Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee speaks to guests gathered at the Point of Grace Church for the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition 2015 Spring Kickoff on April 25, 2015 in Waukee, Iowa.
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty

Huckabee gears up for presidential announcement with new video


Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee broke through the closed doors of “Bill Clinton’s Arkansas” and is ready to take on another Clinton in 2016, boasts a new video that will introduce the Republican as a presidential candidate during his official announcement next week in Hope, Arkansas.

RELATED: Mike Huckabee to announce 2016 decision on May 5

The video, entitled “Nailed Shut,” casts Huckabee as a come-from-behind leader who fought “huge Democratic majorities” in his state and will continue to “fight for what matters most.”

“Every day of my life in politics was a fight, and sometimes it was an intense one,” Huckabee says in the two-minute, 18-second spot, which was released Friday. “But any drunken redneck can walk into a bar and start a fight. A leader only starts a fight that he’s prepared to finish.”

“Any drunken redneck can walk into a bar and start a fight. A leader only starts a fight that he’s prepared to finish.”
Former Gov. Mike Huckabee
The governor will officially announce his candidacy on May 5 at an event in Hope, Arkansas – a city that featured prominently in President Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign, which dubbed him “The Man from Hope.” Though Huckabee will be the fourth Republican to join the race and will have to take on Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Rand Paul of Kentucky, and Marco Rubio of Florida in the primaries, the video makes clear that the former governor sees Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton as his primary foe.

“On his first day in office, Gov. Huckabee’s door was nailed shut. It was in Bill Clinton’s Arkansas,” says Rex Nelson of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in the video. “You had all the apparatus of the Democratic party aligned against Mike Huckabee, and all of a sudden this Republican comes out of nowhere and wins.”

A former Baptist pastor, Huckabee won the Iowa caucuses during his 2008 presidential bid, thanks in large part to overwhelming support from Christian conservatives. In the past few months, the governor has made headlines for his sometimes perplexing remarks about gay marriage, religious freedom, swear words, and even Beyoncé.

But the culture wars were nowhere to be found in Friday’s video, save for a promise to “lead with moral clarity in a dangerous world.” Instead, Huckabee highlights his commitment to protecting Social Security and Medicare, helping Americans earn their “maximum wages,” and keeping “all options on the table in order to defeat the evil forces of radical Islam.”