Mike Huckabee on Principles & Values

Former Republican AR Governor; possible draft candidate


A President should care about regular folk, not just elites

I was in Newton, Iowa. It used to be a vibrant place where Maytag washers and dryers were built. Went out of business in 2007, all those shops went to Mexico. All those people lost their jobs. How many people do you think living around the Beltway know a guy like that? Not many. That's because they're six of the ten richest counties in America that surround Washington D.C. People who live in bubbles don't have a clue about how hard people in Iowa are working.
Source: 2016 Fox News Republican Undercard debate in Iowa , Jan 28, 2016

I want to give a chance for American dream

It's a long way from a little brick house in Hope, Arkansas to this stage. I want to be the favorite of the people who still want to believe the American dream can work for them. I got a letter from a third grader in North Dakota. She sent $6 dollars from her allowance, and said, "I want to help you be president." I'm going to keep fighting because somewhere out there in North Dakota, and all over America, there are kids who need a president who will never forget where they came from.
Source: Fox Business/WSJ Second Tier debate , Nov 10, 2015

Candidates don't run for themselves; they run for the future

I guarantee you to every person on this stage there's something deep inside of us that would cause us to give up our livelihoods and fight for America. I've got five grandkids. I do not want to walk my five grandkids through the charred remains of a once great country called America, and say, "Here you go, $20 trillion dollars of debt. Good luck making something out of this mess."
Source: GOP "Your Money/Your Vote" 2015 CNBC 1st-tier debate , Oct 28, 2015

America is in trouble, but it's not beyond repair

It seems like this election has been a whole lot about a person who's very high in the polls, that doesn't have a clue about how to govern. A person who has been filled with scandals, and who could not lead, and, of course, I'm talking about Hillary Clinton.

I think America is in trouble, but it's not beyond repair. But it's going to take leadership who sees the greatness of this country, and who believes that once again we can be one nation, under God. I'll be my best to do that.

Source: Fox News/Facebook Top Ten First Tier debate transcript , Aug 6, 2015

Even elected officials shouldn't squelch dissenting views

I was shocked that elected officials actually believed they could goose-step on top of the Constitution and use the power of government to squelch a viewpoint that they personally didn't like.
Source: God, Guns, Grits, and Gravy, by Mike Huckabee, p. 6 , Jan 20, 2015

Chivalry is respect for women, not sexism

Q: You said in an interview, "I've run twice against women opponents and it's a very different kind of approach for those of us who have some chivalry left there's a level of respect to treat some things as a special treasure, you treat other things as common." What do you mean specifically by that?

HUCKABEE: Well, I just mean that you want to treat everyone with respect. But in the culture of the south, the culture that I grew up with, I think chivalry is still alive. There's a sense of that you pay a great deal of respect and you don't come across as a bully.

Q: So you'd run differently against Joe Biden than against Hillary Clinton?

HUCKABEE: I don't know, it depends on what kind of campaign they were running. It's not an issue of sexism, it's an issue of simply understanding that every opponent, whether it's a male, a female, whether they're from the northeast or from the southwest, everybody has different nuances. In every race you have to assess what are the dynamics of this race.

Source: ABC This Week 2015 interviews of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Jan 18, 2015

Cultural bubbles of NY, DC, and LA divide them from us

Q: In your new book, "God, Guns, Grits and Gravy," you talk about a "cultural divide"?

HUCKABEE: This cultural divide is the disconnect between the three bubbles of New York, D.C. and Hollywood versus the land of God, guns, grits and gravy, that's where the title comes from.

Source: ABC This Week 2015 interviews of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Jan 18, 2015

Faux-cons (false conservatives) include libertarians

I call the new breed of political animal, which carries an attitude of supreme superiority for its "purity," the "faux-cons." Their passion for their viewpoint goes beyond "loud and proud" and just substitutes volume for veracity. Faux-cons use dismissive language to accuse those who disagree as being anything from RINOs (Republicans In Name Only), socialists, big-government Republicans, or religious nuts. (They tarred me with nearly all of those labels). Once such dramatic lines of demarcation are drawn, an honest dialogue over the details pretty much disappears.

You can see the growing influence of the faux-cons in the 2008 election cycle from the so-called Ron Paul Revolution to the economics-only conservatism reflected by some of the supporters of Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani (even if not entirely by the candidates themselves).

Source: Do The Right Thing, by Mike Huckabee, p.106-110 , Nov 18, 2008

Do The Right Thing to change America's future

Doing the right thing is precisely what American must do in order to achieve the goals that conservatives (actually, everyone) want--lower taxes, less government, safer neighborhoods, prosperous businesses, good jobs, good schools, access to affordable health care, secure borders, strong marriages and families, and more personal liberties. My hope and prayer is that you'll commit to doing your part to change America's future by deciding that whatever others choose to do, you will Do the Right Thing!
Source: Do The Right Thing, by Mike Huckabee, p. 21 , Nov 18, 2008

GOP puts faith in individual; Dems put faith in government

Even as a young man, I realized that Democrats and Republicans view the worked through different lenses. Democrats focus on government, and we focus on the individual. Democrats put their faith in government, and we put our faith in people. Democrats give government more control over our lives, and we give individuals more control over their own destinies.

We've been successful because we've stuck to our platform of fiscal and social conservatism. We got in trouble in the 2006 midterm elections not because the voters rejected that platform, but because our own Republican officeholders did. Many of the party's longtime supporters were turned off by Washington's incompetence in handling Iraq and Katrina, its corruption, and its profligate spending. Having lost our reputation as competent managers and fiscal conservatives, we can't afford to lose our credibility as social conservatives as well. If we do, they will point to us and say, "The Emperor has no clothes," and deservedly so.

Source: Do The Right Thing, by Mike Huckabee, p. 8 , Nov 18, 2008

Vertical solutions, not horizontal right-left nonsense

As governors, we had attempted to bring a vertical solution to a serious issue facing the federal government and states alike, and we ended up getting a real taste of horizontal nonsense.

Is it possible to reset the political mechanism to operate with the common sense of vertical thinking? Is it possible to do the right thing? Yes it is! It is precisely that kind of thinking that drives Americans and it ought to drive members of Congress out of business, to send them back home, and replace them with people who know who they work for and why they work for them. Time to make them look to the vertical and away from the horizontal.

Vertical politics is not about having one side beat the other side. It's about making things work for every American. (Although I'm all for Republicans winning!) It's about offering solutions instead of obstacles. And if we insist on it, we can take the country up--not left or right--and if we have to take a few members of Congress up to do it, then so be it!

Source: Do The Right Thing, by Mike Huckabee, p.151 , Nov 18, 2008

Everyone deciding what's right & wrong is stupid

We often hear, "Everyone has to decide for himself what's right and wrong." If we mean that we have to ultimately come to a personal decision that we will follow what is right and wrong, that's fine. But if that statement is that each of us gets to individually create our own standard of right and wrong, then it's total nonsense.

A popular view today is that we each should have the right to make up our own definitions of what's right and wrong. That sounds so very stupid. Music has to be played to the standard of the scale; gas is pumped to the standard of a gallon. Imagine if everyone got to name his or her own standard as to what constituted a measure of anything? Chaos.

Self-government cannot mean that we tailor-make our own rules or laws that apply uniquely to us. It means that we personally adhere to the standards that we expect of others, and if we all do so, we could create a society of peace and prosperity.

Source: Do The Right Thing, by Mike Huckabee, p. 32 , Nov 18, 2008

Press misunderstands: support comes from non-religious to

It was a mystery to the press and my opponents how my support came from a broad cross section of the population and was not limited to evangelicals.

Americans aren't afraid of people who believe something. They don't care for people who claim to believe something but whose actions don't match what they say. It confounded some that while I was orthodox in being pro-life and pro-marriage, I also was an advocate for good stewardship of natural resources, health policies that focused on prevention, and rebuilding the nation's infrastructure. Those positions were consistent with my worldview that we should be responsible in all of our relationships--with our planet, with our bodies, with one another, and with our Creator. It was never my desire to push a particular religious doctrine. Spiritual convictions should certainly be reflected in one's worldview, approaches to problems, and perspective. This is true of a person of faith in God or faith in self, nature, or nothing.

