Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee threw his hat into the 2016 ring today, telling an audience in his hometown Hope that “we need the kind of change that really could get America from Hope to higher ground.”
Huckabee comes into primary season with experience unusual among the current GOP field: He’s previously run for president, finishing first in the 2008 Iowa caucuses and second in the race for delegates.
While entering the race as the top pick of some conservatives, Huckabee stressed that he could still transcend partisanship.
“I governed in a state that was the most lopsided and partisan in the country. No Republican governor had more Democrats and fewer Republicans. I challenged the deeply entrenched political machine that ran this state. My friend, it was tough sledding, but I learned how to govern, and I learned how to lead,” he said. “And even in that environment, we passed 94 tax cuts, rebuilt our road system, saw dramatic improvements in student test scores and fought the corruption of the good old boy system so that working class people would finally be given a fair shake.”
Huckabee said his healthcare policies would focus on prevention and cures “rather than costly intervention.”
“Because hope comes from finding cures for cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s,” he said. “The same way that we once lined up at the courthouse in the 1950s and took our vaccines and eradicated polio.”
“…As president, I’d launch a curative approach to health care and save money and lives, not just save a bunch of government programs.”
In a Huckabee White House, the governor said, “the ayatollahs of Iran will know that hell will freeze over before they get a nuclear weapon.”
“But we’ve lost our way, morally. We’ve witnessed the slaughter of over 55 million babies in the name of choice, and we are now threatening the foundation of religious liberty by criminalizing Christianity and demanding that we abandon biblical principles of natural marriage,” he said. “Many of our politicians have surrendered to the false god of judicial supremacy, which would black-robed and unelected judges the power to make law as well as enforce it, upending the equality of our three branches of government as well as the separation of powers so very central to the Constitution.”
“My friend, the Supreme Court is not the supreme being, and they cannot overturn the laws of nature or of nature’s God.”
Huckabee said the Department of Education should be “expelled,” and education policy “ought to be set by states, local school boards and, best of all, by the moms and dads of the children.”
He also resurrected his Fair Tax proposal, under which “the IRS would disappear and April 15th would be just another beautiful spring day.”
Huckabee said his campaign will be funded by $15 and $25 a month contributions from working people, but “rest assured, if you want to give a million dollars, please do it.”
“I’m just gonna ask you to give something in the name of your children and grandchildren. I walked away from my own income to do this, so I’m not asking you for some sacrifice I’m not willing to make. I don’t have a global foundation or a taxpayer-funded paycheck to live off of. I don’t come from a family dynasty, but a working family. I grew up blue collar, not blue blood,” he added.
“So I ask you to join with me today, not just so I can be president, but so we can preserve this great republic and someday so that your children and grandchildren can still go from Hope to higher ground.”