May 17th, 2011
04:45 PM ET

Who'll fill void left by Trump and Huckabee in '12 GOP race?



FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The Republicans may have the keys to victory in 2012 in their grasp, but it's a question of getting the horses out of the barn, onto the track and into the race.

So far, the Republican presidential field is awful. It's no wonder President Barack Obama is smiling. And it's not just getting bin Laden that has him grinning. The economy is starting to recover. And the Republicans resemble “The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight.”

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and billionaire real estate developer-turned-reality TV star Donald Trump have both said they're out. Huckabee and Trump had shown more promise in the polls than some of the other names running or considering a run.

So, who will fill the void?

There is Mitt Romney - already lost. Newt Gingrich - not happening. Sarah Palin - please, get serious. There is Ron Paul, a man with great ideas about how to solve our problems, but serious questions about electability. Then there's Tim Pawlenty and Michele Bachmann, both with potential to score big with evangelicals, but neither seem to be scoring points with the rest of the electorate.

That brings us to Mitch Daniels, the governor of Indiana, who almost everyone agrees would be a formidable challenger to Obama. And New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Christie says he's not "ready to run for president," despite the fact that Republicans all over the country are begging him to get in the race. And Daniels, who says he hasn't made up his mind yet. Daniels also says he could beat Obama…and he might be right.

It's pretty much a lead-pipe cinch the rest of the Republicans mentioned can't, except maybe for Christie.

Here’s my question to you: Who is likely to fill the void left by Donald Trump and Mike Huckabee in the 2012 GOP field?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: 2012 Election • Donald Trump • GOP • GOP Ticket • Mike Huckabee • Republican Party • Republicans
March 4th, 2008
05:54 PM ET

Huckabee helping or hurting the GOP?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/03/04/art.huckabee2.gi.jpg caption=]

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

John McCain could seal the deal today when it comes to the Republican nomination... but that doesn't seem to be slowing down his rival, Mike Huckabee.

The former Arkansas governor has staked his future in this race on Texas. Despite polls that show McCain leading in all 4 states voting today, Huckabee has been spending a lot of money and time campaigning in Texas. He insists, "Texans are a stubbornly independent people. You don't tell 'em what they're going to do."

Huckabee has often questioned whether McCain can energize the base of the party, and yesterday he warned that that would be one of McCain's toughest tasks if he becomes the Republicans' nominee.

Although he remains hopeful about his chances in Texas, Huckabee says tomorrow will be the day to sit down and see where he goes from here.

Meanwhile, McCain is acting like he is already the party's nominee. He says he respects the right of Huckabee to stay in the race as long as he wants to. But, McCain is spending his time going after his Democratic rivals and focusing on things like foreign policy.

Here’s my question to you: By staying in the race, is Mike Huckabee part of the problem or part of the solution for Republicans?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: 2008 Election • Mike Huckabee
March 3rd, 2008
05:26 PM ET

Republicans’ message to McCain?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/03/03/art.texas.huckabee.gi.jpg caption=" Mike Huckabee speaks to supporters at the Fort Worth Stockyards February 29, 2008 in Fort Worth, Texas."]

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

There is a poll out that raises serious questions about whether Republicans really like Mike Huckabee or whether they really don't like John McCain.

It's a USA Today/Gallup poll that says 49% of Republicans surveyed think Mike Huckabee should stay in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. This can't be very comforting for John McCain who is the presumed nominee, almost half of Republicans don't want Huckabee to go. Only 46% say Huckabee should drop out. If McCain's popularity was what it should be, that number would be much higher. An even larger margin of Conservative Republicans, 54% to 42%, want Huckabee to stay in this thing.

This has to be tough on John McCain's ego, not to mention his possible chances to win the White House. Ahead of the Texas primary tomorrow, The Dallas Morning News has endorsed Mike Huckabee even though the newspaper admits he has no chance of winning. The Dallas paper says a vote for Huckabee would be "a good investment in the Republican Party's future", adding he's been "on the right side of campaign finance reform and environmental issues."

As for McCain, the editorial board says his age and "choleric temperament gave us pause particularly when contrasted to Mr. Huckabee's sunny-side-up brand of conservatism."

Here’s my question to you: What message does it send to John McCain when nearly half of Republicans want Mike Huckabee to stay in the race?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: John McCain • Mike Huckabee
January 21st, 2008
06:52 PM ET

McCain too old to be president?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/01/21/art.norris.ap.jpg caption="Republican Presidential hopeful, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee with actor Chuck Norris on Norris's Lone Wolf Ranch in Texas."]

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Chuck Norris thinks John McCain is too old to be president.

Campaigning for Mike Huckabee, Norris suggested the 71-year-old McCain might not even make it through a single term.

Norris said: "I didn't pick John to support because I'm just afraid that the vice president would wind up taking over his job in that four-year Presidency"

Get over yourself. You break boards in the movies for a living.

Norris thinks Huckabee, who is 52, is the logical choice.

The former Arkansas governor seemed to distance himself from Norris' comments, saying "Only John McCain and his hairdresser know for sure"... adding "I'm not going to say he's too old."

McCain quipped, "I'm afraid I may have to send my 95-year-old mother over and wash Chuck Norris' mouth out with soap."

If McCain wins, at 72, he would be the oldest person ever inaugurated as president for a first term. Although he has joked about being "older than dirt and having more scars than Frankenstein", McCain also emphasizes things like hiking the Grand Canyon with his son.

