Mike Huckabee Announces Second Presidential Bid

Former Arkansas Governor announces bid in hometown of Hope; pledges to 'never apologize for America.'

Ari Soffer ,

Mike Huckabee (file)
Mike Huckabee (file)
Flash 90

Former Governor of Arkansas and 2008 Republican presidential candidate hopeful Mike Huckabee has announced his intention to run as the GOP's presidential candidate in 2016 elections.

Huckabee made the announcement in his hometown of Hope, Arkansas, telling a euphoric crowd how he began his journey to greatness from humble beginnings by becoming "the first male in my family to graduate high school."

"So it seems perfectly fitting that it would be here that I announce that I am a candidate for president of the United States of America," he said.

Huckabee's emerging campaign slogan appears to be a play on those humble roots: "From hope to higher ground."

"I truly went from hope to higher ground," he told supporters Tuesday, while introducing some of his key campaign pledges.

"I commit this to you today," he pledged. "I will never apologize for America. Ever."

The former Fox News presenter's claimed his prior experience in the Republican primaries would put him at an advantage.

"As my dad likes to say, we're at a great advantage because we've been through this before, and we're at a great disadvantage because we've been through this before," his daughter Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who will serve as his campaign manager, told CNN. "He's going to have a bigger target on his back."

Indeed a recent CNN/ORC poll showed Huckabee is already highly popular among Republicans - many of whom will have been among his 1.3 million plus viewers on Fox. In the April survey he came in second, behind Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

A staunch supporter of Israel, Huckabee will still face stiff competition from a highly competitive list of candidates, including Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz.