February 18th, 2008
02:45 PM ET
10 years ago

Huckabee: 'The conservative message needs to be told'


Watch Mary Snow's interview with Mike Huckabee.

(CNN) – In an interview with CNN’s Mary Snow, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee held his ground about remaining in the GOP nomination race.

Pointing to the right to bear arms, the fair tax, illegal immigration, the federal marriage amendment, and the human life amendment, Huckabee told Snow, “these are critical issues for many Republicans across this country and they know that discussion ends the day I decide to leave.”

Hucakbee ruled out a possible third party bid, calling it “divisive.”

“I think it’s so much more important that I stay in the Republican Party and fight that it be solid and conservative and not drift off the ranch,” added Huckabee.

The presidential hopeful also told Snow that not addressing issues important to conservatives might lead them to feel ignored. “It’s very important that I stay because the conservative message needs to be told,” he explained.

GOP frontrunner John McCain is expected to easily garner enough pledged delegates to secure the Republican nomination in upcoming primaries and caucuses. The Arizona senator, who is popular among moderates and independents, has been working hard recently to shore up his support with the conservative base of the Republican Party.

With Mitt Romney’s exit from the race, Huckabee has held himself out as a more conservative alternative to McCain. Romney, however, recently endorsed McCain, and asked that all of the delegates pledged to him instead cast their votes for McCain at the GOP’s nominating convention this summer. McCain was also endorsed by former President George H. W. Bush Monday morning.

–CNN Associate Producer Martina Stewart

Filed under: Mike Huckabee
soundoff (52 Responses)
  1. Bill Jay

    Huckabee go home and be a preacher man.......
    You do not play the guiatar so well, I could give you some lessons.

    February 18, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  2. Every Vote Counts

    The reason why I'm still cheering on Mike Huckabee is that he speaks for a voice that is being quieted in this nation.

    Keep going Mike!!!

    February 18, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  3. Mrs. America

    He's out living high on other people's money with almost no chance to win the primary. He's a fake, but as long as people of blind faith keep supporting him, why not live it up?

    February 18, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  4. RPF

    Mr. Huckabee may be more of a conservative alternative to Senator McCain, but Dr. Ron Paul is the true conservative in the race.

    February 18, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  5. In Moderation again

    Leave it to the Relgious Right to continue a futile campaign. Huckabee has done your job of getting Gov Mitt Romney, who was probably the best candidate, out of the race.

    Huckabee's continuation in the primary race is exactly what the Democrats ordered. You have the right to remain in the race until the votes are counted, but you don't have the right to cause us to lose the presidency to the extreme left wing of the Democratic.

    This is not about uniting the party but it is about allowing the party to focus on the task of winning in November. This is not pesonal, it is business. Our country's future is at stake. So go back to Arkansas and preach the gospel, that is what you do, and God bless you for doing it.

    February 18, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  6. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    And that "conservative message" would be what– opposition to changing much of anything that is not part of this rural yahoo's plan to recast America in his preferred Christian image? Puh-leeeze!

    February 18, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  7. Jason

    Please keep fighting to give conservatives a voice in a party that seems ready to abandoned us! Hang in there Huck!

    February 18, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  8. Darth Vadik, CA

    Keep saying it Huckster, give it to McCain.
    You keep running.

    Go Obama '08

    February 18, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  9. Bukkphush

    I like how Republicants try the "terrorists will attack" if you don't vote for them, all the while perfectly ignoring the terrorist attacks we've had since 9/11: Anthrax letters, Amish School Shooting, Virginia Tech, not to mention the latest travesty.

    February 18, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  10. TheLeftNut

    We've heard the conservative message for the past eight years and it sould pretty shrill.

    Step aside.

    February 18, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  11. TheLeftNut

    We've heard the conservative message for the past eight years and it sounds pretty shrill.

    Step aside.

    February 18, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  12. ben

    I like this guy. I don't agree with his philosophy, but I do admire him for his honesty and perservirence

    February 18, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  13. Hope for America's Future

    Excellent Interview. Thanks CNN
    I support Huckabee for His 100% Pro-Life stance He does not support stem cell research like McCain.
    He keeps fighting for our Rights and I will be sad if he drops out and leaves us "No Choice" in the GOP election

    The right to LIFE and liberty is the most important issue. When we start protecting and Respecting life that is when America will turn around for the better. We live in a culture of death.
    If you are a Christian supporting Obama or Hilary You need to do a little soul searching. Do you really want a president that thinks partial-birth abortion is okay?????????? That kind of thinking leads to moms who trash their new born babies.

    February 18, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  14. Earl, Chicago

    Unfortunately there isn't anyone left who can tell the conservative story.

