Mike Huckabee

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Posted by r2d2 03/01/2009 @ 07:40

Tags : mike huckabee, republican, election 2008, politics

News headlines
Mike Huckabee's ode to "fancy" Nancy - Politico
No, really. And, it rhymes! Does the man have a lot of time on his hands or what? But as for keeping secrets, she proved quite a "leaker." There's room for her family, her staff, and even her pets. Even though it was painful to watch her waste our tax...
Huckabee Pens Poem About Pelosi's Claim Of Being Misled By CIA - AHN
Mike Huckabee has issued a unique yet rather effective statement belaboring the speaker. Here's a story about a lady named Nancy A ruthless politician, but dressed very fancy Very ambitious, she got herself elected Speaker But as for keeping secrets,...
Three GOP wise men - Arkansas News
By John Brummett Dick Cheney, Jeb Bush and Mike Huckabee are right. That's how bad it is for Republicans. Cheney is absolutely on target that Colin Powell may as well be a Democrat anymore and that Rush Limbaugh more appropriately represents the...
Navarrette: Infighting in the wilderness - Salt Lake Tribune
Or Bennett could try to play peacemaker between former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee and a group of forward-looking GOP leaders -- including Romney, Rep. Eric Cantor and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush -- whom Huckabee recently mocked...
Grand Old Party sends 'Pied Piper' Mike Huckabee on moral mission - Daily 49er
Mike Huckabee seems to think so. Huckabee, a conservative heavyweight, warned the masses last week that the GOP is at risk of becoming as “irrelevant as the Whigs.” The term “Whigs” represents a US political group in the late 19th century that opposed...
CBS47 Exclusive: One-on-One with Mike Huckabee - CBS 47
Mike Huckabee was the guest of honor Wednesday night, at a dinner at the Visalia Convention Center. Thursday is the National Day of Prayer. Huckabee is a Baptist minister and the keynote speaker at the mayor's prayer breakfast in Visalia....
PAUL HARVEY BIO DUE OUT TUESDAY - KMAS
Mike Huckabee, a frequent guest host for Harvey. The book covers Harvey's life from the beginning of his career, during the Great Depression, and the adversity he dealt with in his early years in broadcasting, as well as how he and his wife,...
Mike Huckabee serves humor, message in Fort Myers - The News-Press
... asking for money and lightheartedly thanking Fort Myers Mayor Jim Humphrey for allowing him to spend Wednesday night sleeping on a downtown bench, Mike Huckabee turned to his speech's message: people are morally responsible for their actions....
4 Dark-Horse Republicans in 2012: Pawlenty, Sanford, Huntsman, and ... - U.S. News & World Report
By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers You already know the names of the Republican stars expected to run for the 2012 presidential nomination: Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, and Sarah Palin. But with the party divided over the direction it...
Mike Huckabee: Keep the GOP the Party of Hate - Tips-Q GLBT News
Mike Huckabee really doesn't like marriage equality. Like, really. He may even be to the right of Maggie Gallagher, the head of the National Organization of Marriage. Huckabee accused the Iowa Supreme Court of striking at the heart of the family when...

Political positions of Mike Huckabee

Mike Huckabee is the former Governor of Arkansas (1996-2007) and was an unsuccessful candidate for the Republican Party nomination for President of the United States in the 2008 presidential election.

Mike Huckabee is strongly opposed to abortion, including in cases of rape or incest. He has stated that abortion should be legal only when the life of the mother is at risk. He believes that it would "most certainly" be a good day for America if Roe v. Wade were repealed.

In one 1996 case, the abortion clinic that performed an abortion on a 15-year-old Arkansas girl who was allegedly raped by her stepfather was denied Medicare reimbursement by Huckabee. The State of Arkansas was involved in a lawsuit to determine whether the state would be required to stop accepting Medicare benefits from the federal government due to a discrepancy between state and federal law. Arkansas voters had approved a 1988 amendment to the state constitution banning public funding for abortions except to save the life of the mother. This was in harmony with the federal law at the time. Federal laws changed in 1993, mandating that Medicare funds also be used for abortions in cases of rape and incest. This caused an abortion opponent to file a lawsuit asking that Arkansas be forced to withdraw from Medicare. The state contended that abortions in cases of rape and incest were being funded by a private trust in order to abide by state law. Huckabee claimed that if Medicare funds were used in those cases, the state risked losing both the lawsuit and about $900 million in federal funding. Huckabee has indicated that he personally opposes public funding for abortions or for organizations that perform or advocate the procedure. He stated the Supreme Court ruling, Roe v Wade, had created a "holocaust of liberalized abortion".

