Huckabee to Newsmax: Trump Should Wait to Announce 2024 Bid (Newsmax/"John Bachman Now")
By Sandy Fitzgerald | Tuesday, 15 November 2022 03:01 PM EST
Former President Donald Trump, rather than making his anticipated announcement about his 2024 presidential campaign, would be better served to make sure his endorsed candidate Herschel Walker wins in Georgia's runoff election for the U.S. Senate, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who campaigned for the nomination against Trump in 2016, said on Newsmax, Tuesday.
"It would be better, I think, had he said, I'm going to make a big announcement. But first, I'm going to go to Georgia and make sure Herschel Walker wins that race, and I ask every Republican to go all in,'" Huckabee told Newsmax's "John Bachman Now."
He added that nobody would be surprised if Trump announces that he's running in the 2024 race, but Huckabee said he didn't understand the need to rush, considering that even some people closest to the former president have said they wish he would wait.
"It's not that he needs to raise the money," said Huckabee. "He's already got almost $70 million in the bank … frankly, it immediately puts him in a position where he has to start doing accounting and legal reporting that you don't have to do until you become an announced candidate. So he's invoking some of those restrictions and requirements that most of the time you're better holding off as late as possible."
Further, Trump isn't an unknown person who has to get his foot in the door early, as "everybody anticipates, whether he announces tonight or next June that he's going to be in," said Huckabee. "I can't explain why he would choose right now before these elections are decided in Georgia."
Meanwhile, there could be dozens of people who may consider running, even if they don't end up in a campaign for one reason or another, but the field could look far different when 2024 arrives, Huckabee added.
"Do you remember back in the 2016 cycle?" he said. "I certainly do. I was in it. Jeb Bush raised $150 million and everybody said, 'Wow, who can top that?' Donald Trump did this without any real big fundraising because he didn't need it. He had his name, he had his celebrity status, and he rolled over all of us."
Starting his race early also means Trump will have to be "burning money for lawyers and accountants" as well as reporting to the Federal Elections Commission, Huckabee said.
Huckabee also said he believes the in-party battles among Republicans are an issue.
"It's ridiculously stupid on the part of Republicans to commit fratricide," he said. "We have an enemy. It's that insidious cancer that's growing against America that says we're an evil country that leaves our borders open, shuts down our energy resources and costs us double in energy costs, and makes our groceries go up. We've got some real things to fight. It ain't each other."