2016 watch: Huckabee back in Iowa
April 8th, 2014
09:28 AM ET
7 years ago

2016 watch: Huckabee back in Iowa

(CNN) - As he considers another bid for the White House, Mike Huckabee heads to Iowa Tuesday, the state that put the former Arkansas governor on the national political map during the 2008 presidential campaign.

Huckabee will keynote the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition's spring kickoff. The event is the largest annual fundraiser for the group, which is very influential with social conservative voters in the Hawkeye State.

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CNN has also learned that Huckbaee has several private meetings scheduled while he's in Iowa on Tuesday.

"The Governor has a lot of friends in Iowa and a lot of supporters in Iowa. They are all interested in his future and the visit to the state for this event is a good opportunity for him to discuss state and national politics with these supporters as he considers his own future," Chad Gallagher, executive director of HUCKPAC, Huckabee's political action committee, told CNN.

Huckabee, who's also a pastor, won the January 2008 Iowa Republican caucuses, which kick off the presidential caucus and primary calendar, propelling his once long-shot campaign. He ran a strong second in many of the following primaries and caucuses to eventual GOP nominee Sen. John McCain, thanks in part to his strong support among social conservatives, who are an important part of the Republican Party's base.

Late last year Huckabee started talking like someone who was interested in running for president again. It was a very different language than what was heard from Huckabee prior to the 2012 election cycle, which the Fox News Channel weekend host sat out.

This is Huckabee's first trip to Iowa since late last year, when he met not only with social conservatives but also to business leaders, many of whom were suspicious of his economic populism during his 2008 run.

A few days after his Iowa trip, Huckabee heads to New Hampshire, the state that holds the first in the nation primary. Huckabee on Saturday will speak a "Freedom Summit" organized by Citizens United and Americans for Prosperity Foundation, two conservative groups. Two other possible 2016 GOP presidential contenders, Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ted Cruz of Texas, will also address the crowd.

Last month, as first reported by CNN, Huckabee quietly met in the nation's capital with dozens of House Republicans to discuss the possibility of another White House run. Sources in the room told CNN that the former governor received a "warm welcome" from "an enthusiastic crowd," which consisted of 73 GOP House members. Huckabee also held meetings at the Republican National Committee.

At the end of last year, Huckabee told Fox News that there was about a 50-50 chance he'd run for president again in 2016, and said he'd make a final decision after November's midterm elections.

CNN's most recent national polling in the race for the 2016 GOP nomination, conducted last month, placed Huckabee in fourth place among potential GOP White House hopefuls, at 10%.

And 65% of Iowa Republicans questioned recently in a Des Moines Register poll said they thought it would be a good idea if the former Arkansas governor ran for president again. And a pro-GOP survey of Iowa Republicans conducted less than two weeks ago had Huckabee on top of the list of potential contenders for the party's presidential nomination.


Filed under: 2016 • Iowa • Mike Huckabee
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Tampa Tim

    Uncle Sugar is back spreading that war against women and the poor in the name of Jesus.

    April 8, 2014 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  2. Bill from GA

    65% of Iowa Republicans think Huck should run for President.

    Do we need any more proof that Iowans should have much less influence in the selection of our President?
    And I would surely say the same thing about S. Carolina.

    April 8, 2014 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  3. Denise

    Doubt many women will show up at his rallies. After all, we can't control our libido! What a fool!

    April 8, 2014 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  4. Bessy

    Here we go again ! The same idiots keep crawling out of the woodwork election after election. The real people at fault though are the people who continually pump them up to think they are presidential material.

    April 8, 2014 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  5. Chuck

    This man is what America needs,.......its not what the Progressive Communist Take over needs
    but its what AMERICA needs

    April 8, 2014 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  6. Sniffit

    "Doubt many women will show up at his rallies. After all, we can't control our libido! What a fool!"

    Hehe...and what makes me and countless men and women across the country maddest about it is that he's dead wrong...you CAN. Sigh. What a wonderful alternate reality he's constructed for himself. Makes one wonder if he thinks he can have his 72 virgins now, without having to martyr himself. Oh wait, now I'm mixing fairy tales. Meh.

    April 8, 2014 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  7. Tampa Tim

    America doe not need another teavangelical in the White House. We had one and he was obsessed with unnecessary wars.

    April 8, 2014 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  8. Tampa Tim

    Roger- Sorry, it should have been "does not."

    April 8, 2014 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  9. kierthos

    Yes, this is clearly a Communist takeover, what with Obama nationalizing all the corporations. Oh wait.
    Well, it's a Communist takeover because party membership in the Democratic party is required to advance politically. Oh wait.
    Well, it's a Communist takeover because we've gotten rid of all mention of religion on a national level. Oh wait.
    Well, it's a Communist takeover because we no longer have social or economic classes that differentiate us. Oh wait.
    Well, it's a Communist takeover because it's a reactionary catchphrase that you can use to ramp up emotions regardless of the lack of validity of the statement.

    April 8, 2014 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  10. salty dog

    It really is a clown car, my Gawd!

    April 8, 2014 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  11. Sniffit

    Next up...Uncle Sugar explains to everyone his new and improved abstinence-contraception solution: self-righteously mansplaining women's reproduction and what rights they should have to women everywhere such that, at any given time, the vastly greater likelihood is that any women you run across are suffering from horrible headaches.

