Mike Huckabee is officially in the 2016 presidential race.
The 59-year-old former Republican governor announced on Tuesday his entry into the campaign during a rally in his native Hope, Ark., the same place where former President Bill Clinton was born.
“So it seems perfectly fitting that it would be here that I announce that I am a candidate for president of the United States of America,” Huckabee said.
After the crowd broke into chants of, “We want Huck,” the Republican quipped: “Thank you! I’m glad you reacted that way—it would have been a very lonely day.”
After serving two terms as governor of Arkansas, Huckabee first ran for president in 2008, using television appearances and debate performances to win caucuses and primaries in eight states.
The former Baptist minister is known for his views on social issues, but during his Tuesday speech, Huckabee struck a populist tone, railing against the trade deals and immigration policies being pushed by the Obama administration.
“We don’t create good jobs for Americans by entering into unbalanced trade deals that forgo congressional scrutiny, and then looking the other way when the law is ignored so we can import low wage labor, undercut American workers and drive wages lower than the Dead Sea,” Huckabee said. “That’s unacceptable.”
Huckabee joins a growing field of Republicans who have announced a presidential campaign: Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina are all running, with more expected to jump in over the next several months.
As for the Democrats, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have both announced they are running.