    February 18, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  15. Dufus

    Mr. Huckabee,
    The Conservative message has been told for some many years now. The public has given it a chance, and I am afraid for you, they have had enough.
    Mr. Bush has shown us all the message loud and clear. He was your pick and you will have his leagacy to your credit.
    Thank you

    February 18, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  16. simon

    I have a dream is no body's but Martin Luther King's

    All men are created equal

    Give me liberty or give me death

    Fear nothing but fear itself

    Minority, Mason Dickson, Abolishion of slavery, Affirmative action., Social Security, food stump, dollar, Euro, Arab, African .........

    Jesus is Lord

    Amen , Hallelujah, Alpha omega have become international.

    What is "IS" means ..... Reverse discrimination is deceit

    The slogans of Obama is used against him by his opponents both democrat and Republicans.

    Obama should say my cry and lamentation is taken from me.

    February 18, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  17. JohnB

    Once again Hillary using her cheap tactics to attack Obama.
    She is very desperate, she will say or do anything for the White House.

    February 18, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  18. charles king

    I would also like a republican debate, I would like to see the differences in these two candidates. I have not gotten the opportunity to voice my oppinion through my vote yet. Ohio has not gotten the chance to vote yet. I feel pretty insulted by the Republican establishment for trying to hurry this thing along before someone has enough delegates to secure the nomination. I have heard that CNN has canceled thier scheduled republican debate. This is dissapointing.
    I believe that Ohio should get a chance to voice their opinion in this election as should all the states. After seeing how the Republican establishment has decided the nominee for all of us voters. I am proud of Mike Huckabee for standing up against them and insisting the voters have a choice until the delegates are met. I am leaning toward voting for him on principle alone. At least he still believes that votes should be the deciding factor in a race, not endorsements.

    February 18, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  19. J Collins

    I just heard of McCain's robo calls using "Faith, Family Freedom". Humm, that sounds a lot like Huckabee to me. I thought McCain was suppose to be "Ready to Lead on Day One" and the "Straight Talk Express"......and my mind wonders to scenes from movies of the bully stealing the little guys homework....I guess McCin must be feeling the heat of the Huckster breathing down on him and feel the need to steal slogans. Soon McCain will be saying he's pro-life and against amnesty.

    Also, I like how McCain has the delegate count on his web site at 903, Romney 289, Huckabee 241......CNN shows the delegate count as McCain 830, Romney 286, Huckabee 217, Paul 16.....I guess CNN must be wrong? or at least according to the "straight talk express".......Is the delegate blur intentional?

    February 18, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  20. spirit

    Mrs America...Mike Huckabee is the only presidental candidate that is not living on taxpayer money....all the others: Clinton, Obama, McCain & Ron Paul are all Senators, getting their paycheck from the government while they are out campaigning.
    No wonder congress has a terrible approval rating. They don't care if they do their job
    or not.

    February 18, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  21. David - Oregon City

    The public just keeps dancing to the same old slow music. Huckabee stands for true change, more of the same with McCain!

    February 18, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  22. Praetorian, Fort Myers, FL

    The constitution shouldn't be meddled with by the President for his secular beliefs.

    Killing is wrong-period. This goes for abortion and goes for the gas chamber, lynch post, firing squad, or electric chair.

    Gay Republicans–might like to have a say in their own future.

    February 18, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  23. Huckabee Will Prevail

    GO Mike Huckabee !!! The ONLY voice of truth left running for President on either side. 4 years of McCain, Obama, or Clinton will easily bring WWIII. I cannot believe there are so many opinionated people out there who haven't even bothered to do ANY due diligence on McCain, Obama, or Clinton. Look up the histories on these people and you will find a truth FILLED with scandal ( McCain & Clinton) lack of ANY experience(Obama). Huckabee is the only voice for the American people!!!

    GO MIKE!!!! NEVER QUIT!!!!!

    February 18, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  24. Saghiadonos, Athens

    Winston Churchill once said: "The Americans finally do the right thing after having tried all the wrong choices". If I look on how the Americans are going to vote for ( and for whom not ) I believe this saying becomes true again. Voting for liberal politicians both in the Republican and Democratic party shows again, that Americans again have to find out and endure all the bad choices with all the negative effects for their country until they finally vote for someone that stands for the right politics that will change the nation for good.

    Why don´t they vote in the beginning for someone like Huckabee that stands for a fair tax, border security, a reasonable Iraq policy (remember USA is already in the Iraq and can´t just drop out and leave a whole continent in a mess) and for the sanctity of human life?

    February 18, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  25. Jason - Visalia, CA

    If Clinton wins the democratic nomination, in November I will write in Obama with Huckabee as his VP right before I move to Canada.

    February 18, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
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