Fox News To Mike Huckabee: Make A Decision On Whether You’re Running For President
Howard Kurtz reports that Fox News Channel is growing impatient with Mike Huckabee’s dithering over whether or not he’s running for President:
Mike Huckabee may be running out of time to make a decision on running for president.
It’s not that the former Arkansas governor feels any political imperative to speed up his timetable. But his Fox News bosses would like him either to jump into the White House race soon or announce that he’s taking a pass.
In March, Fox suspended two contributors, Newt Gingrich and former Sen. Rick Santorum, for taking concrete steps toward a presidential bid. No action was taken on two others, Huckabee and Sarah Palin, but Huckabee’s status may be coming to a head.
Bill Shine, the network’s executive vice president for programming, told The Daily Beast that “like we did with Gingrich and Santorum, we are continuing to monitor the situation and will take action if and when we think it is necessary.” Fox has planned a meeting with Huckabee in the near future to discuss the matter, said Shine.
Huckabee said the notion that Fox is pressuring him over the situation is “total nonsense. Your source is full of it,” he told me by email. “No pressure at all. Fox has been very understanding and they know and I know that if I take steps to be a candidate (ask for money, support, or set up a committee), then I will step aside. That’s been understood from the beginning.”
True, but some executives are concerned about Huckabee continuing to host a weekend show while stoking interest in a possible second presidential campaign. “It’s getting uncomfortable,” said a Fox insider.
It’s not clear why Fox is so concerned about this. The “equal time” rule no longer exists and, even if it did, it wouldn’t apply to Fox News Channel since it isn’t a broadcast network. Nonetheless, it may be the case that some of the network executives are getting tired of the idea that they are essentially providing free media for people who may end up running for President.