Archives: Mike Huckabee: Former AR Governor and Candidate for the President of the United States in New Hampshire 2015

Written by Juliana Simone

April 18, 2015

mikehuckabeenhsummit2015
Former AR Governor Mike Huckabee speaking at the New Hampshire Leadership Conference as a potential candidate for President of the United States – April 2015 {photo: Brian Snyder/Reuters}

Nashua, NH – Mike Huckabee first came to my attention when his intention to run for the office of the President of the United States was published on the cover of Newsmax Magazine. As a subscriber, he was new to me, as probably most people outside of Arkansas during this time. The feature gave him a glowing review, and listed the many positives about this man they realized most people knew nothing about, as the Governor of Arkansas. It was an impressive story.

Coming in second to party nominee U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) in 2008, Huckabee went on to host a Fox News program that had the highest weekend ratings for six years. The many fans of the former Governor asked him to run in 2012, but he declined, stating he had other things in his life right now that were more important to him. He did not feel this was the time for him to engage in a second campaign. This author believed that was the right decision for him when hearing the announcement.

Moving forward to the 2016 Presidential race, Huckabee has informed the press, the Republican Party and his base, that he will be making an announcement on May 5th. Assuming he will declare his intention to run once again for the highest elected office, this is the right time. For those readers who do not remember Mike Huckabee, never saw his program on Fox News, or perhaps only recognize him through the mainstream media’s anti-conservative perception in brief blurbs, this video is a good introduction of the man, his story, his experience and his message.

Addressing the recent New Hampshire Republican Leadership Summit, his speech to the group gathered at the Crowne Plaza Hotel was that of a true seasoned professional, who is still fresh with patriotism and vision and knows how to speak to people from every walk of life. Like Reagan, he is also very good at sprinkling his delivery with partisan humor. Many try to do this but fail. Huckabee excels. Watching this video reminded me of the Newsmax article published years ago that saw the same fire.

His opening comments alone presented an argument no other Republican Presidential candidate could make: his previous years of fighting directly with Bill and Hillary Clinton during his political campaigns in their home state of Arkansas. If Hillary Clinton, the presumed Democrat Party nominee at the time of this post, is the one to beat come November 2016, no other candidate has this first-hand experience except Huckabee. After an introduction from New Hampshire’s, Jennifer Horn, who pointed out he had been dealing and fighting with the Clinton’s and their political machine long before the public ever met them, she asked for a warm hand for the “real hope from Arkansas.”

Noting that Bill Clinton assumed his first year in office as the President when he was running for Lt. Governor of Arkansas, former Governor Huckabee had this to say at the summit in regards to his past experience on this subject:

“Every time I ever ran for public office, I ran against the Clinton’s. I ran against their political machine, I ran against their money, I ran against them…virtually every election both Bill and Hillary Clinton would come back and campaign for every opponent I ever had…if someone wants to know what it’s like to run against their operation – apparatus, come see me – I’ll be happy to tell you. I’ll show you some scars. I have quite a few.”

Huckabee went on to explain that Arkansas wasn’t a reliably red state then and that he won his seat as Lieutenant Governor in a special election. He explains he was the fourth Republican elected to a state wide office in 150 years. His story as the newly elected Republican LG under a Democrat Governor bests the majority of Hollywood scripts today. In his words:

“They were so happy to see me, when I got there, they were so excited to me, that my door was nailed shut from the inside.” (laughs) He said the Wall Street Journal flew reporter John Fund down to Little Rock to see was it so; and Fund reported back that there were physical nails literally in the door. Huckabee continues that it wasn’t just nailed shut, “it remained nailed shut for my first 59 days as the Lieutenant Governor of Arkansas. When the door was finally opened, I went into the office that was designated for the Lieutenant Governor. It had been stripped of all the office furniture, the budget had been zeroed out, and that was my welcome to the political machinery of the state of Arkansas.” (groans from the audience)

Continuing his political story, the former Governor tells the room he was re-elected the next year with the largest vote for a Republican in the history of the state, and that in large measure it was because people were tired of the political machine that they had seen chew them up and spit them out.

After being elected to a four-year term as LG, Mike tells the group, “I was down the end of the hall, minding my own business, when the Democrat Governor {Jim Guy Tucker} was convicted of Whitewater related felonies and was forced to resign – that put me in the office of Governor.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whitewater_controversy

“It was the first of a long string of Democrat officials who were busted for various forms of corruption. We used to say the five most feared words of an Arkansas politician were these: Will the defendant please rise?” (laughs) When a person said, “You were Governor? How many years?” We’d say, “Office or prison?” (laughs)

“It was a tough environment,” Huckabee recalled. He told his fellow Republicans that when he became Governor in 1996, the Arkansas legislature consisted of 89 democrats and 11 republicans in the House, and 31 democrats and 4 republicans in the senate. Huckabee observed that to New Hampshire residents, they probably believed MA was the most lopsided partisan state in America – or maybe VT, ME, OR or CA – but, no, at this time it was Arkansas.

“But you know what that did for me? I learned how to govern,” he reflected. “When you go into the Capitol every day and people really don’t like you and really don’t want you to succeed, but you’re still able to get 90% of your legislature packages passed, it’s because you learned how to govern.”

Some people say, “We’re going to have to have someone who knows how to fight. I’ll tell you what, if you battled the political machine that I battled, you know how to fight; but we need someone who knows how to win the fight not just start it…and folks, one of the challenges we face is not just to fight the fight but to fix what the has been about.”

Huckabee says the next election is very important because it will determine if our nation is going to be free, safe and whether people and every young American can live out the American dream.

