After teasing reporters earlier Friday that he was set to reveal his presidential ambitions for 2016, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee went on Fox News to instead say that he will announce his plans in his home state next month.
“Come to Hope on May the 5th. You’ll find out what’s going to happen,” Huckabee told Bret Baier on “Special Report” Friday night. “I think it’ll be worth tuning in for.”
Huckabee told Baier that, if he ran, he did not think he needed to win the Iowa caucuses—which he won in 2008—to earn the GOP nomination, but that he wanted to exit the first-in-the-nation contest with momentum. He downplayed expectations for his performance in New Hampshire, which typically supports more moderate candidates, and said he hoped to do well in South Carolina, the nation’s third nominating state.
“I hope people will come to Hope, Arkansas, and not just to tour the Bill Clinton birthplace,” Huckabee said.
Earlier Friday, Huckabee told reporters that he would “make an announcement about my 2016 decision.” He also reminded reporters during an off-camera session that he filed papers to open an exploratory committee earlier this month.
He declined to criticize any of his potential Republican rivals, saying that should be the job of Democrats. He argued that he could build a broad coalition beyond social conservatives, including union workers and middle class voters disaffected by policies of the Obama administration.
The former governor also presented himself as a candidate who could mount the best challenge to Hillary Clinton, given his experience running against what he called the “Clinton machine.”
Huckabee has been actively preparing for a presidential bid, traveling to early primary states and fleshing out his political team. In January, he announced he was leaving his Fox News show, which was seen as a sign of his intentions to run for the White House, and he announced this week he’ll stop broadcasting his radio show in May.