Video: Huckabee in no rush to decide on 2012 presidential run

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee says he is 'seriously contemplating' another run for the White House in 2012. But he allows that he 'would be smart to wait' until the competition develops.

Michael Bonfigli / Special to the Christian Science Monitor
Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, host of "Huckabee" on the Fox News Channel and star of the "Huckabee Report," spoke at a Monitor Luncheon at the St. Regis Hotel in Washington on Feb. 23.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee says he is “seriously contemplating” another run for the White House in 2012, but he allows that he “would be smart to wait” so the competition develops and he can keep his radio and TV platforms as long as possible.

Speaking at a Monitor-sponsored gathering for political reporters on Wednesday, Mr. Huckabee noted, "I am in a very different position than I was in four years ago. Obviously, I am better known. I am polling at the top of virtually every national poll."

Huckabee argues that he is no longer seen as appealing largely to evangelical Christian voters. "If you look at polls in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, I am leading the polls in states like that. That is not exactly what I would call the hotbed of evangelicalism. So no longer have I been ... relegated to a sort of a subset of the GOP," he said.

A new Gallup Poll, released Wednesday, found that Republicans and Republican-leaning independents put Huckabee in a statistical tie for the lead for the party's 2012 nomination. Huckabee was the favorite of 18 percent, and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Alaska Gov. were each favored by 16 percent. Gallup said those three are the only GOP candidates who register double-digit support.

Huckabee says his improved, more mainstream position changes the schedule for another presidential bid. “It doesn’t mean I can wait indefinitely,” he said. “But it certainly means I would be smart to wait for not only the field to develop, but [also] to not walk away from a platform where I get to determine what I want to talk about to a platform [like the presidential primaries] where I stand there waiting my turn over 14 guys on the stage and maybe I get called upon to answer a question about something really substantive to the presidency, like evolution.” The evolution comment was made in a tongue-in-cheek tone.

As a result of his greater name recognition after his 2008 presidential bid, Huckabee now hosts a weekly program on the Fox News Channel and also appears on daily radio broadcasts on the Citadel Broadcasting Corp. He is currently on a 41-city tour promoting a new book, “A Simple Government.”

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