me of that other "Crazy Old Uncle Who Lives In The Attic" P Robertson , when He ran for President.....

    December 15, 2007 02:29 am at 2:29 am |
  21. Alice Newman Center Harbor NH

    "Ladies and gentlemen, the next president of the United States…. Mike Huckabee. Posted By Doug Dallas Texas :

    >>>> NOT! If you want him as the pastor of your church, please invite him to serve.

    He has no qualifications to run the country, unless you count talking to God, like Bush. He's not even up on current events being discussed on every TV channel and published in all major newspapers.

    Look at the wacky ideas of a 23% flat tax and locking up people with aids! NO backbone as he pardoned a rapist who later killed: then Mike blamed everyone else... including Bill Clinton!

    I just can't respect anyone who posts a "gift list" so his flunkies can buy him nice presents as he leaves the governor's mansion. Tacky.

    December 15, 2007 05:51 am at 5:51 am |
  22. Alice Newman

    2. The Arkansas Ethics Commission investigated Huckabee frequently during his time in state office, citing him for at least five violations. The penalties ranged from a $1,000 fine to letters of admonishment for violations that included not disclosing payments that various campaign committees made to him and his wife, using campaign money for a religious event, and failing to disclose a $200 stadium blanket his wife received as a gift. Huckabee dismisses the commission as a tool of Democratic critics, but its five members were appointed from all over the state and included two picked by him.

    December 15, 2007 06:10 am at 6:10 am |
  23. ThirstyJon, Adelaide, South Australia - Normally USA

    It's amazing how many of the commenters here want to believe the negative about Huckabee. Take a second look! Don't just believe the negative attacks which were inevitable when he started to get so popular!


    December 15, 2007 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  24. Independent in IA

    Sorry Ed, the Reagan Days are over. You lucked out once....I doubt you can do it again. It's hard to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

    December 15, 2007 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  25. Jack NY

    With any luck, Rollins will drive Huck's campaign off the cliff. Huck is a religious bigot posing as a Republican "I'm here to save the nation" character. He is one exit stop from Billy Clinton's
    slackjawed approach to government.

    December 15, 2007 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
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