He pronounces on May 5th he will be making an announcement from his home town of Hope, AR, where Bill Clinton was also from, but then moved away at the age of five. Huckabee says he graduated from High School there, and that he was the first male who ever graduated high school let alone attend college in his family. He remembers his father lifted heavy things and worked very hard. When Mike was eight years old, his father took him to hear the Governor talk, because in his words father to son, he wanted him to hear a Governor, because he may live his whole life and never meet a Governor in person.

“No one would have ever believed his boy could become one,” the 44th Governor of Arkansas observed.

Huckabee mentioned he was in office for ten and a half years serving his state in the top office, the third longest in Arkansas history. He adds he was proud to campaign in 37 states last year to help win the U.S. Senate majority back and that Harry Reid was planning on moving back to Nevada. (applause)

“I want the Republican Party to start acting like the Republican Party,” Huckabee declares after scolding the Senate and Congress for not standing up to current President who is unconstitutional in his actions. (applause)

In regards to repairing our Republic, the 2008 Presidential candidate says, “public service should not be a permanent lifetime career. When do we have term limits in this country and say when you go to Congress, this is not the proverbial roach motel you go in but you never come out? We should say when you go in, and after a reasonable amount of time, you come out, go home, and find out what it’s like to live under the laws you for passed for the rest of us?”

He says he believes term limits should be for the Judicial Branch of our Federal Government, as well as the Legislative.

In terms of foreign policies, Huckabee articulates, “we need true leadership not apologies” and that making a deal with the Iranians is nonsense since they never keep a deal they make. He goes into an analogy about snakes and sums it up with “What we are dealing with in the Middle East is nothing short of a viper- that will bite us unless we can end its threat before it becomes an imminent threat to our own children and grandchildren.”

Returning to trouble at home, Mike Huckabee addresses the IRS. He believes the solution is to enact the Fair Tax and repeal the sixteenth amendment.

“I am a fair tax supporter because it will change our economy.” He explains the Fair Tax ends all taxes that produces something (income, savings, investment, capital gain, inheritance) and taxes would be paid at the point of consumption – or when we buy something. He feels the Fair tax is an incentive for those at the bottom, not a punishment as some would say, because it will make them want to move up the ladder rather than stay on the bottom rung.

He reflects on a visit to New Hampshire eight years earlier which taught him this lesson, and how on a tour in a machine shop, a man told him he had a daughter he wanted to have opportunities he didn’t have, so he was paying fifty thousand a year for her to go to Cornell University grad school. To do this, he decided he would work sixteen hours a day and double his time so that the second shift could go to his daughter’s future. When he went to collect his first paycheck, it was almost the same as working his one eight hour shift. He went to the office thinking there must be a mistake as he was expecting twice as much. The accountant said no, the problem is at sixteen hours a day, you’re in a new tax bracket.

Huckabee surmises to the Republican leadership summit attendees, that he learned the second shift he was working so it could go to his daughter and her schooling, was instead going to the government, so they could take it out of his pocket. “Why are we punishing someone who’s trying to move ahead?” he asked. “With a Fair Tax, if a person works twice as hard, they make twice as much money. The government doesn’t put them in a system that keeps them from ever being able to reach the next rung on the ladder.”

Mike continues to talk about the IRS, and their loss of emails and invasions of people’s privacy and says, “I think most Americans would agree the IRS has become a criminal enterprise and we need to get rid of it.”

Returning to the upcoming 2016 election, Huckabee repeats how President Obama has held this office with audacity and breaking the constitution for his own agenda. “We’re a nation of laws – not a nation of personalities and brute political power.” He suggests if Republicans want four or eight more years of this kind of rule, we can have another big Republican fight and do the Democrat’s dirty work for them with all the Republican’s jumping in, having a free for all and demolition derby, with the result of making the Democrat’s work easy for them.

“Here’s how I look at the Presidential sweepstakes,” the potential 2016 Presidential candidate declared.

“Every Republican that is or is potentially going to run, wants to be the Quarterback of the team. But the best way to earn the job of Quarterback, is to play the best game – to prove on the practice field that we actually can lead – and we have a history of doing it.

Our country is going through some storms and we’re headed for some tougher ones. I think most of you if you get on an airplane, and you look up there in the cockpit knowing you’re about to fly through some storms, you look up there and who’s sitting in the left seat? You want it to be somebody who’s flown through a lot of thunderstorms, not someone who just got out of flight school.”

He reminds the group that they will make the decision, but he hopes it will be based upon who can play the best game not who can savage the other people who want the job.

Bookending back to his opening remarks, Huckabee recaps, “As I said in the beginning. I know the Clinton’s all too well. They play to win. And they play and do anything necessary to win. I faced them time and time again. I lived to win. I lived to even tell about it. That in itself is remarkable.” (Laughs) “Now we have to unite and do something extraordinary for this great country.”

The ordained minister, and former Republican Presidential Candidate who hosted a Fox News program as a political commentator for six years which began in the fall of 2008, then told his audience about a recent trip to Los Angeles and appearance on liberal Bill Mars television show, where he met a driver going to the studio.  The driver was originally from the old Soviet Union, and he told Mike how he made a successful life for himself and his daughter after coming to America. Huckabee said he would tell his story for him and how some people came here to escape tyranny and find liberty.

Choosing to give ten minutes of his time to a question and answer period, the former Governor was asked about our other important ally in the Middle East, India. Mike Huckabee in this answer says America needs three things to remain free: to be able to feed ourselves, fuel ourselves, and fight for ourselves by manufacturing our own weapons of self-defense. His broad yet detailed response to this question makes his leadership skills clear. Governor Huckabee was also asked about climate change and his position on Israel and a Palestinian state.

 

{Editor’s note: Somewhere between nine and ten minutes of Mike Huckabee’s speech, Connecticut’s own veteran RNC member Pat Longo can be seen listening to the former Governor in an audience pan shot, as well as CT State Central member Catherine Marx.)

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