Mike Huckabee: President Obama 'Tough to Beat' in 2012, Birther Issue Is 'Nonsense'

Is Mike Huckabee reluctant to jump into the 2012 race because he thinks President Obama is too tough to beat? That's what I asked the former Arkansas Governor when he introduced his new book -- " A Simple Government" -- on “GMA” this morning.

"I think he is going to be tough to beat," Mike Huckabee said.

“This race is going to be like climbing a ladder pointing toward you because Barack Obama is going to start this race with a billion dollars. He’s going to have no primary opponent,” he said. “The Republicans are going to have a crowded field all elbowing their way under the basket for the layup. And it’s not going to be a layup. It’s going to be a tough shot.”

Despite their differences in beliefs Huckabee’s new book makes it clear from the very first page that it is not a book about hating Obama. The Republican takes on his fellow GOP members for accusing Obama of being a Marxist or a Muslim – and I asked Huckabee why Speaker Boehner or Rep. Bachmann would not clearly state that Obama is a Christian and citizen of the United States?

“You know, I don’t know why it’s hard,” Huckabee said.

“I just don’t think it’s completely necessary for us to delve into such extraneous matters. And I’ll tell you, the idea that he’s not a citizen – you know why that’s nonsense? Because if there was a shred of truth to it, Hillary Clinton and her wonderful investigative opposition research team would have found it and would have used it,” he told me. “And for Republicans to even be bringing it up, I think it’s a waste of energy and time. Let’s focus on the issues with which we have disagreement, not on really the extraneous personal things that are immaterial.”

Despite leading our latest GOP 2012 poll Huckabee is in no rush to jump into a presidential race. He told me he’ll make a decision this summer.

“It is a very grueling process, George, I don’t need to tell you what it’s like to go through this whole primer, and I think the fact that I’ve done it before gives me both a sense of gravity towards the process but also the understanding that it’s not always smart to be the first guy out of the chorale and into the arena riding around on your pony by yourself,” Huckabee said.

Watch my interview here:

-- George Stephanopoulos

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