Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a rumored GOP presidential hopeful, said Wednesday that the income from his day job as a radio and TV host is a major factor in his 2012 timing.
Huckabee, who hosts a daily radio show and a weekly TV show on Fox News, said he's "seriously contemplating" making another bid in 2012, but indicated that if he does ultimately jump in the race, it won't be anytime soon.
During his 2008 run for the GOP nomination, Huckabee was the last man standing against the eventual nominee, Sen. John McCainJohn McCainMcCain files B amendment to boost defense spending Senators push to authorize 4,000 more visas for Afghans Senate panel passes 4.5B defense bill MORE (Ariz.), but he said the campaign took a hefty personal financial toll.
"I pretty much went through everything I ever had as an asset that I thought I might one day live on," Huckabee said, making the case that the second time around, he's in a position to sit back and wait for the Republican field to sort itself out some before he decides on another run.
"The idea that someone would crank up a campaign as early as possible, having been through it, doesn't make sense," he said. "Unless you're so poorly known that you have to go out and wave your arms in front of everybody else and say, 'Look at me. I'm here.' I'm in a very different position than I was in four years ago."
Huckabee was in Washington to launch a tour to promote his new book, A Simple Government. The bus tour is taking the former governor to 41 cities in less than a month, including six stops in Iowa and five in South Carolina.
Huckabee touted recent state and national polls that show him either at or near the top of the GOP primary field, making the case that his popularity now reaches well beyond the party's Evangelical wing.
"No longer am I relegated to a subset of the GOP," he said.
One state that isn't on the book tour is New Hampshire, an omission Huckabee brushed off as more about logistics than politics. "It's not conscious on my part," he said of the lack of a New Hampshire stop, noting that the tour schedule was put together by his publisher with a focus on selling books, as opposed to presidential politics.
"You ever been to New Hampshire in February?" Huckabee joked. "It's cold up there, man."