Interviews

Top donors, possible VP picks attending Gov. Romney retreat

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee weighs in

 

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," June 22, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF "YOUR WORLD": To the powwow in Park City, Utah.

Governor Romney's three-day retreat bringing out some top donors and some possible top veep contenders, but who is not going is getting a lot of attention, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Now, both of these guys skipping out of the retreat, we are told, because they had other things to do.

To Mike Huckabee on whether this is any reflection on the Romney campaign or bad optics.

Or you know people in the media; we always pounce on these things.And much ado about nothing, or what?

MIKE HUCKABEE (R), FORMER ARKANSAS GOVERNOR: Honestly? They are not going to make a decision.

CAVUTO: You should dial that back a bit.

HUCKABEE: Yes.

CAVUTO: We're doing a segment on it. So...

HUCKABEE: Oh, OK.

CAVUTO: ... obviously, we think it means something.

HUCKABEE: Right.

CAVUTO: You don't?

HUCKABEE: Well, it doesn't mean that the people who are there are necessarily the top picks.

CAVUTO: OK.

HUCKABEE: Because this is going to be a very methodical, thoughtful decision that the Romney people are making. And they are not going to base it on one tryout.

CAVUTO: But there are a lot of other potential V.P. picks there.

HUCKABEE: Sure.

CAVUTO: So -- so you know what people are going to do.

HUCKABEE: But all of them are surrogates.

CAVUTO: They're going to say, boy, well, this was the week we were told Rubio wasn't vetted.

HUCKABEE: Yes.

CAVUTO: And then you ran it back -- not you, Governor, but...

HUCKABEE: Right.

CAVUTO: ... Governor Romney dialed it back, said he most certainly is being vetted.

It -- doesn't it just feed this argument that maybe, for Rubio at least, persona non grata?

HUCKABEE: No, I don't think so at all.

Marco Rubio is still a superstar. He's still very much in I think the hunt and very much in -- you know, on the top of the list. But...

CAVUTO: Were you vetted for -- you were looked at by McCain, right?

HUCKABEE: No.

CAVUTO: No?

HUCKABEE: No, absolutely not.

CAVUTO: Because your name kept coming up, right?

HUCKABEE: Well, but by the media, not by the McCain people.

CAVUTO: So...

(CROSSTALK)

HUCKABEE: That is the point, that...

CAVUTO: What is the process with that?

HUCKABEE: Every person does it a little differently.

I talked to Dan Quayle yesterday, in fact. And some -- for example, McCain, it was pretty visceral. It was just sort of a sudden -- he wanted Joe Lieberman. No one would give him Joe Lieberman. All the party chairmen around the country basically said we will leave the convention. It was going to be absolute disaster.

And everybody who was part of it who has talked about it indicated it was a very visceral decision. He says, we need a game changer. And they picked Sarah Palin.

CAVUTO: Sarah Palin.

But isn't a lot of it you do it to keep people happy, that they might not seriously think of you as a running mate, but they want to keep you in their fold, keep you happy that you were in a small group, so they ask for your tax files and ask for any information you can provide, and then you feel like, wow, at least I was considered?

HUCKABEE: Yes, I think there is a part of that.

But I can tell you some guys who have been vetted previously in processes who I know personally and are friends who give -- gave all of that. They felt like they disclosed everything, including the size of the socks they wore. And then it -- they just woke up one day and found out somebody was being named, and not so much as sort of a consoling phone call, and it...

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: Oh, is that how it goes?

HUCKABEE: Well...

CAVUTO: In other words, the losers or the ones who are bypassed, they do not get, "Sorry it's not you"?

HUCKABEE: Again, it depends on the campaign.

CAVUTO: Right.

(CROSSTALK)

HUCKABEE: Now, Dan Quayle, for example, said that there were conversations going on for several weeks before he was announced in New Orleans.

Nobody...

CAVUTO: He was on no one's list in...

(CROSSTALK)

HUCKABEE: That's right. He was on no one's list.

CAVUTO: Eighty-eight, right?

HUCKABEE: Eighty-eight.

CAVUTO: He was...

(CROSSTALK)

HUCKABEE: Nobody saw it coming.

Others -- for example, nobody saw George H.W. Bush being picked by Reagan. And you remember there was that deal that seemed...

CAVUTO: Ford, remember?

(CROSSTALK)

HUCKABEE: That's right, Jerry Ford.

CAVUTO: Ford...

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: ... a co-presidency. Reagan said the heck with it, right?

HUCKABEE: And Bush supposedly was over, you know, nursing a beer at a bar across the street from the hotel when he got a call and said, Ronald Reagan would like to talk to you about being V.P.

So you never know.

CAVUTO: Yes.

HUCKABEE: It's one of those processes that -- I never got far enough to make that decision.

CAVUTO: Who do you think it's going to be? Who do you think it’s going to be?

Your name has come up, as you know.

HUCKABEE: There's, you know, 50 names that have come up.

CAVUTO: Well, my name is not on list. So I...

(CROSSTALK)

HUCKABEE: Well, we will add 51 now. So...

CAVUTO: But is that how it goes?

I mean, in all seriousness, when does it get serious? Now, there is talk that the governor is going to do this well before the convention. Is that a good idea?

HUCKABEE: It could be.

I think, again -- one thing I have confidence in the Romney team, they are very disciplined and very focused, and very businesslike, systematic and methodical. I think they will look at this, from both a timing and a person standpoint, what helps them best position to win the election. They are focused on November.

CAVUTO: Guy from Arkansas, crucial swing state, completed vetted, has run for...

HUCKABEE: But Bill Clinton has already been president. He couldn't do it again.

(LAUGHTER)

HUCKABEE: That's the problem.

CAVUTO: All right, well, you -- mock me though you might, Governor, always good seeing you, my friend.

HUCKABEE: Yes.

CAVUTO: What do you got going on this weekend?

HUCKABEE: We have a special on millennials.

We're going to talking to those very people who helped propel Barack Obama four years ago. Now these are the folks who have come out of college with big debts, no jobs. We will talk to them and see are they are still excited about President Obama.

CAVUTO: Interesting. All right.

The governor, while he's still former governor and a host here at FOX, before he becomes vice president or whatever, we shall see.

All right.

HUCKABEE: Yes.

CAVUTO: I always try to embarrass him. It never works.

(LAUGHTER)

CAVUTO: All right.

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