The political future of former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee could be damaged by his role in commuting the sentence of a man who is now suspected of killing four police officers in Washington state.

Huckabee, as governor of Arkansas in 2000, commuted a 95-year prison sentence for Maurice Clemmons. Huckabee cited Clemmons’ youth — he was 17 when he was convicted in 1989 of aggravated robbery — in commuting the sentence, The Associated Press reported. Clemmons was then paroled by the state board.

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Huckabee denied pressuring a state parole board to release a convicted rapist who later raped again and committed murder.

 

Huckabee, who is now host of a talk show on the Fox News channel, said in a television interview Sunday that he is “less likely” to run for president in 2012 because he enjoys his current job.

“The reason I wouldn’t is because this Fox gig I’ve got right now, Chris, is really, really wonderful,” Huckabee told host Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday.”

In a Washington Post survey of 485 Republicans, Huckabee polled third among Republican leaders when party members were asked who “best reflects the core values” of the party, trailing McCain and Sarah Palin.