Huckabee getting serious about a 2016 bid?

posted at 3:21 pm on March 12, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Mike Huckabee ran a strong primary campaign for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination, but eventually fell short to John McCain and Mitt Romney. He skipped the 2012 cycle, despite raising his profile as a national-television talk show host. Will he give it a whirl in 2016? The Hill’s Cameron Joseph thinks Huckabee is getting “more serious” about it:

“He’s more serious this time. He sees the environment to be better for him this time than in 2012,” said Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Huckabee’s daughter and a senior strategist from his first presidential campaign. “It just seems so right for a lot of different reasons. I think there is a bigger opportunity this time around, and he’s very, very seriously considering a run.”

The 2008 runner-up for the nomination has been hard at work reconnecting with past supporters and building new relationships with the GOP establishment. He’s already visited Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, with another trip to Iowa planned for early April. He’s made a number of high-profile speeches in recent weeks, including last week’s address to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

If he does run, Huckabee would start off in a much stronger position than he did six years ago. He’s well-known by the GOP base and has even led in a number of early 2016 polls, both nationally and in early voting Iowa and South Carolina.

The most telling indicator of his thinking is Huckabee’s decision not to renew his lucrative radio contract in order to free up his schedule for other activities. A major factor in deciding not to run last time was that he was making good money for the first time in his life. He was in the process of building an expensive house on Florida’s panhandle and wasn’t ready to give up his big paycheck at the time.

That’s certainly one indicator that Huckabee could be clearing the decks, although moving from his radio show to an Internet platform might not be that much of a change. Huckabee also appeared at CPAC last weekend, which isn’t necessarily a major indicator, either — lots of Republicans appear and speak at CPAC, in or out of office, without aiming for the nomination. Huckabee did hold a press conference at the time, which I attended (and offered a question on economic policy). Huckabee pressed hard on social conservatism and populist economics, just as Joseph suggests:



He’s shifted from the Fair Tax to the flat tax, Joseph reports, perhaps in a way to build bridges with fiscal conservatives. Huckabee has also reversed course on supporting Common Core, which has come under withering criticism from conservatives, although to what extent isn’t quite clear.  All of these would be opening moves for a 2016 bid.

However, the Republican Party has changed enough to where former candidates probably won’t get taken all that seriously. The base wants fresh voices and fresh approaches rather than a reversion to the next-in-line pattern of the GOP. They will have plenty of governors from which to choose in 2016 — Scott Walker, Bobby Jindal, Mike Pence, perhaps Susana Martinez if she tosses her hat in the ring, or maybe even Rick Perry, although he tried and failed in the last cycle. Inside Washington, we’ll probably see freshmen Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio give it a whirl. These all look like the future rather than the past, and Huckabee will have that extra hurdle to overcome if he wants to compete in this new environment.

But who knows? This cycle might be even more wide open than 2008, as Jake Tapper suggested to Hugh Hewitt last night. In fact, there’s only one potential candidate Tapper is willing to discount, and it’s another talk-show host (via Jeff Dunetz):


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Comment pages: 1 2

Thank you, specifically, for that comment.
I had heard Beck’s portrayal of Huckabee as being in support of Common Core, and it’s helpful to hear where Huckabee stands on that issue directly, and correctly, from Huckabee’s own mouth.
ITguy on March 12, 2014 at 10:39 PM

He is all in…..

Huckabee on common core

Brock Robamney on March 12, 2014 at 11:16 PM

MSM and libs eagerly hope that Suckabee and/or Santorum enter the 2016 race. It’ll be much easier for them to steer the narrative from ObamaCare, jobs and the economy to gay marriage, abortion, and the phony War on Women.

SheVee on March 13, 2014 at 12:02 AM

Brock Robamney on March 12, 2014 at 11:16 PM

From the article you linked…

“I don’t support what Common Core has become in many states or school districts,” Huckabee said. “Look, I’m dead set against the federal government creating a uniform curriculum for any subject. I oppose the collection of personal data on students that would identify them and then track them, and certainly any effort to give that personal information to the federal government.”

I am steadfast in my belief that parents – parents – should ultimately decide the best venue for their children’s education, whether it’s public schools, private schools, religious schools, or home schools,” Huckabee added.

ITguy on March 13, 2014 at 11:27 AM

Sorry, won’t vote for Huckaphony. He is pro amnesty, pro common core, let a killer scot free. No chance. I would vote for Hillary first

Brock Robamney on March 12, 2014 at 11:12 PM

You are a liar.

Repeating what I already said in an earlier comment ot this very post…

The man Huckabee pardoned was not a convicted murderer when Huckabee pardoned him.

You’re blaming the wrong Arkansas Governor.

From the Seattle Weekly News…

The Maurice Clemmons Case:
We Blamed the Wrong Arkansas Governor

By Caleb Hannan, Thu., Oct. 21 2010

After Maurice Clemmons shot and killed four Lakewood police officers last November, the world went looking for someone to blame other than the gunman. It found Mike Huckabee, who made for a convenient target. But it turns out that the world, in all its infinite wisdom, had scapegoated the wrong Arkansas governor.

Thanks to the Seattle Times latest entry in the remarkable series on what led up to the shootings, we now know that if any elected official in Arkansas deserves some blame for Clemmons massacre it’s not Mike Huckabee, whose only crime was to reduce the sentence of a teenager forced to serve 100 years for non-violent crimes, it’s current Governor Mike Beebe…

What Huckabee did as Governor was the right thing to do.

After Huckabee left office, what others did was wrong.

Don’t falsely pin their wrongdoing on Huckabee.

ITguy on March 13, 2014 at 11:31 AM

ITguy on March 13, 2014 at 11:27 AM

Why didn’t you mention this quote, hmmm???

“Rebrand it, refocus it, but don’t retreat,” Huckabee reportedly told CCSSO members.

Sounds pretty Marxist to me….

Brock Robamney on March 13, 2014 at 11:39 AM

Why didn’t you mention this quote, hmmm???

“Rebrand it, refocus it, but don’t retreat,” Huckabee reportedly told CCSSO members.

Sounds pretty Marxist to me….

Brock Robamney on March 13, 2014 at 11:39 AM

Just the mentioning of the out of context quote does not bring the issue to a close, at least for rational people. I know the language can be confounding. We’re talking about 2 different groups of people here. What Huckabee is referring to is the original math and English VOLUNTARY standards. He is against the same nasty stuff in the perverted Common Core as you are. You and he and I are on the same side! He’s not telling the perverted Common Core to rebrand, he’s telling the defenders of the original intent to withdraw from perverted Common Core and everything associated with it, and overcome the corrupted corporate/fed model.

Huckabee has stated that he is against:
* federal government creating a uniform curriculum for any subject
*the collection of personal data on students
*agenda driven curriculum that indoctrinates instead of educates

So logically it follows that if these things are in the perverted Common Core, and Huckabee is against them, then he cannot be pro-Common Core.

The original intent included these things, which are quite innocuous and reasonable/responsible:

*Keep the federals from interfering.
*Did not write or suggest curriculum
*locally controlled, simple standards in math and English, created so that students would be measured comparably regardless of geographical region.
*Completely voluntary goals set by the local school board

ceruleanblue on March 13, 2014 at 3:02 PM

Comment pages: 1 2