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Huckabee passes on White House bid, will stay on Fox

Fox host Mike Huckabee announces 2012 plans.
Fox host Mike Huckabee announces 2012 plans. Photo

Mike Huckabee will forgo a 2012 White House bid and stay as a weekend host on the Fox News Channel, the former Arkansas governor announced on his show Saturday evening.

"All the factors say, 'Go.' But my heart says, 'No.' And that's the decision I've made," Huckabee said.

Huckabee, an ordained Baptist minister and staunch social conservative, made a spirited bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008, winning the Iowa caucuses before eventually succumbing to Sen. John McCain. Early polls showed Huckabee at or near the top among prospective 2012 GOP contenders.

After his failed bid in 2008, Fox hired Huckabee as a commentator and gave him a self-titled talk show, which features a mix of interviews, current events, pop culture and music. The result is often surprisingly quirky, particularly Huckabee's habit of picking up his bass and playing along with his musical guests. (Saturday night, for instance, he jammed with Ted Nugent after chatting with Mario Lopez.)

The program quickly built a following, consistently delivering some of Fox's best Saturday numbers. If Huckabee had run for president, he would have had to give up the show, under a policy announced by the network earlier this year.

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