In a 2006 interview, Huckabee said that the legality of abortion "should be left to the states." However, in November 2007 he told Fox News that the federal government should outlaw abortion, stating, "For those of us for whom this is a moral question, you can't simply have 50 different versions of what's right".

Huckabee said that he supports the death penalty, but only reluctantly. He believes that eliminating parole gives no incentive for rehabilitation, and believes that more prisons should be built, and their management should be privatized. As Governor, he granted 1,033 pardons and commutations which is ten times more pardons than Governor Bill Clinton granted during his tenure. Of particular note is his leniency toward inmates who had been 'saved' or 'born again' while in prison. He supports flexible federal block grants for crime programs, and supports tougher juvenile crime penalties, but believes that the states should set them. Huckabee supports drug courts for non-violent drug offenders, believes that drug education fails and drug punishment works, and that stricter penalties for drug-related crimes should be enforced. He opposes the medical use of marijuana, and said he would continue to raid, arrest, prosecute, and imprison patients who are using marijuana as a medicine.

Huckabee believes that incorporating character education into school curricula is necessary, and that when schools fail, the whole school board should be replaced. He supports charter schools, and the displaying of the Ten Commandments in schools. Huckabee is a strong supporter of academic testing. He has called for more federal funding of IDEA for the education of disabled students. Huckabee supports homeschooling.

During his 2008 presidential campaign, Huckabee stated that if elected, he would make the US "energy independent" by the end of a second term. His plan calls for conservation, exploration and the pursuit of alternative energy. He specifically mentions nuclear, wind, solar, hydrogen, clean coal, biodiesel and biomass and he supports federal research and development of these energy sources. Huckabee states that dependence on foreign oil has "not just shaped our foreign policy, it has deformed it". He sees energy independence as vital to an effective foreign policy.

Huckabee has voiced his support for self-defense and the Castle Doctrine, and has generally taken an anti-gun control stance. He believes that the concealed carrying of weapons should be allowed. He has said that whenever he hears people start talking about hunting when referring to the second amendment, he realizes they do not know what they are talking about, because the second amendment was to allow an armed citizenry the opportunity to protect themselves in case a tyrannical government ever came into power.

Huckabee feels that the American health care system focuses too much on treatment and not enough on prevention. He says that America needs a "health" system, not just a "health care" system. He is a strong advocate of healthy living, encouraging Americans to exercise more and eat less.

Huckabee opposes a government-mandated universal health care system, and wants to give citizens more control over their own health care choices.

Huckabee supports increasing George W. Bush's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) from $15 billion to $30 billion over five years.

If the federal government is truly serious about doing something with the AIDS virus, we need to take steps that would isolate the carriers of this plague. It is difficult to understand the public policy towards AIDS. It is the first time in the history of civilization in which the carriers of a genuine plague have not been isolated from the general population, and in which this deadly disease for which there is no cure is being treated as a civil rights issue instead of the true health crisis it represents.

In the same statement, Huckabee also opposed increasing federal funding for HIV/AIDS research and suggested that Hollywood celebrities should provide additional funds instead. Huckabee now supports additional funding for HIV/AIDS research.

In 2001, Huckabee endorsed the use of foreign workers from Canada and Mexico for agricultural labor.

In 2006, Huckabee gave a speech where he said that Hispanic immigration into the US gives Americans a second chance to prove they are not racist by accepting Hispanic immigrants.

In 2006, a Mexican consulate opened in Little Rock. Huckabee strongly supported it. Critics of Huckabee say his support of the Mexican consulate was illegal.

Huckabee believes the requirement of being a natural-born citizen for president should be changed, and costs of legal immigration should be shared between the state and federal government.

In his opening remarks among Hispanic civil rights leaders at a LULAC convention, Huckabee said the nation will need to address the concerns of the Hispanic community because of its growing influence and population base. "Pretty soon, Southern white guys like me may be in the minority," Huckabee said jokingly as the crowd roared in laughter. He told the LULAC delegates that their presence in the state's capital city was very important because Arkansas has one of the fastest growing Hispanic populations in the nation. "Your gathering is so very significant for our state," Huckabee said.

Roy Beck, whose 1.5 million member organization NumbersUSA played a major role in defeating the Senate immigration bill, at first called Huckabee "an absolute disaster as governor of Arkansas... Every time there was any enforcement in his state, he took the side of the illegal aliens." At the time, Huckabee responded by saying if voters are looking for the toughest guy on immigration, he's not their man.

