May 8th, 2008
08:19 AM ET
14 years ago

Huckabee: 'I got to give Hillary some credit'


Watch Huckabee's comments Thursday.

(CNN) - Former campaign underdog Mike Huckabee said Thursday that Democrat Hillary Clinton should ignore critics pressuring her to end her presidential run, telling CNN’s John Roberts that “she entered this thing to play to the finish line.”

“It’s easy to play horse race with this and say, ‘Gosh, she ought to drop out,’” he said on CNN’s American Morning. “She’s playing by the rules that the party set, just as I played by the rules that the Republican Party set.

“You know it’s frustrating to those of us who spend all of this time, effort and money - we get our supporters out there, we play by the rules that were handed and then somebody says, ‘It looks like the way this is gonna end is different than we want, so why don’t you go ahead and quit?’”

Huckabee faced pressure to end his own White House bid after it became mathematically impossible for him to become the Republican nominee. He stayed in the race several weeks longer, winning several contests, until John McCain captured the 1,191 delegates required to claim the GOP nomination.

On Thursday, Huckabee – who endorsed McCain, and recently launched his own political action committee – said public calls for an end to the Democratic contest were premature. “Now what if you did that in major league baseball, what if we did that in NFL football, once a team has got four or five touchdowns ahead we just said, ‘Look, it’s pretty inevitable here, the math doesn’t work, let’s end the game, so is that the way we ought to play it?’

“I got to give Hillary some credit that: yeah, it doesn’t look like she’s gonna get the nomination. But she entered this thing to play to the finish line - and I think that’s what she’s attempting to do.”

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Mike Huckabee
soundoff (316 Responses)
  1. It's Just For The Book

    Why did Huckabee stay in the race when he no longer had a chance?
    - To get more material for the book he's going to write about his campaign.

    Why is Hillary staying in the race when she no longer has a chance?
    - To get more material for the book she's going to write about her campaign.

    May 8, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  2. Eddie

    Right of course Huckabee gives Hillary credit. THATS CAUSE SHES THE WEAKEST CANDIDATE, They want to FACE HER IN NOVEMBER, Duh!!!! Republicans are afraid of Obama's Movement, so they will use their reverse methods to make u believe that she authentic!

    Zombies wake up

    Obama 08

    May 8, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  3. b

    Let's face it, if the outcomes between Obama and Clinton were reversed Obama would be out of the race. It's time for Clinton to hang it up and step down. Obama needs to be protected in a "Pope Mobile." That Clinton clan is ruthless.

    May 8, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  4. WorldObserver

    O wake up Americans! If people are calling her to step out, then they shall call not America as a freedom nation. What a joke to the entire world. If all of Democrats are mature enough, it will not split the party, but should encourage those who are weak at the moment and fight till the end. That is what you need them in the party. Not those who act like hypocrites, who voted for her and made a quick exchange for self-interest.

    As a foreigner, I am absolutely happy to see this spirited woman in Senator Hillary as she is determined to battle through just like any sportman/woman despite people in large might call her stupid or dumb.

    Shame on those who first voted for her and changed. It is good now that she knows who is really a good friend to have and bad not to be with. These so-called super-delegates are just a bunch of hypocrites who promised one thing and did another bad thing. Is it for their own personal gain? I bet you can think it more logically.

    As for her, yes, she lost on lack of campaigning funds or other factors. But is that really a concern to choose a better US president? What is your greatest set of criteria for that person as the commander in chief? Think it through thoroughly, and please don't get side track by external influences and own selfishness.

    If Barrack Obama is elected, I doubt he can be a great leader for the US and world. Why, simply because he has not got a proven big heart and experiences for such huge tasks in that 4 years later.

    I know he is really a good man but perhaps he is young enough to wait for another term.

    Senator Hillary has all the characters and caring heart to meet the needs of all kinds, whatever! The World needs her more than America does! Respect her fighting spirit and you gain respect from the world!

    May 8, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  5. ron barnes

    not sure if this is true, if not someone please correct.

    I'm hearing the reason clinton has to stay in financially is because she's loaned her campain over 10Million Dollars.

    No one explains how she gets paid back that 10 or so million.

    What pays her back are campaign contributions. So until the contributions pay her back, it makes sense to stay in financially.

    I feel she should quit, but not for the reasons mentioned. She could have another chance to run in the future, but is now destroying her future chances. similar to Gore. He basically can run in the future and win based on how he graciously backed down and his current record on the environment (just my opinion)

    Does anyone know how personal "loans" to your campaign are paid back?

    May 8, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  6. Tony

    Is he mocking her or is he serious? If he is serious he should read the news, some of her supporters are asking her to stop. There is no pressure from the Democratic party or from anyone in the Obama camp. She can run as long as she wants.

    May 8, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  7. Romulus, Michigan

    Petition for Barack

    Send your petition statement to the DNC.

    May 8, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  8. 2muchHate






    May 8, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  9. Bill

    If you think that for the sake of unity in the screwed up Democratic party I and my significant other will vote for such a shyster as Obama you are sorely mistaken. I am sure there are many more who feel the way I do as well. I guess Dean thinks that people will vote for an inexperienced, lying fraud just to keep his party happy. ( e.g. of one of Obama's many lies: Obama lied in the national debate about his previous stance on gun control and even about his handwriting on a form). Why do people think that the only options are to vote for Obama or McCain? We can abstain from voting or support a 3rd party candidate. I hope someone substantial makes a run as an independant. As far as I am concerned the Democratic party has turned me from a Democrat to an independant this election season. Personally I wouldn't mind if the democratic party went the way of the dodo and became extinct.

