Two days after announcing his intention not to run for the Republican nomination in the 2012 presidential election, Mike Huckabee has proffered words of support to another possible candidate: Donald Trump.
Despite saying on Fox News Sunday that he would not endorse a candidate until he sees how the race unfolds, the former Baptist minister went on to say that Donald Trump would be better for America than Barack Obama.
Donald Trump has taken a pro-life position. He believes that we are getting shanghaied by China, which I agree with, said Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor. He also said that the real-estate mogul has the business experience that would help make him a good president.
Trump has yet to announce whether he will run for the presidency.
But one thing is certainly clear: The absence of Huckabee on the Republican ticket leaves a wide-open field.
It's like 52-card pickup, Mark McKinnon, a strategist for former president George W. Bush told USA Today. Huckabee's decision totally reshapes the race.
Now, the question has become who will inherit the social conservatives, evangelical Christians and Southerners who make up key parts of the GOP base - and who threw their support behind Huckabee during his last presidential run, when he won the Iowa caucus at the beginning of the 2008 primaries. He beat Mitt Romney by 10 percentage points.
According to Ed Rollins, the veteran Republican strategist who was chairman of Huckabee's 2008 campaign, there is no natural heir for Huckabee's mantle, USA Today reported.
It's Romney vs. the field, Rollins said. There's usually a front-runner and a chaser. We have no idea who the chaser is going to be.
And, indeed, Romney - the former Massachusetts governor who announced his presidential bid April 11 -had more clearly become the field's frontrunner.
The Republican lineup, however, is just as notable for those who have decided against running as for those who have decided to take the plunge. Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, Indiana Rep. Mike Pence and South Dakota Sen. John Thune have opted out.
Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels vows a decision is near and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin has yet to make her intentions known.
Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul launched their campaigns last week. Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman is supposed to spend much of this in week in New Hampshire, which holds the nation's first presidential primary.
Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum and former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty are raising money and making appearances.