LACROSSE, WISC. -- "Right now there's a great big me-too crowd coming together," said Mike Huckabee who said he wasn't surprised by Mitt Romney's endorsement of John McCain.
"There's a lot of the folks sort of in the establishment of the party that is now not wanting to be left out," he said.
Romney announced he would be telling his delegates to throw their support behind McCain, but Huckabee argued today Romney can't force them to do so.
He said he didn't know if Romney's delegates would go to McCain, but continued, "If Mitt Romney sold them on the idea that he was a pro-life, pro-family, low tax, sign the tax pledge conservative, then they're going to come to me. If they were simply looking at it from a political standpoint – let me see which way the wind is blowing, I'll throw my sail in that direction – then they may not."
Huckabee continued, "You know I've always been somewhat of a contrarian when it comes to the fact that... it's about the principles. And if it's only about party politics, I would have become a Democrat and become a conservative Democrat in Arkansas, but I didn't. I did something that really was rebellious. I became a Republican in my state. And there just weren't many of us. And I just didn't become one, I ran as one, and that's tantamount to throwing yourself out there and getting at most 38% of the vote. But I stood on the principles that made me a Republican, and ultimately people decided that mattered to them. And I think this party has to be a party of its principles, not just of the politics of it."
Huckabee has continually said that he is running for president based on principles and because no one should have a free ride to the nomination.
But other than saying Huckabee has every right to participate in the race, McCain has largely ignored Huckabee's positions on the issues.
Asked why McCain was attacking Barack Obama on pork barrel spending, but not him on the life amendment, Huckabee said, "I'm sure he's looking at trying to create the sensation that this is all over, let's move on. That's what he has done, that's what his supporters have done, I understand that, not saying I wouldn't do the same thing if I were in his position."
"That's why I think it's all the more important that the voters of Wisconsin throw down the flag Tuesday and say, hold on, just a second, haven't heard from us yet."