• With: Mike Huckabee, former Arkansas governor

    This is a rush transcript from "Your World," April 6, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


    SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, R-ARIZ.: Marco Rubio is in the top tier, Chris Christie.

    SARAH PALIN (R), FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: Top of my list is Allen West. I love that he has that military experience.

    MCCAIN: Bobby Jindal, Mitch Daniels.

    ANN COULTER, AUTHOR: I'm a great fan of Chris Christie. I think he would be an excellent choice, or someone like Jon Kyl.

    SEAN HANNITY, HOST, "HANNITY": I like Senator Rubio.

    PALIN: He's great, too. He is another one.


    NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF "YOUR WORLD": Veep talk mounting as Mitt Romney's lead just keeps growing. If he clinches the number one spot, who would he pick for the number two spot?

    To Mike Huckabee on this early combo guessing.

    I guess it's inevitable that we should get to this stage, but here we be, Governor. Prematurely or what do you think?


    It’s part of the game. For the last, what, year-and-a-half we all have been focused on who is going to be the nominee. Even though it’s not settled, it certainly appears that Mitt Romney is on track to become the nominee. So now everybody says that horse race is over. Who is up in the second race? That is kind of what it is.

    But it really doesn't mean a lot. This is not a decision that is going to be made by pundits. It is not going to be made by analysts. It's going to be made by the candidate, which is most likely going to be Mitt Romney. And he is going to make that decision based on a whole lot of factors.

    And I doubt he is going to pay attention a talk show to figure out who is that going to be.

    CAVUTO: You were insulting in many ways, Governor.


    CAVUTO: Secondly...

    HUCKABEE: But he might listen to you.

    CAVUTO: We’re doing a segment on...

    HUCKABEE: You would be the exception.

    CAVUTO: We're doing a segment on this, so if you could just play along.



    CAVUTO: But, in all seriousness, I don't want you to have to necessarily reveal any secrets, but four years ago, when it looked like John McCain was wrapping up the race, I do remember your name coming up as among the running mate possibilities.

    HUCKABEE: Yes.

    CAVUTO: How far did that get? When the media starts talking about, oh, there be a McCain-Huckabee ticket or whatever, did it ever get to the point where either his people start wanting background reports or anything on you? Or how far did that get?

    HUCKABEE: It didn’t even get off the launch pad. I never so much as got a call.

    CAVUTO: Really?

    HUCKABEE: There were so many people who were speculating that I was being vetted and that I was being considered.

    It was the best kept secret in the world to me, if that ever happened.


    HUCKABEE: So I was never on the list even to be considered.

    CAVUTO: But you know the argument. You mentioned vetted, Governor.

    And I'm wondering now, given the Sarah Palin experience, whether you were for or against her as a running mate, there is this great concern that Republicans fully vet who that person is. And that means that some of these candidates might be bigger risk of than others because in their states they may have been vetted, but it's very different when the national media gets a crack at them.

    HUCKABEE: It's very important to have all the dirty laundry known beforehand. And the smartest thing any candidate does and the smartest thing that this campaign will do to look at a potential V.P. is always to investigate yourself. The first part of opposition research is not to actually research the opponent. It's research yourself. Find out everything that is going to be used against you, whether it's personal, whether it's some policy decision you have made, whether it's a speech in which you said some incendiary things.

    All of that, you need to know, not because you can change it, but because you need to go ahead and know what is going to be used against you, have an answer for it, and when it's brought up say, yes, we know all about it, no big deal, rather than look like the deer in the headlights, which often happens when a person hasn't been fully vetted and then all of a sudden the first time that the public sees it, it's on the front page and it may be too close to the election to fix.

    CAVUTO: That is the argument for picking someone who has been in the race with the candidate or has been vetted in the national media that way.