February 18th, 2008
05:55 AM ET
15 years ago

Huckabee returns to US, goes bowling

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/02/18/art.huckabeebowl.ap.jpg caption="Huckabee returned to the country Sunday."] MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin (CNN) – Back on the trail Sunday night after a weekend in the Cayman Islands for a speech, Mike Huckabee and wife Janet greeted supporters at a Milwaukee bowling alley and then challenged the media to ten frames.

After declaring, “It’s been a long time,” Huckabee grabbed a 15lb ball and rolled two spares in four turns. It wasn’t enough to beat the press though, the Huckabees were edged out thanks to strikes from ABC’s producer and CNN photographer Rod Griola.

Both Huckabees reveled in taking the journalists’ equipment and turning it on them as they stepped up to the line. Mrs. Huckabee hoisted one of CNN’s 25lb cameras with impressive ease while the former governor of Arkansas dropped to his knees with the CBS producer’s camera to make sure he got the upward angle as she heaved the ball.

After the Huckabees’ defeat, the candidate picked up his anti-establishment message where he left off on Friday. “What we need to do is make sure the people of Wisconsin recognize that they’re going out and voting their own conscience. Not doing what maybe somebody in Washington is telling them, and not doing what the establishment tells them,” Huckabee told reporters. “This vote is about the future of the Republican Party.”

Bowling alleys, it turns out, are not just good places to pick up votes. Mrs. Huckabee told CNN that on her first date with Huckabee – when her name, ironically, was Janet McCain – they went bowling.

- CNN Political Producer Alexander Marquardt

Filed under: Mike Huckabee
soundoff (126 Responses)
  1. TR

    I think Huck stand on Religion doomed him. But if he wasn't such a neophyte on such issues he'd make a great President. Yes showing you are willing to be normal person helps you being qualified as President. We could use a normal guy in office again.

    February 18, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  2. Bruce Wayne

    New Gomer Fudd Action Man action figure...

    This hero comes in 3 styles, Camo-Hunter Gomer Fudd, Preacher Sunday Best Gomer, and now, new and improved Bowling Wife Beater Gomer Fudd. Get yours while supplies last!

    February 18, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  3. Please don't keep me waiting in moderation.

    So I guess Huckebee is a McCain lover after all 🙂

    February 18, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  4. Bukkphush

    Hahaha look at that Mike Huckabee supporter there, holding his sign upside down!

    February 18, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  5. Kevin D

    Virginia – you are exactly right. Having a musical talent and taking time out to go bowling really does make Huckabee an idiot. We really should angle for more droidism in our leadership.

    February 18, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  6. Richard, FL

    Spare me!

    February 18, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  7. Erik, Austin TX

    Huckabee seems to be a very likable guy, but his views on many of the issues are downright scary. It's hard to tell if his ultra-religious rhetoric is just an attempt to drum up the base or if he really feels that way, but I'm not taking any chances.

    He seems like a great guy to hang out with, but I don't want him as President. Look what happened the last time we elected someone because we thought he was a nice guy.

    February 18, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  8. Praetorian, Fort Myers, FL

    You've got to give him credit–he sure knows how to motivate a crowd–and he is certainly more youthful than McCain.

    I am unsure whether to go with the establishment–or Huckabee.

    No question–he's head and shoulders better than Obama or Clinton!!

    Clinton and Obama are leaning "way too left" for me. Their agenda's seem to be pulled from the U.S. Democratic Socialist Party–no kidding...just go and visit the site!! It's uncanny!!
    It couldn't be more wacky–unless Stalin were reborn a modern age Democrat in the United States.

    I really don't want a "feel good" President though. I want someone who is fair minded–fiscally responsible, and capable of efffectively leading our executive branch–and the Armed Forces through some very difficult times ahead.

    February 18, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  9. Steve

    Guess folks from Arkansas don't know when to step down for the good of their party.

    February 18, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  10. tom

    i like mike!

