February 20th, 2008
08:32 AM ET
15 years ago

Huckabee says race not about ego, remembers the Alamo


Watch Huckabee explain why he's staying in the race in an interview on American Morning Wednesday.

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (CNN) – Following a big loss in Wisconsin Tuesday night, reporters didn’t even get to ask Mike Huckabee the one question on everyone’s mind before he answered it himself.

“One of the things that I get asked every day and I’m sure you’re probably asking in the chorus, is why you keep going?” Huckabee told reporters. “Let me assure you that if it were ego, my ego doesn’t enjoy getting these kind of evenings where we don’t win the primary elections. So, it’s got be something other than that, and it is. It’s about convictions, it’s about principles that I dearly, dearly believe in.”

Those principles include giving as many voters as possible the chance to vote for a candidate with positions he feels are at odds with John McCain. “[McCain] does not support for example the human life amendment. He does support human embryonic stem cell research and I know our positions on immigration are significantly different,” listed Huckabee, adding, “doesn’t mean that his positions are bad, it means they’re different, and elections are about choices.”

On Wednesday, Huckabee heads to Texas, a state where he feels he can pick up conservative votes because “Texas is a state where independence matters a lot, people there don’t like to be told what to do, how to think, how to vote. I think we’ll find a very welcome atmosphere.”

He will also visit the Alamo on Thursday, invoking symbolism he feels is appropriate, “There’s a lot of history there, a lot of history of courage, of valor and also of people who stood by their convictions no matter what.”

UPDATE: In an interview on CNN's American Morning Wednesday, Huckabee suggested his continued presence in the presidential race is beneficial to the Republican Party.

"Not staying in the race hurts the GOP," he said. "It makes it like we're so weak that we can't have a debate and discussion. If this party is so completely incapable of discussing the issues that matter deeply to Republicans, then I'm not its problem. Its problem is that it doesn't have a message that it can run on and it wants to circle the wagons and act like it's all well. It's not all well."

- CNN Political Producer Alexander Marquardt

Filed under: Mike Huckabee
soundoff (139 Responses)
  1. Stacey, Durham, NC

    Nope it's not good for your ego Huck, which by my calculation is about as big as Texas. Everyone needs their 15 minutes though.

    February 20, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  2. k

    I am not a republican, but I based on what I am seeing Huck is splitting this party apart. I respect his position to give as many voters the right to choose, but in the process of doing that he splitting the party and making it easier for a democrat to win, which is fine with me, but come one Huck drop out let McCain stage a good fight against the Dems and instead of against you.

    February 20, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  3. Surrealist, Fort Myers, FL

    Valor and courage?
    Continuing this Quixotic campaign....
    Trying to contrive some support...where it already exists...

    He's now showing nothing but some concerning "way-right" attitudes that certainly demonstrates something...wish we knew what it was!

    February 20, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  4. Cecil

    Much respect for Huckabee!

    Obama 08

    February 20, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  5. That's Reality

    Stick with it Mike; it's not quite over yet.

    February 20, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  6. Jeff

    I don't like that the US Presidency is up for sale. If Huckabee had the same financial backing as McCain, this race would be over by now with Huckabee securing the needed delegates. If you look to the Democratic party, the comparison is worse with much more money flowing. Stay in there Mike. Americans who cannot buy the Presidency are counting on politicians like you.

    February 20, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  7. Robert from MN

    I'm extremely impressed with him...he knows he can't win...but he's making a huge point on behalf of 40% of his party. He's a true patriot.

    Obama '08

    February 20, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  8. Mike H.

    Thank you Mike Huckabee for staying in. It has given us hope that possibly a miracle would happen and you would win. The other three choices (Clinton, Obama and McCain) will ruin the country. You are the only one to stick to your convictions. We should all be so lucky as to have a president like you. Unfortunatley we will only have liars and cheats to choose from. America will get what it deserves.

    February 20, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  9. Gomer Pyle

    Golly. Thank ya thank ya.

