Huckabee and O’Malley on a divided nation and the 2016 race for the White House

Bianna Golodryga
Yahoo News and Finance Anchor

By Alex Bregman

On April 13, 2016, a true political odd couple, two former 2016 candidates and governors, Republican Mike Huckabee and Democrat Martin O’Malley, spoke to Yahoo News and Finance Anchor Bianna Golodryga on “Yahoo News Live” about the state of the current race in their first joint appearance since suspending their campaigns. They were also on to promote the new season of the AMC series, “TURN: Washington’s Spies,” a show set during the Revolutionary War.

Both governors noted that as divisive as the current election has become, the revolution was much worse. O’Malley told Golodryga: “This is nothing compared to the Revolution.” Huckabee’s take: “As divisive as this election is and as tense as it is, at least we’re ultimately going to decide it by ballots, not by bullets. And in the Revolution, it was bullets that really determined the political atmosphere.”

On the back and forth between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz over the Republican nominating process, with Trump calling it “rigged” and Cruz saying Trump is “whining,” Huckabee said, “Ted Cruz is right. There are rules. We all knew them going in.”

Huckabee, however, said he could relate to Trump’s frustrations with the process. He said, “Where I think a lot of people are concerned is if somebody gets by far the most votes and doesn’t become the nominee, it’s not dissimilar to when many Democrats were frustrated in 2000. They won the popular vote of election, but didn’t win the election because of the electoral college. So it’s frustrating. We all knew what the rules are going in. It just doesn’t mean that we necessarily like it when the results don’t come out like we’d hoped.”

On whether or not Huckabee plans to go to the convention in July, he said: “I plan to go. If it looks like it’s going to be a total train wreck, I may decide that I’ll just watch it on TV. I’ll have a better seat.”

Huckabee also agreed with Speaker Paul Ryan’s decision to take himself out of the running yesterday. He said, “I think Speaker Ryan made a great decision and a great position yesterday.”

Huckabee also agreed with Ryan that the nominee should be someone who actually ran, but Huckabee does not see himself realistically in the running even though he falls into that category. He told Golodryga: “It should be someone who ran, but I’m not going to pretend that I’m going to be sitting by the phone waiting for a call so that they can leapfrog me over a whole lot of people who got more votes. I just don’t think that that would be appropriate. I don’t think it would be a good idea, disastrous for the party.” He joked, “It would be great for the country because I really would’ve been a great president — I’m convinced of that. We’ll never get that opportunity now. We’ve blown that.”

On frustrations among Sen. Bernie Sanders supporters with the Democratic Party’s nominating process, specifically the influence of superdelegates who largely favor Hillary Clinton, O’Malley said: “This huge number of superdelegates in our party was a reaction to one election in 1972, and sometime the pendulum swings. I would imagine that after this election, there probably will be another examining of our process and an effort to strike a better balance and perhaps reduce the number of superdelegates and increase the number of directly elected delegates.”

Neither O’Malley nor Huckabee has endorsed a candidate since suspending their own campaigns earlier this year. O’Malley’s reason: “I would like to reserve my energy for the healing process rather than the division part of this process.” Huckabee’s: “I want the voters to make this decision. It’s an election, not a selection.”

Finally, on a lighter note, both Huckabee and O’Malley are the only candidates to speak one-on-one with Triumph the Insult Comic Dog.
O’Malley’s take on Triumph: “I think we might have more-issue-oriented debates if Triumph the dog were actually moderating. Maybe he could share the stage with Anderson Cooper.”

Huckabee concluded to Golodryga: “You see where it got us. We’re sitting here. While other people are on the debate stage and in the process, we’re sitting here talking to you.”