More recently, Roy Beck has been "pleased" with Huckabee's improvement on this issue, after Huckabee officially spelled out his position to require illegals to go to the "back of the line" before returning.

In October 2007 Huckabee said, "We need to make it clear that we will say no to amnesty, and no to sanctuary cities, and no to the idea that there can be some complete ignoring of the fact that our laws have been broken." In February 2007, Huckabee had stated, "We shouldn't have amnesty where we just say, "Fine, everybody's good, we're going to let it go." We should have a process where people can pay the penalties, step up and accept responsibility for not being here legally. But here's the point. The objective is not to be punitive. The objective is to make things right. Right for us. Right for them." Huckabee said it's irrational to deport twelve million people and supported a pathway to citizenship.

Later that month, Huckabee suggested abortion is partly to blame for illegal immigration, saying "It might be that for the last 35 years, we have aborted more than a million people who would have been in our workforce", had abortion not been legalized.

During his bid for President, Huckabee released a comprehensive nine-point immigration enforcement and border security plan. His plan includes building a border fence, increased border patrol personnel, and increases in visas for skilled workers who enter the country legally. He has previously stated he is opposed to using military resources for border patrol. Huckabee's plan would also require all 11-12 million illegal immigrants to register with the federal government and return to their home countries within 120 days. Failure to do so would carry a 10-year ban from entering the US. Huckabee's plan was partly modeled on a ten-point plan proposed in 2005 by Mark Krikorian. Krikorian has said he is pleasantly surprised by the plan.

On January 16, 2008, Huckabee became the first presidential candidate to sign Americans for Better Immigration's No-Amnesty pledge. In response, NumbersUSA raised his rating on illegal immigration to EXCELLENT.

Huckabee has voiced opposition to both same-sex marriage and civil unions. He says that Americans should respect gay couples, but no gay adoptions should take place. He signed legislation outlawing same-sex marriage in Arkansas.

GQ: Is the strategy shifting because social conservatives are losing on those core issues? Ten years ago, it would have been unimaginable to have gay marriage even in liberal Massachusetts. Now it's there. Huckabee: I don't think the issue's about being against gay marriage. It's about being for traditional marriage and articulating the reason that's important. You have to have a basic family structure. There's never been a civilization that has rewritten what marriage and family means and survived.

Huckabee believes that neither the federal government nor state governments should recognize same-sex marriages. He supports amending the United States Constitution to define "marriage" as a union between one man and one woman. Huckabee supported the passage of Covenant Marriage legislation as governor of Arkansas.

Huckabee has said that Wal-Mart is the case study in the genius of the American marketplace. He has said that consumerism is addictive but tranquility is immaterial. Mike Huckabee increased state spending 65.3 percent from 1996 to 2004. During his tenure, the number of state government workers in Arkansas increased over 20 percent, and the state’s general obligation debt increased by approximately $1 billion.

In his book From Hope to Higher Ground, Huckabee expressed support for free trade, but only if it is "fair trade". He identified excess litigation, excess taxation, and excess regulation as three factors contributing to the loss of American jobs.

The 1999 gas and fuel tax hikes were never on the ballot in Arkansas, but Huckabee has told reporters “the fuel tax was a vote of the people—eighty percent of the people voted to improve roads”, and his 2008 presidential campaign manager, Chip Saltsman, has stated that “more than 80% of the voters supported a four cent tax on diesel fuel to fix the roads” and that through the same process voters approved a tax increasing the sales tax by an eighth of a cent to preserve their natural and cultural heritage. Saltsman has said that it would have been in violation of Governor Huckabee’s oath of office to override the voters with respect to the referendums, and concluded that the citizens were responsible for the increases in taxation. However the tax increase was signed into law over two months before the voters approved a bond issue which did not include the gas tax increases.