Source: Do The Right Thing, by Mike Huckabee, p. 49-50 , Nov 18, 2008

I didn’t want to wait for the government to rescue me

I’m not a Republican because I grew up rich. I’m a Republican because I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life poor, waiting for the government to rescue me.
Source: Speech at 2008 Republican National Convention , Sep 3, 2008

Competition breeds excellence, including in the GOP race

Q: You need 1191 delegates; you have 231. That means you need 960. There are only 819 delegates to win. How are you going to do that?

A: I don’t know how the math works out, but there’s always the chance something stumbles. Senator McCain also needs that many. And if he doesn’t get that many, he’s not the nominee either. This thing could go to the convention. Who knows?

Q: Romney withdrew because if he stayed in, he felt it’d make it easier for the Democrats to win.

A: Oh, that’s total nonsense. Do we tell the people in Texas and Ohio and all these other states that “You don’t matter?” If our party can’t have some meaningful debate about the issues important to us as a party, then we’re really not prepared to lead. For us to all step aside and have a coronation instead of an election, that’s the antithesis of everything Republicans are supposed to believe. We believe that competition breeds excellence and that the lack of it breeds mediocrity.

Source: Meet the Press: 2008 “Meet the Candidates” series , Feb 10, 2008

Without moral absolutes, we are lost and confused

Our freedom is tied to our individual souls, a gift from God, not from government. No one could take it from us, because no one gave it to us. It was instilled in me that because freedom was individual, that personal responsibility was individual. So I could not expect government to do for me what I was supposed to do for myself.

In 1968-1969, we had a definite choice of being a country of law and order, or of mayhem. I believed in law and order, that some things were right and some things were wrong. When we went with the right we had strength. When we saw that there was no moral center, and nothing that ever could be defined as a moral absolute, then we are lost and confused.

As a teenager, I was given a Phyllis Schlafly book, “ A Choice Not an Echo”. That book had a tremendous impact on me. It reminded me that we should not simply be echoing the sentiments of others, but making deep personal choices about what we believe, and most importantly, why we believe it.

Source: Speeches to 2008 Conservative Political Action Conference , Feb 7, 2008

American’s greatness is because we’re rooted in our faith

I realize it is not politically correct to say what I am about to say. But I have believed it since I was a teenager so I will not going to recant it now.

The reason that America is a great nation is because America is a special nation. And the reason America is a special nation is because it was founded by people who were first on their knees before they were on their feet. We are a nation rooted in our faith.

Source: Speeches to 2008 Conservative Political Action Conference , Feb 7, 2008

Limbaugh is a great voice for conservatism, not infallible

Q: Rush Limbaugh says if you or McCain were nominated, would be the nominee, you would “destroy the Republican Party.” Your reaction?

A: I wish Rush loved me as much as I love Rush. He’s a great voice for conservatism. It doesn’t mean he’s infallible. On this he’s very wrong.

Source: 2008 Republican debate at Reagan Library in Simi Valley , Jan 30, 2008

Treat others as you wish to be treated

You treat others as you wish to be treated. As it relates in health care, that means we recognize a person who is sick shouldn’t be treated differently than in poverty or who has extraordinary wealth; that we have some sense of balance in how we approach that. Inasmuch as you’ve done it to the least of these, my brethren, you’ve done it unto me. What it really means is that all of us are created equal, endowed by our Creator with those rights--life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. You give education and health care, that you don’t have some that are more equal than others. So there has to be a sense in which you have opportunity, whether it’s through choice in charter schools, in the education field, you have a curriculum that touches every child, not just a few; and in health care you don’t have a health care system, like Congress has, that is incredibly almost platinum, but there are a lot of Americans who can’t even go to the doctor and find out if they’re critically ill.
Source: 2007 Des Moines Register Republican Debate , Dec 12, 2007

I’m a conservative, but I’m not mean about it

Q: You like to tell audiences on the campaign trail, “I’m a conservative, but I’m not mean about it.” Some conservatives have taken offense to that. Is there a mean streak in the conservative movement?

A: I’m not a conservative that wants to be a wholly owned subsidiary of anybody. I’m an independent conservative. When I think we’re right, I’m with us all the way. And I think my record reflects that. But you know, I also believe that the purpose of government is to function. It’s not to just stand at one side, throw stones at the other guys and act like they’re wrong all the time. Well, I say Republicans aren’t right all the time. Democrats aren’t wrong all the time--now, maybe most of the time, but not all the time. And America is looking for leadership that’s not so much about beating up the other guys. They really want this country to move forward and upward. It’s what I call vertical politics, going up, not down, rather than just saying, “Let’s go left, let’s go right.”

Source: Fox News Sunday: 2007 “Choosing the President” interviews , Nov 18, 2007

Even if GOP loses elections, we should not lose our honor

PAUL: [to Huckabee] A few people advising this administration, a small number of people called the neoconservatives, hijacked our foreign policy. They’re responsible, not the American people.

HUCKABEE: We are one nation. We can’t be divided. We have to be one nation, under God. That means if we make a mistake, we make it as a single country: the United States of America, not the divided states of America.

PAUL: No, when we make a mistake, it is the obligation of the people, through their representatives, to correct the mistake, not to continue the mistake.

HUCKABEE: And that’s what we do on the floor of the Senate.

PAUL: No, we’ve dug a hole for ourselves and we’ve dug a hole for our party. We’re losing elections and we’re going down next year if we don’t change it, and it has all to do with foreign policy and we have to wake up to this fact.

HUCKABEE: Even if we lose elections, we should not lose our honor, and that is more important than [electoral gains for] the Republican Party

Source: [X-ref Paul] 2007 GOP debate at UNH, sponsored by Fox News , Sep 5, 2007

Never forget that ordinary citizens are the President’s boss

Q: What will you restore to the Oval Office?

A: I would put the very same frame on my wall in the White House I did as governor for 10 and a half years. It’s a frame that has a photo, and underneath the photo it says, “Our boss.” My picture was never in that frame in 10 and a half years. Every week or so, we’d put the picture of some ordinary Arkansas citizen. And I told our staff, let’s never forget who the real boss is. I hope every day I’d never forget I work for those people; they don’t work for me. I’d like to be the kind of president that’s more concerned about the people on Main Street, not just the folks on Wall Street. And we need that kind of Republican running, that kind of Republican winning. I’d never forget who the boss really, really is.

Source: 2007 GOP Iowa Straw Poll debate , Aug 5, 2007

Valuing life is the country’s most pressing moral issue

Q: What is the most pressing moral issue in this country?

A: If you define a moral issue, it is our respect, our sanctity and our understanding of the value of every single human life, because that is what makes America a unique place. We value every life of an individual as if it represents the life of us all.

Many of us who are pro-life have made the mistake of giving people the impression that pro-life means we care intensely about people as long as that child is in the womb, but beyond the gestation period, we’ve not demonstrated as demonstrably as we should that we respect life at all levels, not just during pregnancy. The unique part of our country is that we elevate and we celebrate human life.

And if you contrast us with the Islamic jihadists, who would strap a bomb to the belly of their own child and kill innocent people, they celebrate death, we celebrate life. It’s the fundamental thing that makes us unique and it keeps us free. I pray we never, ever abandon that basic principle.

Source: 2007 GOP debate at Saint Anselm College , Jun 3, 2007

Character IS the issue; we DO legislate morality

Bill Clinton once said, “Character isn’t the issue.” Yet our character defines the world we live in. Our government, welfare programs, schools, & everything else in our lives are shaped & directed according to our character. It’s commonly said that “you can’t legislate morality,” but, in fact, every law in the country is a reflection of our moral values.

Over the past 30 years, a decline in moral character has produced a decline in the character of our society. Everything hinges on the men & women we choose to establish public policy. And their character depends on you. There is something you can do: you can live a God-centered life of high moral character, and you can support candidates who share your Christian standards.

Character is the issue, and your character makes a difference every day--in the work you do, the people you vote for, the people you look to for leadership. Live your faith proudly & publicly and support & uplift fellow Christians as we work together to build God’s kingdom.

