After Akin’s comments about “legitimate rape,” many in the party wanted him off the stage and out of the race. But Huckabee says it was that reaction, and not Akin’s comment, that doomed his campaign: “It was like they not only saw his wounded body on the battlefield but pumped more bullets into him, and then they took what little water and food was left and took it away from him.”

So he has no regrets about supporting Akin?

“Not at all,” Huckabee told me. “I regret the Republican Party’s complete abandonment of Todd Akin.”

“The Republicans did more damage than the Democrats,” he added, and “allowed him to be beaten to death with no money. I attribute his loss more to what was done to him than what he did. His own army jumped all over him and abandoned him, and they didn’t do it quietly, but publicly and excoriatingly.”