In January 2007 on Meet the Press, Huckabee said "I think you've got to be very careful. I wouldn’t propose any new taxes. I wouldn’t support any. But if we’re in a situation where we are in a different level of war, where there is no other option, I think that it’s a very dangerous position to make pledges that are outside the most important pledge you make, and that is the oath you take to uphold the Constitution and protect the people of the United States." Grover Norquist, the president of Americans for Tax Reform, who in 2006 called the governor a “serial tax increaser," stated recently, "Gov. Huckabee recognizes that the challenge is to rein in spending and reduce taxes." Huckabee supports the FairTax, which would do away with all federal taxes and replace them with a single national sales tax. In March 2007, Huckabee signed the Presidential Taxpayer Protection Pledge of Americans for Tax Reform, promising not to increase taxes at the federal level. Huckabee cut taxes while governor, which saved Arkansas' citizens close to $380 million. For 2007, his state enjoyed a surplus of nearly $850 million. Huckabee has voiced support for the FairTax system, and wants to eliminate the Internal Revenue Service. He has called FairTax the flatter, fairer, finite, family friendly overhaul. He lowered taxes 94 times, although critics claim that most of these were small deductions that the legislature initiated. He supported the removal of the poorest taxpayers from the tax rolls. However, Huckabee has also been criticized for his fiscal record. Huckabee supported 5 tax increases, prompting the Club for Growth to label him a liberal. He signed bills raising taxes on gasoline in 1999, a $5.25 bed-tax on private nursing home patients in 2001, and publicly opposed the repeal of a sales tax on groceries and medicine in 2002. He believes that states should independently determine estate taxes.

Mike Huckabee is supportive of the War in Afghanistan, and says that the war should not be judged while the United States is in the midst of it.

Huckabee said that the Afghanistan government has been disappointing, but that the U.S. cannot withdraw. He has insisted that neighboring countries should assist the effort militarily and financially.

Huckabee has expressed concern that Guantanamo Bay detention camp is a distraction from the Global War on Terror. Previously, he stated, " more symbolic than it is a substantive issue because people perceive of mistreatment when in fact there are extraordinary means being taken to make sure these detainees are being given really every consideration".

We have to continue the surge, and let me explain why. When I was a little kid, if I went into a store with my mother, she had a simple rule for me: If I picked something off the shelf at the store and I broke it, I bought it. I learned I don't pick something off the shelf I can't afford to buy. Well, what we did in Iraq, we essentially broke it. It's our responsibility to do the best we can to try to fix it before we just turn away. I 100% agree that we can't leave until we've left with honor because, whether or not we should have gone to Iraq is a discussion the historians can have, but we're there. We bought it because we broke it. We've got a responsibility to the honor of this country and to the honor of every man and woman who has served in Iraq and ever served in our military to not leave them with anything less than the honor that they deserve.

Huckabee has visited Israel nine times. The Jewish Russian Telegraph reported that "When asked about a Palestinian state, Gov. Huckabee stated that he supports creating a Palestinian state, but believes that it should be formed outside of Israel. He named Egypt and Saudi Arabia as possible alternatives, noting that the Arabs have far more land than the Israelis and that it would only be fair for other Arab nations to give the Palestinians land for a state, rather than carving it out of the tiny Israeli state." He calls Israel an "ally", "America's greatest friend in the region", and says Israel should have access to advanced weapons and technology.

Huckabee supports increasing President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) from $15 billion to $30 billion over five years. He also supports more funding to fight tuberculosis and malaria.

Huckabee, an ordained Southern Baptist minister, has highlighted his religious views during his time as governor, and in some of his presidential campaign advertisements. He has called himself the "Christian Leader", and suggested that being a pastor is "pretty good preparation to lead a country." Critics, including presidential rival Mitt Romney, have accused Huckabee of using the religion issue for political advantage, pointing out that otherwise identical ads often do not include the "Christian Leader" claim.

In 1998, Huckabee said, "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." The same year he endorsed the Baptist convention's statement of beliefs on marriage that "a wife is to submit graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ," signing a full-page ad in USA Today in support of the statement with 129 other evangelical leaders. In 1998 he also stated, "Politics are totally directed by worldview. That's why when people say, 'We ought to separate politics from religion,' I say to separate the two is absolutely impossible".

In December 2007, Huckabee was accused by many media outlets of including a subliminal image of a cross in the background of his Christmas campaign advertisement.

On NBC's Meet The Press on December 31, 2007, Huckabee stood by a decade-old comment in which he said, "I hope we answer the alarm clock and take this nation back for Christ." In the same interview he said if elected, he would have no problem appointing atheists to government posts.

On January 14, 2008, he stated that "I believe it's a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living God. And that's what we need to do -- to amend the Constitution so it's in God's standards rather than try to change God's standards so it lines up with some contemporary view." He later clarified this as referring to the "right to life" amendment that has been part of the Republican platform since 1980, and his support for a constitutional amendment against homosexual marriage.

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Mike Huckabee presidential campaign, 2008

Mike Huckabee giving a speech in 2004

Mike Huckabee, former Governor of Arkansas, announced his candidacy for the Republican Party nomination for the 2008 presidential election in the United States on January 28 2007. Huckabee ended his bid for the Republican Nomination, after losing the Texas Republican primary on March 4, 2008.

