The next candidate we met was Governor Mike Huckabee of Arkansas. Governor Huckabee swept the Iowa Republican caucus in the 2008 election after jokingly telling supporters to come out and caucus for him no matter how deep the snow was...and to shovel snow into the driveways of any of their neighbors who wouldn't vote for him, let the air out of their tires, and disconnect their battery cables.
Besides being governor of Arkansas, this colorful candidate is also a Baptist pastor, an author, former radio and television talk show host, and former member of the rock-band Capitol Offense.
The first time we met him was outside the First Baptist Church in Marshalltown, Iowa. Huckabee was there early to greet and take pictures with supporters, as he had to leave to catch a flight after the meeting. The second time we saw him at the Pizza Ranch in Ackley, Iowa. He was 14 minutes late, but did stay afterward for people to talk with him. Here I'll focus on the Marshalltown meeting.
The 641 Project, a local rock band, played Christian music while Huckabee talked with members of the audience. Then Huckabee joined them on an electric bass guitar for a rendition of "Mustang Sally." Next, the Marshalltown church's pastor introduced the governor, and he began his speech.
Miscellaneous Facts: Huckabee is 60 years old, of English ancestry, with American roots going back to colonial times. He is a Southern Baptist, has been married to Janet Huckabee since 1974, has three children, and is 5 feet 11 inches tall.
Mike Huckabee Timeline
|Created with www.readwritethink.org's Timeline Generator. Click to enlarge.|
Huckabee began by saying this country has problems. We need to be fiscally responsible. He's had a successful life and isn't running so that he can write books, or have his own tv or radio show. He's already done all that. He's running to help save this great nation for his grandchildren and for the sake of the people in uniform who have served our country.
Right now the economic situation is bad, and our national security is not in good shape. We need to be more prepared and to have the strongest military in the world standing behind our diplomats. National security should be the first priority of the federal government. National security and a strong economy are like the two wings of an airplane, they're both needed to keep our country going.
But an airplane also needs one more thing--a rudder or steering mechanism. For us that's morality. We need to have a moral compass to get God's blessings. Our nation only exists by God's providence.
Kim Davis (a Democrat) was sent to jail for holding the same traditional view on marriage that you hold. In 2008, Barack Obama said that in accordance with his Christian beliefs marriage should be a union between a man and a woman. In 2012 he stated that same-sex couples should be able to get married. Huckabee says that leaves us with three options, Obama was lying in '08, lying in '12, or the Bible was re-written between those dates, and only President Obama got the new version.
How could Kim Davis be thrown in jail? Who's next? Your pastor? We're witnessing the criminalization of Christianity. We need to pray and seek God's face, and stand up for our constitutional rights.
And...finally, regardless of whether there's 6 inches of snow on that cold caucus day this winter, we need to come out and vote for Mike Huckabee. If for some unknown reason we get the notion to vote for anyone else, we should just stay home and watch tv, because really, it'll be way too cold to go outside.
Q: If you are the Republican nominee and you face Hillary Clinton in the presidential debates, what will you say to her?
A: "I'll ask her about Benghazi." (And at the Ackley townhall he noted: Only one candidate has experience running against the Clinton machine, winning, and living to tell about it. As Lieutenant Governor of Arkansas, Huckabee's office door was literally nailed shut for the first 59 days. When he finally was let in, all his office furniture had been removed. 90% of the Arkansas legislature was Democratic when he took office as Lieutenant Governor. But he's a fighter.)
Q: What can we do to ISIS now?
A: We should turn their equipment into dust, and obliterate them by cutting off their supplies. Shut down their internet access, so they can't recruit people over the internet. If needed, even put boots on the ground to bring this mess to a conclusion. We can't negotiate with killers. We must give them no quarter.
Q: College tuition is too high. Can the federal government do something to cut the costs?
A: Education is not the role of the federal government. It's a state issue. The federal government would only make things worse if they interfered. Your community should be in charge of education, not some bureaucrat in Washington.
Q: How can judges be overruled (as in the Kim Davis case). How can we turn around this judicial dictatorship?
A: Thomas Jefferson warned of judicial tyranny, and we're on the brink of that with courts basically making laws on what the Constitution should say. The courts have forced same-sex marriage on the country. What we need is a president who never surrenders his executive authority to the judicial branch. There should be term limits for judges on federal courts at every level. And judges should take a litmus test before being appointed. We can't allow the judicial branch to make laws. As far as abortion goes, the big question is, is an unborn child a person? Huckabees believes so, and as president he would use the 5th and 14th amendments to protect the lives of unborn children. These amendments already protect life. And he would make those who are pro-choice take him to court for enforcing them.
Q: Capitalism doesn't seem to be working so well. Should we try socialism?
A: What we're doing right now is socialism, not capitalism. There's a big difference between "assistance" and "charity." It's not good to steal from some people to assist others. It is good to be charitable with our own money. If every believer tithed and every church helped the poor, the government wouldn't have needed to get into the charity business.
Huckabee advocates the Fair Tax, a tax on consumption. There would be no income tax. Right now we punish the good behavior of people who work and make good investments with a lot of taxes, and reward those who make bad investments by making their losses deductible and reward those who do not work with entitlements. If you want more of a certain behavior, you reward that behavior, and if you want less of another behavior, you punish it. That's the opposite of what we're doing now in this country, and socialism is killing us.
Question about gun control.
A: Huckabee likes to go hunting, but the Second Amendment was not created to ensure our hunting rates, but to make sure citizens could fight against tyranny. Revolutionaries were the ones who started this country. Both he and his wife have concealed carry permits. If anyone breaks into his house, he will call 911, not to ask them to come rescue him from an intruder, but to tell them where to pick up the carcass of the idiot who broke in. After World War 2, someone asked the Japanese why they didn't invade the West Coast. They responded that the American citizens were armed, and they would have had to fight door to door. We should never give up our second amendment rights.
Further Resources: Visit Governor Huckabee's website to learn more about him and read his stance on each of the the most important issues. You can also read about him on Wikipedia.
Huckabee's books are available on Amazon: Do the Right Thing (2008), Character is the Issue (1997), Kids who Kill (1998), Living Beyond your Lifetime (2000), Quit Digging Your Grave with a Knife and Fork (2005), From Hope to Higher Ground (2007), Character Makes a Difference (2007), A Simple Christmas (2011), A Simple Government (2011), Dear Chandler, Dear Scarlett (2012), and God, Guns, Grits, and Gravy (2015).
My remarks: Governor Huckabee is a good speaker, and he's done a lot in his lifetime. It's pretty neat he plays the electric bass. And who wouldn't love a pastor who tells his audience to shovel snow into their neighbors' driveways? There's nothing like a good Christian who believes in doing what's right even if it isn't popular.
Disclaimer: Candidates' speeches are reconstructed from my imperfect notes. If you notice any mistakes, just let me know. I would not intentionally misrepresent anyone's position. I am not endorsing any candidate or candidate's position at this time, and no candidate has endorsed me. And yes, I do realize that often speeches are to some extent propaganda, but it's interesting to me to see the points candidates consider as most important.
For my personal political views, please see this article.
For my personal political views, please see this article.