On Saturday, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee announced that he will end his Fox News show to consider a 2016 presidential run.
“This is the last edition of Huckabee on the Fox News Channel,” he wrote supporters on Facebook. “It has been the ride of a lifetime, and I have never had so much fun in my life. But I also realize that God hasn’t put me on earth just to have a good time or to make a good living, but rather has put me on earth to try to make a good life.”
Huckabee said he “won’t make a decision about running until late in the spring of 2015, but the continued chatter has put Fox News into a position that is not fair to them.”
“The honorable thing to do at this point is to end my tenure here at Fox so I can openly talk with potential donors and supporters and gauge support,” he added. “As much as I have loved doing the show, I love my country more, and feel that it may be time for me to leave a zone of comfort to engage in the conflicts that have almost destroyed the bedrock foundations of America.”
As Breitbart News has noted, “were he to run, Huckabee will have to answer questions about whether he would be the type of pro-life social conservative that votes in favor of bigger government and more spending like many members of the GOP-led Congress during the last decade that helped transform D.C. into a ‘Boomtown.'”
In addition, Huckabee’s potential primary opponents “will likely hammer him on immigration, fiscal issues, gifts that he received while he was the governor of Arkansas and his questionable pardons and commutations that have been likened to Michael Dukakis’s pardon of Willie Horton. Huckabee has released people from prison who have gone on to rape women and kill police officers.”
Huckabee, who won Iowa’s caucuses in 2008 even though Mitt Romney greatly outspent him, still has considerable appeal among social conservatives. He has led in numerous Iowa polls and would be a formidable contender in that state.
To compete beyond Iowa, though, Huckabee would need to amass a huge war chest, which his shoestring campaign could not do in 2008. Huckabee has indicated that he would enter the 2016 contest if he feels confident he will have the resources to run a more national campaign.
In the 2014 primary cycle, his Facebook supporters revolted when Huckabee endorsed Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), who voted for the Senate’s Gang of Eight comprehensive amnesty bill, over his primary opponent Joe Carr. Huckabee, who has called for the word “RINO (Republican in Name Only)” to banned, also tried and failed to challenge Rush Limbaugh on talk radio with a more moderate talk show.