- The Washington Times - Monday, November 9, 2015

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said Monday he’s not exactly pleased with getting bumped from the main stage of Tuesday’s Republican presidential debate but that “rules are rules.”

“Look, it’s obviously not something I’m excited about,” Mr. Huckabee said Monday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “I feel like sometimes we let national polls drive [who] gets to participate in the debate, and national polls don’t mean a whole lot at this point.”

“If they did, we would have President [Rudy] Giuliani back in 2008 and President Herman Cain in 2012, based on where the races were at this particular point,” he said. “But look, rules are rules. You agree to play by [them] — you don’t have to like them.”

Mr. Huckabee and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, after qualifying for the main stage of the first three debates, will participate in the undercard debate Tuesday in Milwaukee with former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal after failing to meet polling requirements for the main stage.

Mr. Huckabee said a lot of the problem is candidates don’t get an adequate amount of time in the debates, saying he was on the “very low end” in the previous three debates.

“And it’s really hard to get your message out there when you’re not able to talk about why we [need] to protect Social Security, why Medicare is important to seniors, why we need to make big changes to the tax plan — things that we ought to be talking about,” he said. “And instead, I get questions like, ‘Do you think Donald Trump has the moral character to be president?’ And that’s very frustrating.”

Asked later on the program, Mr. Huckabee said he does believe Mr. Trump has the moral character to be president.

“I look at his family. I look at the relationship he has with his kids,” he said. “To me, that’s always a barometer of what kind of a person one is. And if you have adult children who [have] turned out well, who are responsible, respectful, who are successful in their own right and who love their father, you have to say, ‘you know, the guy’s done something right.’ “

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