Huckabee comes to Tampa to sell books, 2012 candidacy? listen12/01/08 Mitch E. Perry
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Although the seemingly endless presidential campaign finally ended last month, political junkies are already contemplating who might run again for the Republicans in 2012.
One man who looks like he’s ready for another go at it is former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who was in Tampa the day after Thanksgiving.
Huckabee was in Hyde Park Village in South Tampa signing copies of his new book, Do The Right Thing: Inside the Movement That’s Bringing Common Sense Back to America.
Nationally, the Republican Party appears to be in tatters, with only 34 percent in a recent Gallup Survey saying they embraced the party. Huckabee says he has the answer to party’s problems.
One place that Republicans seem to have to make amends is with Latino voters. Barack Obama won more than two-thirds of them nationally, and that demographic makes up a crucial part of the electorate in key battleground states that jumped from red to blue this year -- like Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Florida.
WMNF asked the former Arkansas governor about some of the harsh rhetoric against illegal immigrants made by some of his opponents last year.
Approximately 75 people waited early last Friday morning to have meet and greet Huckabee. The first one in line was a Dade City resident named Robert, who said he said he liked Huckabee's "conservative values" and said he isn’t ashamed to speak about them.
Huckabee is a also an ordained Southern Baptist Minister, and it was clear speaking to those in attendance at the book signing that the former governor spoke to those citizens that were labeled “values voters" after the 2004 election.
Lutz resident John Collins was waiting in line with his wife and two kids, who wore “home schoolers for Huckabee” shirts.
Although John McCain won the GOP primaries rather decisively this year, in fact, Huckabee, and not Mitt Romney, was his closest rival. Huckabee won eight states, and gathered more than 4 million votes in the GOP primaries.
Tampa resident Trey Stroud says that Huckabee inspired him this year to get involved in politics. He said he has aspirations now of running for County Commissioner in Hillsborough County.
Dennis Krause, 28, was one of two people standing in line who had Huckabee sign a guitar. Huckabee himself plays bass guitar and performed live music at different parts of the campaign.
Mike Huckabee's appearance was presented by the local independent bookstore, Inkwood Books.