On the heels of Dr. Ben Carson’s 40-minute paid ad, which most consider his announcement that he will be campaigning for the White House in 2016, another contender appears to have tossed his hat in the ring. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee has been hiring staff for his new advocacy group, holding meetings with prospective donors, conducting trips with religious leaders and scheduling strategy sessions for a possible candidacy, leading many to believe that he plans to run for President in 2016.
America Takes Action, the 59-year-old’s advocacy group, recently hired staff familiar with political campaigns. Additionally, Huckabee embarks on the “Reagan, Thatcher, Pope John Paul II tour” this week. The 10-day overseas trip will be devoted to honoring the three conservative icons who fought communism and will include more than 100 pastors and GOP leaders.
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Breibart reported that later this month, Huckabee has meetings scheduled with financiers in Las Vegas, New York, and California. In December, he will host two strategy sessions, one in Little Rock and one in Destin, Florida.
Breitbart also revealed:
Some GOP insiders said Huckabee began considering a run in July 2013, when he spoke with Chip Saltsman, the manager of his 2008 campaign. Saltsman asked Huckabee if he wanted to run in 2016; Huckabee was noncommittal. Saltsman urged him to move quickly if he was interested and to contact him if he decided to run. Shortly thereafter, Huckabee called, saying, “Let’s go.”
Last March, Huckabee met roughly 70 House GOP members at Republican National Committee headquarters in a meeting whose subject remained private.
A staunch conservative, Huckabee’s new book, God, Guns, Grits and Gravy, will be released in January. “It’s really just a catchy way of saying the part of America where the ownership of the gun is not frightening,” Huckabee said. “People do understand what grits are and you can actually order them in a restaurant and God is not something that people in polite company wouldn’t talk about.”
The Fox News host’s numbers remain strong in the polls, challenging Jeb Bush and Rand Paul. “There were polls done that surprised me and got my attention — and led my friends to urge me to think of this again,” said Huckabee, who also ran in 2008. His daughter, Sarah, says that his “heart is into [running for President]. He is personally engaged and more aggressive in taking on meetings. He can’t wait to get back to South Carolina and Iowa.”
Polls suggest that Huckabee is wildly popular in Iowa and South Carolina. One poll, conducted by his own team, even showed him with a lead of over ten percentage points above other prospective GOP candidates. An exit poll in Iowa showed Huckabee receiving more favorable responses than any other potential GOP candidate, with 19% of voters asserting he would be their choice in 2016.
However, due to his broadcasting obligations, Huckabee isn’t announcing “anything official at this point.” If and when he takes the plunge, Fox will take similar action as they did with Carson, dropping him as a contributor. The network did the same with Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum as they announced their campaigns in 2011.
Huckabee’s family wants him to run, and apparently, so do many Americans. Would you vote for him in 2016? Tell us in the comments section.