About 350 people lined up at Barnes & Noble in Rome to get a signed copy of Huckabee’s latest book, “A Simple Government.”
Former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich announced earlier this week he is forming an exploratory committee for a possible presidential run. Huckabee, a Republican, said he doesn’t plan to announce his plans until the summer.
“I’m going to let Newt go out there first and swim in and test the waters,” Huckabee said. “In fact, he and I had breakfast in New York together last Saturday and we remain good friends and will be no matter what.”
Layla Shipman was among the Huckabee fans who were at the bookstore early to secure a place in line.
She said she thinks Huckabee could be a top tier candidate if he chooses to run.
“(The) 2012 presidential election is the Republicans’ to lose,” Shipman said. “I think we could win, but we’ve got to put quality candidates against Obama.”
Maxine Wilson and Pat Marcus of Calhoun spent some time with Huckabee on his tour bus before he signed books for the public. Both women said they were longtime supporters of Huckabee.
“He is the nicest man you would ever want to meet,” Marcus said. “He’s so genuine and so presidential.”
“I have been following him since the 2008 primaries,” Wilson said. “I hope he does run again, and if he does, I will support him.”
Huckabee’s main reason for visiting Rome was to talk about his book, which he said was about “really taking a look at all the problems we face in the country and taking a simple constitutional approach.”
“The original constitution was 20 pages,” Huckabee said. “Obamacare was 2,300 pages. So what I want to express to the readers is a lot of the problems seem complicated but the honest answer to fixing them is pretty simple.”
Staff writer Kevin Myrick contributed to this report.