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Mike Huckabee Encourages Tim Pawlenty To Stay In Race No Matter What

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AMES, IOWA -- Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee handicapped the Ames Straw Poll before the results were announced on Saturday.

The Huffington Post asked what it would mean for Tim Pawlenty if he doesn't do well in the event.

"Whoever of the two Minnesotans comes out on top," he said, referring to Pawlenty and Michele Bachmann, "they come out of here on the shoulders of their teammates. The other one may go out on a gurney."

"It may be that some people are a little more positioned and are going to stay in and some who decide that their donor base is going to dry up," he said.

But, he advised Pawlenty to stay in the race.

"A lot of things can happen. A person can go out and say one thing that gets blown up. So part of it is just staying on your feet. It's going the distance," Huckabee said. "And so even if Pawlenty doesn't do well here today, the question is does he have enough support, and has he streamlined his operation to the level that no matter what the results are he can stay on his feet and keep fighting, because it could be that a couple of the candidates in front of him stumble, fall and have to be hauled off. And if that happens, the only way you can lose at that point is not be on the track."

As for Rick Perry, Huckabee said that he is about to come under much harsher scrutiny than he has so far received.

"Candidates don't get the hard questions prior to getting in. They get them the day after. I've always said the best day of your life is the day before you announce. God help you after that," Huckabee said.

But, Huckabee said, those who think Perry will come into the race and be able to knock Romney off his game easily are mistaken.

"The question may be what will Romney do to Perry. The one thing Romney's got going for him is it's not his first rodeo," Huckabee said.

Notice that Huckabee, who does not like Romney, said "the one thing." He continued, and said of Romney, "He's been on the back of the bull before and it's a bruising experience, and he has the advantage of having ridden it for a while."

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