With Mike Huckabee out, the coveted Chuck Norris endorsement is up for grabs

He played one on TV, and now actor Chuck Norris is going to become an honorary Texas Ranger on Thursday, Dec. 2, 2010.

Now that former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee is out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination, he’s left a crucial opening for other GOP candidates: the support of Chuck Norris.

The martial arts, action film star/Internet meme endorsed Huckabee in the 2016 race, as he did when Huckabee ran in 2008. Now, Norris can choose another presidential pol to back.

Norris has achieved Internet-famous-emeritus status that’s nearly surpassed the acclaim he won on shows like “Walker, Texas Ranger.” In 2005, “Chuck Norris Facts” – outlandish claims about the actor’s virility and strength (sample: “Chuck Norris doesn’t sleep; he waits”) – began circulating around the Internet. And even though the trend kicked off more than a decade ago, way back when Tom Cruise was jumping on Oprah’s couch and Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston were divorcing, Norris still enjoys pop-culture notoriety – and draws crowds.

His embrace of Huckabee in 2008 was one of the bigger celeb endorsements in recent political history, and Huckabee won the Iowa GOP caucus with fellow Christian and social conservative Norris at his side.

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In a recent essay posted on Huckabee’s campaign site, the dispenser of roundhouse kicks indicated that his endorsement could be up for grabs. Although he said Huckabee was his first choice, “to me, any one of the GOP candidates would make a good president,” he wrote.

But clearly, he has favorites: “Some of them could even be great,” he wrote.