Mike Huckabee not running for president

By Chris Ariens 

Mike Huckabee is not jumping into the race for the GOP nomination for president.

The Fox News host and former Arkansas governor made the announcement live at the end of his pre-taped, weekly program “Huckabee.” “I will not seek the Republican nomination for President this year,” Huckabee said. “I’m going to gladly continue doing what I do.”

Fox News was prepared if Huckabee had jumped in. Instead of re-airing his show at 11pmET tonight, which is generally what happens (it’s usually “Journal Editorial Report” and “Fox News Watch” at 11 & 11:30pm, the Huckabee 11pm reair is on Sunday nights), a new edition of “War Stories with Oliver North” will air.

It didn’t quite have the hype of LeBron’s decision, but Huckabee’s Fox News ratings will see a nice boost.

> Update: Huckabee signed off by saying, “Good night. God Bless and I guess I’ll be back next week.” That was followed by a taped statement from Donald Trump, which means Trump, and others, knew of Huckabee’s decision beforehand. Trump said of Huckabee, “He is a terrific guy, and I think he’d be a terrific president, but a lot of people are very happy that he will not be running, especially other candidates.”

> Update, Sunday a.m.: Huckabee revealed this morning on “FOX News Sunday” that Trump had taped two versions: one if Huckabee had jumped in and the other if he stayed out. “And Donald Trump did not know which one would be used,” Huckabee told Chris Wallace, adding, “Nor did my executive producer, nor did my staff right up until the moment of the show when I finally, of course, had to tell them.”

“It’s good they ran the right tape,” said Wallace.