    May 8, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  10. Dylan

    hahaha Hillary is the new Huckabee... I love it!

    May 8, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  11. Karen

    Is he simply jealous of how DNC treats losers as compared to how RNC treated them? Switch party.

    May 8, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  12. Kenneth M

    Poor Hillary has gone from a historical figure to a hysterical figure. Its like she is just wondering around the country begging for money saying “Its not over yet, hey, hey, its not over yet. Give me money, give me money”. And the bad thing is nobody will tell her.

    May 8, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  13. Honest Abe

    I'm sick of people like Huckabee. If you're going to go on the record with all the tough talk about sticking it out till the end, then you should've done the walk and talked that talk. YOU QUIT BUDDY!!!!

    May 8, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  14. Maria

    Hillary don't quiet!!!!

    May 8, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  15. Danny

    She have to stay on she still can win nominee. Obama unelectable guy
    why she have to drop out, people going divided this country if he get President black white going to fight each other in the future because he
    slow react.

    May 8, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  16. Tony Z- MD

    I agree with Huckabee. She can stay, but only to build party unity. Now is the time for her to mend the fence. The people have heard what she had to say.

    May 8, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  17. Jim

    This guy hit the nail on the Head! If Mike Huckabee was still running I would rather vote for him. And I am a registered Democrat and have been all my life.

    The logic is simple, we as Democrats have to find fair and reasonable solutions to seat the Mich. and Fla. delegates. The people voted, let us not alienate them. I spent almost an hour waiting to vote this past Tuesday. I would hate for my vote to be jepardized in any manner.

    Fair means being fair to the people of these states, not the candidates! My call is to the DNC to get these delegates seated so that our candidate, Obama or Clinton, will be relevant when the party's nominee has the run-off in November.

    Again, seat these delegates so that these people know their votes do matter in supporting the Democratic party.

    Use logic.

    May 8, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  18. so ironic

    “You know it’s frustrating to those of us who spend all of this time, effort and money — we get our supporters out there, we play by the rules that were handed ....."

    The problem is Hillary doesn't want to play by the rules and keeps trying to move the goalposts!

    I love how the Clinton campaign also keeps saying Obama blocked the FL and MI votes which is such a load of bull! Way to "unite" the party by tearing it down, huh Hill?

    The Clintons are only out for themselves in a desperate power grab to save their crumbling dynasty. Whay can't everyone see it like it really is?

    May 8, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  19. Obama2008

    She can run as long as she wants, but she is trying to change the rules set by the party to her advantage.

    May 8, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  20. Heaven

    I agree with "Hilary supporter, but will not betray democrats". I am an Obama supporter but I agree the end of the day...we have to unite and do whats best for the democrat party. Any democrat choosing to vote for McCain because they are pouting about their choice of president not beintg the nominee ought to be ashamed. Stop wearing your hearts on your sleeves and do whats right for this country that is suffering. I can't believe that you all would rather struggle and watch the economy fold because your candidate of choice isn't winning. Grow up! Think about the bigger picture and the lives of those to come.

    May 8, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  21. Mr C

    Ya, looks like Obama is going to win. Then again, it looked like the Minnesota Vikings were going to beat the Dallas Cowboys in the 1975 NFC semi-final playoff game. Time for Hilary to throw one last "Hail Mary" (even though she is not Catholic) and let the chips fall where they may. You never know.

    None the less, it's good to see her playing til the end because the President of the United States should be someone who continues to play even when the chips are stacked against them.

    May 8, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  22. Lyz in MD

    That's all well and good, but this isn't a sporting event. I also have to wonder about Huckabee's ulterior motives. After all, Clinton is doing a lot of damage to the party by remaining in the race.

    May 8, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |

    Its unfair to say for Hillary to quit. What if the result of Florida and Michigan votes were counted long time before. I think everything will change. She will be ahead of Obama. And everybody now will say Obama should quit. It's also unfair to say that Obama won. Won on what? 48 out of 50 states. Superdelegates will have a meeting come end of May. Why end of May? Why not long before? So, all of the candidates will get the proper votes. I think we have a major flaw in the Democratic party when it comes to this. I think Mccain will have an easier time winning the election come November since he is the weaker link/candidate as compared to Hillary. Sorry for the Democrat.

    May 8, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  24. Sandy from Ohio

    There is something wrong when you feel that Hillary should be the candidate just because she is a woman and you want to she a woman as president in your life time. That is a poor excuse! This country needs changes and Hillary is still behind the old boy network. She is not the person to bring about change. Unite the party and lets win in November Obama 2008

    May 8, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  25. Rosheeka-Texas

    Futhermore, All these "friends" Barack is making across the aisle undoubtedly comes from promises made. GOP sees Green. O supporters will say it's because of his charm. Please. The # 8 means new beginings and all this year starting with super bowl,(Go Giants! )the underdog has won. Stay in it Hillary until it done!!! ALL THE WAY!!

    May 8, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
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