    February 18, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  11. Pedro

    Two spares in four turns...not bad! I wish more politicians could be so down-to-earth as Huckabee. He really knows how to connect with the people. I hope he wins in Wisconsin and Washington tomorrow.

    February 18, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  12. tom

    is it me or is cnn closing comments too soon on some of these topics

    February 18, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  13. Percy F. Lage, Oklahoma

    Irony: "Colloq. The quality or state of an event being both coincidental and contradictory in a humorous or poignant and extremely improbable way. " There are a great many definitions of irony and a great many variations on the theme. But I wonder whether the Huckster, in his attempts to frame the issues, will continue to strike a responsive chord in the alleyways, so much so that he will not appear a turkey with a handicap, scratching about for a proper form upon which to put his spin, thereby lifting us beyond our national split.

    February 18, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  14. Every Vote Matters

    I voted for Huckabee because of his sincere moral grounding and common sense approach to tackling the issues. I felt that he would be able to bring a lot of good strong discussion to the table either with Clinton or Obama even if he didn't win the general election. He came across in the debates better than any of the other candidates. Unfortunately, he didn't have the financial and political clout. Plus too many people are afraid of his unashamed faith.

    I believe on General Election day there will be not one red state in the union if it's McCain vs. Obama.

    Go Huckabee in Wisconsin!!!

    February 18, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  15. jeff


    I live in AR while he was governor and no he didn't force to attend church if that's what you are asking. Mike's the only that offers fresh ideas (health care & fair tax for examples) compare to McCain. Too many Americans are willing to vote for a candidate without looking closely at his/her record. And though Obama might be a great speaker he has nothing to offer except pulling out of Iraq speech which trust it won't happen.

    February 18, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  16. Sebastian , Germany

    1,200,000 abortions in the US every year need a voice for their cause. Finally they have found someone who´s really interested in the lifes of unborn babies: Mike Huckabee.
    It´s terrifying that a so called christian country manages to murder a number half of the population of unified Germany within in 30 years.
    Wisconsin should definitly vote for Huckabee.

    February 18, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  17. TheLeftNut

    To bad Huck's a Republican.

    February 18, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  18. Rich

    The more I see Mike Huckabee's relentless determination to give voting Americans a choice the more impressed I am with the man.

    I like to see an under dog try as hard as he can to make a seemingly impossible come from behind win, even if he looses, the effort is inspiring.

    One would think a Vietnam vet would appreciate Americans excersizing their freedom of choice in picking their nations potential leader.

    Go for it, this is what this country is really all about.

    February 18, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  19. David, Gilbert Arizona

    Does it really matter whether or not Huckabee knows how to bowl? We've already had 8 years with a President most people said they would like to share a beer with. I'm more interested in his past record as govenor and what he intends to do about our economy.

    February 18, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  20. Ian

    Saving babies but killing Iraqi's. Huckabee, pro-choice....sometimes.

    February 18, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  21. Aaron M.

    In response to Brendan H.'s comment above......

    Not to maliciously point you out, but rather express what has become reality (due to perception).... but is "favoring the rich and increasing the ranks of the poor" really a Bush legacy, or rather a Republican legacy??

    Just a thought...

    February 18, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  22. Erik

    I do not want my President to be "an average guy." I want my President to be way, way above average: smarter than average, more accomplished than average and more talented than average.

    February 18, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  23. David

    Amanda- yeah, look at his pitiful record. nasty comments come to someone like him that would be a disaster to this country.

    February 18, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  24. k

    Why? This guy is driving me crazy. I understand he reasons for staying in the race, but this is a little crazy. Get while you still have your dignity.

    February 18, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  25. Bayou Joe

    I hope he got paid very well for his speech while on vacation in the Cayman Islands. I would like to get that gig. Now if only he would do the right thing., GET OUT of the race he can't win and stop muddying the waters. You accomplished the task of getting rid of the best candidate we had (Romney) now it's time to move on.

    February 18, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
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