(NEW YORK) — Count former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee out of the 2012 presidential race.
"All the factors say go, but my heart says no," Huckabee said Saturday night. "My answer is clear and firm, I will not seek the Republican nomination for president this year."
After more than a day of will-he-or-won’t-he speculation about his intentions, Huckabee took to the airwaves of Fox News, which broadcasts his weekly television show, to make the announcement. He said the past few months “have been a time of deep personal reflection.”
"I had come to believe that I would begin the race for president," he said, "but I won’t be."
Before he broke that news, however, he listed a litany of reasons why he should.
"Polls have consistently put me at or near the top to be the Republican nominee," he said, and added he no longer had concerns "about raising the necessary funds" to mount a campaign.
"I don’t have an issue with my family being supportive," he said, noting that his wife and children were supportive. Huckabee described his decision-making process as a "spiritual" journey.
"I’m a believer and follower of Jesus Christ and that relationship is far more important to me than any political office," he said.
"I wish him well," said Ed Rollins, Huckabee’s 2008 campaign manager, after Huckabee’s show ended. "Obviously he made a tough and personal decision."
"He’s never gotten up and looked in the mirror and said, ‘There’s the next president of the United States," Rollins said. "If you don’t do that, you’re not going to be the most viable candidate."
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