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. MurphyMorseJohnson

    Sounds like advice from one loser to another....

    May 8, 2008 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  2. Norm

    Just got a lot more respect for Huckabee, to bad he's out of the race He would be an Awesome president

    May 8, 2008 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  3. manubi

    By the way, how do you loan yourself for what you are running for? I don't loan myself student loan in the process of getting my degree! I can never understand the logic behind it. How are you getting the loan back? From other donors?

    May 8, 2008 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  4. Brian

    Is it possible that Hillary is just staying in the race at this point to try to make back some of the money she lost in "loans" to her campaign? I can't blame her if that is the case but I would hope that people that are donating to her campaign would want to know where their money is going.

    May 8, 2008 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  5. shall182

    So I guess Hillary Clinton is the Mike Huckabee of the Democratic Party then? Great. I was hoping we'd find another Huckabee somewhere.

    May 8, 2008 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  6. James, VA

    Hillary has shown that she is a fighter. She should now use some of
    her spunk to go after John McCain. It is now time for her to stop
    fighting for herself, and start helping Senator Obama fight for her
    fellow democrats. Democrats, one and all!

    Yes We Can.
    Democrats 08.

    May 8, 2008 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  7. Rob in Indiana

    She can stay in the race as long as she wants. She just needs to leave the "kitchen sink" at home.

    May 8, 2008 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  8. MovingOn

    Of course the Republicans are going to egg Clinton on. If she drops out they lose the free ride they are enjoying and the bleeding in the Democratic party stops. If they can keep this sham going then it just hurts the Democrats thus helping the Republicans in November.

    May 8, 2008 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  9. John in PA

    Good for you, Mike Huckabee! I would never have voted for you, still won't, but I admire the respect you give to Hillary. Truly refreshing!

    May 8, 2008 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  10. lol

    hillary is still in this seat FL and MI. huckabee is correct, hillary is the better candidate. she is tough! keep going hillary, it's not over yet.

    May 8, 2008 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  11. ed

    Huckleberryhoundbe got drugs from Limbaugh and got skinny.

    May 8, 2008 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  12. Politra

    Hillary is Democrat or Republican ?

    May 8, 2008 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  13. Ricardo Hamdan

    ‘Gosh, she out to drop out,’

    I think you meant..

    'Gosh, she ought to drop out'

    May 8, 2008 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  14. Tim

    She's staying in the race so her campaign can continue to collect any donations it can, in order to pay back its biggest creditor – HRC – to the tune of $11 million.

    She drops out now, that money is gone forever.

    May 8, 2008 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  15. JKan

    Huckabee talks like a real leader. The coward Press is like a WEAK dog hiding in thye corner and coming out once in a while and bark a lot unnecessarily.

    We all know:

    Hillary may not WIN the nomination, and Obama will NEVER get elected in Nov.

    So what's the rush anyway??

    May 8, 2008 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  16. Common Sense

    It's over. Hillary needs to find a way to pay her debts and leave while she still has a small thread of dignity.

    May 8, 2008 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  17. Michael

    I thought this guy had disappeared. Does anyone care what this cornpone thinks?

    May 8, 2008 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  18. NoMoreBillorHillaryClintonInWhiteHouse

    Shut up Huckabee I know you republicans want this contest to go on so your candidate will get stronger while the democrats fight for nomination. It ain't going to happen.

    May 8, 2008 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  19. Rosemary Storaska

    Hillary's not quitting and neither are her supporters including post any Obama nomination. Fifty percent of the party has absolutely zero confidence in him and just because the Democratic leadership used a Willy Wonka approach with a caucus structure with a thousand different rules and disenfranchised millions of voters will NOT equate to "unity". That is long past.

    May 8, 2008 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  20. Alex Smith

    Of course She should stay in. The republicans would love to see this fight go on till November....if not the next presidential election in 2012. After all Jon McCain will find it easier to run when nobody is attacking him.

    May 8, 2008 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  21. NY Independent

    another very bad sign for Hillary. i love Huckabee, but he simply overstayed his welcome in that race.

    May 8, 2008 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  22. Independent

    sure...we all respect Huckabee because he was a respectable candidate and did not act divisively or antagoniztically...he discussed issue difference with candor and protocol....Unfortunately, Clinton has chosed to act otherwise...she is an intelligent candidate who has served the public for many years but her campaign choices are not healthy for neither her party, nor the electoral process of the country.

    May 8, 2008 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  23. AC

    A CNN ticker on a Huckabee and Hillary comparison. It's over.
    Maybe she sholud do a SNL skit mocking herself staying in the race like Huck did.

    May 8, 2008 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  24. Peter Damoah-Afari

    The race is technically over, and who cares if she stills want to remain.

    May 8, 2008 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  25. tim

    Mrs. Clinton will win the general election. Mr. Obama will not.

    May 8, 2008 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
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