Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, the winner of the 2008 Iowa Caucuses, delivered a strong hint Saturday that he’ll run again in 2016. The moment came during his speech at the Iowa Freedom Summit, right after he spoke about ending his Saturday night show on the FOX News Channel.
“A lot of people are wondering: ‘Well, why would he do that?'” Huckabee said. “And I’ll leave it to your imagination, but it wasn’t just so I could go deer hunting every Saturday, I can assure you that.”
The remark drew laughter from the crowd, a couple of whom were wearing bright blue shirts declaring that they were “Ready for Huckabee” in 2016. Huckabee, laboring in the role as the 31st speaker at a nearly 10-hour event, delivered a message that was sprinkled with laugh lines. However, midway through his remarks Huckabee declared that America was “coming around to conservatism” and he blasted critics who’ve questioned his own stand on a controversial issue for conservatives, the national education standards known by the name “common core”.
“I know that some of you have heard, ‘Well, Mike Huckabee supports common core.’ Folks, what common core may have originally been which was a governor-controlled and a states’ initiative to keep the fickle federal fingers of fate off of education, it has morphed into a ‘Franken-standard’ that nobody, including me, can support,” Huckabee said.
Huckabee said those who suggest he supports common core are either “misinformed” or being “dishonest” in order to help one of his potential opponents in the 2016 presidential race.
“You cannot create a successful organization of any kind if you spend your time taking a grenade, pulling the pin, tossing it under the chair of the people who are in your own tent,” Huckabee said near the beginning of his speech. “And one of the things that I’m committed to is that we don’t need to spend the next two years beating each other up in the conservative tent. We need to tell America what’s right with this country.”
AUDIO of Huckabee’s speech
Huckabee is in the Kansas City area this morning, speaking at a church there and signing copies of his new book. He’ll be at a Cedar Rapids bookstore this afternoon and he’ll be at a church in Windsor Heights this evening for another book-related event. The pastor of the church hosting the Huckabee event tonight delivered the opening prayer at Saturday’s Iowa Freedom Summit.