LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Mike Huckabee took his presidential tease to a new level on Saturday, leaving his closest advisers in the dark as the former Arkansas governor prepared to announce on his Fox News Channel show whether he would move toward another White House bid.
Huckabee, winner of the Iowa Republican caucus in 2008, planned to announce Saturday night whether he would explore a bid for the GOP presidential nomination. In an e-mail to his advisers Friday, Huckabee promised that "things will get even crazier" after he speaks.
Still, his advisers said he was unlikely to run. Ed Rollins, who chaired Huckabee's bid four years ago, said Huckabee has seemed more reluctant about running and said the fact he didn't know what Huckabee would say was a sign he was likely to forgo running for president in 2012.
But in a series of interviews on Fox Friday and Saturday previewing his announcement, Huckabee cautioned that not even his show's producer knows what he'll say on the show.
"That's kind of refreshing because for the last several months they've all known," Huckabee said on "Fox and Friends" Saturday morning, when asked about predictions by political insiders that he wouldn't run. "They've either known for sure that I was or for sure that I wasn't, when even I wasn't sure. Now that I'm sure they admit they don't know."
Huckabee acknowledged in his email, posted on Time magazine's website, that his ties to Fox are limiting his ability to speak freely, even with his advisers.
"I will look forward to speaking with you soon and once I fulfill my sworn obligation to Fox, I will be free to discuss things that I can't now due to promises to them and to some possible legal considerations of the announcement," Huckabee said. Rollins on Saturday declined to release a copy of the e-mail, but said the version posted by the magazine was accurate.
Huckabee's decision to run may come down to whether he's willing to give up the lucrative media career he's enjoyed since his unsuccessful presidential bid four years ago. In addition to his TV show, Huckabee hosts a nationally syndicated radio program, gives paid speeches around the country and has even launched a series of animated videos for children on American history.