Gov. Mike Huckabee setting groundwork for 2016 run
The rumors and news stories have been trickling out in recent days since the former Arkansas Governor announced he will be leaving his radio show this month to pursue other opportunities. Now, at least, it appears Mike Huckabee believes there is an opening in the 2016 GOP field for a strong social conservative to enter the fray.
Report from the Washington Examiner:
He has hosted the “Mike Huckabee Show” on Cumulus Media since April 2012, but said that it takes up to nine hours a day to prepare. “As for the new endeavors, at this time, it would best for me to say, ?Stay tuned!'” he wrote on his Facebook page.
Supporters won’t have to wait long. On Friday, he is participating in a “Pastors and Pews” event in Little Rock, Arkansas, one of several politically-charged gatherings hosted by evangelical political operative David Lane and his American Renewal Project. Huckabee is also giving interviews to political reporters.
Lane told Secrets: “Huckabee is obviously gearing up to run. This is the most aggressive I’ve seen him since 2007.” That year, the former Arkansas governor ran for president and was aided by Lane.
Lane told Secrets that Huckabee plans to participate in four upcoming “Pastors and Pews” events to be held in North Carolina, Ohio, Florida and Texas.
The events are aimed at energizing the evangelical base and getting the estimated 40 million churchgoers to register to vote. “This is a sleeping giant if it ever engages,” Lane said.
Huckabee would add a different element to those expected to run in the GOP primary. A long-serving governor, he has strong ties to evangelicals and is also a popular media star.
Huckabee’s biggest selling point may be his credibility on social issues coupled with his media charm. Consider him a cross between Rick Santorum and Chris Christie, only more approachable than either one.