February 8th, 2008
07:28 PM ET
15 years ago

McCain not dismissing Huckabee threat


Watch McCain's comments on Huckabee Friday.

(CNN) - John McCain said Friday he isn't counting Mike Huckabee out, even though it's now nearly mathematically impossible for the former Arkansas governor capture the Republican Party's nomination.

"Gov Huckabee is still in this race, and he is a viable candidate and I'm sure will continue to show strength and that's why we're moving forward with our campaigning," McCain said. "Obviously we are pleased with the events that have happened, but we still have a ways to go and we'll continue campaigning."

McCain also refused to comment on who he might consider as a potential running mate, though he discounted the notion that he has to pick a Southerner to balance the ticket.

"From a practical standpoint, I think former President Clinton and former Vice President Gore showed us you don't have to be regionally different," McCain said. "I think America is such that, quote, ‘regional differences’ don't play the role that maybe they did in earlier times."

Mitt Romney abandoned his presidential bid Wednesday, essentially clearing the way for McCain to win the GOP nomination. Huckabee has won 181 delegates - 533 less than McCain. To capture the Republican nomination, he would have to win more than 80 percent of the remaining contests.

- CNN Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: John McCain • Mike Huckabee
soundoff (74 Responses)
  1. Steve Blaine Washington

    Your article is a total lie. Romney did not abandon his presidential bid. He just put
    it on hold for now. He still has all his delegates.
    McCain and Huckebee are not adversaries. They are in this deception together.
    In Virginia Romney came in first, Huckabee 2nd, McCain 3rd. MaCain gave his delegate to Huckabee so that he could win and Romney would lose.
    Hasn't this country had enough of this type of politicians and all the anti Mormon propaganda by these two Southern Convention Baptists?

    February 8, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  2. Dem in Louisiana

    15 million Americans voted for either Clinton or Obama on Super Tuesday
    Do you really think McCain or Huckabee has a chance ...
    Im not sure if there are that many Republicans voting in the entire ELECTION ...

    Hillary / Barack 08

    February 8, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  3. Bob

    Man. I can't believe there's not more coverage of what happened in the WV caucus when Huckabee totally ninja'd the state from Romney with the McCain and Paul supporters' help. That was crazy.

    February 8, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  4. Please Dems Choose Hill

    Please Democrats, please, please, please choose Hillary for your candidate.

    Nothing will energize the Republican base to come out and vote for McCain like that would.

    February 8, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  5. michael Simms

    Ron Paul was never in the race to bein with. The man is severely incorrect on several issues, especially regarding the Federal Reserve system. Returning to the gold standard would cripple the US economy. I'm always amazed that anyone votes for him at all.

    February 8, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  6. ag

    Come on, lets make this interesting !!

    Vote for Huckabee !!!

    February 8, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  7. hannah

    I personally am not a fan of Mcain, however Mike Huckabee in my opinion would make a great president! He is a faith based man and this country needs some hope for its american people. It scares me to think clinton or barak obama (sounds like a terrorist) will make it into office. To the comment that huckabee is a nobody..i would like to know how you figured that , seems to me he has a good chance to be your president. so for being a nobody he is sure doing a good job! My vote is for you Huckabee!

    February 8, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  8. Mark in Iowa

    I supported Romney now I will support McCain. Romney did not want to split the party and stepped aside a very honorable thing to do. Huckabee and Paul also need to follow the lead and step aside. We need to united the Republician Party and beat the Democrates. I do have to say McCain/Romney ticket sound great, and then Romney in 2012. McCain will no longer be Mr. Nice Guy to Huckabee, how's it feel to be used, and Ron Paul's only chance is to run as an indendpent.

    February 8, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  9. Bernardo

    I liked Dr. Paul as an anti-establishment candidate. His supporters are vocal, but lets be realistic, 7% of the vote in the New York state primary and that was one of his best showings. There is no realistic chance here, he will get his 5% and that's it if he runs independent. It would be a courageous run but doomed to fail.

    February 8, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  10. calif RN

    If Mr. Huckabee thougt he could be in this very position at this stage of the game -that maybe a vote from a mormon or friend of a mormon or an educated person who believes in respecting the beliefs of all people could put him to the top if Romney dropped out – he should have kept his disrespectful and bigotted comments to himself. He blew it when he showed so much disrespect to someone else's religion. Very sad. His deliberate comments to stir hatred will show to be the demise of his campaign. Very sad.

    February 8, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  11. Voting Fool

    I hope Condoleeza Rice is smart enough to say "NO" if asked to be a running mate. If not I really question her judgement as well as her intelligence

    February 8, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  12. Billy

    who let all these hicks on the internet? I swear between the Ron Paul lunatics: The man has 13 delegates don't think he will squeeze in, the Huckabee lovers: Oh yes I'd love a fundamentalist in the white house its been a dream to turn America into a Christian Hezbollah paradise, and the Romney apologists: Oh he just suspended his campaign, he didn't quit! Sure we'll he's suspending it until the convention so unless 900 some odd delegates float his way magically he is out.

