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. @americans

    it's gonna take some time for Hillary to get it, but eventually she will drop out!

    Obama is the nominee, but we need to give Hillary some time to let the reality sink in and we can all unite around Obama and trounce John McSame in the fall!


    May 8, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  2. pam

    With it becoming more and more apparent that Obama will be our democratic nominnee, I encourage all woman take your questions and concerns to Barack Obama NOW.

    Should John McCain win in the fall, womens rights are in jeopardy, childrens rights are in jeopardy.

    Please let us join hands and hearts to keep womens rights and ensure that our children will NOT be subject to a draft that looms if Republicans win this fall.

    May 8, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  3. EG New York

    My sincere hope is that Hillary gets the nomination loses to McCain in a double landslide and we are rid of her incompetence here in New York. Her only well developed skill is lying, oops pardon mis-speaking!

    May 8, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  4. American Dream

    I'm also an Obama supporter, but I have to admit that I like Huckabee. He seems to be such a voice of reason. That said, I think she should quit on her own terms, but she shouldn't be trying to change the rules in the 4th quarter that she agreed to before game time. Poor sportmanship.

    May 8, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  5. Smrt man


    We all know Obama will win... She can stay in as long as she wants, but it wont change the outcome... unless she stays nasty, which will screw the Democrats in the fall.

    You know you're screwed when you are getting sympathy from Huckabee and compared to Huckabee... and getting campaign notes from Huckabee...

    Have we all forgotten what happened with that poor fellow???

    ~Go Obama and such

    May 8, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  6. Lourdes

    hmmmm...proper grammar is so "elitist"

    May 8, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  7. Linda

    Hillary has every right to stay and fight for the nomination. She deserves to be the next president of the U. S. I don't know what you Obama supporters are thinking, but you better fight hard for him because I don't believe that he has a chance in Nov. Obama is not going to have an easy time against John McCain.

    May 8, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  8. Thanh

    Fight to the end and have no regrets. How many people do you actually know who can do something like this? Not many. This is why the GOP fears Hillary Clinton. She's a tenacious fighter willing to trade shots with the GOP. She knows how to play the game.

    Obama will just sit there and go, "So and so said this or that, and you know, it's simply UNTRUE." It's his generic comeback for everything.

    We need strength in the White House.

    Clinton or McCain 08.

    May 8, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  9. Frank, Missouri

    She is 'playing by the rules' ?? Did Huck think this was an interview with SNL ?

    May 8, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  10. greenfun

    Right on Huckabee-You have to respect a hardworking, courageous fighter that doesn't give up. Especially when the alternative is a flip/flopping wuss who the media has been gunning for the entire way.

    May 8, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  11. Robin

    I think Hillary should be able to finish the process, knowbody should be telling her to quit. Everyone acts like she is so far behind ,when shes not. I am and was for Huckabee and I think it was wrong when everyone asked him to quit as well.

    May 8, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  12. sophia nyc

    Hillary is the new Huckabee.

    May 8, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  13. Doris Frazier

    Hillary does not care about her party! It is all about Hillary!
    Americans got to know Hillary and did not like what they saw!
    Act your age for once in your life and leave with grace!
    Rev. Wright didn't work, Bill Ayers didn't work, try Santa Claus!

    May 8, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  14. king

    Thou shall not steal.

    May 8, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  15. Venus

    I forgot to include in my post –

    I think it was Hillary's campaign managers who kept changing the rules and laws because they knew they had lost the race back in February by selecting which states to win and not understanding all the math!

    And of course Huck will give Hillary some credit. I am sure he can relate because he got out of the race when he decided it was time... however... he wasn't trying to kill Mc Cain, cheat and destroy his party!

    May 8, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  16. Roger

    Ha....add this to the sad list of Hilary supporters.

    May 8, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  17. show me

    now hillbillary is getting political advice from republicon s i think she has a new party

    May 8, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  18. California Voter

    For "ha, ha, ha". Proper English is "why don't Hillary and Huckabee join ".

    Hillary should not drop out until Obama receives the required number of delegates to be declared the winner. Michigan and Florida votes need to be included and why not wait until all the states have voted. What's Obama afraid of?

    Clinton or McCain 08

    May 8, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  19. Merrin

    Who cares what Barney Fife has to say... and there are actually people who think this little speech was not politically motivated... that Huckabee
    does not resent the Clintons AFTER battling their machine in Arkansas.

    May 8, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  20. NBC

    I'm an Obama one should tell her to quit.

    May 8, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  21. Joe

    Right on. Hillary is doing the best campaigning for the Republican party right now. Keep up the good work!

    May 8, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  22. Martin

    I don't like the DNC rules at all. In the primary they should look at the states that they usually win and at the one they suppose to win on November, I believe that why they have superdelegates.

    May 8, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  23. virginia

    I believe all the candidates have good qualities and they all should be treated with respect regardless if we agree or disagree – remember folks – that is what America was built on.

    May 8, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  24. duh

    Of course he supports her going on when it doesn't seem reasonable. He did the same thing!

    May 8, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  25. Will Not vote Obama HES FAKE

    The problem the DEM party has is a repeat of 2004. They can't get it right and its there own fault. Obama's words of change or not even his own. Its not what he feels in his heart of hearts. Its someone else lines he using and half of the party is going for it.

    May 8, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
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