And Huckabee said that before the news broke about a man he released from an Arkansas prison—a man he released over the objections of prosecutors—gunning down four cops in Tacoma.
"The reason I wouldn't [run in 2012] is that this Fox gig I've got right now, Chris, is really, really wonderful, " Huckabee told Wallace. "It's easy to say, 'Oh gee, don't you just want to jump back in it?' But jumping into the pool, you gotta make sure there is some water in it."
And not, you know, blood.
UPDATE: Before I dive into comments...
Like a good little liberal, I'm pro-clemency, pro-parole, pro-alternative-sentencing, etc. (And in the case of non-violent drug "crimes," I'm pro-no-sentencing-at-all.) We lock up too many people in the United States and mandatory sentencing "guidelines" imposed on judges by grandstanding legislators and governors are the definition of cruel and unusual. It's like this: the quality of mercy is not strained, it droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven, etc. But conservatives don't agree—cruel and unusual punishments are practically a plank in the GOP platform these days—and this is why this tragedy is a problem for Huckabee. Democratic candidates won't make a political issue out this quadruple murder; it's not that Dems are above it, or above the hypocrisy that it would require, it's that they won't have to. Huckabee's conservative rivals—Palin, Romney, that dude from Minnesota—will make an issue out it during the primary. And Clemmons isn't the only recipient of Huckabee's mercy who went rogue on him.
But Huckabee has already indicated that he's not running because he's got this wonderful gig at Fox News—a gig that requires him to spend all of his time in New York City, a city teeming with liberals and Democrats and homos and great restaurants, a city that doesn't represent "heartland values" and sneers at the "real Americans" that Huckabee lurvs so much. Also influencing Huckabee's decision to sit out 2012: It looks like Palin has the nomination wrapped up and that the GOP nominee—Palin, Romney, both of 'em on one ticket—will lose. Huckabee was probably planning to sit out 2012 and run in 2016. Now he can make plans to stay in NYC indefinitely.
UPDATE 2: Huckabee releases a statement blaming everyone involved with the criminal justice systems in Arkansas and Washington state—everyone except himself—for the murders of four police officers in Washington state:
Should he be found to be responsible for this horrible tragedy, it will be the result of a series of failures in the criminal justice system in both Arkansas and Washington State.
Full statement here.