Huckabee's campaign began with a first quarter fundraising total lower than many of the front-running Republican candidates, raising $544,880. Huckabee said that he found it difficult to move forward in a race "ruled by candidates with the biggest names." In early August Iowa polls, Huckabee placed second in the August 11 Iowa Straw Poll with 18.1 percent. He won the onsite polling of the Family Research Council Values Voters Summit of October 21 2007, with 51% of the vote, and has garnered a celebrity endorsement from actor Chuck Norris.

In December 2007, Huckabee began challenging other candidates for first in national polls among Republicans. As of January 2, was polling third within the margin of error of first with Rudy Giuliani and John McCain. On January 3, 2008, Huckabee won the Iowa Republican Caucuses with 34% of the electorate. On Super Tuesday, Huckabee won an additional 6 states, including most of the Deep South. On March 4th, 2008, Mike Huckabee officially ended his campaign by conceding victory of the Republican Presidential Nomination to John McCain.

Grover Norquist, the president of Americans for Tax Reform, who in 2006 called the governor a "serial tax increaser," stated recently, "Gov. Huckabee recognizes that the challenge is to rein in spending and reduce taxes." Huckabee supports the Fair Tax, which would do away with all federal taxes and replace them with a single national sales tax. In March 2007, Huckabee signed the Presidential Taxpayer Protection Pledge of Americans for Tax Reform, promising not to increase taxes at the federal level.

On April 3, 2007, Huckabee's campaign reported that it had raised only $500,000 in the first quarter of 2007, much less than rival candidates. The numbers prompted speculation in Arkansas that Huckabee might abandon the Presidential race for a U.S. Senate race against first-term Democrat Mark Pryor. Huckabee denied any plans to do this, and Huckabee campaign manager Chip Saltsman claimed that the campaign had actually surpassed its first quarter fund raising goal.

On April 23, 2007, Huckabee finished second in a South Carolina straw poll conducted by the local Republican parties in Greenville, Spartanburg and Richland counties with 111 votes behind former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. That same day, Huckabee said that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is "creating a major distraction for the President and for the administration and for the Republican Party," and suggested that perhaps Gonzales should consider resigning due to the current controversy surrounding him.

Huckabee participated in the May 3, 2007 Republican Presidential Debates along with the party's other nine declared candidates. Huckabee expressed support of a FairTax, a balanced budget with reduced spending, making the Bush administration's 2001 and 2003 tax cuts permanent, combating climate change, and comprehensive immigration reform. Political analyst and former Clinton and Huckabee adviser Dick Morris said Huckabee performed well, asserting that he was the "most original" candidate, especially with his explanation of the pro-life platform; and that his articulation was "novel and intriguing." Huckabee was one of three candidates in the debate who said that they do not believe in human evolution.

Huckabee generated even better reviews from his performance in the May 15, 2007 Republican Presidential Debates. He delivered what CNN commentator David Gergen called "the funniest line of the night" when he said that "e've had a Congress that's spent money like John Edwards at a beauty shop," a reference to the report of Edwards, a 2008 Democratic Presidential candidate, spending $800 of campaign money on two haircuts. Many supporters of the FairTax plan were also impressed by Huckabee's unfettered support of that proposed policy.

Huckabee said on May 16 that, if his campaign falters, he would have to think long and hard before agreeing to become a vice-presidential candidate on a ticket whose presidential candidate believes that abortion should remain legal. "This is an issue to me that is very critical. It's one of the reasons that I got into politics because I believe the manner in which we treat innocent life and the matter in which we respect human life, at whatever stage ... is an incredibly powerful statement about who we are as a people," Huckabee told reporters in a conference call in South Carolina.

The Huckabee campaign announced on Friday, June 8, that the former Governor would participate in the Iowa Republican Party's Straw Poll, scheduled for Saturday, August 11, 2007 in Ames, at Iowa State University. An Iowa poll conducted in mid-June showed Huckabee in fourth place with 7 percent; ahead of John McCain and Sam Brownback. More recently, an ABC News/Washington Post poll showed Huckabee at 8%, tied with John McCain. That is the highest Huckabee had polled in that state.