His doctors say the Arizona senator is in good health, although his medical history includes multiple bouts with skin cancer along with injuries from when he was a POW in Vietnam. Friends and staff say they have a hard time keeping up with him, and the candidate himself says he's never felt better.

Here’s my question to you: Do you agree with Chuck Norris that John McCain is too old to be president?

To see the Cafferty File Video click here

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: John McCain • Mike Huckabee
January 17th, 2008
02:16 PM ET

Sending all illegal aliens home?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/01/17/art.huckabee2.ap.jpg caption=" Republican presidential hopeful, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, signs a no amnesty pledge at a campaign event at North Greenville University in Tigerville, S.C., Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2008"]

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Mike Huckabee is vowing to enforce this nation's immigration laws and to send all illegal aliens home.

The Republican presidential candidate was the first one to sign the pledge of an "immigration-reduction" group called "NumbersUSA." The so-called "No Amnesty" pledge means Huckabee is committed to opposing any "special path to citizenship" for the estimated 12 million illegal aliens in this country. He's also vowing to cut the number of illegal aliens already here by means of law enforcement.

Huckabee signed the pledge in South Carolina, site of Saturday's Republican primary, where it's looking like a tight race.

Throughout the campaign, Huckabee's opponents have called him weak on immigration... pointing to things like his support, as governor of Arkansas, for college scholarships for children of illegal aliens.

However, Huckabee's talk on immigration got tougher last month, when he came out with his nine-point immigration plan. Among other things, it calls for sealing the U.S.-Mexican border, hiring more border patrol agents, enforcing the law on employers who hire illegals and making illegal aliens go home before they can apply to return to the U.S.

Here’s my question to you: How realistic is Mike Huckabee’s to pledge to send all illegal aliens home?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Mike Huckabee
December 14th, 2007
04:49 PM ET

A mistake to nominate Huckabee?


FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Mike Huckabee is the Howard Dean of the 2008 presidential race.

That's according to a piece by Rich Lowry in the National Review. He suggests Republicans would be making a major mistake by nominating Huckabee.

Lowry writes, “Like Dean, Huckabee is an under-vetted former governor who is manifestly unprepared to be president of the United States. Like Dean, he is rising toward the top of the polls in a crowded field based on his appeal to a particular niche of his party. As with Dean, his vulnerabilities in a general election are so screamingly obvious that it's hard to believe that primary voters, once they focus seriously on their choice, will nominate him."

It's worth noting that Lowry's employer, The National Review, has endorsed Mitt Romney, one of Huckabee's main opponents.

Lowry goes on to say that Huckabee would take religion, a strength of the GOP, and make it into a weakness by overplaying it. He suggests other vulnerabilities would be Huckabee's tax history as governor of Arkansas along with his lack of national security experience. In fact, Lowry says Democrats have to be looking at Huckabee "as a shiny Christmas present that is too good to be true."

Here’s my question to you: Would Republicans be making a mistake by nominating Mike Huckabee for president?

To see the Cafferty File video, click here 

Interested to know which ones made it on air:


Filed under: Democrats • Elections • Mike Huckabee
December 13th, 2007
04:40 PM ET

Major candidates saying “I’m sorry”?


FROM Jack Cafferty:

"I'm sorry.” That's the message coming from a couple of the top contenders for the White House.

Instead of the public learning more about who might be best-qualified to run this country, we're being confronted with the aftermath of scurrilous personal attacks.

First it was a comment about Mitt Romney's religion. Mike Huckabee says he personally apologized to Romney, after asking a reporter whether Mormons believe Jesus and Satan are brothers. Huckabee, who had come under fire for the comment, says he told Romney after yesterday's debate he would never try "to pick out some point of your faith and make it an issue."

Less than 24 hours later, over on the Democratic side, we had a top Hillary Clinton advisor launching an attack against Barack Obama. Bill Shaheen said Democrats should give more thought to Obama's illegal drug use when he was a kid before deciding if he deserves the nomination. Shaheen later apologized and said his comments weren't authorized by the Clinton campaign. Late this afternoon, Shaheen quit the Clinton campaign.

But his comments were nasty enough to warrant a personal apology today from Hillary Clinton herself. Apparently Clinton told Obama she was very upset by the remarks, that she told Shaheen it was unacceptable and that this isn't "the kind of campaign" she's running.

It certainly is getting ugly out there.

Here’s my question to you: What does it say about the nature of this presidential campaign when major candidates are being forced to say “I’m sorry”?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Democrats • Elections • Mike Huckabee
December 12th, 2007
01:57 PM ET

Huckabee taking fire for Mormon comments?


FROM Jack Cafferty:
Mike Huckabee declined to answer when asked if Mormonism is a cult earlier this month. Maybe he was better off not responding to the question.

In an upcoming New York Times Magazine article, the former Arkansas governor is quoted as asking: "Don't Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?" unquote. This after telling the reporter he thought Mormonism was a religion, but admitting he doesn't know much about it.

Rival Republican candidate Mitt Romney, who is a Mormon, says he thinks quote "Attacking someone's religion is really going too far. It's not the American way."

Huckabee's campaign insists his comments were taken out of context, that he wasn't bashing the religion but instead was "illustrating his unwillingness to answer questions about Mormonism and to avoid addressing theological questions during this campaign." Sure Mike. Nice try.

Huckabee has been making big gains recently, taking the lead in Iowa and getting closer to Rudy Giuliani in national polls. He and Romney are also duking it out for support from evangelicals.

Here’s my question to you:What’s your reaction to Mike Huckabee’s saying, quote: "Don't Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?"

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Elections • Mike Huckabee