February 29th, 2008
04:30 PM ET
15 years ago

Huckabee will 'keep plugging away'

FORT WORTH, Texas (CNN) - Up against the ropes and in need of a good showing in Tuesday’s Texas primary to justify staying in the race, Huckabee told reporters in Lubbock Friday that his presidential bid will continue if John McCain fails to clinch the nomination on March 4.

“I guess we keep plugging away,” said Huckabee, “as long as people are contributing and giving us the capacity to keep going and we haven’t been defeated by the number of delegates that are required to beat us, then we’re still in it.”

Asked specifically what his plans are after the March 4 primaries in Texas, Ohio, Rhode Island and Vermont, Huckabee said he would go to Mississippi and Pennsylvania since they hold the next contests. He also noted that after Tuesday, the primary calendar is much more spread out.

Huckabee has argued in recent days that not only does McCain not have enough delegates yet for the nomination, but also that the Arizona senator may be unable to campaign between now and September, should the Federal Elections Commission rule he is subject to spending limits.

Asked if a sidelined McCain would benefit him, Huckabee responded, “[It’s] only good for me if nobody’s gotten those delegate counts because I could go ahead and campaign and he couldn’t.”

The former Arkansas governor has staked his future in the race on succeeding in Texas, but polls show him trailing McCain by almost 30 percentage points.

“We’re doing everything I know how to do, we’re hitting every community, every rally, our television [ads] went up,” Huckabee told CNN, “and you know, we’re feeling that we’re going to close that gap.”

- CNN Political Producer Alexander Marquardt

Filed under: Mike Huckabee • Texas
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. Love4Country

    Last week our family co-op group in the Dallas Fort Worth area in Texas, took its own poll. We only asked registered adult voters and here are our results from over 40 families we asked...

    Do you consider yourself a:

    Democratic 0% Republican 89%
    Independent 7% Other 4%

    As of today, these are the candidates still in the race. Whom would you vote for?

    Clinton 7% Obama 4%
    Paul 7% Huckabee 41%
    McCain 11% Don’t know 30%

    And most went on to say... They will not be voting for McCain come November and will write in or not vote for President.

    February 29, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  2. JD White California

    I think Huckabee should stay in as long he can, or at least until someone reaches that magical number 1,191. Go Huckabee!!!!

    February 29, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  3. Rad

    Does anyone think that Huckabee is just hoping to be chosen as vice president? McCain has already got one foot in the grave...maybe Huckabee hopes to be president if McCain croaks. Just a thought

    February 29, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  4. Janet, Missouri

    This man truly is making a mockery of our election process. All of the joking around and wasting of resources in a lost cause truly disappoints me.

    February 29, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  5. Xanadu

    Adding a comment cause there is none....Will there be another??

    Go Huck '12

    February 29, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  6. Sarah

    I am glad Mike Huckabee is staying in the race. Republicans in states with later primaries or caucuses deserve a choice. Also, Mr. Huckabee still has a chance of winning.

    February 29, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  7. JohnQPublic

    One has to wonder about the polls. Huckabee's crowds in Texas seem larger and more enthusiastic than McCain's.

    Also the ARG poll for Republicans shows Huckabee only down 4%.
    Their poll for the Democrats in Texas is close to the other polls except they show Obama with a larger lead.

    One would wonder why they would be close to the cluster for Democrats but 15% or so different for the Republicans.

    Since they do show an Obama surge such as has taken place in so many other states, one has to wonder if perhaps they alone have gotten it right on the Republican side.

    Wouldn't that be a hoot. Lots of pundits would be wiping egg off of their collective face come March 5.

    Whatever happens one has to admire Mr. Huckabee. He is proving himself a man of principle. What a refreshing change.

    February 29, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  8. ferpez

    All we are saying is give peace a chance.

    February 29, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  9. Norma Treese

    He has every right to keep going. But the media has already chosen our two candidates. Our elections are more corrupt than most, if not all of the ellections held in third-world countries. I'm voting for the only candidate that could help us find our way out of the total mess we are in as a nation. Our dollar is headed fast for ) 0 value, our economy no longer functions , our good paying, long lasting jobs are gone, our American Dream was stolen , by our corrupt, lawmakers, corporate America has taken over and completely ruined our country and our economy. It will take a long time to put America back together. I'm voting for Ron Paul. There's no one else that has the inteligence to lead us out ohis terrrible disaster. "God Help America,"IF ANY OF THE OTHER CANDIDATES BECOME PRESIDENT."

    February 29, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
1 2