Political analyst and former Bill Clinton campaign manager Dick Morris called Huckabee his favorite among the bottom-tier candidates on Hannity and Colmes on July 3. Huckabee began a grassroots movement in Iowa, and stumped throughout the state during the month of July. In a July 9, 2007 interview, Huckabee said that his solution for ending the ongoing violence in Iraq would include a troop increase and seeking additional support from other nations in the Middle East. He was a guest on Fox News' 'The Neal Cavuto Show' on Friday, July 20, and then returned to Iowa for numerous Meet Mike Huckabee events. He traveled to Amarillo, Texas on July 22 to give a sermon at The Church at Quail Creek. Huckabee continued to keep a busy schedule in Iowa in late July; he traveled to Muscatine and was a guest on the conservative radio talk show The Right Balance with host Greg Allen on July 24.

An Iowa poll conducted on July 26 placed Huckabee far behind front-runners Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson, but ahead of second tier candidates Tom Tancredo, Ron Paul, Duncan Hunter, and Tommy Thompson. Huckabee has also agreed to be part of a Cancer Forum in Iowa on August 28, held by cancer survivor Lance Armstrong. In the summer of 2007, Huckabee began to become closely compared to Kansas Senator Sam Brownback, also a Presidential candidate, for their similar socially conservative views. Huckabee and Brownback have been said to be the top candidates among evangelicals and other Christians. Huckabee has tried to separate himself from Brownback (and seems to have succeeded, Brownback having dropped from the campaign) whom he saw as his main rival at that point. When asked what separates him from Brownback, he said that "the key difference is I've actually been a Governor for ten and a half years and I've run a government." He also said that no senator has been elected since JFK, and "frankly there's a good reason for that." Several polls in the state have placed Huckabee ahead of Brownback; a Mason-Dixon poll placed him at 7% with Brownback at 6. Huckabee acknowledged their similarities and said that "without a doubt, we're going after the same voters." Other sources have expressed concern that there is room for only one of them in the race, and that if Huckabee comes out on top, Brownback will struggle to raise money and vice versa.

Mike Huckabee appeared on the CBS Evening News on August 1 to discuss the Iowa Straw Poll and his ongoing campaign in Iowa. He was among the Republican debaters in Iowa on August 5, and came in with 8 percent support in a pre-debate poll, tying with John McCain and ahead of his main competitor Sam Brownback who came in with 5 percent. Huckabee was pleased with the results, which showed that he was ahead of all of his second-tier candidates, and said "we think a great sign for us because it shows that when other candidates are standing still or moving backwards we clearly are moving forward." An Iowa focus group gave Huckabee high marks after the debate, citing that he gave "honest and clear answers" to the questions. As the August 11 Iowa straw poll draws near, Huckabee's campaign manager Chip Saltsman has said to supporters that a strong showing in the poll will vault the campaign into the top-tier.

In the days before the Iowa Straw Poll, potential but undeclared Republican candidate Newt Gingrich commented that Huckabee is "the most interesting dark horse," and that he will catch on with Republican Primary voters. He also said that Huckabee has a level of authenticity and candor that is beginning to resonate with people. Huckabee appeared on Hardball with Chris Matthews on August 8 and discussed his standing in the polls as well as the upcoming straw poll.

In the week following the Straw Poll, Huckabee scheduled a trip to New Hampshire, seen as the next battleground state. He is scheduled to spend August 17 to the 20th in that state attending picnics and spaghetti dinners, and meeting with local pastors. When Huckabee appeared on Fox News' Hannity and Colmes to discuss his straw poll showing and future plans, he expressed confidence in his New Hampshire effort and said that "we have a great team in New Hampshire. I'm very confident we're going to surprise people in New Hampshire just like we did Iowa. Also in the week following the Straw Poll, Huckabee continued to talk of the momentum his campaign gained from his 2nd place showing. He told reporters that "it was a great day for us and the results have been pretty dramatic. We had over 1,000 first-time contributors from Saturday night to Tuesday morning online and the phones have not stopped ringing." In all, Huckabee experienced more media exposure in one week than he had in the past 6 months. He appeared on such shows as Hardball with Chris Matthews," "Kudlow & Company," "Hannity & Colmes," The Early Show," "Your World with Neil Cavuto" and the Laura Ingraham radio show.

Huckabee's media exposure continued to grow when he appeared on The Colbert Report on August 16 and the season premiere of Real Time with Bill Maher on August 24. Colbert jokingly attributed Huckabee's success in the Ames Straw Poll to "the Colbert bump" in reference to Huckabee's two prior appearances on the show while Maher remarked, "Rudy Giuliani scares the hell out of me so I hope you win, and the good news for you, on your birthday, is that this year a Republican dark horse could win." The coverage from Colbert instigated the Who Made Huckabee? mock feud.

