WASHINGTON Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said Sunday he'd like to be John McCain's running mate.
"There's no one I would rather be on a ticket with than John McCain," said Huckabee, who was a stronger than expected challenger against McCain for the Republican presidential nomination. "All during the campaign when I was his rival, not a running mate, there was no one who was more complimentary of him publicly and privately. ... I still wanted to win, but if I couldn't, John McCain was always the guy I would have supported and have now supported.
"But whether or not I do the best for him, that's something that only he can decide," Huckabee said on NBC's "Meet the Press."
Huckabee, an ordained Baptist minister who had strong support from religious conservatives, won the leadoff Iowa caucuses and seven other states. He left the race in March after Arizona Sen. McCain clinched the nomination following a series of big victories.
Huckabee also apologized again for remarks he made Friday to the National Rifle Association. Responding to an offstage noise during a speech, Huckabee said it was Democrat Barack Obama diving to the floor after someone had aimed a gun at him. Huckabee issued an apology Friday evening.
"It was a dumb, off-the-cuff remark," he said. "I apologized for it immediately. Anybody that knows me knows that I would never, ever try to inject something like that to create any dangerous moment for any candidate."
Huckabee added: "It wasn't the first dumb thing I've ever said. And ... it won't be the last dumb thing I've ever said."