Mike Huckabee suspended his 2016 GOP campaign, following a disappointing showing in the Iowa caucus, on February 1, 2016.
Mike Huckabee is no stranger to Presidential politics. He was runner-up to John McCain for the Republican nomination in 2008. After that race, Huckabee began his career as a successful talk show host and public speaker, and when approached to run again in 2012, he declined.
Huckabee served two terms as Governor of Arkansas, being elected as a Republican in a changing state that had just sent former Democratic Governor Bill Clinton to the White House, but that was swinging towards the GOP at the national level. As Governor, Huckabee championed the fiscally conservative policies that he has become so well known for. He cut the state’s capital gains tax, abolished the marriage penalty and pushed a $90 million tax cut package through the legislature. During his term, he cut taxes 90 times and still continues to preach the importance of lessening the tax burden on ordinary people in order to spur economic growth and create jobs.
Huckabee uses his Southern charm and friendly personality to full effect when campaigning, and has the ability to explain even the most complex issues in a common-sense style that everyone can understand. He has used his notoriety to build relationships with both grassroots organizations and national donors to position himself well for another run.
While Huckabee continues to speak about his fiscal conservative believes, he also does not shy away from his strong positions on social issues, including abortion and gay marriage. While the mix of these two sides of the conservative coin played well in 2008, they may not help Huckabee in 2016 as the mood of the country has shifted, and as the Republican party has become more libertarian and anti-government. As a populist member of the establishment, Huckabee may face headwinds even fighting for the GOP nomination.
Huckabee has always used his outward “aw shucks” demeanor to mask an inner toughness that could set up an interesting clash between him and his supporters on one side, and the Tea Party activists on the other. It is a fight that has been brewing in the Republican Party for several years and many think it is time for one side to prevail. Those same people believe Mike Huckabee could be the person to finally look at the anti-government Constitutional conservatives and say “enough is enough” and lead the party back to the White House. Mike Huckabee threw his hat in the ring with an announcement in Hope, Arkansas on May 5, 2015.