03/02/2011 07:10 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The Huffington Post's Sam Stein Talks GOP 2012 Presidential Contenders On MSNBC's 'Hardball' (VIDEO)

Huffington Post Political Reporter Sam Stein appeared Wednesday on MSNBC's 'Hardball,' along with Clarence Page of The Chicago Tribune, to discuss contenders for the 2012 Republican Presidential nomination.

When asked by Chris Matthews if there are potential candidates that the Obama White House sees as a threat in the coming election, Stein explained, "there are people in the top White House circles who were very afraid of John Thune," before Thune decided not to make a run for the Presidency.

Expanding on his answer, Stein said, "there is no one who's out who they're directly fearful of. I'd say among the remaining candidates, I'd put Huckabee up there as well, he's shown that he can appeal to some moderate voters, he's not knee jerk anti-Obama, he's praised the First Lady on her anti-obesity campaign."

Discussing Newt Gingrich as a candidate in a general election, Stein concluded, "I can see a path for it to work in a conservative-based primary....the problem is, of course, that the election is not decided in the Republican primary, and he's been through so many variations and incarnations that it's gonna come back and bite him."