Source: Character Makes a Difference, by Mike Huckabee, p. 1-2 , Jun 1, 2007

Our culture of life separates us from Islamic fascists

We are a culture of life. We celebrate, we elevate life. And let me just say, when hikers on Mt. Hood get lost, we move heaven and Earth to go find them. When coal miners in West Virginia are trapped in a mine, we go after them because we celebrate life. This life issue is not insignificant. It’s not small. It separates us from the Islamic fascists who would strap a bomb to the belly of their child and blow them up. We don’t do that in this country.
Source: 2007 GOP primary debate, at Reagan library, hosted by MSNBC , May 3, 2007

America needs optimistic leadership to revive national soul

Q: Are you running for president?

A: Tomorrow I’ll be filing papers to launch an exploratory committee & yes, I’ll be out there.

Q: Why?

A: I think America needs positive, optimistic leadership to kind of turn this country around, to see a revival of our national soul, and to reclaim a sense of the greatness of this country that we love, and also to help bring people together to find a practical solution to a lot of the issues that people really worry about when they sit around the dinner table.

Source: Meet the Press: 2007 “Meet the Candidates” series , Jan 28, 2007

Vertical lift-up politics rather than horizontal left-right

Many Americans are seeking leadership that has a positive & optimistic spirit, that wants to take this nation to what I call vertical politics rather than horizontal. I just completed a book in which I talk about the difference between horizontal politics, where everything is left or right, everything is liberal or conservative, everything is Democrat or Republican. The American people are hungry for vertical politics, where we have leaders who lift us up rather than those who tear us down.
Source: Meet the Press: 2007 “Meet the Candidates” series , Jan 28, 2007

Finished Little Rock marathon in 4:38 after 3 years training

March 6, 2005, is a day that will be as memorable to me as the date of my marriage and the birthdays of my children. It is the day that four hours and 38-minutes after the sound of the starting gun, I crossed the finish line. I had completed 26.2 miles in the Little Rock Marathon.

Three years earlier, running a marathon seemed as likely to me as piloting the Space Shuttle or performing brain surgery. But back then there had also been 110 pounds more of me. After I was freshly diagnosed as a type 2 diabetic, my doctor had sat me down and told me that without a lifestyle change, I would be dead within a decade. The news propelled me on a life-changing and life-saving pilgrimage that eventually led to the achievement of something I would have thought unreasonable for a once nonathletic “sofa spud” like me. When people ask about the experience, I tell them that running the marathon was not difficult. But the discipline to prepare for the even was as challenging as anything I have ever done.

Source: From Hope to Higher Ground, by Mike Huckabee, p. 57 , Jan 4, 2007

Thermometer leaders just read room; thermostats adjusts room

There are two kinds of leaders, thermometers and thermostats. A thermometer can read the temperature of the room and report it. Some politicians are like thermometers. They conduct opinion polls and take positions that mirror the temperature. That’s not what America needs.

Thermostat leadership is different. A thermostat can read and report the temperature, but it also adjusts the temperature to what it should be. Thermostat leadership is aware of poll numbers but is even more aware of the principles worth living for and dying for.

There is a difference between a person’s values and recognizing the “value” of very person. Many political debates center around whose “values” are superior as they relate to the family, the economy, health care, etc. I am convinced that even those of us who are conservatives have missed that the true issue is not creating a must believe set of values but rather adhering to the notion that the worth of each human being should drive our public policies.

Source: From Hope to Higher Ground, by Mike Huckabee, p.186-187 , Jan 4, 2007

Live beyond your lifetime by planting seeds in others

I didn’t grow up with wealth, but it was perhaps the lack of money that kept me from growing up always wanting more. The lack of material wealth has been a blessing in many ways. I want to make sure I leave something behind that has far more value than money or property.

In the chapters [of “Living Beyond Your Lifetime”], I hope you’ll be challenged to think about living beyond your lifetime. I’m not referring to going to heaven and living the everlasting life. Rather, I’m talking about living a life that will continue to be felt by those whose character wouldn’t have been the same if the seeds of your faith and faithfulness had not been planted.

This life, though important, is not the only one we live for. As we continue through our pilgrimage, we will by faith share the legacy of our Lord in eternal life.

Still, it’s important to live as though this life really matters. The seeds we plant will bear fruit through the character of those who live beyond us.

Source: Living Beyond Your Lifetime, by Mike Huckabee, p. 15-17 , Oct 1, 2000

Positive thinking works, if based on positive principles

Being a positive person has been the focus of countless books, seminars, sermons, video series, and personal counseling sessions. If we are going to leave a legacy, most of us would prefer to leave something that future generations would want to pick up and carry on.

One of the fallacies of the positive thinking movement is that being a positive person consists of working up enough emotion to ignore reality and talk yourself into believing everything will be fine. There are some principles we can apply to unleash the power of being positive.

  1. Being positive originates in a peaceful mind.
  2. The power of being positive is articulated through a pleasant mouth.
  3. The power of being positive circulates by positive methods.
  4. The power of being positive disintegrates personal misery.
  5. Positive thinking is powerful medicine.
  6. The power of being positive culminates in a prosperous ministry.
Source: Living Beyond Your Lifetime, by Mike Huckabee, p.115-122 , Oct 1, 2000

I freely admit, I love the excitement of campaigning

Though I've been happy in all of my careers, I freely admit I love the excitement of campaigning. It's the thrill of the unknown. The frantic pace. Some of us are crazy enough to enjoy it; others see it as a necessary evil. George Bush had great disdain for campaigning. Bill Clinton, on the other hand, is in my same camp in this regard. We both like people, and in campaigning the ultimate goal is to be with people--to share your views, listen, sympathize, and persuade. There's also the sense that you always have to be at a peak performance level. You never know when you'll slip. Anybody who campaigns with the assumption that the election is in the bag is living dangerously
Source: Character IS the Issue, by Mike Huckabee, p.135 , Sep 9, 1997

Governorship principles: leadership, family, & participation

You're entitled to ask, "What kind of governor will you be?" I plan to be a guided by certain principles that will form the basis of policies enabling EVERY Arkansas citizen to claim our state truly as the "Land of Opportunity."
  1. Those of us elected or employed to serve the citizens need to remember who the boss is. The people who walk through our doors or who call us on our phones are not "nuisances," irritations," or even "customers." We need to treat them like the boss because we work for them.
  2. Government should not penalize productivity and subsidize irresponsibility.
  3. Let's establish policies for the family built on the premise that when given a strong family-friendly culture, mothers and fathers raise better children than governments do.
  4. I believe that a good leader never asks of others what one is unwilling to do himself.
  5. Government should actually welcome the participation of citizens from the private sector.
Source: Character IS the Issue, by Mike Huckabee, p.145-146 , Sep 9, 1997

I have consistently fought the Clinton machine in Arkansas

Donald Trump would be a president every day of the week and twice on Sunday, rather than Hillary. I've spent a lifetime in politics fighting the Clinton machine. You want to talk about what we're going to be up against next year? I am the only guy that has consistently fought the Clinton machine every election I was ever in over the past 26 years. And not only did I fight them, but I beat them.
Source: GOP "Your Money/Your Vote" 2015 CNBC 1st-tier debate , Oct 28, 2015

Mike Huckabee on Faith & Religion

Ought to be able to respect people who don’t have any faith

We ought to be able to respect people who don’t have any faith. I don’t feel like a person has to share my faith to share my love of this country. If a person hates me because of my faith, I’m not sure if they understand what it means to truly be an American, where we can live with each other no matter how different our faith is. Faith has been an important part of who this country is. Most Americans believe in God. If you want a president that doesn’t, you’ll have to pick somebody else.
Source: 2008 GOP debate in Boca Raton Florida , Jan 24, 2008

People should deal with the use of faith in my campaign

Q: A Bush administration official said that, quote, your use of faith in your campaign gave him a “queasy feeling.” Your response?

