Dark horse GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor, says that he has to do well in the Iowa August straw poll and score near victories in the Iowa caucus and South Carolina primary or will be forced to drop his run for the White House.
His hope: winning one of the "three tickets" out of Iowa. If he pulls that off, he says, then it would be likely that his message would push through the media and win more supporters, propelling him, Jimmy Carter-style, into the GOP nomination. He also says that a "better than expected" showing in Iowa would prompt voters to look at the frontrunners and find problems in their backgrounds, namely that they aren't as passionate and conservative on key domestic and social issues as Huckabee is.
Huckabee wouldn't say who would join him on the three-candidate ticket out of Iowa, but he did suggest it wouldn't be Sen. John McCain. He thinks McCain's prowar position and ties to Washington won't go over well with voters. His view of the war: enough already with the go-it-alone strategy.
Huckabee wants neighboring Arab nations to play a big role and wants Iraqis themselves to take over. And he wants President Bush to stop tapping the National Guard every time he needs troops, saying that it hurts families, workers, and communities.