Politics

Huckabee: ‘I’m certainly not running right now,’ but won’t be put in a box

Jeff Poor Media Reporter

When former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee indicated there is a scenario where he would still run for president, it drew a lot criticism and even consternation, since it seemed he was backtracking on his original announcement he would not run.

However, Huckabee appeared on Friday’s “America’s Newsroom” on the Fox News Channel and clarified his statement.

“It’s real simple – I’m not going to let myself get put in this box when they say ‘will you now say you are never, ever run for president?’” Huckabee said. “I don’t know that. I’m not planning on it. I have no intentions to run. I’m certainly not running right now. I’ve closed that door, but when people put you in this like ‘Well, then will you say categorically under no circumstances ever, ever, ever, will you do it?’ No, I’m not going to say that.”

He offered what he called “an impossible scenario” in which someone might ask him to be their running mate.

“Well, let me give you this impossible scenario,” he explained. “For example, part of the question was would you reconsider, and the second was would you consider being vice presidential candidate if someone picked you. Well, first of all, there’s a whole lot of ifs between that. And my answer was nobody wants to ever be vice president, but nobody ever turns it down. I’m not looking for it. Don’t think I’ll ever be asked, but I’m not going to say under no circumstances would I ever, because then if somebody does come and ask you you’ve got to be disingenuous and say I lied before.”

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“America’s Newsroom” host Bill Hemmer asked if he had been talking about the possibility of being a running mate with anyone, which Huckabee flatly denied.

“[N]o and I have no intention of it,” Huckabee said. “My decision was as complete, final and explicit as it can be. I’m not running in 2012, but what if the convention had this deadlocked moment and there was a draft and they said let’s bring Huckabee down from the rafters? I don’t want to be in a position that said, ‘No I told you, I would rather commit suicide.’ I don’t want to commit suicide, Bill. I love life. So therefore, I’m not going to be in that position.”

He offered New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s and Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s denials of examples of where if they were going to run 2012, they’d be put in a trap where the press could call them a liar.

“Right now you’ve got guys like Chris Christie and Rick Perry who have been so — I mean, just absolute, they will not run — that if they were to run, you know what the press would do to them?” Huckabee said. “They’ll say they’re liars, they’re liar. That’s how the press works, just like the way the press works on this one, if you just say look, I’m not running, but I’m not going to tell you never, ever, ever.”

One of the reasons Huckabee said he wasn’t running was due to the political climate, since he didn’t feel it was possible to solve problems as an elected leader.

“Well, no, I mean, I just said I’m not running and I’m sticking with what I’m doing and I think the atmosphere politically is so very toxic,” he said. “I am by my own experience from being a governor a long time really more one who believes that politics ought to be about pragmatically solving problems, not just playing the game of we beat those guys. Right now the atmosphere in politics is beat the other guys, not solving problems.”