The All-Star Panel on Fox News’ “Special Report” Tuesday was extremely skeptical of former Republican Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s chances of winning the 2016 Republican presidential primary.
One panelist compared him to a segregationist and another said “he has no chance” in the current political environment. (VIDEO: Laura Ingraham: President Huckabee ‘Is Not Going To Happen’)
“The problem is, he won Iowa once before, he has to win it again, really,” syndicated columnist George Will said. “The only person who’s done that twice in contested caucuses was Bob Dole in ’88 and ’96, and he did it by having the evangelicals, but only the evangelicals. This time around, before he can expand on that, he has to compete with among others two pastors’ sons: Ted Cruz and Scott Walker.”
“And he has a record of saying things that make it hard to see him campaigning in Michigan and Pennsylvania and elsewhere,” Will said. “…He said that if the Supreme Court comes down with a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, it should be treated as just an opinion and not the law of the land.”
“Now, we’ve had some experience before with an Arkansas governor with that attitude towards the federal courts. His name was Orval Faubus, and it took the United States Army because of him to integrate Central High in Little Rock. I’m not sure we want to do that again,” Will concluded.
The Associated Press’ Julie Pace said Huckabee might have an advantaged as a well-known candidate. “But I think that George is right. The bucket that he needs to at least preserve and hold onto is going to be split among multiple candidates this time around. And he has to look to expand that bucket. I think that is even a bigger challenge for him.”
“He has two problems,” columnist Charles Krauthammer agreed. “Number one is the splitting of the bucket. Number two is… candidates’ movements and ideas have their time, and his could have been ’08. Remember in ’08– when he did so well and he ran his evangelical appeal to that constituency– Barack Obama said that he disapproved of gay marriage because of his religion.”
“Think of where the country is now on that issue,” he noted. “Huckabee is where he was in ’08, the country has moved radically. I’m not judging whether he ought to have moved or not; I respect him for not. But it isn’t going to help him…” (RELATED: Huckabee Slams Politico For Inventing Sexist Anti-Fox News Quote)
“If he hopes that having the evangelical vote alone is going to carry him in, he has no chance,” Krauthammer concluded.
“Most polls have him in the top tier right now,” host Bret Baier did say on the candidate’s behalf. “So we’ll see where he goes.”