Huckabee starred in what pundits called the highlight of the New Hampshire Republican Debate on September 5th, sparring with Congressman Ron Paul in a heated exchange over the war in Iraq and the United States' obligation to the Iraqi people. After Paul stated that U.S. foreign policy is dragging the Republican Party down, Huckabee responded, "Even if we lose elections, we should not lose our honor, and that is more important than the Republican Party." As the third quarter closed, Huckabee was reported to have missed a major GOP conference in Michigan because his campaign could not afford a charter flight. Huckabee rebounded his finances before the end of the third quarter, however, reporting $651,301 on hand. In late September, Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and former President Bill Clinton said in separate interviews that Huckabee will catch on with Republican primary voters, and called him most likely "dark horse" candidate to win.

Huckabee came in second place in the Family Research Council Value Voters Summit straw poll with 27.15%, behind former Massachusetts Governor Romney, but won among onsite voters with 51.26 percent of onsite votes at the Washington, DC meeting. On October 22, actor Chuck Norris announced his endorsement of Huckabee in a release on Huckabee's website. Norris said that "I believe the only one who has all of the characteristics to lead America forward into the future is ex-Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. Mike Huckabee is the real deal." On The Sean Hannity Show on October 22, debate analyst Frank Luntz said "I think Mike Huckabee's coming in 2nd in Iowa." In late October, following the Republican Presidential Debate in Orlando, Florida, Huckabee's website traffic increased to more than that of all of the other Republican candidates except for Ron Paul. On October 25, a national Rasmussen poll gave Huckabee his highest polling number yet - 10%. Talk show host Bill O'Reilly, who was a skeptic of Huckabee's success, had previously made a bet with Dick Morris that Huckabee would never reach double digits.

There was controversy when Huckabee was asked about responses he gave on a questionnaire during his 1992 race for the U.S. Senate. Huckabee stated in 1992, "I feel is an aberrant, unnatural, and sinful lifestyle, and we now know it can pose a dangerous public health risk." He also suggested that AIDS patients should be "isolated from the general population." He stuck by those comments in December 2007 when asked if homosexuality is sinful. He replied, "Well I believe it would be -- just like lying is sinful and stealing is sinful. There are a lot of things that are sinful. It doesn't mean that a person is a horrible person. It means that they engage in behavior that is outside the norms of those boundaries of our traditional view of what's right and what's wrong. So, I think that anybody who has, maybe a traditional worldview of homosexuality would classify that as an unusual behavior that is not traditional and that would be outside those bounds." He also defended his statements about isolation of AIDS patients, claiming that in 1992 "we were still learning about the virus that causes AIDS." Huckabee's poll numbers have risen consistently through November and December. On November 15, 2007, Huckabee was recorded as placing second in Iowa in an American Research Group poll at 24%. This was only 2% points lower than the leader Mitt Romney. Polls in early December placed Huckabee ahead of Romney in Iowa by as much as 5 points in a poll by the Des Moines Register, and 3 points in a Rasmussen poll.

On November 16, 2007, Huckabee was recorded as placing second, for the first time, in a nation-wide poll, garnering 12% of presidential tracking poll by Rassmussen Reports. He was tied with Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson. On December 1, 2007, Huckabee moved up to 15%, his highest percentage yet - and he surpassed Giuliani on December 5 with 20% of Republican voters supporting him nationally versus Giuliani's 17%. On December 19, Huckabee tied with Giuliani in the national Reuters/Zogby poll.

On January 3, 2008, actual delegate selections began. Huckabee was declared the winner of the Iowa Republican caucus, with 34 percent of the vote, nine percentage points ahead of his chief Iowa rival, Mitt Romney.

On January 8, 2008, Huckabee finished third place in the New Hampshire primary, behind John McCain in first place, and Mitt Romney who finished second, with Huckabee receiving one more delegate for a total of 18 delegates, gained via elections, and 21 total delegates, verses 30 total (24 via elections) for Romney, and 10 for McCain (all via elections).

On January 15, 2008, Huckabee finished in third place in the Michigan primary, behind John McCain in second place, Mitt Romney who finished first and ahead of Ron Paul who finished in fourth place.

On January 19, 2008, Huckabee finished in second place in the South Carolina primary, behind John McCain who finished first.

On February 5, 2008, Huckabee won the first contest of "Super Tuesday" by winning the West Virginia GOP state convention by winning 52% of the electorate to Mitt Romney's 47%. Backers of rival John McCain threw him their support to prevent Mitt Romney from capturing the winner-take-all GOP state convention vote. He also registered victories in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia and Tennessee on Super Tuesday, bringing his delegate count up to 156, a distant third compared to 689 for Republican Party front-runner John McCain and Mitt Romney's 286, according to the 2008 Republican presidential primaries and caucuses.

