Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee elaborated today on his recent move to the Florida Panhandle, saying it was related to business and personal matters and “not political at all.”
The Fox News host and possible 2012 GOP presidential candidate said he and his wife, Janet, took advantage of a buyer-friendly housing market. He said the move eased his frequent trips to New York, where he records his weekly show.
He said he and his wife plan to hold onto their home in North Little Rock, Ark.
“There was no political motivation behind the decision whatsoever. It was personal and business-related but not political at all,” said Huckabee, who ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008.
He spoke to reporters in Minneapolis before addressing a values voter group called the Minnesota Family Council. In his speech, he urged more than 500 people who attended the fundraising dinner to give money to strengthen conservative values in the state Legislature.
Huckabee declined to comment on his political plans but said he is happy with his current work, which also includes a radio show on ABC Radio Network.
The Huckabees switched their voter registrations to Florida in February, requiring them to make sworn statements that they live there.
“At this stage of life, we’re looking long-term, too,” Huckabee said.
He met privately with Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, another potential presidential contender who opened the evening’s dinner program by praising Huckabee’s “joyful” style of leadership. Pawlenty said afterward that they caught up on family and politics but declined to give details.
Huckabee, too, had warm words for Pawlenty, saying he is “very respected” in national GOP circles and brings a needed middle-class perspective to the party.
“He’s not a person who came to public office with all the trappings of aristocracy,” Huckabee said. “If anything he came with a long-standing background of just hard work.”