Huckabee: I May Run for President in 2016

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Friday, 13 Dec 2013 08:21 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee says the time may be right to give a run for the presidency another try in 2016.

Huckabee, while not announcing his candidacy, said Thursday night he's getting encouragement to run "from places where I never got it before," reports The Washington Post.

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He made a strong showing in 2008 when he won the Iowa caucuses, but sat out the 2012 contest.

This time around, Huckabee says he's getting encouragement from "business, people some would maybe call the establishment," both of whom did not support him in 2008.

Huckabee, whose 2008 campaign sputtered after it ran into cash problems, said he would not run this time unless he has the finances to mount a successful campaign, reports The New York Times.

“If I talk to people and they say, ‘If you run, we’re in and we’re in a big way,’ that’s going be helpful,” he told the Times. “If I don’t hear that, you know what? This will be a real easy decision for me to make because I’ve jumped in a pool without water before and it’s a hard hit at the bottom.”

Huckabee spoke in Little Rock Thursday to about 600 pastors and their spouses at a dinner sponsored by the American Renewal Project, and followed the dinner with a private meeting with a group from Iowa and South Carolina, where presidential contests are held early.

Huckabee said a private poll commissioned by his supporters shows he can make strong showings in both those states, and that less-moderate candidates like New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, often considered a front-runner, would not do well in the early races.

The former governor said he believes that to win the presidency Republicans need to "communicate a message that speaks across a broader spectrum."

He said the party fails to "speak to African-Americans, to speak to Hispanics, to speak to working-class people."

Huckabee has not been mentioned much in the early talk about 2016, compared to people like Christie and others.

He has said he did not seek the 2012 candidacy because he didn't think President Barack Obama could be defeated, and acknowledged he has enjoyed earning money and celebrity through his shows and appearances, the Times reports.

The former governor and pastor now makes a comfortable living with his own show on Fox News, the profits of the talk radio show he just ended, and paid speeches, and conceded Thursday that giving up his profitable television show to run for the presidency would be "a big issue."

Huckabee said personal pride doesn't factor into his decision.

“Anybody who would run for any reason other than to win is an idiot,” he said.

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