Steve Schmidt: Let's face it, Huckabee might have been the nominee had he run

The emerging five: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Rep. Paul Ryan.

“All of these people in their own right are people who may have presidential aspirations and the ability to run a formidable campaign,” he said. “You maybe see the next generation of rivalries in the Republican Party.… You may see them all previewing what’s going to be many, many years of history to unfold in front of us.”…

“There will be a big debate in the Republican Party about the direction of the party. And Mike Huckabee is someone who will absolutely — if he wanted to run for president — would be a formidable figure in the party,” he said. “Timing matters in politics. If he had run this time, there’s a tremendous chance he would have wound up as the Republican nominee.”