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Gay rights foe
Mike Huckabee, former Arkansas governor, launches
presidential bid

Gay rights foe
Mike Huckabee, former Arkansas governor, launches
presidential bid

Conservative Republican Mike Huckabee, a staunch opponent of same-sex marriage, said Sunday he is taking the first step in what he acknowledged is an underdog bid for the White House in 2008. Huckabee, who left office as Arkansas governor January 9 after serving 10 1/2 years as governor of the Democratic-leaning state, faces steep odds in a crowded GOP field that includes well-known and well-funded hopefuls like Sen. John McCain of Arizona, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, and former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani. ''One of the reasons that I'm running for president is because I think that America needs folks who understand what it is to start at the bottom of the ladder and climb their way to the top,'' Huckabee said. ''We've got a lot of people who are born on third base and think they've hit a triple. ''America loves an underdog. America loves people who have had to struggle and for whom every rung of the ladder has been sometimes three rungs up and two back down, thank God for the one you've gained, and keep climbing,'' Huckabee said. He planned to travel to Iowa, an early nominating state, on Tuesday and Wednesday. The 51-year-old Huckabee, who took over as governor at the height of Bill Clinton's Whitewater scandal, comes from Hope, Ark., as does Clinton. Huckabee is setting up an exploratory committee, which will allow him to raise money and hire campaign staff in an effort to gauge his prospects. (AP)

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