Mike Huckabee Says Romney May Race to Nomination

The former presidential candidate assesses the remaining GOP field.
8:34 | 01/08/12

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Transcript for Mike Huckabee Says Romney May Race to Nomination
We -- the man who four years ago was surging out of Iowa. A new day is needed in American politics just like a new day is needed in American government. And tonight it starts here in Iowa but it doesn't end here. It goes all the way through the other states and ends at 16100 Pennsylvania Avenue. It's. For Mike Huckabee for years ago in the former candidate and Fox News contributor joins us from Little Rock, Arkansas now of course he served as governor. Daryn thank you so much for coming out this morning governor four years ago right after the Iowa Caucuses. Right before the New Hampshire primary you -- on this week it's great to have you back again. Well it's nice to be back it doesn't seem like four years ago but I know it was so thank you for having me today George well thanks for -- did you see anything last -- the slow Mitt Romney down. Now if if the last night was a NASCAR race Mitt Romney had a couple laps on everybody and all he had to do -- keep from hitting the wall. -- say this when his car came off the track last night there were no -- senate. And it was one of those kind of unexpected -- debates because I think everybody thought. It it was going to be a pile up and -- Mitt Romney's scar would be right in the middle of it. But it it appeared that everyone was a little hesitant if not tended. In going after him directly and I think everyone who watched the debate was surprised how do you explain that. You know I don't explain it it's it's inexplicable to me that. A person who is clearly the front runner. Who has leads not only in New Hampshire but surprisingly in South Carolina. Who could well be on his way to running the tables in the first several states and if that happens it's going to be very difficult to catch up with -- because it will create an imbalance and not only the financial contributions. But a sense of the momentum and the media has a lot to do with driving the sense of the inevitable. And whether we like that are not believe -- I've been on the receiving end of that. And I know what that can mean and so as a result it was almost. Just critical that the other candidates did what they could do to a dinner at this car -- little bit and stay close to his fender they just didn't do her -- and I don't have any X. Mission -- that there was some critique from Newt Gingrich. On on. I'm mr. Romney's tenure at Bain Capital forgive me if I misquote you bet he wasn't four years ago we were running against Mitt Romney said he reminded a lot of people the -- five your dad or something. -- along those lines and it is Terry David Axelrod right here talk about being capital is that can be a problem. For governor Romney going forward. Well let let me give -- the quote exactly -- never attributed to Mitt Romney but I think a lot of people. Made the attribution and and went there when it. But my comment it was on The Jay Leno Show I said you know people are looking to elect a president. Who reminds you of the guy he worked with not a -- that laid you off. And you know I never said Mitt Romney a lot of people thought that that's where I was headed -- it. It was pleasant you know while there was an attempt to go after him for. -- never tell you that the I'll let you make that conclusion. But you know I think here here's the point. If Mitt Romney really wants to defend Bain Capital the way that he should do it is to say. I did some jobs that get lost in the process of -- what we did of course. But -- we go to Washington we know that there's some downsizing that needs to be done with the bloated federal government. That for the first time in our history now has adapt its bigger than the entire GDP of the country for the first time in our entire history. And that may require. Some serious budget cutting and the government. I've experience in the private sector I'm prepared to do in the public sector. That's the answer that I think he could get. Not -- try to get in political advice because he seems to be doing very well without -- Let's talk about Rick Santorum for little bit he's trying to strikes on the same populist blue collar chords that you talked about four years ago. But he rental real buzz saw last night from Ron Paul take a look. So you're a big spender that's all there is -- -- your big government conservative. And you don't vote for you know right to work in these very important things -- that's what. We can see economies left to say you're conservative I think is a stretch but you've convinced a lot of people -- but somebody has -- your record. You're -- some campaign strategist last night based think that Rick Santorum may have miscalculated. By coming here to New Hampshire -- -- -- year experience saying the last time around -- might have been better for you to skip New Hampshire goes straight to South Carolina which is much more fertile ground. A for a conservative. Do you buy that. No I don't Georgian part of the reason is because every political writer. That is on the eighteen of the political round is in New Hampshire right now. And if Rick Santorum had bypass New Hampshire and on the South Carolina. People -- said well he just couldn't compete. Four years ago the decision that we made to go ahead and compete and in New Hampshire even though we came in at third knowing that we probably would not be better than that given that. He had Mitt Romney and John McCain both superstars in that state. We knew that if we didn't do that people would sell well he's a regional candidate he can only compete in the south. -- he's -- demographic candidate he can only compete with the evangelicals so we knew that even though it was somewhat risky. We had to show that we were prepared to campaign in every state Rick santorum's doing the same thing. He has to he cannot somehow beat pegged as the guy who can only campaign where there are value voters who will vote for -- -- lot of can be disastrous more southern compete a lot of conservatives concerned that now the conservative vote will be split. Newt Gingrich going to South Carolina Rick Perry going to South Carolina Rick Santorum going to South Carolina. Do you think that there will be some kind of closing of ranks before South Carolina -- the field. I don't think there will be because you have people heavily invested in each of these candidates. You've got a lot of people who have given a lot of money to Rick Perry I think that's one of the reasons he still in this thing. You've got people who are very excited about Rick Santorum you get people who are very committed to Newt Gingrich you don't who gets to say all right on -- -- The other guys are princes. Nobody's gonna work this hard to get this far. And suddenly just exit the stage because someone suggested they ought to un fact four years ago Georgia -- people every week tell me. Why do you get out of the way want to you've quit why you just leave you can't win. That just made me more determined that makes you mad when you've put your whole life on the line and said no there's not going to be some magic moment -- which. Three for these people sit around a campfire toasting marshmallows singing -- by -- giving the nod to one of their. Their competitors that just didn't gonna happen and anybody thinks it is has never run for public off -- long -- this -- go. I think depending on whether Romney wins New Hampshire and South Carolina if he should win those two go to Florida and when there. There may be some folks who limp along for a while since the delegate process will go well into the first part of march. I don't see how they catch up with him if he runs the table in those early states when -- -- -- this. Any regrets at all being get in the race this time around. None whatsoever I mean you know I I watched this with. But sometimes -- watch it and I say all of my you know -- here's what I would have set on that stage but -- you know you don't regret decisions that in your heart you believed were right. If you start regretting those decisions you made the wrong -- And I think one of the reasons that I have complete piece about the decision that I made was that it was made not from. What would have been a good political moment because I think up -- -- had one. But it was a deeply personal one and you know I'm at peace with it and I think we've got good candidates I disagree with people -- -- the weakest field we've ever had. We every four years that's what people say. And then we end up with a candidate his formidable. I think the biggest issue is that Democrats have to worry about a week field they've only got one candidate and he doesn't have that greater record to run on. And with all due respect to David Axelrod. You know who's trying to tell us what a great job he's doing there a lot of Americans don't have jobs there are a lot of people who when they go to the gas pump and squeeze. They can barely put five bucks in the tank because prices are much higher than they ought to be in this country. So I think any Republican who gets the nomination is going to be in a very good position to take the game two president. Who hasn't exactly had a stellar performance because he was not ready for. This incredible job that he's selling it is likely to be a tight race Governor Huckabee thanks very much for coming on this morning. Always a pleasure George thank you take care.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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