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. Kel in Auburn, AL

    Of course he'd say that, the republicans are eating this up. They want Clinton and Obama to fight all the way to the end. It's clear repub strategy.

    May 8, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  2. Kenneth M

    Hillary should not beg for money when she is making a victory speach. Obama as the all-but-certain nominee and casting Clinton as a dogged but deluded also-ran. Most people think "She just took a beating in NC and now she wants me to give her money so she can take a beating in Oragon? NO thanks I will buy gas, no need to listen to it". Hillary, stop begging, pay your bills, and get out of the race.

    May 8, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  3. Lisa

    Hillary is a fighter, she will not give in to an empty suit wearing, slick talking, refuse to allow Florida and Michigan votes, scared to debate against a women, fraud from Hawaii push her around.

    May 8, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  4. Brad in Missouri

    If you quote someone you might want to pay particularly close attention to spelling. The word in Huckabee's quote should be "ought" not "out". So what other corners are you guys cutting there at CNN???

    May 8, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  5. Pol

    "She is playing by the rules" ??? Come on, Mike. She is playing AGAINST the rules. She would like to change the rules during the game. Are both of you were playing? Presidency is a serious matter, not a play or game.
    Your credit is very understandable.

    May 8, 2008 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  6. Bill in Boston

    Your position is understandable, Governor Huckabee, you ran a campaign to promote yourself and try to win the nomination. However, the entire Clinton family has run a duplicitous campaign with an almost overriding goal of damaging the "electibility" (to coin the overused media cliche of 2008) of the likely Democratic nominee, with a possible effect of damaging their party in the process. That's the main difference here.

    May 8, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  7. Beny

    shut up loser.

    May 8, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  8. Lucyna

    Although I am strong Obama's supporter, I like what he said.

    May 8, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  9. Lisa

    Why are they trying to get her to drop out when she won Indiana and he won North Carolina? Wasn't he suppose to win North Carolina anyway?

    May 8, 2008 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  10. Dan

    That's hillarious. I was thinking just last night that Hillary is the Huckabee of the democratic party. They're both losers and just don't realize it.

    May 8, 2008 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  11. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Huckabee this our house (democrat) and you need to get out. But I hope your book sells well enough to pay down your debt.

    May 8, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  12. Tina

    My opinion it's a waste of time and money. She could use the time to help the party by helping Obama.
    It's her time and her money she is entitle to do whatever she please. I must say even if I never been able connect with her I have a great admiration for her tenacity.

    May 8, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  13. Mike

    Two points;

    His perspective is that of a self absorbed candidate, and the longer it goes on the more things benefit his party. What else would he or could he say?

    May 8, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  14. Erik from IA

    Huckabee and Hillary are two peas in a pod. Neither one of them knows when the race is over.

    May 8, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  15. Deb

    Call me a McCain Democrat!

    How does Obama think he will win with a Cult Base?

    I enjoyed reading about how McCain plans on protecting America from Evil!

    At this point I honestly feel Obama and his camp are the biggest Evil Americans need protection from!

    Hillary or McCain 08

    May 8, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  16. Aaron

    She didn't play by the rules the Democratic Party set when she had her name on the Michigan and Florida ballots. Obama did follow the rules and left his off, and now Hillary wants those delegates to count.

    I'm tired of her "anything it takes to win" dirty politics. It's one thing to fight to the finish. It's another to throw sand in your opponents eye.

    May 8, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  17. Independent

    If I were Hillary Clinton, this would not be an endorsement I was seeking.

    May 8, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  18. vic nashville,Tn

    Why Hillary has to quit the race ?
    Needed to win 2025

    Obama won 1588 so he need 2025 -1588 = 437

    With out the help of supper delegates he can’t win the nomination

    Supper delegates they can change their minds at convention

    We have 6 more states to vote until the last vote count we can’t say who have more popular vote

    Count the votes from Florida and Michigan first

    So race is not over

    Pundits please quit whining

    May 8, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  19. Brian

    Crazy Arkansas hillbillies.

    May 8, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  20. D.Kimbro OHIO

    I respect this man. This time I don't agree with him. I think this should be ended. God Bless you Mr. Huckabee.

    May 8, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  21. jane in CA

    Does the president need to know math? if not, then she could run as long as she wants.

    May 8, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  22. R.I.F.

    The Huck's actually a pretty good guy. I don't agree with his policies but he seems to be fair minded and not about a bunch of trashing canidates like bullies on the schoolyard. .

    May 8, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  23. Rob

    "She entered this thing to play til the finish line"? No, she didn't. She entered to be coronated, whic,h thankfully, will not be happening in 2008.

    May 8, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  24. Neurotic

    Is it: "Gosh, she out to drop out." Or maybe did he mean: "She ought to drop out."

    May 8, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  25. kathy in ohio

    anyone know of any websites to boycott obama I am a big hillary supporter, female, white, catholic, blue colar, uneducated, clinging to my guns and religion. Anyone else upset about the pressure for hillary to leave the race. I am one of those that will vote for McCain only to cancel an Obama vote. I think we need a website so the democratic party realizes how serious we are.

    May 8, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
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