Mike Huckabee told reporters at CPAC Friday he's still mulling a potential run for president in 2016. But if he does run, the former Arkansas governor believes he has a secret weapon: Hillary Clinton.
How exactly would the likely Democratic candidate help a Republican? According to Huckabee, it's all about Arkansas.
Huckabee assumed office as the 44th governor of Arkansas in 1996, just four years after the Clintons had departed for the White House. He and Hillary Clinton have a lot of mutual friends and acquaintances, Huckabee told reporters at a press conference after delivering his speech at CPAC.
Huckabee was mum on what he may know about Clinton that the public doesn't -- but he acknowledged that it's important for Republicans to start mounting a campaign against her if she is, in fact, the inevitable Democratic nominee for president.
"If she is the standard bearer for the Democratic message … and her and her record are the primary point on which they're going to say, 'Elect us,' then you bet she's a part of the discussion," he said. "She has to be."
The way to attack Clinton's record Huckabee suggested was no surprise. Moments before speaking to reporters, Huckabee raised the issue of Benghazi before an enthusiastic audience -- and noticeably singled out Clinton in his remarks.
"I know it had not one thing to do with some ridiculous video, and with all due respect to Hillary Clinton, it does make a difference," Huckabee said.
Asked later if his comments were reflective of Benghazi serving as a rallying cry for conservatives, Huckabee responded, "I think it's a rallying cry for every American."
"We have yet to have a rational explanation as to why we didn't scramble some type of effort to go in and save and rescue them," he added for the four Americans killed in the Sept. 11, 2012 attack. "And why we have not been able to create one arrest. I think that's problematic and I think Americans ought to hear about that."
A reporter asked if Huckabee was suggesting that Benghazi would be Clinton's Achilles heel.
"God help us if it isn't," he said.
One subject Huckabee refused to address was whether former President Bill Clinton's affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky would impact his wife's candidacy for president. In recent months, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has gone on a media blitz labeling Bill Clinton a "sexual predator," and calling on Democrats to essentially disown him.
"I'm not going to speak for what other people would say or not say," Huckabee said when asked about Paul's comments. "Bill Clinton is not going to be on the ballot in 2016 … it's very possible that his wife will."
"What she said, what she did, how she has served both as a senator and secretary of state -- I think that's all fair play," he added. "I personally don't like to see us get into the personal issues of candidates, because once you go down that road, it's hard to ever put it in reverse and go back. I'm just not sure that's something we want to do."
BEFORE YOU GO
03/08/2014 8:15 PM EST
More On Palin's Biting CPAC Speech
From HuffPost's Elise Foley:
Sarah Palin delivered a biting, folksy speech to close out the Conservative Political Action Conference Saturday, going after GOP consultants, the NSA, Obamacare, liberals and the media.
Many of her digs in the 30-minute speech were targeted squarely at President Barack Obama, whom she criticized for his leadership and mocked for his "hope and change" 2008 campaign messages.
"That 'hope and change,' it went from a catchy campaign slogan to a reality, and along the way, 'hope and change,' 'yes we can,' it became 'no, you can't,'" she said. "No, you can't log onto the website. No, you can't keep your health care."
Read more here.
03/08/2014 7:12 PM EST
This Is What Happens When You Bring An Intern To CPAC
While the politicians gave their speeches, the real action at CPAC was happening on the convention floor below. HuffPost Live brought along their intern Max to investigate.
Watch the clip here.
03/08/2014 6:45 PM EST
Palin Closes With 'The Best Is Yet To Come'
"Stand up and stiffen your spine," she added, drawing loud applause from the crowd to close out the three-day conference.
03/08/2014 6:42 PM EST
Palin: 'The Age Of Obama Is Almost Over'
She added that it is "the end of an error," calling the president the "lamest of lame ducks."
03/08/2014 6:40 PM EST
Palin: Only Mama Grizzlies Can Say 'Hear Me Roar'
Palin lets the women of America know that conservatives' values are "family, faith and freedom," adding that females are "happy to lead the charge" for the movement.
"We're the party with the plank that protects even our littlest sisters in the womb," Palin said making a subtle reference to conservative beliefs on abortion.
03/08/2014 6:37 PM EST
Palin Talking Duck Dynasty, Says Conservatives Won The Fight
She credits Phil Robertson for battling back on his remarks that being gay is a sin, adding that "his fight was our fight and we pushed back and we won."
03/08/2014 6:33 PM EST
Palin Hits Democrats, Harry Reid
Palin charges that the Democratic Party's agenda is "failure and fiasco on steroids." She also went after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), saying he would either end up being Senate Minority Leader, or a blackjack dealer, where "everything stays in Vegas."
03/08/2014 6:30 PM EST
Palin: 'The Only Thing That Stands In The Way Of A Bad Guy With A Nuke, Is A Good Guy With A Nuke'
"Hat tip, NRA!," she exclaimed for a punctuation mark.
03/08/2014 6:26 PM EST
Palin Serenaded To 'Run Sarah!' Chants
And she responds by saying she didn't get a chance to run this morning. The crowd seemed to be prodding her to run for president.