A: I would say that would be his problem, not mine. My faith does not give me a queasy feeling; it gives me a solid core from which I’m able to live every day. I don’t wake up every day and have to look at a poll to decide what I believe. My faith grounds me. It gives me some sense of direction and purpose. I don’t try to impose it on other people, and I certainly would never use the auspices of government to try to push my faith. But for me to run from it? Impossible. It’s who I am. If it gives some people a queasy feeling, then they’ll have to deal with it. The fact is, this country has always been a country where people were able to respect people who had faith.

Source: 2008 GOP debate in Boca Raton Florida , Jan 24, 2008

Judge Romney, & any candidate, by record, not by faith

Q: Mitt Romney talked about his faith this week, and one columnist accused you of seeming to take the high road by refusing to declare Mormonism a cult, while making sure everyone knows that you are a Christian leader. Are you exploiting religious differences for political gain?

A: I’ve not tried to say anything about Mitt Romney or anybody else. I’m happy to talk about my faith, but I’m not going to evaluate someone else’s. In fact, if people will look through the record, they’ll see me defending Hillary Clinton and her faith in this campaign--when asked to make a comment when she had talked about her Methodist faith, I defended her, saying I have no reason to doubt her sincerity. I’ve done the same thing with Mitt Romney and the same thing I’ve done with any other candidate.

Q: Do you think it’s intolerant for voters to consider the tenets of Mormonism in judging Mitt Romney?

A: I do think that’s inappropriate. I think people should judge Mitt Romney on his record.

Source: Fox News Sunday: 2007 “Choosing the President” interviews , Dec 9, 2007

Jesus was too smart to ever run for public office

Q: The death penalty, what would Jesus do?

A: I believe there is a place for a death penalty. Some crimes are so heinous, that the only response that we, as a civilized nation, have for a most uncivil action is not only to try to deter that person from ever committing that crime again, but also as a warning to others that some crimes are beyond any capacity for us to fix.

Q: But what would Jesus do?

A: Jesus was too smart to ever run for public office. That’s what Jesus would do.

Source: 2007 GOP YouTube debate in St. Petersburg, Florida , Nov 28, 2007

I believe the Bible is the word of revelation

Q: Do you believe every word of this book [The Holy Bible]?

A: Sure. I believe the Bible is exactly what it is. It’s the word of revelation to us from God himself. I don’t fully comprehend and understand [it all], because the Bible is a revelation of an infinite god, and no finite person is ever going to fully understand it. If they do, their god is too small.

Source: 2007 GOP YouTube debate in St. Petersburg, Florida , Nov 28, 2007

Plenty of choices for candidates who don’t believe in God

Q: Do you believe, literally, creation was done in six days, as it is described in the Bible?

HUCKABEE: Whether God did it in six days or whether he did it in six days that represented periods of time, he did it, and that’s what’s important. But I’ll tell you what I can tell the country. If they want a president who doesn’t believe in God, there’s probably plenty of choices. If anybody wants to believe that they are the descendants of a primate, they are certainly welcome to do it. But I believe that all of us in this room are the unique creations of a God who knows us and loves us and who created us for his own purpose.

BROWNBACK: I believe that we are created in the image of God for a particular purpose. And I am fully convinced there’s a God of the universe that loves us very much and was involved in the process. How he did it, I don’t know. One of the problems we have with our society today is that we put faith and science at odds with each other. They aren’t at odds with each other.

Source: 2007 GOP debate at Saint Anselm College , Jun 3, 2007

One worldview will prevail: God-centered or human-centered

For America and for the world, one worldview will prevail. Ours will either be a worldview with humans at the center or with God at the center. Standards of right and wrong are either what we establish as human beings (standards which can be changed to suit us), or they are what God has set in motion since the creation of the world and cannot be moved.

This clash is going to occur between those who think man is basically good (if he has enough education and economic parity, he will do good things and avoid crime, poverty, and disease) and those who say man is basically self-centered (he’ll do whatever he can get away with unless his nature is changed by God, or he is shamed by the consequences of doing wrong). The winning worldview will dominate public policy, the laws we make, and every other detail of our existence.

Source: Character Makes a Difference, by Mike Huckabee, p.171-172 , Jun 1, 2007

Pastors & politicians have same skill set in common

There is not a chasm between careers in church & politics. I would say there is no better preparation for public office than the ministry. Pastors and politicians must master the same skills to succeed:
    Other elements are much the same for pastors and politicians.
  1. You will never please everybody.
  2. As an officeholder, you are responsible for spending public funds wisely. Whenever I spent money from the church budget, I needed to think I could look widows in the eyes & say, “I think we spent that money wisely.”
  3. Both must have the ability to persuade people to adopt their point of view.
  4. Families of ministers and elected officials are held to different standards.
The GOP is not “God’s party.” God does not join organizations. He asks us to join his. Political parties are vehicles to help us change public policy
Source: Character Makes a Difference, by Mike Huckabee, p. 54-56 , Jun 1, 2007

Ten Commandments are basis for appropriate behavior

As a teenager, I often would hear my pastor say, “If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.” Corporate leaders, political leaders, church leaders, and families are at their best when they are motivated by principles.

What are some principles worth living by? Ask a roomful of people, and you will get a roomful of answers. There already exists a code of principles established thousands of years ago & adhered to by people from a variety of religious backgrounds. It has been accepted as a basis for appropriate behavior. Fortunately, no one has copyrighted the Ten Commandments.

Although some attempts have been made to prohibit these principles from being displayed, they have survived through the ages. They are the foundation of our laws and commonly accepted codes of human behavior.

The Ten Commandments are divided into two sections--the vertical laws dealing with man’s relationship with God and the horizontal laws dealing with man’s relationship with others.

Source: Character Makes a Difference, by Mike Huckabee, p. 74-75 , Jun 1, 2007

A “grace Christian”: dislikes “law Christians” AND liberals

I grew up in a small Missionary Baptist church, and at the time the theology that dominated those churches was somewhat legalistic. I liked to ask “why can’t we?” or “why is it wrong?” I know it is tempting to say, “Because the Bible says it’s wrong.” But there are reasons why the Bible says it is wrong, & there are appropriate foundations for the prohibitions we find in God’s Word. Part of my rebellion was toward this Can’t-Do mentality. Tell me something positive. Don’t just give me restrictions.

My struggle with legalism greatly affected my walk with the Lord. Today I am definitely a “grace Christian” & not a “law Christian.” One of the few things I detest more than liberalism is legalism. I think both are cancers to the Christian faith-- liberalism because it doesn’t believe in anything, & legalism because it restricts us only to things we can live up to. Liberalism makes God seem so commonplace that He becomes meaningless, while legalism makes God so small that He becomes insignificant.

Source: Character Makes a Difference, by Mike Huckabee, p. 83-84 , Jun 1, 2007

My faith does affect my decision process; it explains me

Q: You criticized Gov. Romney for saying his faith wouldn’t get in the way of his public life, his governing.

A: I never criticized Gov. Romney for that. I said, in general, that when a person says, “My faith doesn’t affect my decision-making,” I would say that the person is saying their faith is not significant to impact their decision process. I tell people up front, “My faith does affect my decision process.” It explains me. No apology for that.

Q: But you answered a question on Feb. 11 about Romney in this way: “I’m not as troubled by a person who has a different faith. I’m troubled by a person who tells me their faith doesn’t influence their decisions.” Why are you changing that point of view now?

A: Well, I didn’t know I was changing the point of view. I want to state very clearly: A person’s faith shouldn’t qualify or disqualify for public office. But we ought to be honest and open about it. And I think it does help explain who we are, what our value systems are, what makes us tick.

Source: 2007 GOP primary debate, at Reagan library, hosted by MSNBC , May 3, 2007

We are a nation of faith, and we are stewards of God’s world

Q: You said: ‘I didn’t get into politics because I thought government had a better answer. I got into politics because I knew government didn’t have the real answers, that the real answers lie in accepting Jesus Christ into our lives.’“ Would you try to lead it into being a more Christian nation?

A: I think it’s dangerous to say that we are a nation that ought to be pushed into a Christian faith by its leaders. However, I make no apology for my faith. We are a nation of faith.

