IMAGE: HUCKABEE, RUSSERT
Brendan Smialowski  /  Getty Images
Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee speaks to "Meet the Press" host Tim Russert Sunday in Washington, D.C.
NBC News and news services
updated 2/10/2008 11:43:23 AM ET 2008-02-10T16:43:23

How does being vice president sound? Republican presidential contender Mike Huckabee on Sunday called it the office that no one would refuse but also one that he doesn't want or expect.

"No I really don't," the former Arkansas governor said when asked if he wanted to be vice president — assuming that Republican front-runner Sen. John McCain won the November election.

"I'm not going to be asked. It's pretty evident that there would be a whole lot of people on the list long before me and one of them would say yes," he added.

In fact, he told NBC's Tim Russert on "Meet the Press" — cracking a smile as he did — the question he should be asked is, "Would I ask John McCain to be my running mate?"

"I still think I can get there," he added.

Huckabee is far behind McCain in the delegates race, with NBC News estimating that McCain has 721 and Huckabee 231. A contender needs 1,191 delegates to secure the GOP nomination, and yet only 819 delegates are left undeclared.

"I don't know how the math works out," Huckabee said after Russert ran through the numbers. But he noted that McCain also has to reach 1,191 and that if he doesn't, the nomination would be decided at the Republican convention.

Huckabee described Saturday's results — trouncing McCain in Kansas and also winning Louisiana — as "a great day for us."

He also said he was not ready to concede Washington state, Saturday's third contest, where McCain was declared the winner of the state's caucuses by the state party but NBC News has not yet declared a winner. "We're looking at some legal issues. We're not ready to concede that one," Huckabee said, without going into specifics.

Told that McCain was heavily favored to win the primaries in Maryland and Virginia on Tuesday, Huckabee said he would do better than expected.

"I think we'll get a nice little bump out of what happened in Kansas," Huckabee said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Video: Not running to be VP

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