Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee told a national audience that he would not seek the Republican Presidential nomination for 2012.
On his Saturday night Fox News program, "Huckabee," the one-time GOP contender said that "all the factors say go, but my heart says no."
Huckabee said he had received assurances that he could raise enough money to compete for the nomination, but in the end, he said that his decision to stay put was between himself and God.
"Only when I was alone in quiet and reflective moments did I not only have clarity, but I had inner peace," Huckabee said of his decision. "I had come to believe that I would be in the race for President, but I won’t."
Huckabee’s departure from the GOP field will have a variety of ramifications. With Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour out, the South – which has a lot of early primaries – only has one candidate with Southern roots, Newt Gingrich, who once represented Georgia.
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Minnesota Rep. Michelle Bachmann could compete well in the early Iowa caucus. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who won significant delegates in 2008 may do better without a Huckabee challenge, although the two camps are fairly adversarial.
Interestingly, following the Huckabee announcement, potential GOP candidate Donald Trump appeared on Fox News to wish Huckabee well in his professional endeavors.