April 24, 2014

Huckabee pondering 2016 presidential race

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee ended his nationally syndicated radio show yesterday and has indicated he’s seriously considering another run for the White House in 2016.

Huckabee won the Iowa Republican Party’s Caucuses in 2008 and he appears ready for the rigors of another campaign.

“You can’t come to Iowa, pop in through the kitchen, go to the podium, make the speech, work the rope line for five minutes and be done,” Huckabee said during a recent Radio Iowa interview. ”To win the Caucuses, you have to go to a Pizza Ranch in every little hamlet and town. You’ve got to go to people’s houses. You have to go to their farms. You’re not always going to have va crowd of 800. You’re going to have a crowd of six and they’re all in the same family.”

According to Huckabee, the Iowa Caucus process forces candidates to reach out beyond donors “who are laying down $2600 checks” to “connect” with regular voters.

“And I’ll go and it doesn’t matter if it’s in Tennessee or New York or California and I’ll say: ‘You may not understand this, but you need to be grateful that Iowa has those caucuses because what they do for the rest of the country is a very valuable service in that they screen candidates,’” Huckabee said. “They shred ‘em sometimes, but they do it in a very important way.”

Huckabee has made frequent return visits to Iowa in the past five years, including a speaking engagement last month in Des Moines for a pro-life group. Huckabee, who spoke with Radio Iowa before the event, said he did not miss the negativity of the presidential campaign trail.

“But I do miss the opportunity to go out and to talk to people and try to share with them that there really are some solutions to some of the problems that we face in the country – and they’re practical,” Huckabee said in mid-November. “They’re not political. They’re practical and I do think that’s missing a lot today.”

Huckabee suggested the Republican Party needs to focus on “the art of governing, not just the art of arguing.”

Huckabee won the Iowa Caucuses and a few contests in southern states in 2008, but was unable to raise enough money or win enough delegates to wrest the GOP’s presidential nomination from John McCain. While his daily radio program has ended this week, Huckabee will continue his daily radio commentaries as well as his weekend television show on the FOX News Channel. Huckabee — who is former Baptist minister — spoke this past Thursday night to evangelical pastors gathered in Little Rock, some of whom were from Iowa.