(Photo: Reuters/Mike Segar)
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who earlier said he was praying about running for president in 2016, admitted Sunday that he is interested in another bid. He also defended "Duck Dynasty" patriarch Phil Robertson, who was suspended from the show for his remarks against homosexuality.
"It would be, frankly, dishonest to say no," the 2008 Republican presidential candidate told "Fox News Sunday" after being asked if he was considering another run.
Huckabee, a Fox News commentator, said there is a "50-50" chance he will run, adding his final decision would still come from the heart and that the GOP already has "a strong stable of candidates" for 2016.
"It would be a decision of the heart," he said.
Huckabee was also asked about A&E Networks' indefinite suspension of Robertson for sharing his views on homosexuality in the January issue of GQ.
"I think it has come to a point in our culture where political correctness has made it so if you want to take a point of view that is traditional, that holds to steadfast, old fashioned, biblical Christian values… then somehow you're supposed to just shut up and keep that to yourself," Huckabee said.
"There's a new level of bullying on the part of these militant activist groups, who if anyone says something that holds to the same position that Barack Obama held in 2008 when he… made it very clear that he opposed same-sex marriage and he said he did so because he was a Christian and because of his biblical views," he added.
Earlier this month, Huckabee met with a group of pastors and political leaders from the early voting states of Iowa and South Carolina, according to ABC.
Speaking to CBN on "The Brody File" show about two weeks ago, Huckabee said top evangelical and financial figures who did not back him in 2008 now want him to make another bid.
"I'm not even close to being ready to saying yeah I'm going to run but I think that there's an openness now," Huckabee told CBN. "A lot of it has to do with the fact that I've had some incredible encouragement from people that I wasn't expecting to get it from. I think even from people who didn't support me before…. These are people who look me square in the eye and say it with conviction."
Last month, Huckabee announced that his radio show, which was heard three hours a day on over 200 radio stations across the United States, would end Dec. 12, as he was preparing for some "new endeavors." "I have opportunities in some other areas that cannot be accomplished given the 8-9 hours a day I was devoting to the daily long-form show," he said on his Facebook page.