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. fred

    LMAO not betray would vote for an Idiot to run our country (did you for for Bush?), than a person with brains and isn't Anti-America!!!

    I have and always will be a democrat....but vote for an Anti-America candidate because he is a about the stupidest thing I have heard.

    I will vote for McCain if Obama is the nominee!!


    May 8, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  2. Dan (TX)

    Hillary has every right to stay in the race as long as she has the funds and abides by the party rules that were agreed upon.

    What's turning people off is that in her "quest" for the nomination, Hillary seems to have no problems trying to change the rules in order to further her self-interest. Not a pretty sight for any candidate – regardless of party.

    Play by the rules – win or lose! It's that simple.

    May 8, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  3. Cashman

    I hate to say it, but,... that "horse race" analogy just makes a lot more sense after saturday night,... Time for Hillary to go. It's over.

    May 8, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  4. JC

    McCain/Huckabee will lose my vote.

    I cannot tolerate any slightest possibility of Huck in charge of the Oval Office.

    Anybody but Huck and Hillary!

    May 8, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  5. indiana

    huka is same like hillary but finaly wat happen to him, he quit. so let wait till may 20 when obama will reach 2025 and see if she will still be running as john steward ask obama on his show.

    May 8, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  6. d

    Hilliary has to win the remaining primairies by around 80-20 just to catch up to Barack. McCain can't even get this amount despite clinching the nomination months ago.

    Sure, Football teams have come back from 4 touchdowns back in the past when there were still 2-3 quaters to play, but never when there was only a minute left in the game.

    May 8, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  7. MD

    Of course Huckabee gives her credit. She is beginning to sound like him. Yesterday she said she will stay in the race until there is a nominee. This was Huckabee's mantra when McCane had over 1000 delegates, and he had about 200.

    I think Hillary and Huckabee should be on the same ticket.

    May 8, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  8. matt from albany

    This from a candidate who dropped out at the first sign of defeat....???

    If Mitt Romney or Huckabee had any balls at all, they wouldn't have let a 70+ year old geezer take the nomination from them without even a hint of a fight!!!

    Hell, Huckabee is getting more votes than Ron Paul who is technically still IN the race.... And now Huckabee has the guts to say Hillary should keep fighting?????

    STFU Mike, you are turning into a Rush shill.

    May 8, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  9. Susan MO

    Hillary Clinton is a strong person.

    Experienced, for the people , and a fighter.

    Good for a president.

    Hillary 08 🙂

    May 8, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  10. paul

    The game is over, all the cable-news said so, includes ABC, Fox news. She still runs because she needs to find a good path to exit; she still runs because she needs money to pay off her debt, she is asking her supporters to pay even though she got millions millions cash in her pocket.

    May 8, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  11. carolflowery

    people will miss Hillary when she does decide it's over, cause you will be stuck with your decision, and there will be turning back
    I admire a woman who can stand her ground

    May 8, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  12. Susan MO

    Hillary is a very strong person.

    Experienced, for the people, and a fighter.

    All good for a president.

    Hillary 08 🙂

    May 8, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  13. DT From CT

    Everyone says Obama has skeletons in his closet .. and they are waiting for it to come out. I got news for you, the clintons have more than skeletons, they have the entire Jurasic Park. Obama ran a honest campaign and decided not to stoop low to the clinton machine

    The clintons are the most popular name in American, and this young Senator from no where beat them at their own game, and to add salt to injury, he ran a clean campaign.

    Hilary, America has spoken, and i am sorry, but it's time to hit the road.

    Obama 08

    May 8, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  14. Tera

    Hillary has a right to stay in the race. I do not think she should stay in until the convention but that's for her to decide. As an Obama supporter I realize that how you finish the race is just as important as how you start the race.

    Hillary has run a tough campaign. I didn't like all of her tactics but she's a fighter and I admire her for that. My hope is that all Democrats will unite in the fall and support the nominee. Cutting one's nose off to spite one's face is not the height of wisdom. Keep in mind what is at stake here; War in Iraq, Economy, Jobs, Education, The Supreme Court, etc., etc, etc.

    Democrats 08

    May 8, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  15. majorie

    I want Perot back!

    May 8, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  16. Michelle, Baltimore

    As an Obama supporter I think that Senator Clinton should stay in for the remaining contest. We have less than a month to go so let it play out. If supporters, pundits and campaign advisors would just give her some space I believe that she will do the right thing and bow out graciously.

    No matter what happens as a result of the primary season, Democrats need to rally around the nominee and take back the White House.

    May 8, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  17. Bitter in Texas

    Me thinks that the good Sen. from NY is devoid of all the social graces, but only she can decide when it's time to drop out....and it better be the first week in June. Did someone forget to pay the "fat lady" or is the good Sen. hard of hearing?

    May 8, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  18. Cape Cod

    Why should she quit? She didn't set the primary dates they were set by the DNC & individual states. I think she should play it out until the end; if she had quit months ago (after Ohio & Texas) like everyone called for her to do we would not have heard about the "skeletons" in Obama's closet.
    I have been reading blogs for months now I have to say that the group who seems to be VERY rude are the Obama supporters (yes, Hillary supporters are rude as well). For some reason his supporters seem to think that the only people backing Clinton are backwoods imbeciles who work at the local McDonalds that don't know any better & are racist. That is quite offensive to me & it tells me that you have "elitest" tendencies you can't accept other peoples' opinions because you are "correct" no matter what -

    May 8, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  19. JC

    Why not give Obama some credit?

    The louder one gets heard by Huckabee.
    Hearing is not the only function of our senses.

    May 8, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  20. David

    I wonder how many Obama supporters that liked Huck for saying that the Rev. Wright issue should not be held against Obama are now bagging on Huck for saying this about Hillary?

    May 8, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  21. Gerald F.

    I agree about Hillary staying in. It is bringing out more and more voters than it has shown in past elections. Its been a long time since Americans have been this interested in not only who but what matters. Everyone is feeling like his and her(general public that is)'s voice is being heard. Let the lady run to at least June. Despite what some may think of Hillary. By June if the writing on the wall is for Obama to be out there as President. Then he will have a good right arm supporter with her bringing what skills and talents she can offer. To help clean up the hundreds of neglected in baskets lining the hallways of the White House.

    May 8, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  22. Eddie

    She is trying to change the rules,remember you did not tell the GOP to take the election from the winner even if you lose and you also did not try to destroy McCain by calling him un-electable.

    May 8, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  23. IowaforHuckabee

    Once again, Mike Huckabee shows what an honorable man he is. He says what he thinks, not what someone's telling him to say, paying him to say, or what he thinks he should say for the good of the Republican party. Although he disagrees with the Democratic candidates, he has always shown respect for them and an understanding of what they have gone through to get where they are.

    May 8, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  24. Toniette

    Why is Canada looking more and more like the land of milk and honey? Gawd, make it all end before I lobotomize myself!

    May 8, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  25. Vik

    Hillary has a right to stay and no one is disputing that. The real question is should she stay, since there's hardly a chance that she'll win. If I was her, I'd help unite the party and spend the rest of my time making sure a democrat gets into the white house.

    May 8, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
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