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

Huckabee: 'The conservative message needs to be told'

CNN

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. Rally to the Call

    Mr. Huckabee, you represent the heart of many patriotic Americans who are shocked by the current candidates being presented as the likely leaders for our nation in the coming years. May your candidacy prove to be a death blow to the Washington establishment and its structure - thanks for giving us a voice. Keep on going on!! Huckabee 2008.

    February 18, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  2. Ian

    I think most people should label their views as "pro-birth". All you want is to crank out the babies and ship them overseas to fight and die.

    February 18, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  3. Boston guy

    Obama is all talk, change this and change that but hasn't said anything he's going to change. Huckabee wants to run the county like a Baptist church and McCain wants to stay in Iraq for 100 years.

    Hillary is the only smart one left!

    February 18, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  4. Ian

    I need to brush up on my reading skills. I read the whole blurb and missed the part where they wrote about Hillary or Obama.

    February 18, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  5. Steeler-Arizona

    I didn't leave the Democratic Party the party left me. Umm- who said that? It sounds like to me the Republican Party has left alot of people.

    February 18, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  6. Chris, Silicon Valley, CA, USA

    RPF,

    I agree, if Republicans were conservative, Ron Paul would be the nominee.

    February 18, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  7. Vig

    Sour grapes, preacher style.

    February 18, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  8. Chris, Silicon Valley, CA, USA

    Dufus,

    Mr. Bush isn't a conservative by any definition. He isn't conservative with money, with natural resources, or with government. Please don't take him as the conservative example just because he claims he is.

    Chris

    February 18, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  9. Ann Gross

    I can't believe that the debate between Huckabee and McCain has been cancelled. I'm sure that McCain acknowledges that he will come across as a poor second to Mike. This is not showing to America that all people have the right to choose the kind of president they want. iI CAN'T BELIEVE THAT THIS IS THE KIND OF EXAMPLE THAT WE WANT TO GIVE OUR CHILDREN IN THE FUTURE. CAN

    February 18, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  10. John Allan

    Oh gosh, this Huckabee guy is getting so old. By staying in the race at this point he's just plain worn out his welcome. Nobody's going to take him seriously if he decided to run again (heaven help us!).

    February 18, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  11. Gary, Detroit, Mich.

    " I didn't major in math, I majored in miracles" ... How as a nation did we sink so low ? Can you imagine a Dwight Eisenhower or a Roosevelt making such an ignorant remark ? Of course not. But then again, they were not dangerous bible thumping religious zealots.

    February 18, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  12. Don

    “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.

    Hey Huckabee... stay in it all you like, but GET OUT OF THIS RACE – YOU ARE HURTING THE PARTYS CHANCE OF WINNING IN NOVEMBER!! Don't keep creating 'throw-away' votes !!! IS that your intention?

    February 18, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  13. Charles F., Salt Lake City, Ut

    Huckabee is indeed a man of miracles. Although he has shown himself to be a religious bigot, a frighteningly unAmerican stand to take, he has "'miraculously" never been called to account for his views; and is in fact being rewarded and promoted by voters, media, and possibly John McCain. Miracles indeed!

    February 18, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  14. AntiMachine

    The decline of our nation continues and there is no better place to see it in action than within this election. The values that this nation was founded upon are being eroded by the moral realitivism of the Hillary's and Obama's of the world. This is a Christian nation, yet we take no pride in living up to those standards. Give me a candidate who says that it is more important to be able to LIVE his morals than compromise them to become President. Paul or Huckabee are at least willing to stand up and say that protecting life is important, that our language and cultural heritage matter, that personal accountability must drive change, not the government. I would hope that more Americans stand up and vote for what is right, not what is personally convenient.

    February 18, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  15. JC

    I wish CNN did more TV coverage on Huckabee vs. McCain. Watching it looks like Hilary and Obama are the only two running for president.

    February 18, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  16. DiamondStarHalo, TN

    Either go home, Huck, or stick around; it truly doesn't matter. At best, you are mildly entertaining; at worst, you're but a minor distraction.

