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. Rick FL

    I agree with Huckabee on this one. It is likely the remaining primaries would not change the overall results, even with FL and MI counted as is. Additionally, the attention from these primaries over the next few weeks could help Democrats for the fall, as more new registers get involved in the process.

    Dem '08

    May 8, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  2. HSNP

    I find that the Obama supporters (in general) have such a superior, smarmy tone, a lack of graciousness and manners, to be high handed and rude, that I, as a Democrat, would never want to be a part of such a childish, sophomoric movement.

    If Hillary's down, GO MCCAIN! We need adult leadership.

    May 8, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  3. Vickye

    I agree with Huckabee and think Hillary Clinton should stay in the race until such time as SHE feels she needs to exit. I am a strong Hillary Clinton supporter and initially felt that if Obama gets the nomination, I wouldn't vote. But I've had time to re-think my position and realize that it's very important to unite the Democratic Party for a win in November, and if Obama is the nominee, I will vote for him. However, I join many Clinton supporters in knowing that while Obama can talk and inspire, he will not have a clue what to do when he actually gets in the White House. This is an extremely important point...Hillary DOES know what to do.

    May 8, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  4. abbey, Chicago

    abbey for Obama 2008/12, i will urge senator Clinton to quit and endorse Sen. Obama for the sake of the party.

    May 8, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  5. John Carlson

    There will be more on Obama folks (hang on) – dumb democrats again.
    Chicago, Il

    May 8, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  6. bigben

    The race should be closer but delegates are not given out fairly. Black areas get more delgates than white area . Doesn't sound democratic to me.
    Some say Hillary is playing the gender card. How about Obama playing it over and over. Clintons are not racist. It a label Obama and his staff but on them. Why do you think a senator with no record of anything is getting 90+percent of the black vote.

    May 8, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  7. Madrugada Jones

    Unfortunately, the only way Hillary can win is by seating the delegates from Michigan and Florida at the convention, which would be changing the rules at the end of the game, not playing within them.

    Cartoons here:

    May 8, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  8. Don

    Finally somebody said it right, let the people in the states that havent voted have a vote, whats the harm-None.
    The Democratic Party will unite in the end, no matter who is the nominee.
    I do admire Hillary-what a fighter, I guess thats why I support Hillary and proud to be a Hillary Delegate.


    May 8, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  9. Tom Eyemdaman

    He's right. You never know what might happen. What if information came out that Obama had links to Islamic terrorists, or that he was secretly going to Black Panther meetings? Hillary would sweep the rest of the states and the Superdelegates would flock to her.

    Sure, it's a long shot, but so was the Superbowl underdog...

    I think she's got a case to stay in, but it's becoming harder for her to maintain optimism.

    May 8, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  10. Sean

    Miss Elaine: 7 points in Indiana? Try 20,000 votes. Half a percent! Not even the 2% that keeps being reported in the media. Do your research before you pull numbers out! Also, I think even if it was 7% she won by, he doubled her victory in NC, so how would that not be a landslide?

    May 8, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  11. chuck

    The hardest thing has to be that she was never able to get momentum from the media no matter what she did. Six weeks ago (prior to Pennsylvania) Obama went to Indiana and said that it looked like Clinton would take Pennsylvania and he would take North Carolina and so the real contest would be in Indiana. That would be the true test. So, six weeks later, she beats him by 10 in Penn and he beats her by 14 in NC (like he said they would) and Clinton WINS in Indiana even after being out spent there 4 to 1. So, what happens on that historic night of Clinton winning the tie breaker the real contest?

    The media declarers her dead...

    Go figure...

    May 8, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  12. FEDUP

    How sad for the democratic party to select a person who will lose in November. Obama is a black version of Dukakis. So, if we who are more central democrats, those who are more to the right added to those who are racist, the Independents who can't even decide which side of the fence to be on, then throw in the Republicians who will vote for McCain, how can Obama win? The Black vote will not carry Obama in the General Election. The Young voters will probable not even vote in the General. That leaves McCain as the next President of the US…This in a year that should have been ours for the taking. Hillary did not divide this party Obama did. Obamas' the urgency of now, is what caused this divide. He will throw anybody under the bus to be President! Anyone who doesn't believe this, is indeed an Idiot! We Clinton supporters need to unite and write her name on the ballot in November!!! We can do it, yes we can……

    May 8, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  13. AJ - North Carolina

    As a Clinton supporter, I'm not giving up!

    The only way I see this turning around is when the DNC determines something with Florida and Michigan on May 31. With those states counted as is, it is a very close race. Here is the breakdown…

    Candidate Delegates Super
    delegates Total
    Obama 1656.5 260 1916.5
    Clinton 1605.5 284.5 1890

    Hillary is a fighter and one of her many qualities that attracts me to her the most. I'm not giving up on her yet.

