Mike Huckabee went on Fox News Sunday and further explained his decision on why he will not be entering the race for the Republican nomination. What impressed me most about Huckabee's decision is that ego and vanity could have kept Mike Huckabee in the race. But humility and faith kept him out. I can live with that!
Here is the transcript:
Governor, welcome back to "Fox News Sunday."
HUCKABEE: Thank you, Chris. Great to be here.
WALLACE: You had a good chance to win the Republican nomination. The fact that you've done nothing to promote your candidacy and you were either first or second in all the polls, didn't you want to be president?
HUCKABEE: Absolutely, Chris. And I think that I would have made a fine president. But it really came down for me to a very personal, a very intimate and -- as I explained last night in the announcement -- a spiritual decision. You know, you look at all the political possibilities. And, frankly, I don't think that I'll have a better chance, but I don't rule anything out for the long-term future. But I just somehow believe deep within me that it wasn't the right time and it wasn't to be. And whether it was a lack of sort of detailed preparation, it's not going to happen this time.
WALLACE: I'm a little curious when you say "spiritual decision." I mean, is it -- and I know you're a man of great faith. But are you saying that you didn't have the fire in your belly to go this time?
HUCKABEE: Well, I think, sometimes, people mistake fire in the belly for too much pepperoni pizza the night before. They make a great speech and people come up to them and tell them, "You could be president." And the next thing you know, they're running, not because they really ought to or have any shot at doing it, but because they have, you know, a handful of people that tell them they are looking at the next president.
For me, it was a little more introspective than that. You know, sometimes, people ask me does God speak to me in an audible voice. And the truth is, no. It's a lot louder than that.
But I do believe that for those of us who are believers, there is a sense of peace. And I'll put it this way, Chris -- last night, I laid my head on the pillow and had a very good night's sleep. And I was at peace with the decision. And I am today.
WALLACE: Will you endorse a candidate for president?
HUCKABEE: Not immediately. Frankly, my feelings and my whole emotions are still a little raw from the process, because up until just a few days ago, Chris, I honestly I thought I would be in it. And more and more, the signs were pointing that way, the objections were moved out of the way, and I could see a pathway to getting the money that I never thought perhaps I could. And, you know, things began to unfold.
But it was almost as if the more that all of the external things began to materialize, the less the internal things began to crystallize for me. So, I need to kind of process my own feelings.
There are some great candidates. Most of them are very dear friends of mine. That would have made it a little difficult in the primary, because I would have found it hard to challenge some of them in some maybe significant way personally. There may be a point in which I endorse, but right now, I'll see how the race unfolds and listen carefully to how they develop their message.
WALLACE: Well, since you are staying at Fox, I'm going to ask you to do your job as a political analyst. You're getting out of the race leaves a big hole, especially in Iowa, and especially among social conservatives. Who do you think fills that void? Who do you think benefits most from your staying out of the race?
HUCKABEE: Chris, I think there are a number of people who probably maybe jump for joy last night. I don't know. But I think there are a number of people who are similar to me in terms of point of view. Rick Santorum, for example, a strong social conservative, but he's also strong fiscal and I think defense conservative, and foreign policy conservative as well. Tim Pawlenty, another person. Newt Gingrich. Michele Bachmann.
I think all of these folks, very clearly might benefit from it. Sarah Palin, should she decide to get in. And, you know, I think people are awaiting her decision like they were mine.
But those are some folks immediately, because of their strong positions on issues like life and traditional marriage, as well as fiscal conservativism. The truth is, most fiscal -- in fact, all social conservatives I know are also fiscal conservatives. Not necessarily the other way around.
WALLACE: Now, you didn't mention Mitt Romney.
HUCKABEE: No, but let me tell you something. I've got a wonderful voice mail from Mitt Romney last night, which I thought was gracious on his part. You know, there has been a lot of talk about Mitt Romney and me. And we don't socialize together. We're not close, you know, in personal ways.
But I want to make it very clear today, if Mitt Romney is the nominee for our party, I will support him because I believe that Mitt Romney would be better president of the United States than Barack Obama on any day. And whether he is my first choice, I will support him if he is our nominee. And he very well may be.
WALLACE: Now, immediately after your statement last night, Donald Trump suddenly appears. It was kind of funny. But could you support him for president?
HUCKABEE: You know, I'm going to support the Republican nominee. I'm a Republican. And unless a person is way out there and is not clear on issues that to me are non-negotiable like the sanctity of life. I believe Donald Trump would be better for America than Barack Obama, because he understands business. Donald Trump has taken a pro- life position. He believes that we're getting shanghaied by China, which I agree with.
By the way, a little insight here. Donald Trump takes two versions of the sort of end of the show -- one that I was running, one that I wasn't. And Donald Trump did not know which one would be used, nor did my executive producer, nor did my staff, right up until the moments before the show when I finally, of course, had to tell them.
WALLACE: Well, that's interesting. It's good they ran the right tape.
Governor Huckabee, we're going to miss you on the campaign trail. But I'm delighted you will remain our colleague at Fox News. Thank you, Governor.