    February 18, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  17. Jill

    You make a good point, Charles King.

    There was a Republican debate scheduled by CNN for Feb. 28th, which has been cancelled. Why is that? It seems blatantly unfair. McCain isn't the nominee, no one is the nominee. If both Huck and Ron Paul take enough delegates away from McCain in the ensuing Red States then McCain will not reach the 1191 pledged delegate count required to obtain the nomination for the Republicans.

    As long as there are still 3 men running CNN should reschedule that cancelled debate. It's not fair to cancel it just because McCain is running scared of Huckabee.

    February 18, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  18. keep us safe==== texas

    KEEP ON ROCKIN' MIKE
    TELL THE CONSERVATIVE MESSAGE..................
    YOU WILL GET MY VOTE IN TEXAS

    BEHIND YOU 100%

    February 18, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  19. Marilyn

    Are we crazy or what?! We work until May of each year just to pay the tax burden on our income! While some hide their income, and pay no taxes, some use the loopholes for the really rich and avoid paying their fair share. Why do you think the taxpayer funded candidates, senators and one congressman, don't want to talk about the FairTax? The working man, Mike Huckabee, supports the Fair Tax, and so would you if you knew more about it. Research Fair Tax on line, and also do some research on Mike Huckabee. Then I know you will give Hope a second chance and vote for Mike Huckabee for President!

    February 18, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  20. keep us safe==== texas

    RPF______ YOU ARE RIGHT RON PAUL IS ALSO A STRONG CONSERVATIVE--BUT-ALSO A LOOSE CANNON

    REMEMBER HE IS FROM TEXAS ALSO

    GO MIKE 2008-2016

    February 18, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  21. keep us safe==== texas

    PLEASE VOTE REPUBLICAN

    WE DON'T NEED 911 #2

    February 18, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  22. Steph

    🙂 YEAH!!!! MIKE HUCKABEE!!!!!!!!!! 🙂

    🙂 I WEAR THE I <3 HUCKABEE SHIRT, I HAVE THE a.HUCK.i.be BUMPER STICKER, I USE MY MIKE HUCKABEE FOR PRESIDENT SHOPPING BAG. WE LOVE YOU AND CAN'T **GET** ENOUGH OF YOUR STRONG STANCE AND PRINCIPLES. 🙂

    🙂 PLEASE DON'T QUIT THE RACE. THERE'S NO NEED! 🙂

    🙂 MIKE HUCKABEE ALL THE WAY. 🙂

    February 18, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  23. MNMomof6

    Oh my goodness. Mike Huckabee is standing for my values!

    He has run this campaign on a shoestring...a tiny amount of money compared to any other candidate. So far he's DEBT-FREE! Let's see another candidate do that. ( Gov. Romney spent his money like it was water running from a tap.) Gov. Huckabee is certainly is NOT getting rich. ALL the other candidates (Senators) are collecting their government salaries while they are running for office. Mike's not.

    I'm a college graduate – and not easily lead. You should really research all the good Mike Huckabee ACCOMPLISHED during the 10 1/2 years he was governor. He took Arkansas schools from the bottom of the barrel 48/49(?) to I believe number 8 in the top ten! As a former teacher that is ASTOUNDING!!! Those are the results on only one issue. People of his state overwhelmingly re-elected him. Because of term limits he was not able to run again.

    Don't believe everything you hear in the media. You really need to do your own independent research...

    To learn details of Mike's stand on the issues try: MikeHuckabee.com

    February 18, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  24. john

    it's amazing how a candidate this absurd can even be seriously considered for VP or still in the race. This guy will have kids reading bibles in public school if he can get away with it.. The fanatical religous base has made inroads to the political arena to the severe detriment of the country.

    February 18, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  25. Mike Birmingham, AL

    The ultra conservatives and religious right have had their day – and look where we're at now. The country is in shambles, our credit on the world stage is gone, bloated bureaucracy (such as faith-based initiatives), fear mongering, war mongering, wire tapping, and now we are at the beginning of a recession.

    And you guys want Huckabee?

    What is wrong with you people?

    February 18, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
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