Huckabee defends Christie, but touts his own White House potential
January 23rd, 2014
01:50 PM ET
9 years ago

Huckabee defends Christie, but touts his own White House potential

Washington (CNN) – Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor and full-time presidential pot-stirrer, defended Chris Christie on Thursday as the New Jersey Governor faces continued questions about his knowledge of the multi-lane George Washington Bridge shutdown last fall.

"I think it's much ado about nothing," Huckabee told reporters Thursday when asked about Christie. "There is nothing that's tied him to that, and I think he did what he should have done. He went and answered every question that was thrown at him. He took responsibility even though he didn't personally order the decision to be made about the bridge."

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"I think it's all behind him, I really do," Huckabee said.

Before delivering a speech to a Republican National Committee luncheon in Washington, Huckabee spoke in greater detail about his possible campaign for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, a prospect he insists he is taking seriously.

Huckabee, a onetime Baptist pastor and current Fox News talks show host, ran for president in 2008 and won the Iowa caucuses. But despite flirting with another bid four years later, he passed, citing family reasons and his personal financial security.

But he said he's received even more calls to run in 2016 than he did last time around.

"The encouragement has been much stronger than I would have anticipated," Huckabee said, mentioning "the need to have people who actually recognize the role of how to govern."

"It's not just a campaign," he said. "It's really about being able to govern and experience governing in an environment that is not altogether your own party. And certainly nobody governing bring that quite like I could."

Huckabee said that was not a comment on the field of prospective Republican candidates, a deep roster that includes a number of senators as well as governors.

"It's not being disparaging about somebody else and what they bring, but I do think it's an important criteria right now that you understand the nature of governing is very different than the nature of campaign," he said.

"Most importantly when you're working on divided government, it's a different dynamic involved," he said, a reference to the Democrats he worked with in the Arkansas legislature. "You don't walk in knowing they love you."

Asked how Christie would be received in Iowa if he runs for president, Huckabee said "I think they would like him."

He had a more measured take on whether the state's tough-to-please social conservative community would be receptive to a Christie candidacy.

"Well, I don't know," Huckabee said. "Look, he'll have to understand and learn Iowa. But we all do when we go there. That's part of the process."

Filed under: 2016 • Chris Christie • Mike Huckabee • RNC
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Lynda/Minnesota

    Oh dear. Poor, poor GOP: Hannity AND Huckabee.

    Popcorn time is here again !

    January 23, 2014 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    Sorry, I can't vote for him because he isn't black and doesn't wear a pants suit.

    January 23, 2014 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  3. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    And why is this guy is relevant?

    January 23, 2014 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  4. Wake up People!

    Oh great Reverend President Huckabee. Not.

    January 23, 2014 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  5. Wake up People!

    We know you wish it was behind him. But it's just getting started.

    January 23, 2014 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  6. just spraying

    Yup, all behind him, you wish, that's why he hired a entire legal team. This is not going away, no natter how much you losers try to convince the weak minded,:

    January 23, 2014 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  7. Jay

    Huckabee are you serious? You would get smashed by the Dems. The GOP needs a scam-free Christie to run against Hillary, otherwise in the words of the great Colonel Trautman, "It's over Johnny!"

    January 23, 2014 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  8. Rudy NYC

    Question of the Day:
    Which former Fox host will be the next GOTP Presidential candidate? Not this guy or the previous one. Hmm. I wonder if this is why Glenn Beck has suddenly become contrite and apologetic over his past on-air remarks. Beck for 2016? Nah, no way.

    January 23, 2014 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  9. just spraying

    And the clown car is filling up fast. So many backs, so few knives .

    January 23, 2014 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  10. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Sorry! I'm not voting for some religious zealot who will place his brand of sharia law on the entire population. That goes for you too Ayatollah Santorum.

    January 23, 2014 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  11. The Real Tom Paine

    That's nice...just don't ask him to take a science test.

    January 23, 2014 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  12. Lilly

    Where will he get the money to run? How much money he has accumulated since he lost the bid last time? Some people never stop dreaming for nothing.

    January 23, 2014 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  13. quinLee

    this guy just exudes, "I'm in it for me". We already have a surplus of this type. Let's get some folks that actually give a dang about the PEOPLE and the greater good.

    January 23, 2014 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  14. RonL

    How can Governor Christies problems be behind him when 2 different investigations have just started!! Statements like this shows how Mr. Huckabee is just another politician who will bend the truth no matter how absurd it sounds.

    January 23, 2014 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  15. Al-NY,NY

    he defends him now but if he gets in the GOP/TT race for the nomination, it'll be "RINO" 24-7

    January 23, 2014 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  16. Hooper

    Another voice from the planet EGO, heard from. Why is it necessary for Mr. and Mrs American citizen to be bombarded with the likes of these morons, on an almost daily basis? What in the hell did we do to deserve this treatment?

    January 23, 2014 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  17. OH MY EYES

    @Hooper–you are right what on earth did we do to deserve this treatment?

    January 23, 2014 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  18. rs

    Huckabee is a patented member of the Clown Car (right, rear seat I believe). 2016 won't happen without him. Maybe Herman Cain will reprise too!

    January 23, 2014 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  19. The Real Tom Paine

    Mike Huckabee, your new Pharisee.

    January 23, 2014 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |