Mike Huckabee Not Running For President?

Earlier today, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee said that he’d be making an “announcement” on tomorrow’s edition of his Fox News Channel show Huckabee and most observers are assuming it will have something to do with his plans for the 2012 election. At least one of his former closer advisers from the 2008 run thinks it means he isn’t running:

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee looks like he’ll give the 2012 White House campaign a pass, says Mr. Huckabee’s top political operative.

Mr. Huckabee has told followers to tune in to his Saturday evening show on Fox News for what he calls a major announcement. But Ed Rollins, who directed his 2008 campaign and has been organizing his 2012 campaign-in-waiting, said he has not been consulted.

“I’ve heard nothing, which indicates to me he’s not running,” Mr. Rollins said in an interview.


As recently as a week ago, Mr. Rollins said, he had been meeting with Mr. Huckabee intensively to go over his chances. A month ago, he said, the former governor was “fully engaged.” Two weeks ago, “he started backing off, but he still wanted to go through, could he raise the money, could he put together the operatives,” Mr. Rollins recalled. All the answers were “yes,” the campaign chief added.

They had assembled a strategy the foresaw him sweeping to victory in Iowa, then focusing on South Carolina, Florida and Texas.

“There was absolutely nothing that I told him that would back him away from doing the race,” Mr. Rollins said. “If he said tomorrow night, ‘I’m running,’ and came to me, I could put together a campaign in week,” he said.

Despite this, Huckabee has sent signals for months that he wasn’t eager to get back into the race, wasn’t eager to get back to fundraising, and was happy doing his FNC show, which is the most popular weekend show on any of the cable news networks.

If Rollins is right and Huckabee doesn’t run, the evangelical bloc that supported him in 2008 will be largely up for grabs, with candidates such as Rick Santorum, Herman Cain, Tim Pawlenty, and, if she enters the race, Michele Bachmann, all vying for their support.



FILED UNDER: 2012 Election, US Politics, , , , , , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. James Joyner says:

    Yep. I’ve been pretty sure for awhile that Huckabee was going to stay on Fox raking in the big bucks rather than launching another likely-to-fail presidential bid. Can’t say as I blame him.

  2. legion says:

    Hucklebuck’s making an announcement, all right: He, Trump, Newt, and Sarah Palin are forming the Four Horse People of the Electoral Apocalypse. They’re going on tour this summer with that “Rent is Too Damn High” guy as their opener.

  3. Patrick T. McGuire says:

    Huckabee would be wise not to run. He has some real ugly skeletons that didn’t get locked up in the closet that will come back to haunt him.

  4. Southern Hoosier says:

    What makes him and the rest of the 2008 rejects think 2012 is going to be any any different?

  5. Yet another disillusioned pawn says:

    The whole question reminds me of something that someone said about Huckabee in2008–“He isn’t really running for “President,” he’s running for “Pat Robertson.” Whether the FNC show gives him that kind of exposure and clout among the fringe of Evangelicals remains to be seen.

    @ Southern Hoosier: What’s different this time is that if you remove the “2008 rejects” from the mix for 2012, you have…well…nobody.

  6. PD Shaw says:

    Would Fox let him announce that he’s running for President on their shows? That seems counter to the desire not to let their programs be used for electioneering. I assume the opposite announcement.

  7. Trumwill says:

    What makes him and the rest of the 2008 rejects think 2012 is going to be any any different?

    John McCain. Bob Dole. George Bush. Ronald Reagan. Richard Nixon. Most Republican nominees ran previously and lost.

  8. Trumwill says:

    That should say “since Goldwater.”

  9. I must be the only one who thinks he is running. He must think that his show is big enough a venue to announce on or I am way off.

  10. That should say “since Goldwater.”

    Goldwater too, actually. Barry Goldwater was a candidate for the GOP nomination in 1960 as well as 1964