Huckabee will make presidential decision on May 5
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Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee will announce whether he is running for president on May 5, the Republican said Friday night.

He said on Fox News’s "Special Report with Bret Baier" that the announcement would take place in his hometown of Hope, Ark.

Baier called the choice of location "kind of ironic." The town is also the birthplace of former President Bill Clinton, whose wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, is the frontrunner for Democrats. 

"I think it's symbolic," Huckabee responded. "This is the town that I grew up in. It's a small town. It's like so many places in America."

"The old high school I went to is still there, a lot of great memories," he added.

Huckabee also said earlier Friday that he had formed an exploratory committee for president. In 2008, his announcement that he'd taken the same steps came on NBC's "Meet the Press." 


If the former Baptist minister, who finished second in 2008, runs, he will compete against Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and others for the votes of evangelical Christians. Cruz announced his candidacy in March with a speech at the Liberty University, which was founded by the Rev. Jerry Falwell.

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, the 2012 runner-up, could also make a play for religious conservatives if he chooses to run again for the nomination.

As the election has gotten closer, Huckabee has made news for his socially conservative positions.

Since January, he has said that “a gun will work better than my bare hands, a baseball bat or polite conversation, I’d use the gun,” that everything President Obama does “against what Christians stand for” and supported Indiana’s controversial “religious freedom” bill.

But he is viewed skeptically by some fiscally conservative groups. When he indicated he might be getting into the 2016 race, the Club for Growth said that his “big government record would stand out from the crowd, and not in a good way.”

They previously attacked him in 2008 for what they said was his support for higher taxes, and attacked him when, as governor, he signed into law a minimum wage increase.

Huckabee passed on the 2012 race and continued his career as a host on Fox News. He left his contract at the network earlier this year so that he could consider a presidential run.

Some observers have said that he might have a harder path to the nomination this time around. Still, he told Baier that his path to the nomination was not contingent on winning in Iowa, the state that delivered a surprise caucus victory for him when he ran in 2008.

“We know that Iowa is going to be an important part of that path," he said. "There’s going to be an expectation that I will do well there. I don’t know, nor would I declare ‘I’ve got to win Iowa or I can’t go forward.’ I think that would be a little absurd because I don’t think it’s all based on one state. But clearly, coming out of Iowa with momentum is important."

This post was updated at 6:44 p.m.