Former Gov Mike Huckabee explores a run for the Oval Office

The Fox News Channel conservative talk show host has announced he will be leaving his show of 6 years

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Mike Huckabee Image by Gage Skidmore (CC)

WASHINGTON, January 3, 2014 –Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee has walked away from his talk show at Fox News Channel saying:

“There has been a great deal of speculation as to whether I would run for President,” Huckabee told his followers on Facebook. “I won’t make a decision about running until late in the spring of 2015, but the continued chatter has put Fox News into a position that is not fair to them.”

From all reports, Fox News and Hucakabee are calling the split amicable and the broadcast stations will run specials in place of Huckabee’s political commentary show for the next few weeks. Huckabee made the announcement saying,

“There has been a great deal of speculation as to whether I would run for President. I won’t make a decision about running until late in the spring of 2015, but the continued chatter has put Fox News into a position that is not fair to them.


The honorable thing to do at this point is to end my tenure here at Fox so I can openly talk with potential donors and supporters and gauge support. As much as I have loved doing the show, I love my country more, and feel that it may be time for me to leave a zone of comfort to engage in the conflicts that have almost destroyed the bedrock foundations of America.

I feel compelled to ascertain if the support exists strongly enough for another Presidential run. So as we say in television, stay tuned!

Huckabee announced his exit during Huckabee Tonight (8:00pm EST) saying he will make a final decisions by late spring.

The 44th Governor of Arkansas from 1996 until 2007, Huckabee is only the 4th Republican elected to an Arkansas statewide office since reconstruction and he is one of Arkansas’ longest serving Governors. The governor heralded tax cuts, job creation, state road reconstruction, K-16 education reform, and a health initiative that focused on the less expensive approach of prevention than the costly big-government approach of intervention.

Huckabee ran for the Republican nomination in 2008, coming in a distant second to Senator John McCain.  In that contest, the former pastor turned Arkansas governor won the Iowa GOP caucus by 9 percentage points over Mitt Romney.’

In 2008, 60% of Iowa caucusgoers were evangelical or born-again Christians, but, a week later in New Hampshire, fewer than 25 percent of GOP primary voters were evangelicals where Huckabee finished third with 11 percent of the vote.

In that race Huckabee also captured his home state of Arkansas, along with Alabama, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Tennessee and West Virginia.

While Huckabee may have failed to gain the attention of the voting public focused on John McCain, Sarah Palin and Barack Obama, Huckabee’s  win in the Iowa caucuses left a big mark on the electorate that votes in that contest, which is a more conservative and more evangelical group than GOP primary electorate elsewhere.

Huckabee has a large supportive base that he communicates with via his website, extensive video channel, daily podcasts and social media (@GovMikeHuckabee, Facebook). The Huck PAC, Huckabee’s Leadership Pac, took in $2.2 million in the 2014 cycle, spending approximately $2 million, with about $500,000 on hand. Sarah Huckabee’s super PAC called American Principles Fund raised $1.4 million, spent $1.3 million and had $60,000 on hand from the 2014 campaign cycles.

Mike Huckabee
Mike Huckabee

Many supporters see Huckabee as a return to the small government that allows for state and voter rights over intrusive big government, often referring to Huckabee as being “being the closest we have to the original Constitutional framers.”

The Southern Baptist minister views reflect his religion. Huckabee is a pro-Christian, pro-life, conservative politician who publicly opposes abortion but feels, that it, like many issues, is something to be decided by the state, however, he has opposed the use of federal funds from medicare to pay for the procedures.

Huckabee is also pro-energy independence calling for conservation, exploration and the pursuit of alternative energy. He has specifically mentioned nuclear, wind, solar, hydrogen, clean coal, biodiesel and biomass and supports federal research and development of these energy sources.

Huckabee states that dependence on foreign oil has “not just shaped our foreign policy, it has deformed it”. He sees energy independence as vital to an effective foreign policy.

Huckabee is also pro-gun and believes we need Immigration reform saying:

“I tend to think that the rational approach is to find a way to give people a pathway to citizenship. You shouldn’t ignore the law or ignore those who break it. But by the same token, I think it’s a little disingenuous when I hear people say they should experience the full weight of the law in every respect with no pathway, because that’s not something we practice in any other area of criminal justice in this country….

To think that we’re going to go lock up 12 million people, or even round them up and drive them to the border and let them go, might make a great political speech, but it’s not going to happen.”

Huckabee was he first presidential candidate to sign Americans for Better Immigration‘s No-Amnesty pledge. In response, NumbersUSA raised his rating on illegal immigration to EXCELLENT.

Huckabee continues to speak for the dignity of legal immigrants.

 

The conservative talk show host who would strap on his bass guitar and play with the guest band of the night, has been receiving renewed attention after criticizing former secretary of state Hillary Clinton last month after she said “smart power” also means empathizing and showing respect for enemies.

“How can we empathize with terrorists who think nothing of beheading innocent men, women and children?” Huckabee asked in a blog post on his website last month.

Guns, God, Grits and Gravy by Mike Huckabee
Guns, God, Grits and Gravy by Mike Huckabee

This month Huckabee releases his book Gods, Guns, Grits and Gravy that will outline his pro-
Christian conservative views on issues such as religion, morality, individual rights, and political divisiveness.

According this his website, in God, Guns, Grits, and Gravy, Huckabee “…delivers a realistic yet optimistic approach to moving America forward.”

The 2016 race is already well underway online with Republican contenders including Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, Rand Paul and now Mike Huckabee. Democrats standing just off stage include front runner Hillary Clinton, Senator Elizabeth Warren and Vice President Joe Biden.

Three-in-five Iowa caucusgoers in 2008 were evangelical or born-again Christians, but, a week later in New Hampshire, fewer than 25 percent of GOP primary voters were evangelicals. Huckabee finished third in the Granite State, with only 11 percent of the vote.

He then captured his home state of Arkansas, along with Alabama, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Tennessee and West Virginia. Despite these victories, McCain secured the necessary number of delegates by early March with a clean sweep of contests in Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas and Vermont.

Even though Huckabee faded quickly in 2008, his win in the Iowa caucuses left a big mark on the electorate that votes in that contest, which is a more conservative and more evangelical group than even other segments of the GOP primary electorate elsewhere.

But his slow strip toward ultimately saying he wouldn’t run in 2012 has left many skeptical of his intentions for 2016. The former Arkansas governor appears to have profited financially from being in the national spotlight — raking in money from paid speeches, for instance, and making expansive use of chartered planes — and many believe he’s unlikely to leave aside a life of relative comfort for a long-shot campaign.

Sources say Huckabee still has paid speeches scheduled in the coming weeks. Huckabee also has a book coming out later this month, titled “God, Guns, Grits and Gravy,” and speculation about a presidential run could add to the hype as he promotes the book.

Any number of politicians have been paid contributors to Fox News, but the cable channel’s policy requires it to sever those ties if that person takes certain steps toward running for office. At times, it has ended the agreements even before the would-be candidate makes a final decision on whether to run.

On his Facebook said tonight’s announcement Saturday night would “make news for sure.”

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