Just minutes ago on his Fox News show, Huckabee, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee said he will not be seeking the 2012 Republican nomination.  He said after much prayer “even though the externals said go, my heart said, ‘no’.”

Update: I’m curious to see who might fill the vacuum that now exists at least in the Iowa Caucus race since he consistently polled with over 20% in polls I’ve seen.  South Carolina will have a vacuum as well.  I don’t think his not entering the field will impact New Hampshire as much however.  I have to admit that at first when he was sharing this announcement it almost seemed he was going to announce he was running.  I appreciate his reasoning why, obviously as a follower of Christ if God is not leading you or giving you peace you don’t jump in.  If his heart wasn’t in the race, jumping in to keep supporters (or anyone else) happy would have been foolish.  He does have a great platform to address issues, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him endorse.His statement about fundraising, I still have my doubts about how effective he would have been with fundraising as HuckPAC still lingers behind other candidates PACs.

While he said he made his decision late this week, I didn’t “know” he wasn’t running, but I did suspect and evidently made a good guess.   There was also discussion on whether it would have even been legal for Fox News to allow him to make an announcement.  It was thought that at the very least if he did, Fox News would have had to allow each candidate the same opportunity – something I doubt Fox News would have wanted to do.

Former Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) commented on Huckabee’s statement tonight:

I have long admired Governor Huckabee and his commitment to talking about the critical issues facing America.  Those of us who believe in the virtues and values of life and family can never have enough allies, and I am grateful to Governor Huckabee for helping to keep those issues front and center.  As some in our party seek to form a ‘truce’ on social issues, I look forward to a dialogue with Governor Huckabee and his supporters to talk of our shared commitment to fight for traditional values and the rights granted to us by our forefathers. Finally, I was particularly moved by his honesty in revealing the reason for his decision.  He above all prayerfully sought God’s will for his life.

Former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) also shared his reaction tonight:

Governor Mike Huckabee emerged in 2008 as a new star for the Republican Party and the conservative movement.  Over the last 3 years he has used his gifts to create a popular Fox News TV show, produce an amazingly successful radio commentary, write best-selling books, and deliver thought provoking speeches.  All have increased his stature and his influence.

Had Governor Huckabee decided to run, there is no question he would have been a frontrunner in the 2012 campaign for president.  He has achieved that prominence without a campaign simply based on his personal appeal and the attractiveness of his views and his character.

His statement tonight emphasized the spiritual dimension of his life and his decision process.  It is a wonderful example for all Americans of someone trying to do the right thing.

Governor Huckabee will remain a major force for conservatism and he will play a major role in shaping America’s future.  Callista and I wish him and his family a wonderful, happy, and successful future.

Below is the video, the Iowa Republican has a transcript up:

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