Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee said his party "should be welcome to hear" Donald Trump's views, that "Republicans have room in our party" for Trump, and that he does not believe Donald Trump is a racist.
"You know I've been very careful not to comment on the other candidates and I've been very honest in saying, Donald Trump doesn't need my help getting wind underneath his wings or to get publicity," the former Arkansas governor stated on American Heartland with Dr. Grace.
Huckabee said Republicans shouldn't spend time attacking each other, and that Trump will have to defend his own statements.
"It's very difficult for me to understand why Republicans spend our time beating up on other Republicans," said Huckabee. "Donald Trump has every much right to run as I do, or anyone else. He will make his statements, he will stand by his statements, and he'll defend them. I'd rather focus on my own plans and that's what I'm doing."
Huckabee added the Republican Party has room for Trump in it and they "should be welcome to hear his views." He said he didn't believe Trump was a racist.
"But I don't think that Donald Trump is a racist and I think that anybody who will say that has never been around him. He's a plain spoken guy, but I think that if you disagree with somebody, calling them a racist is sort of a way to end a legitimate and thoughtful discussion and that's unfortunate. Republicans have room in our party for Donald Trump and we should be welcome to hear his views, and if you disagree with him, well we'll disagree with him."
Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Andrew Kaczynski at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Megan Apper is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Megan Apper at email@example.com.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.