Q: But when you said, “I hope we answer the alarm clock and take this nation back for Christ,” what does that say to Jews, Muslims, agnostics?

A: I’d probably phrase it a little differently today. It means that people of faith need to exercise their sense of responsibility toward education, toward health, toward the environment. All of those issues, for me, are driven by my sense that this is a wonderful world that God’s made, we’re responsible for taking care of it, for being stewards of it.

Source: Meet the Press: 2007 “Meet the Candidates” series , Jan 28, 2007

Ordained Baptist minister; I make no apology for my faith

Q: You are an ordained Baptist minister.

A: Yes.

Q: I want to ask you about something you said earlier in your political career: “Huckabee explained why he left pastoring for politics. ‘I didn’t get into politics because I thought government had a better answer. I got into politics because I knew government didn’t have the real answers, that the real answers lie in accepting Jesus Christ into our lives.’” Would you, as president, consider America a Christian nation and try to lead into a situation as being a more Christian nation?

A: I think it’s dangerous to say that we are a nation that ought to be pushed into a Christian faith by its leaders. However, I make no apology for my faith. My faith explains me. We are a nation of faith. It doesn’t necessarily have to be mine. But we are a nation that believes that faith is an important part of describing who we are, and our generosity, and our sense of optimism and hope. That does describe me.

Source: Meet the Press: 2007 “Meet the Candidates” series , Jan 28, 2007

People of faith feel responsible for God’s world

Q: Earlier in your political career, you said, “I hope we answer the alarm clock and take this nation back for Christ.” You say now “My faith explains me”.

A: I’m appalled when someone says, “Tell me about your faith,” and they say, “Oh, my faith doesn’t influence my public policy.” Because when someone says that, it’s as if they’re saying, “My faith is not so consequential that it affects me.” Well, truthfully my faith does affect me.

Q: But when you say “take this nation back for Christ,” what does that say to Jews, Muslims, agnostics, atheists?

A: I’d probably phrase it a little differently today. I don’t want to make people think that I’m going to replace the Capitol dome with a steeple. What it does mean is that people of faith do need to exercise their sense of responsibility toward education, toward health, toward the environment. All of those issues, for me, are driven by my sense that this is a wonderful world that God’s made, we’re responsible for taking care of it.

Source: Meet the Press: 2007 “Meet the Candidates” series , Jan 28, 2007

10 Commandments: principles to live by, not just pop culture

Corporate leaders, political leaders, church leaders, and families are at their best when they are motivated by principles rather than public opinion. What are some principles worth living by? There already exists a code of principles established thousands of years ago and adhered to by people from a variety of religious backgrounds. It has been accepted as a basis for appropriate behavior. Fortunately, no one has copyrighted the Ten Commandments.

Although some attempts have been made to prohibit these principles from being displayed, they have survived through the ages. They are the foundation for most of our laws and commonly accepted code of human behavior.

A person who has no standard to live by other than the culture of the moment is a person whose principles might as well come from the latest public opinion polls. This would be like repairing an appliance by holding it against a mirror rather than reading the directions to determine how it should be performing.

Source: Living Beyond Your Lifetime, by Mike Huckabee, p. 22-26 , Oct 1, 2000

The spiritual side of our lives really does matter

This book seeks to challenge the culture of “if it feels good, do it.” Advertising bombards us with the message that life is all about me, it is all about now. Such messages may sell products and services, but they will cause us to sell our souls if we follow this philosophy.

We will be challenged to ask whether in the final analysis our life really mattered and, if so, in what way. If we live, die, and that is all there is, then it may not matter what we do. But if we believe that something about life matters because of the lasting implications our actions have, this should cause us to leave a different legacy.

I believe the spiritual side of our lives really does matter. To believe otherwise is to define persons as little more than animated protoplasm hopelessly going about our routines. If we do possess a soul capable of living beyond our lifetimes, then the seeds we plant in this life will yield fruit forever.

Source: Living Beyond Your Lifetime, by Mike Huckabee, p. 7-9 , Oct 1, 2000

Faith gives us a focus for the future

Real faith is not only getting beyond our past: it’s recognizing that faith is an ongoing process. None of us “have arrived.” At best, we can say we’re “on the way.” A big mistake many make is the notion that at any given moment we’re going to be complete and thus relieved from the prospect of additional construction. That is not and will never be the case.

While I’m not everything I want to be, I’m not all the things I once was. Our lives are filled with pressure and stress. This is not necessarily bad. Stress and tension, properly balanced, actually give us strength.

Faith involves having something in the distance to motivate us and keep us moving, as the apostle Paul admonished in his Epistle to the Philippians. We should “press on toward the goal.”

Faith gives us a focus for our future, helps us move in the direction of our destiny, and gives us the capacity to continue working toward a worthy legacy.

Source: Living Beyond Your Lifetime, by Mike Huckabee, p. 91-93 , Oct 1, 2000

American triad of values: faith, family, & work

America was built on at least 3 essential principles, and upon this triad of values, our culture has been steadfastly secured against the winds of time and circumstance. Faith, family, and work are the simple components of the American spirit--recover them in their fullness and we will recover our cultural equilibrium. These are the cords that weave the gloriously resplendent fabric of our lives. Thus, it would behoove us to look once again upon these great precepts.

When we do this, we find that the American understanding of these ideals is embedded in the Judeo-Christian tradition, which also had a highly significant formative effect on Western civilization in general. So when we consider these 3 building-block essentials, it is impossible to do so without referencing some of the biblical texts that present and support them. We must also seek to understand these precepts within the framework of the tradition that gave them to us.

Source: Kids Who Kill, by Gov. Mike Huckabee, p.145-146 , Jun 1, 1998

Faith reorients us away from sin & toward future & maturity

Faith brought men and nations both liberty and prosperity. Why does faith have such phenomenal effects?
  1. Faith reorients all of us fallen and sinful people to reality. More often than not, we are ruled by our passions, lusts, and delusions. We simply have a hard time facing reality without the perspective of faith.
  2. The Judeo-Christian religion also tells us that faith counteracts the destructive effects of sinful actions and activities. Sin is not a concept that has much currency with modern social scientists & civil rights activists. It has become politically incorrect even to speak of sin.
  3. Faith establishes a future orientation in our hearts and minds. All too often, modern society either flounders in a dismal fatalism or squanders our few resources in irresponsible impulsiveness.
  4. Faith provokes us to exercise responsibility. Faith enables us to see past ourselves and grow into selfless maturity. We are encouraged in fulfilling our calling in life.
Source: Kids Who Kill, by Gov. Mike Huckabee, p.147-148 , Jun 1, 1998

Working in faith will restore our downgraded culture

The task of restoring the fabric of our lives--faith, family, and work--poses problems of giant proportions. It looks like an impossible task. The culture has seemingly gone too far too fast along the downgrade. How can we possibly prevail? I believe we can overcome the same way the biblical David did when he faced a "giant" problem: he stepped out in faith, went to work, and emerged victorious. To repeat, our best plan of action is:
  1. to step out in faith
  2. work at this immense task of performing well in our careers and providing support and love for our families, and
  3. emerge victorious.
We step out in faith, asking God for direction, wisdom, and encouragement, relying on the fact that "All things work together for good to those who love God" (Rom. 8:28). With God's help, we will emerge victorious. Victory doesn't come in a day. A culture is not made or unmade in an instant. So the sooner we get started, the better off we'll be.
Source: Kids Who Kill, by Gov. Mike Huckabee, p.153-154 , Jun 1, 1998

Mike Huckabee on Past Elections

Motto as governor and now, "Come, let us reason together"

You gave me the largest number of votes in the history of the Iowa caucus eight years ago, and I think you did it because you believed I had your best interest at heart. When I was governor, I had a plaque in my office, and it said: "Come, let us reason together." The next President needs to put that plaque in the oval office, and needs to lead this country by saying, "Come, let us reason together."
Source: 2016 Fox News Republican Undercard debate in Iowa , Jan 28, 2016

Joked at NRA talk about Obama ducking gunshots

Few African Americans would disagree that their paranoia--or, shall we say, justifiable wariness--about such matters if fair game for artistic treatment. But their tolerance is challenged--and their fears heightened--by comments in the political arena that seem to go far beyond satire and straight to the gut.

