Huckabee to promote his book today in Rock Hill

The last time Mike Huckabee visited Rock Hill, he was among the final few contenders vying to become the next president.

Eleven months later, he just wants to sell a few books -- and make sure he remains a leading voice in the Republican Party's reinvention.

Huckabee's 56-city bus tour brings him this morning to Manchester Village, where he will sign copies of "Do The Right Thing" from 9 to 10 a.m. at Books-A-Million. The hardback cover price is $25.95.

Speaking to The Herald by cell phone Friday from Bristol, Va., Huckabee weighed in on some current topics, including the debate over the struggling auto industry. He called the government's moves toward bailouts "a tragic mistake" and said GOP legislators who support them are forsaking conservative principles.

"I would say they're largely responsible for Republicans getting beat this year and two years ago," he said. "They have fundamentally gone against the basic idea that it's not the government's role to pick winners and losers in the market."

In the book, Huckabee shares ideas on health care, education and the economy as part of what he calls a road map for rediscovering America's greatness.

Huckabee finished second

On the eve of the S.C. Republican primary, Huckabee hosted a rally at Winthrop University as he tried to emerge from a crowded field that included eventual nominee John McCain, Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson.

Instead, South Carolina is where his bid came to an end. He finished second behind McCain.

"We had a great run in South Carolina," he said Friday. "But for a few votes, we would've won the primary there, and the whole election could've turned out differently."

Asked whether he'll seek the presidency again, Huckabee said, "It's an understandable question, but it's really too far away," he said. "I wouldn't rule anything out, but it's just not something that right now I'm even able to think about."

This is Huckabee's sixth book, after 2007's "From Hope to Higher Ground" and "Character Makes a Difference," as well as past releases such as "Quit Digging Your Grave with a Knife and Fork" and "Kids Who Kill -- Confronting Our Culture of Violence."