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The Gazette KCRG
Posted February 24, 2011
Huckabee toys with White House run

FILE - In this Sept. 17, 2010, file photo, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee speaks in Washington. Huckabee isn't tamping down speculation of another presidential run. He also isn't doing much to prepare for one. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee pushed back against the notion Tuesday that he’s leaning against a 2012 bid for president.

Huckabee, who will be in Davenport on Sunday to promote his new book, said he had read articles about himself in the past couple of days that conclude he won’t make a bid.

“How could they know that? I haven’t made that decision,” Huckabee said Tuesday in an interview with the Quad-City Times.

“I’m very much considering doing this, but I want to do it in a sober way. I don’t want to just jump at it because there are a bunch of polls showing me in the lead.”

He noted that a new poll says he’s running even with President Barack Obama. A Newsweek/Daily Beast poll, released Tuesday, had the two of them are tied.

Huckabee won the 2008 Republican caucus in Iowa, but his prospects for a 2012 campaign have very much been a matter of speculation.

He’s expressed reservations about some aspects of presidential campaigning, including fundraising and correcting what he called “misinformation and distortion.”

He’s also taken a dim view of the 2008 debates he took part in, and he skipped the Conservative Political Action Conference, held this month in Washington, D.C.

Still, he says he loved campaigning among the people and that while other potential candidates have been traveling around, he also has been visible through his work on television and radio.

“Nobody knows the conversations I’m privately having with individuals all over the country,” he said.

Huckabee said he must be cautious about some of the activities he engages in, however, because, for example, if he forms an exploratory committee, he would have to go off the air.

Huckabee also addressed the Obama administration’s handling of the uprising in Libya.

He said that although the president is doing “maybe a little better” with Libya than he did with the Egyptian revolt, he added Obama could be more outwardly supportive.

Asked whether Obama should call for a change in power, he didn’t go that far.

“He can certainly say the regime has been corrupt, it’s been unhealthy for the freedom of the people,” Huckabee said.

He also said it would be wise to recognize that Libyans have the right to demonstrate.

Other conservatives have pushed the administration to be more aggressive in its approach.

Newt Gingrich, a potential 2012 candidate, said on “Fox and Friends” on Tuesday that the Libyan uprising is “an opportunity to replace that dictatorship.”

If you go

Mike Huckabee will be at Sam’s Club, 3887 Elmore Ave., Davenport, from 2 to 3 p.m. Sunday. He will be there to sign copies of his new book, “A Simple Government.” It’s one of six Iowa stops he’s making Sunday and Monday.

- By Ed Tibbetts, Quad-City Times

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