    Vote McCain bring the Republican party back to common sense leave the jerry falwell lover conservatives on the side of the road. Remember what the religious right used to say? "Love it or Leave it" Well boys now its on you, don't love this party? Then get out. Go vote for a democrat or start your own looney tunes jesus is my homeboy party.

    February 8, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  13. Ian

    Michael Simms, you forget to mention your background in economics. Look at Ron Paul's background and what groups he belongs to. Sorry but I'll put more faith in Ron that you. What is it about the Federal Reserve that you think is so great? They lend money at interest and are the only group able to print money. Therefore your only option to pay them back is to borrow more money. At interest. It's a scam.

    February 8, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  14. Joe Ossai, Bedford, NH

    Granpa McCain, you are not going to be President. This is another Bob Dole, can you say landslide

    February 8, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  15. Kimberly

    I personally am angered because the press has so quickly dismissed Huckabee. He has been very successful in his campaign. Folks if a man can be this successful with out spending the hundres of million that Clinton and Obama have then imagin what he could do with the Nation Debt.
    I too believe he is by far the best candidate out there. Sad thing is because he hasn't had the hundreds of millions to campaign there are still many people out there that don't know he is even in the race. The Press certainly don't help him out any. If you remember there was very little news coverage of him before Super Tuesday and the next day they hardly mentioned him again. Makes me wonder if people are really afraid that he has a great chance.
    I personally would like to see him hit it big in the next few months. Sweep the rest of the country off it's feet just as he made his point on Super Tuesday....
    This will be only the 2nd time I have ever voted in my life. I never really thought they gave us much of a choice for a President until now. However if it comes down to McCain/ Clinton or McCain / Obama; I will not vote in this election because I wouldn't want to be respondsible for helping to destroy what is left of this Great Nation.

    February 8, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  16. BA

    The only way that I will vote for McCain is if Romney is his VP. Romney needs to keep tabs on him so he dosen't wreck the white house for when he becomes president in 2012. A McCain/Romney ticket is the only hope McCain has to unite the party. Huckabee should be ashamed of himself. He took votes away from the most qualified canidate. Anything that happens bad with our economy in the next 4 years, is his fault. I think the American public are sorely going to regret that they didn't vote for Romney.

    February 8, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  17. Chris, Silicon Valley, CA, USA

    Man, if I was a GOP strategist, I would love McCain-Huckabee.

    [1] It allows them to join early & combat Dems.
    [2] Huckabee could help McCain campaign – esp. in the South.
    [3] They are ideologically not all that different.
    [4] McCain will probably retire in 4 years. Huckabee is young but unseasoned. 4 years as VP would put him in a nice spot in 2012.

    The GOP could keep the White House twelve more years!

    When Huckabee left office in 2020, he would only be 65 years old.

    February 8, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  18. Daniel

    Yes! Ron Paul independent has my vote!

    February 8, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  19. Chris, Silicon Valley, CA, USA


    The ironic thing is that Dr. Paul is really more of a constitutionalist candidate than an anti-establishment candidate. If the US Constitution was considered the "establishment", as it should be, he would actually be the only "pro-establishment" candidate!

    He has not said anything radical or unbelievable during his whole candidacy. A lot of "marginal" candidates (Kucinich, Nader, etc.) do. Dr. Paul is very level-headed, even-tempered, courteous, and he has always delivered the same lucid message: That we should return to a Constitutional-size gov't.

    It is sad that only 5%-7% of our people want or understand constitutional principles. I guess we get the gov't we deserve.

    February 8, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |


    February 9, 2008 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  21. Morris Lieske

    Why hasn't anybody mentioned a Huckabee – Paul ticket. That could well be what happens after the convention. Talk about interesting, with the Fair Tax eliminating corporate income taxes, this may well be the only way that this country can pull itself out of the looming depression we are headed for. If the business community would put their weight behind Huckabee – Paul we could be in for a surprise.

    February 9, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  22. Danny

    Huckabee in 08! All the way.

    February 9, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  23. Russty

    Again, I read a lot of Anti-Christian bigotry. I think those of you who can not abide those you disagree with – and they don't try to force you to believe their way, need to grow up and let the adults run the country. Adults don't whine, and call people names because they don't like them.

    February 9, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  24. guidopopulare

    The time for Christian fundamentalism - or any kind of religious fundamentalism, for that matter - is over. Huckabee needs to step down. We need a centrist, enlightened government whose stewards won't try to turn back the clock on progress. I mean, really: Why turn the clock back only to the 1950s, Mr. Huckabee? Why not go back to the freakin' Stone Ages, when women knew their place and any sort of diversity - anything that didn't agree with The (Wolf) Pack - was not tolerated?!?

    February 12, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
1 2 3