Thus the outrage (but not disbelief) when Mike Huckabee, speaking at the National Rifle Association last May and inspired by a loud noise, offered an ill-considered ad-lib. "That was Barack Obama," he said. "He just tripped off a chair. He's getting ready to speak and somebody aimed a gun at him and he--he dove for the floor." Huckabee quickly apologized for his comments.

Source: What Obama Means, by Jabari Asim, p. 77-78 , Jan 20, 2009

Underdog victory in IA caucus propelled campaign to top tier

I was just about the last person in America to learn the breaking news of the evening: that I was the winner of the Iowa caucuses. They had made the announcement while I was flying over the frozen cornfields in a damp, dark, turboprop airplane.

Any fears of a hoax were erased when we saw the exuberant faces of the young staffers waiting at the airport. Throughout the campaign, one of our great challenges was trying to manage with far fewer staff members than was reasonable or realistic. It meant that all of our mostly young and inexperienced staff would be called on to do the tasks of several people. Most worked with little or no sleep, lousy pay, and the kind of conditions that would be against the law in most places--or at least should be (not that I'm advocating regulation!)

But on this night, no one was complaining. A bunch of unknown, ordinary people had beaten the "best in the business."

Everything had changed, Life for us would never be the same. And I would often say, "I LOVE Iowa!"

Source: Do The Right Thing, by Mike Huckabee, p. 3 & 6 , Nov 18, 2008

Faith voters flocked to me because GOP left them

In the 2008 election cycles, the faith voters (often incorrectly dubbed the "evangelical voter," although many of these voters are Catholic, Jewish, or even nonreligious, but still committed to traditional concepts of marriage, respect for human life, family & community involvement) were forced out of their political homes.

Had it not been for the homelessness of these valued voters and their fervor, my campaign would not have lasted through the summer of 2007. Because of them, we almost won the nomination and did it on money that wouldn't win a Senate race in some states.

This vast army of displaced political refugees felt abandoned not only by the priesthood of the Republican party but also by those they had once looked to provide the balance if not a direct challenge to those in the party who would prefer that the "value voters" be seen on election day but not necessarily heard. In short, many of their leaders left them.

Source: Do The Right Thing, by Mike Huckabee, p. 46-47 , Nov 18, 2008

The Huckaboom: consensus candidate among Values Voters

A turning point in the campaign was the "Values Voters Debate" in Sept. 2007. It was sponsored and hosted by a number of the leaders of the grassroots family, faith, and pro-life movements. Giuliani, Romney, McCain, and Fred Thompson failed to show.

The event would be marked with a straw poll vote taken after the debate by those who witnessed it. They were asked to vote based on who they felt best represented the values and viewpoints of the conservative "values voters." When the votes were counted, I had collected over 60%. No one else got past the teens.

[The results made me feel] I had been faithful to my conscience, my convictions, and the purpose for which I had entered public life. Bonds of friendship were forged that night with [the host and people] who came to play a major role in what would later be labeled by the press and known as the "Huckaboom." What they didn't realize was that it was actually born in a debate that most of the other candidates didn't think was worth their time.

Source: Do The Right Thing, by Mike Huckabee, p. 62-63 , Nov 18, 2008

TV ad with Xmas cross was ad-libbed & completely accidental

At Christmas, we made a special TV spot. We figured everybody was tired of the political commercials and would appreciate something softer--no policy statement, no "Vote for Mike." We didn't have a script for the ad--just a basic concept, and unlike the other ads, this one would be ad-libbed. The key thought was "just remember that what really matters is the celebration of the birth of Christ and being with our family and our friends."

Within hours of its release, "What Really Matters" [went viral]. "How did you get that floating cross in the shot?" people were asking. Floating cross? What floating cross?

The way the light hit a white cabinet behind me, one vertical and one horizontal panel formed a cross shape. As the camera tracked, the cross seemed to float through the frame behind me. Completely accidental. It became the focus of a big controversy as to whether we were trying to place some subliminal message in the spot. Conspiracy theorists abounded.

Source: Do The Right Thing, by Mike Huckabee, p. 77-78 , Nov 18, 2008

TV ad "Chuck Norris Approved" became Internet phenomenon

[After receiving Chuck Norris' endorsement, we shot a TV ad]. Not only did we get the spot we came for, we used a lot of the outtake footage to create a great blooper that we unveiled on our campaign Web site. We also shot Chuck and me talking about issues--from Iraq and immigration to faith and taxes--which we turned into 90-second vignettes that we posted on our site later in the campaign.

We called the spot "Chuck Norris Approved," because the last shot is of Chuck throwing his fist at the camera and those three words in Hollywood Western type splashed across the screen.

We had only $60,000 to spend on Iowa TV--which we put on cable networks only, no broadcast stations. But "Chuck Norris Approved" became an Internet phenomenon. The Drudge Report picked it up and visits to our Web site skyrocketed; we saw a big jump in contribution, and it registered over 12 million views on YouTube that first week.

Source: Do The Right Thing, by Mike Huckabee, p.142-143 , Nov 18, 2008

Not exiting; I didn’t major in math; I majored in miracles

I stay in this race, not to be a fly in the ointment, but because I believe that our party & our country is about a choice, and I plan to give it to them. There are only a few states that have voted; 27 have not. People in those 27 states deserve more than a coronation. They deserve the opportunity to have their voices and their votes heard and counted.

I know what the pundits say, that the math doesn’t workout. Folks, I didn’t major in math. I majored in miracles and I still believe in those.

Source: Speeches to 2008 Conservative Political Action Conference , Feb 7, 2008

Presumptuous and arrogant to suggest Reagan would endorse me

Q: Would Reagan endorse you? And if so, why?

A: It would be incredibly presumptuous and even arrogant for me to try to suggest what Reagan would do, that he would endorse any of us against the others. I’m not going to pretend he would endorse me. I wis he would. I would love that, but I endorse him. It wasn’t just his specific policies, but Reagan was something more than just a policy wonk. He was a man who loved this country, and he inspired this country to believe in itself again. What made Reagan a great president was not just the intricacies of his policies, though they were good policies. It was that he loved the US and saw it as a good nation and a great nation because of the greatness of its people. If we can recapture that, that’s when we recapture the Reagan spirit. It’s that spirit that has a can-do attitude about the US’s futures and that makes us love our country. Whether he believes in us, I hope we still believe in those things which made him a great leader and a great American.

Source: 2008 Republican debate at Reagan Library in Simi Valley , Jan 30, 2008

Only candidate who’s faced Clinton political machine before

Q: I wonder whether you’ve had time to notice what’s going on with the Democrats and the way that Bill and Hillary Clinton are tag-teaming Barack Obama.

A: I do pay attention, because, after all, you’ve got to remember, I’m the only person running for president who’s faced the Clinton political machine before. I understand it better than anybody else running for president. And I can certainly watch with some sense of, I guess, maybe educated perception about what’s taking place.

Q: Are you at all surprised by the way Bill Clinton is going after Barack Obama?

A: I have great respect and have a cordial & civil relationship with the Clintons, even though we’ve been on opposite sides of political races every time I’ve ever run or they’ve run. But there are not two people who are better at street fighting politics than Bill and Hillary Clinton. And I’ve been telling people a long time, “Don’t underestimate the scrappiness with which they’ll approach this race.” So no, I’m not surprised.

Source: 2008 Fox News interview: “Choosing the President” series , Jan 27, 2008

Declined to answer Boston Globe questions on Executive Power

Q: In what circumstances, if any, would the president have constitutional authority to bomb Iran without seeking a use-of-force authorization from Congress?

A: The candidate declined to answer this question.

Q: Under what circumstances would you sign a bill into law but also issue a signing statement reserving a constitutional right to bypass the law?

A: The candidate declined to answer this question.

Q: Does the Constitution permit a president to detain US citizens without charges as unlawful enemy combatants?

A: The candidate declined to answer this question.

Q: Under what circumstances is the president free to disregard international human rights treaties that the US Senate has ratified?

