Interviews

Is Mike Huckabee running in 2016?

The Gov says 'too early' to decide

 

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," May 2, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

STUART VARNEY, GUEST HOST: Just as the jobs numbers are ticking up, these guys could have them crashing back down. Look at that, protesters clashing with police in Seattle. Their beef? Capitalism. They don't like it one bit, this graffiti urging demonstrators to smash local businesses.

But you know what we noticed? They sure do like their pricey smartphones, you know, the ones made by all those nasty capitalists. And they also like burgers, too. Yes, even anarchists do have to eat.

To Mike Huckabee, who says, forget anarchists. These guys are just hypocrites.

Explain yourself, Governor.

MIKE HUCKABEE, R-FORMER ARKANSAS GOVERNOR: You know, I have great respect for people who live out their beliefs.

For example, Ed Begley Jr. is an environmentalist, but he really lives his lives, and is he very prudent in the way he lives. He's cautious. He's not like an Al Gore that flies around in a private jet and burns 20,000 gallons a day on his jet.

But when you see protesters who are saying, we hate capitalism -- oh, by the way, how do you like my new iPhone -- how do you think that came about?

This is the ultimate kind of hypocrisy, because it's -- it's not like the weekend hippies that we used to see, the people who were lawyers and doctors, but on the weekend, they would get on Harleys and they would act like they're really tough guys, and -- and maybe put a wig on and act like they got long hair.

These are people who pretend that they really, really hate capitalism. Truth is, they just hate work.

(CROSSTALK)

VARNEY: It's the sons and daughters of middle-class people reacting against The system that provided them the goodies so they can get out there and demonstrate and smash things up in the first place.

HUCKABEE: A lot of these kids are people who had good educations because their parents were capitalist enough to pay for that education.

And if they had to go out and work as hard as the people whose jobs they're actually jeopardizing, I think they might have a different perspective about their hatred and animosity of capitalism.

VARNEY: Could you link that to this demonstration, which I think has an anti-capitalist bias? Is that brought out in this -- these demonstrations?

HUCKABEE: I just think they're spoiled brats.

VARNEY: Oh.

HUCKABEE: They're spoiled brats. They need a good kick in the behind.

I don't know that that would be the appropriate way that would get one -- maybe it would get one arrested. But the point is...

VARNEY: They would sue you, Governor.

HUCKABEE: I'm sure they would, but they would have to sue me in a capitalistic court, and they would sue me for damages. And surely they wouldn't want any money for it, because, after all, that would be capitalism, too, wouldn't it, Stuart?

VARNEY: Yes, sir, but they have got the money for a good lawyer. You would probably do.

(LAUGHTER)

HUCKABEE: Of course they do, yes.

VARNEY: I have got to ask you about politics right in the middle of the campaign.

HUCKABEE: OK.

VARNEY: Here we go, 2016 not that far away. I get the impression that Jeb Bush, who floated a trial balloon about running, I get the impression that he is attracting a lot of money.

There's a report today that Chris Christie, he is losing donors and they're going over to Jeb Bush. What do you know about this?

HUCKABEE: Well, I think that's very possible.

I don't know if people are living Christie. A lot of people really like Jeb Bush. I'm one of them. I think Jeb Bush is a great guy. He was a terrific governor in Florida. He's smart. He's articulate. So I can certainly understand why people would him an attractive candidate.

VARNEY: Yes, but he is the moderate side of the Republican -- if I use that word, that is probably incorrect

But is on the -- dare I say, the moderate wing of the Republican Party, the center.

HUCKABEE: You know, and there's somewhat an irony to that, because Jeb was always considered one of most conservative governors when he was in office. He was very conservative as he governed very much to cut taxes.

I think, of all the people in America, he would be most surprised to hear that he is suddenly a moderate. But I -- then that's one of the things that is an interesting nuance about how the labels tend to be applied to any of us.

VARNEY: He is of course something of a competitor of yours. And I raise this simply because I'm aware of a poll in Arkansas, in which a variety of Republicans, including Jeb Bush and yourself, were matched against Hillary Clinton. And guess what, Governor? You were the only Republican to beat her. Any comment?

HUCKABEE: Well, I look at Jeb Bush as a colleague, not a competitor.

(LAUGHTER)

HUCKABEE: I would look at Hillary Clinton potentially as a competitor, at least a competitor of ideas.

Whether or not I run or Jeb Bush runs, our ideas clash, because I really do believe that we have got way too much government. I think the manner in which we have handled foreign policy is a disaster. So it would be a clash of ideas. But Jeb Bush and I, I don't know that we have that many clashes of ideas.

VARNEY: Yes. You say you're pretty close?

HUCKABEE: Oh, I think, on many things, we are. There would be nuances. I don't think you take any two Republicans anywhere and they would agree on 100 things, but they probably agree on 85 to 90. And that makes us closer than I would be to Nancy Pelosi or Hillary Clinton or to Harry Reid or Barack Obama.

VARNEY: I do see that argument, Governor.

HUCKABEE: I would hope so.

VARNEY: I'm going to give you another shot in the arm.

HUCKABEE: OK.

VARNEY: An Iowa poll, you're familiar with it, I'm sure.

HUCKABEE: OK.

VARNEY: Let me tell the audience about it, shall I?

An Iowa poll, you came out on top, ahead of Paul Ryan and ahead of Jeb Bush, not by much, but you're out ahead in Iowa. What's that -- what would that tell our audience, Governor Huckabee?

HUCKABEE: That the people in Iowa are very, very smart people and they should be carefully listened to.

(LAUGHTER)

HUCKABEE: Is that what I should say?

(LAUGHTER)

VARNEY: I don't know what you should say. I just wanted to bring it to the attention of our audience.

HUCKABEE: They're lovely people. And that's one of the reason I love them.

(LAUGHTER)

VARNEY: You could go a bit further. They're wonderful people in Iowa.

HUCKABEE: They are wonderful people.

VARNEY: They put you ahead in the poll right there.

HUCKABEE: There they are.

VARNEY: That implies that you're running.

HUCKABEE: Insightful, thoughtful.

VARNEY: That implies that you're running.

HUCKABEE: No.

VARNEY: You got a committee yet?

HUCKABEE: No. It's too early.

This is something that will be decided next year after the midterm elections, not right now.

VARNEY: That's a practiced line, I do believe.

HUCKABEE: It has to be.

VARNEY: Doesn't it?

(LAUGHTER)

VARNEY: Who is on your show this Saturday night?

HUCKABEE: Well, we're going to have Congressman Michael Burgess talking about the process of the select committee.

We're also going to have the sister of Justina Pelletier, this young 15- year-old girl who has been essentially kept in custody of the state of Massachusetts for 15 months now. It's an outrageous story. Every American parent needs to understand it. Her sister will be with us talking about it. We have been giving a lot of coverage to it. Folks should watch.

VARNEY: Governor Huckabee, we will watch. Thanks very much, indeed, sir.

HUCKABEE: Thank you. Great to be with you.

VARNEY: Yes, sir.

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