February 29th, 2008
04:30 PM ET
13 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. Praetorian, Ft. Myers, FL

    You know he's such a slugger. You've got to admire his tenacity and his humor. If we had open primaries in Florida–I might have even tossed him a "mercy" vote.

    February 29, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  2. Franky

    I gotta say, I like "The Huckster", he's a good person. Plus, I think we seen more of "Chuck Norris" in this election than the last 2 years combined! Going old-school baby! LOL!!!

    February 29, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  3. Ricky Marlin, New Orleans, LA

    It seems like with Huckabee being the Christian leader, a miracle sign from the holy ghost would make him the nominee.

    February 29, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  4. Farren Ballanst

    How cute. My little dog barks at the moon. He reminds me of Huckleberry.

    February 29, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  5. Joe C

    Hucks I really like you but its time to call it quits.

    February 29, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  6. Michael

    Keep fighting the good fight, Mike! You've got my votes of my wife and I here in Texas.

    February 29, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  7. Michael

    PS: When is the debate with McCain?

    February 29, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  8. Willy

    You go Mike!!!!

    February 29, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  9. Brandon

    When will this guy fold it up? I'm not even a Republican, and think he's making a mockery of himself.

    February 29, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  10. Byron in CA

    I hope Huckabee does well, it will be a big disapointment to all those Republicans voting for obama to get him as the one to run agaisnt McCain because they switched parties to try and keep Hillary out. Come on Republicans vote for obama, that way you can lose two for the price of one when Hillary is POTUS.

    February 29, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  11. hsmith

    I attended the Plano TX rally for Huckabee with several thousand people. Today, at A&M the Rudder Center couldn't house all the crowd; apparently, some 1500 were unable to get in and gathered outside. He was at St. Mary's University in San Antonio, and people down there were begging for another visit. Huckabee is a dynamite speaker and can make do with little money. The number of cities he visits in one day is mind-boggling.
    He would be an inspiring Republican nominee, and he is an incredible orator, and has real conservative positions on the issues. Let's what happens on March 4th – my vote is for Huckabee!

    February 29, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  12. Mike in Austin

    Mike Huckabee = Ralph Nader

    Just likes to hear himself talk...

    February 29, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  13. Elizabeth

    Huckabee don't slow down one bit.. Would like to see debate with McCain.

    February 29, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  14. Elizabeth

    Good luck Huckabee.

    February 29, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  15. Bola Muyis

    Hmm, looks like the Clinton machine is not so effective.

    February 29, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  16. Stacy Clarks, Texas

    is this guy for real?

    February 29, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  17. Darth Vadik, CA

    You keep pluging Huckster.

    February 29, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  18. William Davis

    If the Baptist preacher can produce a good showing and it looks like he will, I am afraid that McCain will be in big trouble. Someone should bring him the Crystal Ball to look into his future at that time so he can see the results of the General Election in November 2008. This way he can spare himself the painful loss to the White House.


    Bill Davis

    February 29, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  19. jim Scottsdale AZ

    Mike go away and please read about Evolution.

    February 29, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  20. CD from CT

    GO MIKE ! Don;t let the negative PRESS get you down or out. They are not the VOTERS. There are still a lot of US out here who are just aiting to VOTE. Let the "others" spend their $$ Your day is coming. We are not voting for big spenders or war mongers. We need a calm clear thinking President who will get us ALL back on track.

    February 29, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  21. LadyLeo

    Good for you Huckabee.

    February 29, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  22. Kate

    Keep going, Huckabee. See you at the convention!

    February 29, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  23. M. Martin

    Governor Huckabee has the most administrative experience of any candidate. He has charisma and leadership skills. He is my choice!

    February 29, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  24. sue fogleman

    I have never seen or heard such ignorant comments as I have in this race..people upset because someone was called by their full name? How often do you hear Hillary Rodham Clinton..Is Barack Hussein Obama ASHAMED of his heritage or trying to cover something up? It really makes me wonder...stop all this politically correct junk. People who have never voted before have told me they are voting Hillary because she is a female, Obama because he is black, and I even had someone tell me they were voting for McCain because his wife is named Cindy. How PATHETIC has our country become? Also, the candidates need to pay attention to what is really happening --the votes that Huckabee is getting are not all evangelical christians....many of them just want the FAIR TAX..

    February 29, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  25. Frank

    The polling number of CNN is a joke, I just wonder how CNN can publish such irresponsible number.

    February 29, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
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