April 11th, 2008
01:44 PM ET

Mike Huckabee: A security threat?

It's 6:45am and I’m standing at the Little Rock airport in Arkansas, after covering potentially dangerous weather for the past two days. But it’s a great respite from the bombs and bullets of Baghdad. I’m usually overseas for the network; recently I’ve been working here in the U.S.

Mike Huckabee

Between the four of us - producer Alex Walker, photojournalist Ric Blackburn, video editor Greg Bowman and I. Apparently, only one of us actually had our eyes open because Alex said, “Hey, it’s Mike Huckabee.”

We all looked up from our BlackBerries and walking directly towards us was the former U.S. presidential candidate.

Alex was quick to cut him off - introducing himself and then us. At this point, my jaw is on the floor – because Huckabee is just strolling towards security alone. For the past six months, I’ve been overseas watching this man give speeches in front of thousands with loads of security.

Alex quickly snapped into reporting mode.

“So,” he says to Huckabee, “you could be vice president.”

Huckabee laughed and answered sarcastically, “Yes, as you can see I’m waiting home by the phone with anticipation.”

At one point during the brief conversation Ric flipped on his camera light – joking, “Hold on – let me make you feel like you’re at home.”

We said goodbye and like the psychotic young reporter I am (maybe just psychotic … leave it for you to decide), I started quietly following Mike Huckabee through the airport.

He reached security and the TSA guard looked at his boarding pass.

“You’ve been selected for the random security check,” he said to the former governor.

Am I in the twilight zone? (I muttered to myself). The guard looked up, asked for his ID – and then realized who it was.

“Oh, did you change your ticket, or book it in the past 24 hours?” he asked sheepishly.

“I changed it,” said Huckabee.

“That must be what it is,” said the TSA guard.

“Must be,” said Huckabee.

So through the random security check went the man who garnered almost 270 delegates. Shoes off and a quick frisk – he made it through.

The next question popped into my mind – where’s he going?

So, I followed him some more.

As it turns out - Huckabee was headed to Denver. I would have asked him what he was doing there but I figured - better to leave him wondering if I’m psychotic, than to open my mouth and confirm to him that I am.

– Cal Perry/CNN International Correspondent

Filed under: Raw Politics
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. mike d utica ny

    to be quite honest, this campain has no person worth voting for. I am disgusted at the fact that the three main candidates are no different from one another by the way they bicker back and forth like school kids. I will personaly vote for neither of the three. we had 8 years of Hillary already, I do not want a man who will not send troops over seas to fight for our freedoms because he has family living there such as Obamah does. And as far as macain is concerned he do nothing more than raise our deficet more than it already is not to mention the fact that none of the three really care about our freedoms. Just as the past 3 presidents they care only for their pockets and the lining of their friends bank accounts

    April 13, 2008 at 3:52 am |
  2. Catherine

    If I were not a Dem, I would vote for Huckabee.. I think he is a great guy....glad to know things are well with him.

    April 12, 2008 at 1:21 am |
  3. Richard

    I am shocked that the media would twist Mr Obama's statement on Nafta. When Mr Obama said "its not surprising that people turn to religion, guns and are more likely to be anti-immigrant" he was simply saying that in desperate times of trouble, people cry out to God to survive, some turn to crime because of low employment, and because of the competition for jobs, they are more likely to be frustrated an become anti-immigrant if immigrants take jobs away from them. This to me is as clear as could be, but the media has taken this an attached it to stereo types regarding hunting etc. He was speaking about Nafta in general and how it has affected America, but they've taken the fact that he was in Pennsylvania and said it was directed to the people of Pennsylvania. Guys, you'll must stop this, because of the statement you've chosen your bias is beginning to show

    April 11, 2008 at 10:38 pm |
  4. Howard

    Leave it to Alex to win at "Spot the Republican"!

    April 11, 2008 at 9:05 pm |
  5. Suzanne P.

    Thats a great story Cal. I really enjoyed it – especially the part about Huckabee having to go through security. I'm sure Huckabee having been around reporters during his campaign knew you weren't psychotic, that you were just being a reporter. As long as its just former presidential candidates you are following through airports I'll give you the benefit of the doubt also.

    Suzanne P.
    Knoxville TN

    April 11, 2008 at 8:46 pm |
  6. Robert Tunstall

    Governor Huckabee would make an awesome candidate. He would inspire the conservative base and put more a younger face on the McCain campaign. Senator McCain/Governor Huckabee – a truly inspring team for the White House and a team hard to beat.

    April 11, 2008 at 7:44 pm |
  7. Mitchell

    I'm glad that the producer Alex Walker was on the ball or we wouldn't have that.

    April 11, 2008 at 6:23 pm |
  8. Susan


    I am glad to hear that the system worked. Changing your ticket at the last minute is supposed to throw up a red flag.

    It is cool that you ran into Mike Huckabee.


    April 11, 2008 at 4:46 pm |
  9. jimmy velman


    April 11, 2008 at 4:45 pm |
  10. Slater

    Hey, if the officials and lawmakers want us to follow the law, then they must make themselves available to follow it themselves. Inspiring to see he did not get irritated, even though he was unaware he was being watched by the media. I hate going through that process, but if my role models are doing it, who am I to object?

    April 11, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  11. Juan

    LOL...that was a really good one. I must say, I enjoyed reading that.

    April 11, 2008 at 3:34 pm |
  12. Lilibeth

    Cal, you’re so funny. It’s nice to know he goes through security like the rest of us. I’m glad you stopped following him...I mean...wouldn’t following him be somewhat stalkerish? I know what you did was innocent...I’m glad you gave him his privacy. Thanks for sharing.

    Edmonds, Washington

    April 11, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  13. Olivia

    LOL...that is funny that Mike was selected to be checked by security! At least they recognized who he was and let him on in.

    April 11, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  14. Megan O. Toronto, ON, Canada

    Cool experience Cal....thanks for sharing.

    Glad to know that even former presidental candidates have to go through security just like the rest of us

    April 11, 2008 at 1:49 pm |