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Huckabee: I Apologized For Supporting Mitch McConnell In 2014 Senate Primary

Huckabee offered the apology to Matt Bevin, a Kentucky Republican who lost to Mitch McConnell in the 2014 race for U.S. Senate and is now running for governor.

Posted on September 21, 2015, at 3:25 p.m. ET

Ty Wright / Getty Images

Mike Huckabee said on Friday that he apologized to current Kentucky gubernatorial candidate Matt Bevin for supporting Mitch McConnell over him in the 2014 Republican Senate primary.

Huckabee said that he offered Bevin the apology at the rally celebrating Rowan County clerk Kim Davis' release from jail.

Asked by Iowa radio host Jan Mickelson about McConnell's opposition to shutting down the government in an attempt to defund Planned Parenthood, Huckabee said Republicans in Washington were not elected to "sit back and give more power to Obama, which is what they've done."

Huckabee said he had endorsed McConnell in his run for re-election because the Senate majority leader and his wife, Elaine Chao, the secretary of labor under George W. Bush, were longtime acquaintances.

"I supported McConnell because I've known him a long time, I've known his wife Elaine Chao when I was governor and she was secretary of labor," Huckabee said. "I did not know Matt Bevin."

When he endorsed McConnell in August 2013, Huckabee wrote that "there is nobody" who has fought Obama "more effectively" than McConnell, dubbing him "Barack Obama's #1 obstacle."

But Huckabee said in the interview on Friday that the "surrender" of Republicans in Washington to Obama made him wish he had supported Bevin.

"But at the rally for Kim Davis in Kentucky when I was there, Matt was there," Huckabee recalled. "I walked up to him, I looked him in the eye, and I said, 'Matt, I owe you an apology. I did not know you. I didn't support you. I should have. I wished I had of. And I owe you an apology because I picked the wrong horse.' He was grateful that I was willing to say it to his face, but I'm very frustrated with the lack of Republican leadership and the surrender to this president."

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.