A: The candidate declined to answer this question.

Q: Do you think it is important for all would-be presidents to answer questions like these before voters decide which one to entrust with the powers of the presidency?

A: The candidate declined to answer this question.

Source: Boston Globe questionnaire on Executive Power , Dec 20, 2007

The social conservative’s candidate for president

Q: At the Values Voter Summit of social conservatives, they conducted a straw poll. In the online contest, Mitt Romney barely beat you, by just 30 votes, with all the others far behind. But in the poll of just those who actually attended the conference, you swamped the field with 51% of the vote. Are you now the social conservative’s candidate for president?

A: Well, I think I am. When the voters who consider themselves values voters are actually given the opportunity, overwhelmingly, I win those contests. And I think it is becoming clearer & clearer that this part of our party and our country wants somebody who is a hard-working, consistent conservative with some authenticity about those convictions.

Q: And you’re that man?

A: Well, I think so.

Q: Last time you were with us, you said that you were moving from no shot to long shot to slingshot, and we actually have some evidence of that in the latest poll out of Iowa. Do you have to win Iowa?

A: Well, I think I’ve got to do very well.

Source: FOX News Sunday, 2007 presidential interviews , Oct 21, 2007

N.H. strategy: stick with convictions & straight answers

Q: There is talk that you’re planning to ambush Mitt Romney in his own backyard of New Hampshire, following the model of Pat Buchanan when he was running against George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton against Paul Tsongas.

A: Well, I wouldn’t call the strategy “ambush.” We’re going after a victory there. And it’s not an ambush. It’s straight up--we’re trying to win. I think we will win.

Q: Why New Hampshire?

A: Because voters there are very savvy. They look for a person who truly has the convictions and sticks by them. Even if it’s not necessarily what they agree with, they want you to look them in the eye and give them a straight answer and give it to them the same way tomorrow as you gave it to them today. People like those kind of ideas that are bigger and fresher than the carefully tuned and tweaked sort of version of minor reform. That’s just not what New Hampshire voters, I think, are expecting and looking for in their next president.

Source: Fox News Sunday: 2007 “Choosing the President” interviews , Aug 26, 2007

Not thinking about Vice Presidency despite heavy speculation

Q: There’s a lot of speculation that Mike Huckabee would make a good running mate, especially for someone like Rudy Giuliani, who’s got some questions about his stands on social issues. Are you vice presidential material?

A: Well, I’d like to think I’m presidential material. You know, the point is I’ve never seen a guy say, “I’m going to the Olympics and, man, my goal is to be the silver medalist.” Nobody says, “That’s what I spent my whole life working toward, is being number two.“ So, no, I’m not sitting around thinking about, ”Gosh, what if I could be vice president?“ I’m thinking about, ”What would happen if I could become president,“ how I would lead this country, what I would do to reform taxes, what I would do to try to bring a domestic agenda that builds this country back so we have some strength. And I think the voters are still going to respond to me when they get a chance to hear the message.

Source: Fox News Sunday: 2007 “Choosing the President” interviews , Aug 26, 2007

GOP lost 2006 election because they failed to do their job

Q: The Republicans lost the majority in the House and the Senate in 2006 -- What’s happened to the GOP?

A: We lost credibility because we didn’t do what we were hired to do. When you’re elected, you’re hired to do a job. You’re hired to cut spending, lower taxes, bring more government back to the local people. We did the polar opposite, and the people fired us. And I think in many ways, although there are some good people that got caught up in the tsunami of the 2006 elections, the Republican Party as a whole deserved to get beat. We’ve lost credibility--the way we bungled Katrina, the fact that there was corruption that was unchecked in Washington, and the fact that there was a feeling that there was not a proper handling of the Iraqi war in all of these details, and the indifference to people pouring over our borders.

Source: 2007 GOP debate at Saint Anselm College , Jun 3, 2007

George W. Bush has done a magnificent job

Q: Last we talked, I asked you about George W. Bush, and you said, “I think the president has done a magnificent job. And generally, you know, I don’t find that many areas where I would disagree with him.” You still hold that view?

A: Well, I think he’s had a lot of struggles, particularly in managing the war in Iraq. We did a great job of going in and toppling Saddam Hussein. The tough part has been bringing some sense of stability there. The domestic agenda has almost been ignored and overlooked.

Source: Meet the Press: 2007 “Meet the Candidates” series , Jan 28, 2007

Dealt with Yellow Dog Democrats as governor

There is a particular kind of voter in the South called a yellow dog Democrat--a person who will vote Democratic even if the candidate is a yellow dog. Though many people agreed with my positions on the issues, my party label was more than they could stand. There were newspapers in the state that not only wouldn't cover me as a candidate but would forbid the editor to come out and shake my hand. I'd ride in local parades and well-dressed, middle-aged women would make obscene gestures and yell.

These sorts of incidents actually helped me get reelected in 1994. The Democrats unintentionally transformed me from a vile Republican to a friend of the common folk. People in Arkansas may be yellow dog Democrats, but deep down there were a lot of people who seemed to say, "I didn't vote for him, I don't like Republicans but he won the election--so let's treat him right." They were embarrassed for their own party at the kind of treatment I was receiving, and the sympathy worked in our favor.

Source: Character IS the Issue, by Mike Huckabee, p. 60-62 , Sep 9, 1997

Mike Huckabee on Personal Background

Kenneth Copeland is a friend, innocent until proven guilty

Q: In November you appeared on “Believer’s Voice of Victory,” with Kenneth Copeland. Mr. Copeland is “a televangelist under investigation by the US Senate Finance Committee [who] turned a national ministers’ gathering into a fund-raising opportunity for Mike Huckabee.” You got millions in pledges from that event. Comments?

A: Kenneth Copeland has been a friend of mine for a long time. And my only experience with him is a positive one and a person of integrity.

Q: But Senator Charles Grassley, a Republican from Iowa, has an investigation about Copeland. The newspapers said, “Copeland remains defiant in refusing to cooperate with a US senator’s request for information about his finances.”

A: People are innocent until they’re proven guilty.

Q: Isn’t standing behind Copeland interfering in an investigation?

A: No. It’d be interfering if I called up Chuck Grassley and said lay off Kenneth Copeland. I’ve not done that, nor would I do that.

Source: Meet the Press: 2008 “Meet the Candidates” series , Feb 10, 2008

Hunted and ate fried squirrel in college days

Q: You said on the “Morning Joe” program back in January: “When I was in college, we used to take a popcorn popper--because that was the only thing they would let us use in the dorms--and we would fry squirrel in the popcorn poppers in the dorm room.”

A: Yeah. We really did that.

Q: Did you eat them?

A: Well, of course we ate them.

Q: What does it taste like?

A: I should say it tastes a lot like chicken, but it doesn’t.

Q: What’s it taste like?

A: It tastes like squirrel. It’s not the best thing in the world but, you know, when you go squirrel hunting, you got to do something with those things. And part of it was just to say we could do it. It was a college thing. But fried squirrel is a Southern delicacy.

Q: But you’re off the squirrel now?

A: I haven’t eaten fried squirrel I think since college.

Q: This may help you in Virginia.

A: It may kill me in other states, however.

Source: Meet the Press: 2008 “Meet the Candidates” series , Feb 10, 2008

Childhood heroes in AR: Jesus, Elvis, and FDR

In Arkansas, where I grew up, there were no Republicans. I came from a family where there were three basic heroes in our household: Jesus, Elvis, and FDR. It wasn’t because folks were so liberal, it was just inbred in us that we were all Democrats. There were only 7 Republicans in my county, and all of them had moved in. But I became Republican because I got my first job at age 14 from one of those 7 Republicans, and I crystallized an understanding about the blessings of America.
Source: Speeches to 2008 Conservative Political Action Conference , Feb 7, 2008

Defining mistake: neglecting his health for decades

Q: What is the defining mistake of your life and why?

A: I think probably the greatest mistake I made was not taking good care of my own personal health for the first half of my life. And that’s been one of the most transformational things I’ve done, and I just wish I’d started much earlier.

