The morning after announcing that he wasn't joining the race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, Mike Huckabee gave his views on the remainder of the candidates. 

"Frankly my feelings and emotions are still a little raw from the whole process because up until a few days ago I honestly thought I would be in it," Huckabee said on "Fox News Sunday."

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He announced on his own eponymous Fox News show on Saturday that he would not join the race.

Huckabee said he would not immediately endorse any of the declared or undeclared Republicans, but he had kind words for some.

"There are a lot of great candidates -- most of them are very dear friends of mine," he said. "Rick Santorum for example is a strong social conservative, but is also a strong fiscal and, I think, defense conservative, foreign policy conservative. Tim Pawlenty, is another person; Newt Gingrich, Michele BachmannMichele Marie BachmannTom Petty dies at 66 Bachmann: Muslim immigrants trying to undermine Western civilization Religious leaders pray over Trump in Oval Office MORE… Sarah Palin, should she decide to get in, and I think people are awaiting her decision, like they were mine."

At first Huckabee did not mention former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who battled Huckabee in the 2008 Republican primary. When asked directly, Huckabee did not exactly praise Romney but said he was not the worst potential president. 

"There's been a lot of talk about Mitt Romney and me," he said. "We don't socialize, we're not close personally, but I want to make it very clear: If Mitt Romney is the nominee for our party, I will support him because I believe Mitt Romney would be a better president of the United States than Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaAll five living former presidents to attend hurricane relief concert Overnight Health Care: Schumer calls for tying ObamaCare fix to children's health insurance | Puerto Rico's water woes worsen | Dems plead for nursing home residents' right to sue Interior moves to delay Obama’s methane leak rule MORE on any day."

Questions about real estate mogul Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpIvanka Trump pens op-ed on kindergartners learning tech Bharara, Yates tamp down expectations Mueller will bring criminal charges Overnight Cybersecurity: Equifax security employee left after breach | Lawmakers float bill to reform warrantless surveillance | Intel leaders keeping collusion probe open MORE got the same type of response from Huckabee: "I believe Donald Trump would be better for America than Barack Obama, because he understands business. Donald Trump has taken a pro-life position, he believes we are getting Shanghaied by China, which I agree with."

With a devoted support base of social conservatives Huckabee's endorsement of any candidate makes him very important to the Republican field, even as a non-candidate.