by Max Brantley
Discussing the potential Republican field in 2016, Mr. Huckabee said it would be “tough” for Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey to win such conservative redoubts as Iowa and South Carolina, two early nominating states.Huckabee conceded giving up his media business to make a run would be a factor in his decision.
“Let me show you some polling,” Mr. Huckabee said, brandishing a two-page memo about a survey his longtime pollster took earlier this month showing him leading the Republican field in both Iowa and South Carolina. He boasted that such good numbers came at a time when “nobody has even talked about me being named” as a candidate.
Mr. Huckabee dismissed the notion that pride was a factor in his decision to float a possible campaign.
“Anybody who would run for any reason other than to win is an idiot,” he said. But he quickly warmed to a question about not getting credit for his skepticism about the health of the economy as he campaigned in the months before the 2008 stock market crash and financial meltdown.
“A lot of things I said that I was sneered at about turned out to be prophetic,” he said about the criticism he took from fellow Republicans over his focus on the working class during the 2008 campaign. “A year later I looked like a genius but nobody ever said, ‘Huckabee was right,'” he said.