Washington Week

Friday Nights on PBS

16 Things to Know About....Mike Huckabee


1.    Huckabee was born in Hope, Arkansas. Former President Bill Clinton was also born in Hope. 

2.    After losing the 1992 Senate race against the incumbent Democrat, Huckabee went on to be elected lieutenant governor of Arkansas during a special election in 1993, following the election of Bill Clinton as president.  He served as lieutenant governor of Arkansas from 1993-1996.  

3.    Huckabee changed his diet and started exercising after he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. He has lost over 100 lbs. He wrote a book about his weight loss experience, "Quit Digging Your Grave with a Knife and Fork." He has also completed four marathons. 

4.    In 1996, Arkansas Governor Jim Guy Tucker was convicted of fraud for his role in the Whitewater scandal.  As lieutenant governor, Huckabee assumed the governorship of Arkansas after Tucker resigned. Huckabee was the governor of Arkansas from 1996-2007.

5.    Huckabee first ran for the White House in 2008 and won the Iowa Republican Caucuses. In the end, he came in second to Sen. John McCain who eventually won the nomination.

6.    As governor, Huckabee issued over 1,000 pardons and commutations – more than his three predecessors combined. One man was later suspected of shooting four police officers. 

7.    Huckabee is married to his high school sweetheart, Janet McCain Huckabee. They have three children.

8.    He plays bass in a band called Capitol Offense, which he formed with members of his staff in 1996. Capitol Offense has opened for Willie Nelson, REO Speedwagon and the Charlie Daniels Band. Huckabee has played music since he was 11 years old.

9.    Action film star Chuck Norris has endorsed Huckabee for both of his presidential runs. In 2007, Norris appeared in a Huckabee campaign advertisement called HuckChuckFacts.

10.  Huckabee was the first male in his family to graduate high school. He received a scholarship to Ouachita Baptist University and received his bachelor's degree in religion and minored in speech in less than three years.

11.  Huckabee has written twelve books. His memoir about the 2008 Republican presidential race, "Do the Right Thing," was a New York Times best seller for seven weeks.  

12.  He became an ordained minister at 18. During college, he preached on the weekends. After attending Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, he was a Baptist pastor for 12 years.

13.  He had a radio commentary show called "The Huckabee Report." He also hosted a weekend show called "Huckabee" on Fox News Channel. He stepped down from hosting "Huckabee" to decide whether or not to run for president in the 2016 election.

14.  After the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, Huckabee penned an editorial in USA Today saying same-sex marriage "directly conflicts with the long-standing traditions and teachings of many faiths, setting up a collision with the First Amendment guarantee of religious liberty." He also advocated for Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, to be released from jail.

15.  Huckabee enjoys fishing. In 1997 was the American Sportfishing Association's Man of the Year. In 2005, a lake in Arkansas was renamed the Mike and Janet Huckabee Lake.

16.  He has raised nearly as much money for his 2016 campaign so far as he had for his entire campaign in 2008. As of October 15, 2015 he has raised close to $8 million for his 2016 run. His 2008 White House bid brought in $9 million total.