The field of candidates for the 2012 GOP Presidential nomination thinned out this past weekend, as former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and business mogul Donald Trump removed themselves from consideration.
During his weekly FOX News program on May 14, Huckabee announced that he would not seek the Republican nomination to avoid “brutal” and “savage” attacks on his family. He was considered a favorite in the current field of potential candidates, but pundits have stated that Huckabee had little personal or financial motivation to run for President.
On May 16, Trump revealed that he would prefer to remain in the private sector, rather than run for public office. Although the reality TV star’s rumored candidacy was viewed as a publicity stunt by many political observers, he garnered ample support in a number of national polls. Trump also played a big role in the “birther movement,” prompting the White House to release a copy of President Barack Obama’s long-form birth certificate last month.
The two announcements have further opened up a field that was already considered unpredictable. On May 15, Mike Campbell, who was Huckabee’s campaign chairman in South Carolina during the 2008 race, announced that he has joined forces with Jon Huntsman, the former United States ambassador to China and Governor of Utah.
Huntsman has already enlisted the services of former political advisors to Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.), who won the GOP nomination in 2008, The Boston Globe reported.