    February 20, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  10. shamous mc

    Huckabee, the tribe has spoken, it's time to leave the island.

    February 20, 2008 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  11. robert, pasadena, ca

    Huckabee has been and always will be a joke. Hopefully its becoming more and more obvious to everyone else the longer he continues his "campaign to nowhere". He is barely worthy of the title of "preacher", let alone to hold any kind of position in government.

    February 20, 2008 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  12. John, BX, NY

    I'm a Democrat, but I like that Huckabee is staying in the race. There needs to be more debate and discussion between Huck and McCain. The old man's gone mostly unchallenged since Romney dropped out

    February 20, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  13. Ben

    Huckabee needs to stay visible so he can keep charging $25k to give public speeches. What a noble man...vomit...

    February 20, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  14. JU

    Huckabee is preparing grounds for 2012. He knows this election is for the democrats to lose and when he comes to challenge in four years, he would have acquired the name recognition which he currently lacks. he is not interested in being Mccain's veep.

    February 20, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  15. Awakening

    I appreciate the fact that Huckabee is still running. He represents people who are fed up with shallow dead-end politics.
    Even if McCain had no competition he would lose big in November.

    February 20, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  16. Larry Mac

    Hillary, Obama, McCain – Globalist Liberals receiving 75% of the nations vote.

    Huckabee – The last sovereign American standing. Hang in there Huck. Allow us to be counted.

    February 20, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  17. bryant anderson

    So what principles does Huckabee believe in that Romney doesn't other than that he is an Evangelical ? I don't think when it comes to family, right to life, strong defences and other conservative principles that Huckabee was the favorite conservative choice. He has no chance of winning but is just enjoying the lime light and wants to claim he beat Romney. Romney has already given him that and by so doing has shown the greater character in being a team player for the common good of the party. I would like to here him, during his campaign, state his reasons more vociferously. He seems to be running now as the low key candidate just to hangout. He is not being very agressive.

    February 20, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  18. Cecil

    Sen. Hillary Clinton, "Poor Campaign Strategy" from "Day One"

    Much love Sen. Hillary, but Obama 08

    February 20, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  19. John Starnes Tampa Florida

    The battle at the Alamo involved a US attack on Mexico to acquire territory...that is how America acquired what we now call the southwestern states...where is the "valor" in that? Same "valor" in Bush's war of choice against Iraq to in essence make it an oil-rich colony with permanent bases? Let Russia or China try something similar and watch the US get all self righteous. Huckabee would be a continuation of the tragic Bush/Cheney era that this nation will takes decades to recover from.

    February 20, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  20. Haley

    Anybody who thinks that Mike Huckabee is the conservative alternative to John McCain has never looked at his record in Arkansas. I didn't support McCain until I had to. At least he understands what is going on in the world. Mike Huckabee is clueless about the Middle East. He showed that time and time again with his ridiculous remarks. If you can't surround yourself with competent advisors while you are running for President, why should we think you will when you are the President.

    February 20, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  21. Chaunda,IN

    Cathy in Vermont

    You are really stretch calling Huckabee's tour the same as Hillary's legitimate campaign. It sounds desperate.

    February 20, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  22. Wayne, Greenville TX

    How appropriate – Huckleberry Hound going to The Alamo, the site of another famous disaster.....

    February 20, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  23. Houston

    He talks about convictions, principles that he dearly believes in. Have you forgotten the anti-Mormon sentiment which started in Iowa.. Huckabee? That was anti-Christian & mean-spirited. I guess that is what Huckabee dearly believes...If you were not so mean-spirited, I would vote for you in the Texas primary.

    February 20, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  24. Southerner

    Huckabee stays in the race because he has no other job. As soon as he stops receiving his paycheck from his campaign funds, he'll need to file for unemployment, or get a job.

    February 20, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  25. Brian

    All you supporters of McCain, I do hope you realize that he is going to get smoked by Obama...

    February 20, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
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