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. ELM

    Clearly, Clintons have demonstrated they can afford to finance their campaign for a couple more months. God bless them.

    Note: Hillary has changed her definition of ‘rich people’ Now, they are ‘billionaires’. I like that.

    May 8, 2008 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  2. Daniel

    This alone should show why Hillary SHOULD drop out. Mike Huckabee thinks it's a good idea to stay in...

    May 8, 2008 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  3. brad

    Since when has Hillary played by DNC rules? She makes up new nomination rules every day.

    May 8, 2008 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  4. H HEIDI



    May 8, 2008 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  5. Floridian for Obama


    May 8, 2008 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  6. Tim

    Oh, and when a baseball game enters the bottom of the 9th and the team behind in points has had their last at-bat, they end the game, no?

    May 8, 2008 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  7. KJR

    I agree (for once) with Huckabee.....if ti was Obama fighting to the end, he'd get endless and constant praise from the media.....sexism is alive and well in the US, but that is acceptable...criticize Obama and you're a racist, criticize Clinton, well, that's OK, she's a witch with a capital "B"....Happy Mother's Day

    May 8, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  8. Justme WV

    With Huckabee and the dems that say they will not vote for Obama on McCain's can he loose? 🙂 🙂 🙂

    OBAMA 08

    May 8, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  9. One Book, Two Books, Huck Book, Hill 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 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  10. Deb n Texas

    The only credit Hillary has is that she and Bill are about to destroy the Democratic Party. What a good LEGACY!

    May 8, 2008 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  11. Petra

    Well, duh.... look what you did?

    May 8, 2008 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  12. Juan

    I think Huckabee's analogy in this is absolutely right; though it may pain Democrats to have to endure this race for a few more weeks, it is in the spirit of a fair and open election that the primary contest run to its completion.

    May 8, 2008 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  13. Edward Lawler

    I'm a conservative and don't really care for any of the candidates running this year. I do admire Mrs. Clinton sticking to her guns and fighting to the finish. Until the convention its impossible to know what will happen or what will turn up. What political scandal awaits, or what stupid thing a candidate will say that will cost he/she the actual nomination. Ed Lawler

    May 8, 2008 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  14. Glenn

    How appropriate! From loser (Mike) to another loser (Hillary!

    May 8, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  15. HD

    I understand what Huckabee is saying, but I also think, we have our candidate and we need to move to the general election.

    At this point, we do not have the luxury of one month of sparring. With Mrs. Clinton's name recognition, she should have been a shoe-in. She wasn't. That says a lot.

    Let's get ready for the general.

    Wish you were a Democrat, Mr. Huckabee!

    May 8, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  16. sheryl

    Oh good lord it’s not about her it’s about this party coming together before it’s too late......All Republicans want Hillary to stay in so what else is new!!!!

    This is not news

    May 8, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  17. obama supporter

    i have lots of respect for you
    and arkansas wants you back for governor/not president or vp. we had better years in your time then the clinton years here and god forbid, mr bee bee is a joke that is taking our great state down


    white lady in arkansas

    May 8, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  18. Brandy (Dallas)

    Of course this is what he will say. He is endorsing the opponent so he wants this thing to drag out even more.

    Wow, these old guys really haven't realized that their so-called mystique that has fooled the American people for so long has dissipated.

    May 8, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  19. Mary - PA

    You know, I really admired Mike Huckabee when he stayed in the race. There were a few major differences between him and Hillary Clinton. Huckabee didn't try to create his own math, Huckabee didn't try to change the rules, Huckabee campaigned with integrity and he didn't go into debt to do it.

    At this point Clinton's I will win it no matter what I have to do stratedgy is getting tiresome. Also the fact that she can not manage the funds of her own campagin is worrisome to say the least. Hang it up Clinton.

    May 8, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  20. Janice from Canada

    Hillary must stop telling her supporters that they matter.

    She wants Michigan and Florida votes to count as if they matter, she talks like she's the only one that really cares about them.

    She wants a tax holiday for all the lower income supporters to get their votes.

    But now all she talks about is the vote of the "supper deligates"
    so in reality the "little people" do not matter to her or ever did.

    To make matters worse she is still asking for money from the above mentioned.

    May 8, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  21. Julie mn

    When you consider Hillary has had to work against corrupt media , pollsters in the obama pocket, Hate filled web sites like daily kos, ect. Rigged cacuses, illegal voting, fraud,which the media chooses to turn a blind eye to, I think she IS a winner.
    Obama has been able to arrogantly stumble from debate to debate, state to state , with the help of all the far-left ( we think America is mean and lazy too) groupies,


    May 8, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  22. New York

    Huckabee, paragon of virtue, has been charged with ethics violations repeatedly. This guy is commercial all the way. I can only imagine what this fox will do in the chicken house once he's handling that PAC money. His endorsement of Hillary's continued fight for the nomination reflects the true nature of both their characters.

    May 8, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  23. Nixon Grant

    It's all about folowing the rules. So everyone should follow the rules or we will send a message to everyone that rules do not matter.

    Obama '08

    May 8, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  24. duane

    I agree with Huckabee. The democrats set up the rules that state a candidate must have a certain amount of pledged delegates to win the nomination. If neither candidate has that amount, the superdelegates INDEPENDENTLY decide who should win the nomination. It's a rule that democrats must live with.

    May 8, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  25. Michael

    Of course he sould say that, every Repoblican wishes to see Democratic Party in pieces.
    Nice try.

    May 8, 2008 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
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