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)

    who is huckabee?loser

    May 8, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  2. Eric

    Even though I have no respect for his policies, Hillary should take this guy as an example. Yes, he kept running even though he had no chance of winning, but by drawing differences between himself and Mccain and not by playing dirty.

    May 8, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  3. Matt Hardeman

    Of course you have to give clinton credit. she's the best candidiate out there by a mile.

    its sad the far-left has decided to take the democratic party on a suicide mission with their poster-boy. they can hear every republican in the land shouting for joy that it's obama... but its ok. they just keep pretending that he'll 'unite the country' in the end.

    good luck with that!

    its kerry all over again. but thanks to you far-left + democratic establishement, its too late. here's johnny!

    May 8, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  4. Anna

    Interesting how the Obama supporters have been insulting Mrs. Clinton for months. When they realize they need her supporters in the the fall it will be too late. As a college educated woman I , and every Democrat I know, will be crossing party lines to vote for McCain if Hillary is forced out. Show a little respect for someone with decades of accomplishments! How long has Obama been working- three minutes? He can't even call a meeting of the committee he chairs because he is too busy campaigning.

    May 8, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  5. Anna

    you better stay out from democrats.specially barack obama.

    May 8, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  6. bonnie

    huckabee is right she shouldnt drop out, besides obama is the weaker canidate even if he wins the nomination, i will vote for mccain just to knock out obama.i will not vote for a man who has a long list of radical friends, even in his book just proves my point.

    May 8, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  7. Matt Hardeman

    i despise obama supporters.

    clintons first acts as president:

    richardson, pelosi, dean, and all the other obama/balloon-grabbing opportunists to be shot at sunrise.

    left-wing media to burnt at the stake. olbermann, borger, cafferty.. all to die, please.

    that'll unite the country.

    May 8, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  8. Matt, Los Angeles

    The credit goes to Huckabee for knowing when to quit. Hillary could use some advice from Mike.

    May 8, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  9. Janey for Hillary

    Hillary is a winner and a fighter–just what we need in America–even my husband who is against women leaders is impressed. He has changed his vote , but will vote McCain if Hillary is not the candidate.

    May 8, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  10. Maggie

    OK. Chris.... go to it will show you how many times Sen. Obama has not shown up for Votes, in his time as a Senator, how many times he did vote (not too many more than no shows on the Senate floor) Present and he was not in the Senate to vote on the war. So what experience exactly are you referring too?

    May 8, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  11. Travis

    This story is so overdone. And how is this hurting the Democratic Party? All I see is that both Hillary and Obama are getting 24/7 news coverage, taking turns slamming McCain. If Hillary wants to stay in the race, let her! Who cares?

    May 8, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  12. cosma

    Oh I havent had any Republican crediting Obama WHYYYY?finaly its going to be "Yesterday vs Tomorow" I mean Obama vs Mcain.
    About FL and MICH... .why did they change the rules of the game before playing or do they want to change at second round of the the game? and you think this wont damage the Party?
    And we should be carefull as Democratic we are heading towards a wrong way

    May 8, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  13. Ostriches burying our heads in the sand

    Miss Elaine....Hillary did not win by 7% in Indiana....She won by less than 2%.....And yes, I don't think it would be unreasonable to say that there is a big difference between 2% and 14%!

    May 8, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  14. World Angel

    If you know that OBAMA is going to be the nominee, what difference does it make if she continues the race, it's only costing her and her supporters money, it's not costing you anything. So if that's what she wants to do, I wish her God's speed. NEVER START A RACE TO QUIT – you will either WIN or be DEFEATED. Once you endure to the end, at that time you can be JUSTIFIED. I BELIEVE IN LONG-SUFFERING, ENDURANCE AND PATIENCE, even the odds are against you,keep fighting, NEVER QUIT!!!! I say this because I strongly believe in what I do, regardless what other people want, I have to do what's best for me, whether good or bad that's my CHOICE. Just like this is Senator Clinton's choice, regardless how bad it looks to us, she's doing what she feel is best for her as well as for other voters that didn't get a chance to cast a vote for their candidate of choice. SO PLEASE LEAVE HER ALONE.

    May 8, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  15. fred



    May 8, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  16. ds

    It doesn't make economic or political sense to continue to support a losing cause. It's called "escalation of commitment". Look it up if you dare to be educated.

    May 8, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  17. Elive

    Hillary will not quite. She is working hard to merit the post of vice president.

    May 8, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  18. Paul

    If there's one thing that this campaign has revealed..

    its that a large amount of so-called "democrats" are in fact traitors!
    Im tired of hearing Clinton supporters say they'd vote for McCain
    if Obama wins the nomination!

    You should be ashamed of yourselves!!!! NOT true democrats..

    PS. same goes for those who wouldnt vote for clinton id she wins the nomination (though there are less of them)

    May 8, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  19. DAVE

    I voted for Hillary but even I can see it's over. It is not about fighting to the end but see the reality of the situation.and when she kept on pressing on,I keep thinking if she is still in for herself. want to keep Clinton name in power get out now and come back later.I will still vote for you.I am big Hillary fan and will vote for Obama but would never vote for Republican.It's going to sting little bit not having Hillary on the ballot but there are so much in stake to put another republican in the white house.

    May 8, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  20. from CT

    Playing by the rule's? Oh the rule's she agreed to about Michigan and Florida that she's now trying to change, the way she keeps moving the goal post, oh it's ok that Obama won 10 state's in a row, what matters is I won Penn.

    Playing by the rule's, you have to be kidding me...she's trying to make Mr. Obama look bad because he's played by the rule's, it's horrible the way she spins Florida and Michigan against him, when he was playing by the "rule's" that even she and her campaign agreed to before they realized they were loosing.

    May 8, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  21. Ginger

    There takes a special grace to admit a loss. Hililary is hanging on for no reason except she cannot accept a defeat. Slick Wily is looking towards his legacy in this. We need to end the Clinton line. We saw what "they" did. They had their moment to shine. We saw what she tried to do for health care and failed again and again. Do people not remember that he was about to be impeached? You may say it's Hiliary running, but Bill is always in the light. The biggest purpose of this due is Saturday Night Live!

    May 8, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  22. James for HILLARY

    True! If you're ready to elect an inexperienced, arrogant intern in the White House! Go for it! I'm out of here! What ever happened to the sanity of the American people!

    May 8, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  23. MARLON


    May 8, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  24. Jodie

    I am a republican for Obama, and I do not think it is appropriate for anyone to ask Hillary to quit. Her and her supporters have worked so hard and put so much money into their campaign. They should finish the race. I think she knows its over, but she owes to her supporters. I hope she will bow out gracefully at the end. I really think Obama should consider her for the VP spot. But he should not be obligated.

    May 8, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  25. MARLON


    May 8, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
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