MS.CARLSON: Joining me now from Little Rock is Former Arkansas governor and Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.
Good morning to you, Governor.
MR. HUCKABEE: Good morning, Gretchen.
MS.CARLSON: I want to congratulate you on your five-state win, but first I want to talk about the bad news, about the deaths in your home state of Arkansas from those deadly tornadoes yesterday.
MR. HUCKABEE: Very tragic, and it brings back so many memories of my 10 and a half years as governor. These were the moments that you really, really dreaded. Tornadoes happen so quickly and everybody's life changes. When deaths occur you just want to reach out there and put your arms around these folks and their families.
The thing that I remember, though, is that every time we saw these tragedies, we saw the incredible, overwhelming resilience of Arkansas people, going out there, helping their neighbors, giving them love and assistance. It always made me sad for the people who were the victims but very, very proud to be part of a state where people never forgot what it's like to be a neighbor.
MS.CARLSON: And no doubt you are proud of the wins that you had last night -- five states, surprising a lot of the pundits -- which I know you probably don't care that much about those opinions. But you had an interesting quote last night, saying, "Mitt Romney was right: It is a two-man race. The only thing is that I'm the second guy."
MR. HUCKABEE: Well, I think people had tried to write me off. You know, what was remarkable about our wins was two things: First, they happened in an area of the country where a Republican has to win in order to win the White House. You cannot win as a Republican if you don't carry Alabama, Tennessee, West Virginia, Georgia, Arkansas, Tennessee. You just can't.
The second thing was that I won these states despite going against the headwinds of talk radio and the pundits who now for the last two or three weeks have said, "Huckabee's out of this; he's marginalized." Heck, even on the debate they put me over on the corner of the stage. I might as well have been offstage, brought on for a brief wave.
So in spite of all that, people went out there and said, "I don't care what the pundits say. I don't care what talk radio says. I'm voting for Mike Huckabee because he stands for what I stand for." And that was the significance.
MS.CARLSON: Okay, but what a lot of people want to know the true answer to is what kind of alignment do you have with John McCain? Because there was a little dirty politicking going on in West Virginia yesterday where Mitt Romney won the first vote, then McCain supposedly called you and called his supporters and said, "Vote for Huckabee." You end up winning West Virginia. So what is the alignment between you and John McCain?
MR. HUCKABEE: Well, first of all, there's nothing dirty that happened in West Virginia. And I don't know if Senator McCain called anybody or not. I know I didn't call anybody.
Here's what happened: There was a ballot and then, the way the rules were, the first ballot people at the bottom are eliminated, and then delegates are free to choose who they wish. Well, the fact that they would rather have me than Mitt Romney -- is that dirty? No. That's politics. And that just shows that --
MS.CARLSON: But did you cut a deal with John McCain?
MR. HUCKABEE: No, I didn't cut a deal. And that's the thing. Mitt Romney the day before had said, "Let's quit whining." Yesterday he's whining. So he can't even hold his same position on whether it's a good thing to whine or a bad thing to whine. And I thought, you know, Mitt, you lost this thing because people wanted to vote for me after they didn't get a chance to support John McCain or Ron Paul. The Ron Paul people didn't want to vote for Mitt Romney, the McCain people didn't want to. And the fact that they voted for me -- Mitt's going to have to deal with it.
MS.CARLSON: All right. I want to find out if you believe you are the true conservative antidote to John McCain if in fact you become his running mate.
More with Governor Huckabee after this break.
MS. CARLSON: And joining me now again from Little Rock is former Arkansas governor and Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.
All right. So before we went to break, Governor, I was talking about the fact that a lot of people think you're staying in the race to be John McCain's running mate as vice president. If that's the case, are you the true conservative antidote to John McCain?
MR. HUCKABEE: Well, I'm staying in the race because I still want to be president, and until somebody gets 1,191 delegates, we don't have a nominee.
But the thing that people need to remember is on views that matter to conservatives, whether it's the Second Amendment, lower taxes, strong national defense, human life amendment, marriage amendment -- those are the things that kind of define a conservative -- these aren't issues that I just decided to embrace in order to run for president.
MR. HUCKABEE: I've not only embraced them but I've done something about them in my tenure as a governor and a lieutenant governor.
MS.CARLSON: But if you really wanted to win the race, wouldn't you criticize both remaining candidates?
MR. HUCKABEE: I think you ought to be able to run a race because you have something people are for and not just because you have something people are against. People see this alliance between McCain and me -- what it is is both of us actually believe that the process of politics ought to be civil, and I think that's what's going on. And we like each other, but we are opponents. We're not colleagues in this thing.
MS.CARLSON: All right. Well, the Hucka-threat continues to move. Five wins last night in the South -- you're looking forward to Kansas, Virginia and Texas.
Governor Mike Huckabee, thanks for joining us this morning.
MR. HUCKABEE: Thank you, Gretchen.