Mike Huckabee says he could still run in 2012

The former Arkansas governor and former candidate has a hit talk show built around his amiable personality - and may now be focused more on media than politics. But Huckabee, who won the 2008 Iowa caucuses, remains popular in the party for his ability to sell a social conservative message without coming off as mean-spirited; "I'm a conservative," he says, "but I'm not mad at anybody." More Coverage on Mike Huckabee
AP Photo/Danny Johnston
AP Photo/Danny Johnston

Updated 6:18 p.m. Eastern Time

Mike Huckabee has joined Donald Trumpin the ranks of potential Republican presidential candidates who are suggesting their decisions to forgo 2012 presidential runs are not set in stone.

The Arkansas News Service reports that the former Arkansas governor said today that "everything is still open."

"I haven't closed doors. I found long ago that that's not the smart thing to do," he reportedly said after speaking at the Clinton presidential library.

Huckabee said last month that he would forgo a presidential run, telling viewers of his Fox News program, "all the factors say go, but my heart says no. And that's the decision I've made."

In a subsequent interview with Fox News colleague Sean Hannity, Huckabee said, "My decision is clear, it's firm. I'm not sitting around thinking is there another way in. I'm out. Simple as that. I have a lot other things."

Huckabee, who won the Iowa caucuses in his 2008 presidential run, would be one of the stronger candidates in the Republican field thanks to his appeal to social conservatives. Yet he has sat on the sidelines as potential rivals scooped up key staffers and courted important players in key early states.

And he is building a $3 million beach house in Santa Rosa Beach in Florida, which he is paying for in part thanks to the $500,000 per year salary he gets from Fox. Huckabee also generates earnings from his radio show and book sales; he has acknowledged that "if I run, I walk away from a pretty good income."

A source close to Huckabee told CBS News that "Huckabee is at peace with the decision he made a few weeks ago to not run, but it would be foolish for him to completely close the door to the possibility."

Donald Trump again claims he may run in 2012