One might think that Mike Huckabee—along with any other red-blooded Republican who ever had presidential aspirations—would regret having sat this race out. Not so, says Huck, calling the 2012 political environment "so toxic and negative that it's not a water I'm ready to jump into right now." "If I ran it would be because I wanted to bring some ideas to the race. I realize that's not really going to be the focus. It's how mean can a person be. That's not what drives me," he told Fox News Today. In further blasphemy, Politico reports that Huckabee called President Obama a "decent patriotic American," albeit one who "loves America differently."
Looking nine days ahead to the Iowa caucuses, 2008 winner Huckabee thinks it's probably Romney's to lose, though "if the weather is bad and it's real tough to get out, Ron Paul will win." But make no mistake: "Ron Paul is not going to be elected president," Huckabee says, calling Paul's foreign policy views "anathema." And don't discount Rick Santorum, who's "greatly underestimated. I believe he will be the surprise candidate, not necessarily to win it, but to be in the top three or four when people don't expect him to be."