February 8th, 2008
07:28 PM ET
13 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. The Man

    Mike Huckabee reminds me of Rocky Balboa. Never dismiss the popular underdog.

    February 8, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  2. ed

    McCain should name Romney his VP and Economic Czar – what would the Democrats have to counter at that point

    February 8, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  3. Pappy, Auburndale, Fl

    The only way I could vote for McCain is if He chooses Mitt Romney as his VP. That would show me that He is at least has some real concern about what us conservatives are feeling. McCain is no conservative and I am tired of hearing him keep saying he is.

    February 8, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  4. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Peronal to AJ, Iowa?:

    You can count on Hillary or Obama in the White House – make book on it!

    The GOP has no chance.

    McCain is to the 2008 election what Dole was to 1996! A sacrificial lamb!!!

    "Hey, Mellon......we need ya!"

    February 8, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  5. reluctantly for obama

    whatever...jeez this election was so exciting last week and now its so boring. Blah blah blah....McCain is just trying to look wise and good.

    Obama '08–because Hillary and McCain are worse.

    February 8, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  6. Mike Birmingham, AL

    Let the whining begin: "If McCain gets the nomination, I'll vote Democrat"

    Typical neo-con thinking – if I can't get my way, I'll blow the whole thing up. Not that I mind the Democrats getting the votes, but aren't you guys the big believers in "Let the Free Market Decide" philosophy? Now that the market decides they like McCain, you would rather sink the ship than let him win.


    February 8, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  7. Ken, Suitland MD

    I gotta love a party that needs to cater to the whims of a group of people that believe the earth was created 6000 years ago.

    But as the party that labels things the opposite of what they are, it makes a great home for the "christian" right.

    February 8, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  8. Janet

    I really hope the American people see what could happen here. McCain reminds me of a little dictator. If he gets into office, we will live to regret it. He no way comes across sincere or authentic. You can almost see him rubbing his little hands together with that grin on his face, the only thing missing are the horns.

    February 8, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  9. Misty G.S. Cook

    Do major news networks get paid for coverage of Presidential candidates?
    More specifically, how do the networks profit by giving a large majority of press coverage to McCain and very, very little to Huckabee?
    It's not like I've just tuned in, believe me. This biased reporting by every network I have watched CNN, FOX, and CNBC being the most obnoxious, really does make me sick and sad.
    I have tried daily to follow the progress of Mike Huckabee since the just before the Primary election started.
    I was planning to switch from Independent to Republican, but I can see from the so-called "news reports" that I may have been hasty in considering it.

    February 8, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  10. TR

    Gov. Huckabee doesn't have to win more delegates in the primary. He just has to keep McCain from getting the total he needs. Then, it goes to the convention, just like in 1976. But, this time, the real conservatives will have their voice heard, and our man, Huckabee, will win the nomination! Why not, the Dems are going to the convention. The base of the party will not be courted and then ignored any longer.

    February 8, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  11. Anonymous, Somewhere, MI

    Hey Shirley, if McCain's supporters go with him, count on a generation or more of Democratic dominance of the White House.

    February 8, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  12. Ian

    At the debates I heard a lot from Huckabee about lowering taxes, but I've also seen video footage of him specifically saying he is ok with raising taxes. I've also heard John McCain state that he is for tax cuts, yet he admitted that he did not vote for the Bush tax cuts. I guess I'll have to vote for the only candidate with a voting record that actually backs up what he says, Ron Paul.

    February 8, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  13. Matt

    We're not hearing about Ron Paul for the same reason that we're not hearing about Mike Gravel. Get over it.

    February 8, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  14. alan

    You "McAmnesty" people are starting to get boring. Your unwillingness to consider ANY reasonable compromise is nothing more than pigheaded. You rant and rave about illegal immigration, but your absolutist position only guarantees no solution will ever get implemented. So just get over yourselves already.
    McCain ROCKS!

    February 8, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  15. B from Miami, FL

    Huckabee doesn't stand a chance. He's conservative in some ways but very liberal in others. The Republican party won't go for that either. I think the GOP's best chance was Mitt. Unfortunately, he was/is a flip flopper. He didn't make his "conservative" position be known until about a week before Super Duper Tuesday, in which people were going at McCain for his moderate, non-conservative positions.

    The Democrats will have a sure sure win come November. The GOP's candidates are nothing but a washout for the party.

    Hillary '08!

    February 8, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  16. Travis

    You people hollering about Ron Paul have got to be kidding, the guy was never valid and most of his ideals have been obsolete since Isolationism ended before World War I. Paul would be the first to negotiate with terrorist, and just generally lead to the end of this great country. If you want to live in the past go join an Amish community, if you want someone who will move us forward- well I don't know who to tell you to support. But for God sake shut up about Ron Paul!
    I for one am voting Huckabee, and if he doesn't pull a miracle off then I will vote Democrat.

    February 8, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  17. Frank

    What a joke...is this the staged event of the year award? I do not believe a word these GOP accidents have to say. Won't get fooled again.

    February 8, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  18. David E7

    I am so tired of the media lies. Huckabee doesn't have to win anywhere near 80% of the remaining delegates to become the nominee. That is just another dishonest way the media try to decide the outcome.

    McCain has a little over 700 delegates and needs almost 500 more. There are almost 1200 delegates outstanding. If McCains wins less than 43% of the remaining candidates, the nomination will be decided at the convention. McCain's strength in the big states is now out of play. Huckabee will have an advantage in the remaining "fly-over" states.

    Given the importance of the election to the future of the country, those who try to decide for the people who the nominees will be should be held fully accountable by the people. Turning off the TV or radio is not enough. Laws should be made that ensure objective coverage and the criminals severely punished.

    February 8, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  19. David E7

    I am still waiting to read a single rational message from a Romney supporter that gives a good reason why Romney should ever have been supported. The posts are always that the other guy is bad, and it is usually stated in an adolescent way. I guess Romney's supporters are like their candidate, all style and no substance.

    February 8, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  20. clark

    Okay, when there were 5 you covered 4, when there were 4 you covered 3, now there's 3, are you honestly telling me you are excluding Ron Paul from receiving LONG overedue coverage again? You call yourselves a news source? What a a joke CNN!

    February 8, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  21. Ryan

    Ron Paul deserves some respect, CNN. You are, once again, ignoring a true presidential candidate. You should be ashamed of yourselves. Fix it.

    February 8, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  22. anton

    That hair dye job Huckabee recently had doesn't do him any good...should let some gray show...maybe he should see Edward's barber...

    February 8, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  23. Jenny

    What about a McCain/Colin Powell ticket?

    February 8, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  24. Luke

    McCain doesn't stand a chance against Clinton or Obama. He doesn't have the intelligence or personality to do it. Furthermore, he is frankly not very likeable. With all the criticisms that Bush has received over the past 8 yrs, McCain would be even more of a target with his supreme arrogance and annoying mannerisms. Has anyone else noticed his signature move of making a stern, bold-faced statement and immediately afterward making a sly, politician grin? It's disgusting!! Huck on the other hand has the likeability factor going for him, even if you aren't a strong conservative and don't completely agree with his stance on the issues. Huckabee's also the far superior communicator, articulates his thoughts better, and does a much better job of reaching out to the desires of the american people. If you believe in God and morality and the goodness of your fellow man, Huck's your candidate!

    February 8, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  25. Sarah augusta ga


    February 8, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
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