Former Republican Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" he was "more than just thinking about" running for president in 2016 after giving up his popular Fox News TV show "Huckabee."
A final decision would take place after he could "determine if there's financial support" for his candidacy, he said.
"I'm more than just thinking about it," Huckabee said Tuesday. "Having jumped into that deep pool before, the one thing I've said, I'm not going to jump into it if there's not water in it."
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Huckabee, who did not run for president in 2012, won numerous Republican primaries in the 2008 race.
He currently ranks third among a list of potential GOP contenders in a recent CBS poll
, behind front-runner and 2012 presidential nominee Mitt Romney, and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who placed second.
Rounding out the top six possible Republican candidates in the CBS poll were New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.
Huckabee said Romney and Bush would be "formidable candidates" who were able to "raise a boatload of money." However, he said he didn't place much emphasis in polls this far ahead of the race.
"At this point, polls don't mean a lot. They're indicative only of how people feel so far out before the process starts, and before people are going out there making speeches," he said.
"It's not substantive, because it's not really based on anything other than what headline they read yesterday, what little clip they saw. And, there's a whole lot of time between now and even the start of the race, much less the finish of the race."
A Huckabee presidency would bring a vision for the country that differs from that of President Barack Obama, one that emphasized strength on the international stage as well as placed a focus domestically on improving the economy, Huckabee told "Fox & Friends" on Tuesday.
"America would be a strong country. We wouldn't be bowing and apologizing. We would be a country that people would respect. If they didn't like us, they would respect us, if not fear us.
"The second thing is we change the way the economic outlook is. You don't punish people who are being productive. This president wants to punish everybody who is working, saving, investing," he said.
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Huckabee said his credentials included governing in "the bluest state in America for 10½ years," which was successful because of his ability to work with Democrats.
"There was no legislature more lopsided. I learned how to govern. One of the things this president has failed to do, he has failed to build relationships with his own party and people of the other party and learned how to govern.
"He knows how to make a speech," Huckabee said.
On the issues, Huckabee told "Morning Joe" that income disparity was a "huge issue," and maintained that the minimum wage, at whatever rate, still provided an "entry level" income and offered a way "to get your foot in the door." He said the federal bank bailout in 2008 was "utterly wrong."
"You don't bail out people for being recklessly irresponsible," he said. "They treated Wall Street like it was a casino, instead of a real tool of investment. And, they bet wrong."
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