    Perhaps it's time for Doctor Gupta to weigh in on this fascinating new alternative?

    April 8, 2014 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  12. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    , Huckabee quietly met in the nation's capital with dozens of House Republicans to discuss the possibility of another White House run.
    -------------------------------------------------
    He-he.
    Why is he having these "quiet" talks asking for "permission to run sir!"?
    Is he trying to make sure that if he doesn't get the go ahead he doesn't have to leave town with his tail between his legs...again?
    Why didn't he run in 2012?
    Permission not granted?
    The GOP is sucking wind.

    April 8, 2014 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  13. Tampa Tim

    Ending wars, ending republican recessions, providing an avenue for people to get private insurance, stock market doubling, auto and housing markets saved, an increase in the minimum wage, and equal pay for women is a communist takeover?

    Seek help!

    April 8, 2014 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  14. TONE

    @Chuck

    This man is what America needs,.......its not what the Progressive Communist Take over needs
    but its what AMERICA needs

    What i do not need is going backwards and not forward because that is where conservatives want to take us to the stone age.

    April 8, 2014 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  15. Tom

    I agree with other posts, the 2016 GOP Presidential race seems to be shaping up to be the same gang of clowns who ran in the last two GOP Presidential primaries. I suspect the results are going to be the same: a bunch of delusional nuts rushing to declare themselves the most conservative, most crazy of all Republicans. By the time the primary is over, the dialog will have moved so far to the right, the winning candidate will have no hope of moving back to the middle for the general election. I don't see how Republicans will ever win a national election if they keep doing this.

    April 8, 2014 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  16. Silence DoGood

    @Chuck
    This man is what America needs,.......its not what the Progressive Communist Take over needs
    but its what AMERICA needs
    -----------
    Oh yeah – a Christian Theocracy instead would be great. That way we could be told just what to do, what to believe, who to marry, what is permitted to do with my body, sharia-type law. (hyperbole alert)

    April 8, 2014 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  17. don in albuquerque

    Why not ask the Seattle Police Dept. if they plan to endorse Huck?

    April 8, 2014 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  18. Lowell Landowski

    How does he hate, and what does he hate? A big spending intrusive government. Not a good fit the President. We want to keep the gravy train going. pass the sugar.

    April 8, 2014 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  19. Denise

    When they finally have their guy, the rest of America doesn't know who he is since he's changed positions so many times....case in point, Romneycare.....

    April 8, 2014 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  20. The REAL Truth...

    The GOP has won only ONE popular vote in for POTUS in the last 25 yrs.. the other was a SCOTUS declaration. One would think that they would be getting the message by now.. Obama was elected TWICE because, he, like most Americans is a moderate.. and that's what it will take to win the Presidency. TO the GOP, it's not about getting your message across, because the message hasn't changed. The clown car needs a good spring cleaning. Proving to the 1% backers that you are more conservative than the other candidates is ludicrous and simply doesn't work at the national polls. Witness President Romney.. then look up the definition of insanity. It will contain the Republican Party M.O.

    April 8, 2014 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  21. Sniffit

    "It really is a clown car, my Gawd!"

    I rather think Uncle Sugar and the Ayatollah Santorum have "clownmobiles." They're sortof like the Popemobile, but clownier.

    April 8, 2014 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  22. Ol' Yeller

    @Tom
    "By the time the primary is over, the dialog will have moved so far to the right, the winning candidate will have no hope of moving back to the middle for the general election."

    You apparently have no concept of the romney etch 'a sketch theory of politics.
    Caution, posts like this will get you in trouble with the righties on here.
    These posts are known as the truth and they will tolerate none of that on here!

    April 8, 2014 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  23. rs

    The GOP having failed at the national level to deal substantively or responsibly with large national issues like jobs, the economy, the environment or immigration, or internationally (on anything), now sets its sights on a backwater fundamentalist minister to sell their post ACA recall failure- the war on religious rights.

    Really guys?
    questions:
    1. Who would Jesus discriminate against?
    2. How many times are the poor, poverty and doing well by your fellow man mentioned in the Bible?
    3. How many time is homosexuality specifically mentioned in the Bible?
    4. What does the Bible say about wealth and the wealthy?
    5. What does it say about taxes?

    Uncle Sugar, and the anti-woman party aren't Christians any more than I am a nuclear physicist.

    If this is the 2016 GOP Presidential representation from the GOP. They have no hope of winning a national election ever again.

    April 8, 2014 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  24. rs

    The GOP's rather intense fascination with American women, their libidos and reproductive systems (and their lack of knowledge on any front thereof) is really sick. These are people in deep need of counseling. 'Bye "Uncle Sugar"!

    April 8, 2014 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  25. The Republican Party Is Dead To Me

    The closer we get to 2016, the cloudier the water gets for the republican party. Matter of fact it's muddy now, and getting muddier all the time. When nut jobs like this insist on laying claim to the power and privilege of political office, they make it impossible for any person in their parties ranks to be taken seriously. Go for It boy's and girls of the right. The only people you are defeating are yourselves.

    April 8, 2014 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
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