Source: 2007 GOP Iowa Straw Poll debate , Aug 5, 2007

Took office amid felony investigation of Gov. Jim Guy Tucker

In May 1996, Gov. Jim Guy Tucker had been convicted on federal charges of fraud and conspiracy in the first Whitewater trial. After his conviction, Tucker promised that he would resign as governor on or before July 15 1996. That meant I would move into the governor’s office, becoming only the 3rd Republican governor since Reconstruction. At the time, I had a double-digit lead in the race for US Senate--I would have been the first Republican Senator in Arkansas history. I pulled out of the race to assume the governorship.

[At five minutes before my inauguration was scheduled, Tucker called to say he had decided NOT to resign, but to instead declare himself disabled, so I would only be Acting Governor pending his appeal.]

I told Tucker that I would make a speech in 2 hours; and if he resigned, I would not use the word “impeachment,” and we’d say he had reconsidered, and resigned as promised. [Tucker refused. I made the speech calling for his impeachment. Tucker resigned on July 15 1996].

Source: Character Makes a Difference, by Mike Huckabee, p. 4-21 , Jun 1, 2007

Plays bass guitar in rock band “Capitol Offense”

Q: The Washington Post had this column in 2005: “At 1 AM last Sunday, Huckabee could be found wearing a Hawaiian shirt, playing bass guitar & leading his rock band of fellow Arkansans, called Capitol Offense, at the National Governor’s Association staff party at a downtown beer hall.” And we have found this footage, governor.

A: Uh-oh, I’m in trouble now.

Q: (Videotape of Gov. Huckabee playing guitar). I believe that song is “Born To Be Wild.” Is that your inner self?

A: “Born To Be Mild” would be a better one for me. I love music. One of the things that I’m very passionate about is music and art and education because it was life-changing for me. I think in a creative economy we’ve got to have a whole group of kids coming up and a generation whose left and right brains are stimulated. I think this country has made a huge mistake in cutting music and art out of school budgets. And it’s something we’ve got to address because the future economy is dependent upon a creative generation.

Source: Meet the Press: 2007 “Meet the Candidates” series , Jan 28, 2007

Published four books; completed Little Rock marathon in 4:38

Source: PAC website, HopeForAmericaPac.org, “About” , Dec 1, 2006

Abstains from alcohol as part of Baptist religion

In addition to being Southern, I'm also a Baptist, which means that while we "officially" do not drink alcohol or use tobacco, we are free to eat every kind of food imaginable as long as we fry it and consume it in large portions.
Source: Quit Digging Your Grave with a Knife & Fork, p. 5 , May 10, 2005

Religious affiliation: Southern Baptist.

Huckabee : religious affiliation:

The Adherents.com website is an independent project and is not supported by or affiliated with any organization (academic, religious, or otherwise).

What’s an adherent?

The most common definition used in broad compilations of statistical data is somebody who claims to belong to or worship in a religion. This is the self-identification method of determining who is an adherent of what religion, and it is the method used in most national surveys and polls.

Such factors as religious service attendance, belief, practice, familiarity with doctrine, belief in certain creeds, etc., may be important to sociologists, religious leaders, and others. But these are measures of religiosity and are usually not used academically to define a person’s membership in a particular religion. It is important to recognize there are various levels of adherence, or membership within religious traditions or religious bodies. There’s no single definition, and sources of adherent statistics do not always make it clear what definition they are using.

Source: Adherents.com web site 00-ADH1 on Nov 7, 2000

Member, National Governors Association/Economic Development.

Huckabee is a member of the National Governors Association:

The National Governors Association (NGA) is the collective voice of the nation’s governors and one of Washington’s most respected public policy organizations. NGA provides governors with services that range from representing states on Capitol Hill and before the Administration on key federal issues to developing policy reports on innovative state programs and hosting networking seminars for state government executive branch officials. The NGA Center for Best Practices focuses on state innovations and best practices on issues that range from education and health to technology, welfare reform, and the environment. NGA also provides management and technical assistance to both new and incumbent governors.

Since their initial meeting in 1908 to discuss interstate water problems, governors have worked through the National Governors Association to deal with issues of public policy and governance relating to the states. The association’s ongoing mission is to support the work of the governors by providing a bipartisan forum to help shape and implement national policy and to solve state problems.

Fortune Magazine recently named NGA as one of Washington’s most powerful lobbying organizations due, in large part, to NGA’s ability to lead the debate on issues that impact states. From welfare reform to education, from the historic tobacco settlement to wireless communications tax policies, NGA has influenced major public policy issues while maintaining the strength of our Federalist system of government.

There are three standing committees—on Economic Development and Commerce, Human Resources, and Natural Resources—that provide a venue for governors to examine and develop policy positions on key state and national issues.

[Note: NGA positions represent a majority view of the nation’s governors, but do not necessarily reflect a governor’s individual viewpoint. Governors vote on NGA policy positions but the votes are not made public.]

Source: National Governors Association web site www.NGA.org 01-NGA0 on Jan 1, 2001

Member of Republican Governors Association.

Huckabee is a member of the Republican Governors Association:

Founded in 1963, the Republican Governors Association (RGA) is the official public policy and political organization of the Republican governors and governors-elect of the United States of America

    RGA Mission Statement
  1. To assist in the solution of significant national public policy problems.
  2. To enable the Republican governors to take their proper position in expressing the philosophy of the Republican Party within the national party framework.
  3. To assist in the election of Republican gubernatorial candidates and the reelection of incumbent governors.
  4. To provide a mechanism to facilitate communications and cooperation among its members; with local, state and national Party organizations; with Republicans in the US Congress; and with Republicans in the Executive branch of government during a Republican administration.
The RGA also will work closely with local officials, including state legislators, mayors, county executives and other municipal and county leaders to assist in a free exchange of ideas. As it looks ahead, the RGA is preparing for the 2001- 2002 election cycle in which 38 gubernatorial seats, with 25 seats currently held by Republicans, will be at stake. The cycle begins this year with two highly competitive races, in New Jersey and Virginia. For this and the 36 races in 2002, the RGA will create strong recruiting and fundraising programs to provide maximum political assistance to all Republican candidates.

The RGA will enhance the visibility of the Association as a unified policy-making and political force with the national media, business community and government through a coordinated communications strategy. By building more awareness of the policies of the Republican governors, the political and policy objectives of the Association as a whole can be achieved. Currently, there are 29 Republican governors representing roughly 60 percent of the American people.

Source: Republican Governors Association website, rga.policy.net 01-RGA1 on Aug 15, 2001

Member of Southern Governors' Association.

Huckabee is a member of the Southern Governors' Association:

The Southern Governors’ Association first met in 1934 to discuss the repeal of discriminatory rates for transporting goods by rail, [and since then SGA] has represented the common interests of southern states’ chief executives and provided a vehicle for promoting them. The ongoing mission of SGA is to support the work of the governors by providing a bipartisan, regional forum to help shape and implement national policy and to solve state and regional problems.

  1. Identify Vital Issue Interests of Southern States. Through SGA, governors identify federal issues of regional concern. SGA then closely follows these issues, analyzes their regional impact and communicates information back to the governors’ offices through reports and meetings. On select federal issues, governors and their staffs formulate regional policy and make recommendations.
  2. Advocate Regional Interests in Washington. Through SGA, governors advance their mutual interests in Washington and speak with a unified voice on issues important to the region. Through resolutions, joint letters, Congressional testimony, meetings, and other vehicles, SGA communicates the region’s concerns to Congress, the Administration and federal agencies.
  3. Enhance Regional Cooperation. SGA serves as a forum to expedite cooperation among the southern states in solving regional problems. State initiatives reduce dependence on the federal government, maximize state resources, benefit the individual states, enhance interstate relations and place the South in the forefront of regional cooperation and innovation.
  4. Promote Innovative Southern Programs and Practices. SGA provides comparative policy information to its members on pressing issues. Through report and other mechanisms, SGA facilitates the exchange of information on individual state responses to pressing regional concerns or federal government actions.
Source: SGA website, www.SouthernGovernors.org 01-SGA1 on Sep 9, 2001

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