February 2nd, 2008
12:30 PM ET
14 years ago

Huckabee: Romney 'needs to step aside'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/02/02/ap080201033802.jpg caption="Huckabee and Romney have tangled often on the campaign trail this year."]HUNTSVILLE, Alabama (CNN) - White House hopeful Mike Huckabee denied the Republican presidential race had narrowed to two candidates, Mitt Romney and John McCain, telling journalists at an Alabama campaign stop Saturday that “if anybody ought to be quitting, it's Mitt Romney.”

“John McCain hasn't suggested I step aside. So if Mitt Romney's going to engage me, which he has, then I feel like the engagement is on,” said the former Arkansas governor.

“…If I'm ahead of him in places like Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee, then he needs to step aside and let me in fact be that conservative alternative than he says we need.”

Romney’s campaign spent much of the early voting season attacking many of his opponents, including Huckabee. And Huckabee has been a fierce critic of the former Massachusetts governor, regularly criticizing him in presidential primary debates and on the campaign trail.

In Huntsville Saturday, Huckabee dismissed the idea that John McCain was an “inevitable” Republican nominee, pointing to the fact that more than 90 percent of the GOP’s delegates were still unspoken for.

Huckabee, who began to focus on Bible Belt states like Alabama while his GOP rivals were still battling for Florida, repeated recent comments that his campaign was setting its sights on a win there. “And frankly, I don't know of anyone that should win it more than me,” he said.

Most recent Alabama polls show Huckabee in second place there, behind John McCain and ahead of Mitt Romney, with just days to go until the state’s February 5 primary vote. The former Baptist minister is continuing his primary season pattern of making many of his campaign stops visits to local churches.

–CNN's Shawna Shepherd contributed to this report

Filed under: Alabama • Mike Huckabee • Mitt Romney
soundoff (60 Responses)
  1. Anonymous

    at least he made money you poor tool

    February 3, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  2. linda

    Attention: Please refer to San Francisco Commonwealth Club Interview with Mike Huckabee on January 31, 2008. You can acees this through C-Span or You Tube.

    This was the best opportunity for Mike Huckabee to expalin his tax, economic and health care reforms. By watching this video you will have the grasp that Mike Huckabee is the best candidate for Republicans. He talks with substance.

    I support him to continue all the way to the Republican convention as he has a good chance to beat McCain and Romney by staying longer in the course. This is the only way for the people to know him better.

    February 3, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  3. Jacob, Claremont CA

    Don't waste your vote on Huckabee. What's a better alternative, McCain or Romney? Conservatives should rally to Romney. Romney is ten times as electable as Huckabee – all Huck is doing is dividing the conservative vote and letting McCain win. Maybe that's his intention. Either way, a vote for Huck is a vote for McCain. Wake up conservatives and vote for the viable candidate – Romney.

    February 3, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  4. Mike


    February 3, 2008 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  5. Nancy Phx. AZ

    Are we electing a Pastor in chief ? or a President-in-chief? I am from AZ. We do not want McCain. A vote for Huckabee is a vote for McCain. McCain is not the man he pretends to be.

    February 4, 2008 01:29 am at 1:29 am |
  6. Kobi

    Huckabee seems to be caught in the SEDUCTION of Politics; LUST for Power, Position, Prominence and Prestige. Sad to see a seemingly good man succumb so easily. Governor: You cannot win, you will not be a VP nominee You must live under the climate of social liberalism you will have created by splitting the vote. Hope you look good in a beard, 'cause it will be hard to look in the mirror.......

    February 4, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  7. suzi roe

    Hang in there Huck-my husband and I don't get to vote until April. We are in PA

    February 4, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  8. afisher, Midlothian, VA

    I am not happy with Holy Huckabee because he
doesn't understand economics: Even I can see that if there is a 30% sales tax (fair tax) that as an individual I am going to reduce what I buy not stimulating the economy. Could that be why he has no money and sets up wedding registries when leaving office?
Family: If you don't manage and lead your family can you lead the nation? Wife's should be in submission not equal partners with their husbands. I have never heard Janet Huckabee speak but now I fine out from Newsweek why. She has a very bad reputation for being "thin-skinned and mean spirited" She ran for secretary of state, made false statements about her opponent, used state vehicles and troopers to campaign and told the New York Times "If it wasn't for the grace of God, I'd have shot a few people already." She got trounced in her race – voters saw her run as an unseemly power play by the couple. Sound familiar? His son, David, has been in trouble with the law several times and instead of punishing him Mike rationalizes, minimizes the crimes and punishes those who try to bring him to justice.

    Government: Judicial Watch says Mike Huckabee is one of 10 most corrupt politicians in 2007. Many ethics violations.
Releases murderers from prison who kill again.

    Dirty political tricks:
Confederate flag, negative ad responding to Romney's contrast ads, push polling and Chuck Norris's McCain is too old which he stood by and did not rebut.
Religion: Only preaches for money. WWJD. Prejudice and bigoted towards Mormons which is the main reason he is staying in the race so Mitt Romney's votes will be reduced.
    I am glad to see most evangelicals reject this: see evangelicalsformitt
I would encourage you to read Ann Coulter, Hugh Hewitt and Ronald Kessler regarding these candidates.

    February 4, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  9. A Smart Kid

    Hey people, the VP spot is taken by Guiliani. So voting for Huckabee is like voting for Hillary I mean McCain, Whatever, they're synonymous. Get with the program and VOTE Romney!!

    February 5, 2008 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  10. shan davis

    Huckleberry is a joke! He dropped out of theology school and is nothing more than a broke preacher who couldn't afford to be Lieutenant Governor of Ar-Kan-sas. A man who can't manage his own finances can't manage America's economy.

    February 5, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
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