    May 8, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  14. Hal

    Huckebee should give her advise how to campaign frugaly by staying in cheap motel. He may still have his directory in WV and KY. To say the least, Hillary would not be on the red financially and naive in the political arena. She can decide for herself what to do next but her ego and ambitions are on the way. In democracy we do not show the exit door she knows what to do for her party if she is concerned. We need time to tend our wounds, heal and energize for the next fight with Mcain. I was Hillary supporter until the PA primary. Thank you!!!

    May 8, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  15. Chris, Middletown, CT

    (I'm a Republican) – I support Obama – but if I really wanted to have McCain win...I would so love Hillary to would unify the party – we would draw every Republican....every Independent and the Obama supporters who saw Hillary for the lying panderer she is...

    Fortunately that fear-monger/anything to win candidate is done.....

    HRC the "experience" rhetoric that Hillary fed you – look up Hillarys "experience" – i.e. how many cabinet meetings she attended....none....then looks at substance behind Obamas message....see his plans on the web really mad at Hillary for lying to you....and donate to Obama.

    I will continue to support don't "all" lie....its really only Hillary

    May 8, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  16. a family affair

    to HSNP go to McCain and cut your own throat!

    on idiots commit suicide.

    Maybe you should join the Army and figh in Bagdad?

    May 8, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  17. STP

    Hillary, go independent!!! I for one am sick of the Democrats’ & Republicans. The Dem’s processes are way out of control (Delegates, Super Delegate, and Elections, Caucuses) what a joke!!! The Republicans on the other hand want to sell this country to the lowest bidder. I say give them the finger and let’s take our country back. We need a leader not another lobbest puppet.

    Our government needs to be placed under a microscope and the voters need to be aware of what our representatives are doing in office. The American people need to take back control of this country or those yahoo’s are going to run it into the ground!!!

    May 8, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  18. OBAMA Supporter

    Guys and Gals!!! Can we all play nicely? We need to focus on uniting the Party and stop all this Hillary bashing.

    Again, please please play nice...we are ALL DEMOCRATS.

    Dem '08.

    May 8, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  19. jazz girl

    Maybe Huck and Hill can form a Don Quiote club! All you raci I mean so called Hillary supporters who say your going to vote Republican should put a sock in it – you are not believable.In fact many of you are Republicans, 12% in Indiana by most counts.

    May 8, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  20. Jim

    The Clinton machine argues there is going to be an October Surprise. The only October surprise is going to be Paul vs Clinton which the media including CNN refuses to report on. This is the reason that even though the polls were getting tighter the super delegate stream to Obama continued.

    May 8, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  21. Rosheeka-Texas

    Hillary should not quit.!You wanna talk about rules how about Obama supporters trying to ralley to not allow the super del total decide who will be the nominee? Everyone is not in favor or in favor of chaging the rules when it's for thier candidates benefit. He wont make the Mark! (2,025)!! Which will still leave room for arguement. Battleground states Obama can't win!! If you Obama supporters are so sure, then shut up and wait 3 weeks. If you had both credentials on paper and didn't know who these people were Barack wouldn't even get a call back. I'm not willing to get behind a candidate who hasn't proven himself. I am African American and feel that Barack is not for us. If he would have shown up at the State of the Black union instead of trying not to be the "Black Candidate" (something he can't escape) people would have known where he stood on race relations and the Rev. Wright issue would be a non issue. All I have to say, Hillary go ALL THE WAY!!!!!

    May 8, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  22. Kshama

    I think Obama supporters as well as the surrogates, especially Ted Kennedy, are so smug. Does anyone remember how "Ungracious" Ted Kennedy was when Jimmy Carter got the nomination? At least, Hillary Clinton will be more gracious than that. Give her some credit folks, especially some of the young people who don't know what it is to work hard. They always want the top without ever having to work for it. This explains their cult-like following of Obama. I am ready to vote for McCain. I will be my pleasure and it is my hope that McCain beats Obama in the genral election. Just like Hillary Clinton understimated Obama, so too will be the same with Obama and the Democratic party underestimating McCain.

    May 8, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  23. Felly

    In any game, there must be a winner and a loser. Such is life. Hillary was very negative in this primary campaign and that came back to hunt her. Sometimes, you do not have to fight to be a woman.

    May 8, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  24. Maggie

    Oh David, Sen. Obama broke the rules in Florida by running ad's there. He is crying fowl? Is he being kept down by the "white" man again? Gosh those "White people".

    Get it? Depending on his reasons, he does play the race card. He needs to STOP dividing America. It is way beyond dividing the Democratic party....He has managed, with the help of his former (be sure to add former, as he is now retired) pastor to DIVIDE THIS COUNTRY WE CALL AMERICA....Stop jumping ship superdelegates, you spineless cult followers.

    May 8, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  25. Anthony

    As a McCain Supporter – I think Clinton should ride this out all the way to August baby!

    May 8, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
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