Huckabee On Iowa: A Trump Win Will Be ‘The Death Of The Iowa Caucus’

Jamie Weinstein Senior Writer
Font Size:

If a candidate wins the Iowa caucuses who didn’t grind it out in the state in county after county, Mike Huckabee says Iowa will destroy its importance in the Republican presidential primary schedule.

Speaking to The Daily Caller in the spin room after participating in Fox Business Network’s “undercard” GOP presidential debate, Huckabee said he is getting “great” and “enthusiastic” crowds in Iowa that propel him forward in the presidential race despite his low poll numbers.

But he warned that if Iowa chooses a candidate who didn’t spend time on the ground engaged in retail politics — meeting with ordinary voters day-after-grueling-day — it will end the significance of the first in the nation presidential primary electoral contest.

“I understand one thing about the caucuses having won it with the largest number of votes than anyone has ever won it with: there’s no substitute for handwork,” he said, referring to his victory in 2008. “And if this year proves to be the year that you can substitute grinding it out in all 99 counties and just working hard, and you can just put a bunch of TV and radio ads and win it without having to come and talk to housewives and truck drivers and welders and unemployed factory workers, it will be the end and the death of the Iowa caucus.”

Huckabee was clearly referring to GOP frontrunner Donald Trump, who has campaigned just 29 days in Iowa, mainly speaking at large scale events, compared to Huckabee’s 65 days of retail politics in the Hawkeye State.

Huckabee may also been referring to Texas Sen. [crscore]Ted Cruz[/crscore] and Florida Sen. [crscore]Marco Rubio[/crscore], who have spent 47 and 36 days in Iowa campaigning, respectively. Trump, Cruz and Rubio are currently in first, second and third places in Iowa, leading candidates like Huckabee and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum by wide margins in the polls, despite the fact that both Huckabee and Santorum have spent many more days campaigning on the ground in Iowa and that both previously won the caucuses in past primary cycles.

Follow Jamie on Twitter