Huckabee attends Houston rally

February 21, 2008 8:45:13 AM PST
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee will make a Houston stop today. Huckabee has refused to end his bid, despite being far behind. "What I see is a whole bunch of the same, even the ones who say they're going to change things," the longshot Republican presidential hopeful told a couple hundred supporters at a morning rally in Houston.

"If you believe Washington has the answers, you've got plenty of choices for president. If you believe they're the ones who messed it up, then tell me and explain to me and justify to me why you would give someone who lives in Washington now, who works there, who is in the middle of the system, why you would give them the keys to make serious changes when they've been there and haven't made any yet?

"That doesn't make any sense."

Huckabee said he would spend considerable time in Texas in the days preceding the state's March 4 primary and insisted he was the best choice for convervative voters in what he called the nation's largest Republican state.

"It matters who you vote for," he told supporters. "I'm asking you to vote in a way that makes a loud proud Texas statement to the people in the national media who thought you didn't matter."

Following his Houston appearance, he was headed to the Alamo, the site of Texas's most legendary battle defeat, and an evening rally in San Antonio.

As he has for weeks now, Huckabee said he would remain in the race despite GOP rival John McCain's almost certain nomination. McCain won at least 31 delegates Tuesday in Wisconsin and Washington and remains the front-runner heading into the March 4 primaries in Texas, Ohio, Rhode Island and Vermont.

Overall, McCain has 939 delegates to Huckabee's 245. It takes 1,191 delegates to secure the Republican nomination. "I'm playing by the rules," Huckabee said. "I want you to have a voice and a choice and your vote will count."

"Sure, it's discouraging," Melissa Klopp, 26, of Houston, said of her candidate's delegate count compared with McCain. "But you support who you believe in."

Huckabee dismissed as "politics" a New York Times report suggesting McCain had a relationship with a female telecommunications lobbyist that could have resulted in favoritism to her clients. McCain denied the story.

"I've campaigned now on the same stage or platform with John McCain for 14 months," Huckabee said. "I only know him to be a man of integrity. Today he denied any of that was true. I take him at his word.

"For me to get into it is completely immaterial. I only know him for what I know him to be and that's a good decent honorable man."

Huckabee hasn't won a primary since Feb. 9, when he scored a narrow victory in Louisiana and a big one in Kansas. He's also won primaries or caucuses in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa, Tennessee and West Virginia.

We will sit down with him to talk about his campaign. Watch Eyewitness News at 11am for more of that interview.

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