On February 9, 2008, Huckabee won the first election following Super Tuesday, by winning 60% of the vote in the Kansas Republican Caucuses. This was also the first contest to be held with out Mitt Romney, who was said to be splitting the conservative vote with Huckabee and some pundits suggested it was the reason for Huckabee's landslide victory. Huckabee also won the Louisiana Republican Primary with 44% of the vote to John McCain's 43% in second. Although Huckabee won the primary he was not awarded any delegates, because of the state party rules that state a candidate must pass the 50% threshold to receive the state's pledged delegates.

Huckabee asked a New York Times Magazine reporter, "Don't Mormons believe that Jesus and the Devil are brothers," saying that he didn't know a lot about the . A spokeswoman for the church says that this statement is more often used as a smear against Mormons. is LDS and some feel that his statement was an attack on his religion.

Huckabee has criticized Fred Thompson on his stance on abortion and gay marriage. Thompson has stated that such issues should be left to the states to decide. Thompson returned the criticism by criticizing Huckabee on immigration and taxes.

Mitt Romney criticized Huckabee on immigration by stating, "Giving a better deal to the children of illegal aliens than we give to US citizens from surrounding states is simply not fair and not right." Huckabee responded, "I guess Mitt Romney would rather keep people out of college so they can keep working on his lawn, since he had illegals there." Previously, Huckabee had criticized Romney for claiming to have been a hunter.

The Club for Growth criticized Huckabee in November 2007 over inconsistencies in how Huckabee represents his tax record, specifically regarding the 1999 gas and diesel fuel tax hikes. The 1999 gas and fuel tax hikes were never on the ballot in Arkansas, but Huckabee has told reporters that “the fuel tax was a vote of the people—eighty percent of the people voted to improve roads” However, FactCheck.org, after looking at the nuances of the issue in detail, states "Huckabee seems to be describing the plan he wanted rather than the plan he actually supported," which was a compromise plan arrived at after much political wrangling.

Huckabee received further criticism in early January 2008 when, having previously agreed to try to work with unions if elected, he then proceeded to cross a WGA Writer's Strike picket line in order to appear on The Tonight Show.

In most of the primaries, the conservative votes had been split between Huckabee and Romney while Romney was in the race. Due to Huckabee's third-place standing in the delegate count and his refusal to concede, some prominent conservative pundits had charged that "a vote for Huckabee equals a vote for McCain", and that Huckabee's actions hinted to a possible bid to a vice presidency or cabinet position for Huckabee in McCain's administration, should McCain win the Presidency.

McCain and Huckabee have had a cordial relationship during the campaign, which has been questioned by those who see Huckabee campaigning from a strong social conservative platform while McCain is seen by many as socially moderate or liberal.

On Super Tuesday in West Virginia, McCain supporters threw their support to Huckabee, which resulted in a highly publicized Huckabee win early on Tuesday. Romney had been leading there in the polls prior to the primary. This strategy likely both increased the number of votes given to Huckabee and reduced the number that went to Romney of those voting Tuesday evening. The strategy appears to have been successful as Romney suspended his campaign two days later after a poor showing in Super Tuesday.

On September 7, Huckabee sent an open letter to Fred Thompson inviting him to participate in a Lincoln-Douglas style debate. "I share your view of the debates and agree that Newt's 'Nine Nineties in Nine' concept is a far better way to make sure America's next President has the character and capacity to lead our nation forward, and that's why I have already signed that pledge," Huckabee wrote in his letter. "I agree that what is needed is a real discussion by the candidates about their vision for the future of our country." He suggested that the first debate be held in New Hampshire.

In late January 2008, after finishing 2nd in the January 19 South Carolina primary, the Huckabee campaign faced significant financial setbacks, due to a decrease in cash flow expectations after not meeting the expectation of winning the first in the south primary. This caused Huckabee to ask some senior staff members to work without pay, and put uncertainty on the future of his campaign and how long Huckabee will be able to compete financially.

Mike Huckabee's campaign has used various forms of media to reach out to voters. Beginning in March 2007, Huckabee created a YouTube account to update followers of his campaign with videos. Since then, more than 90 videos have been posted. Huckabee also initially formed a website at www.explorehuckabee.com, in which he based his exploratory committee. When he officially announced his candidacy, he moved the website to www.mikehuckabee.com. Huckabee also has an official MySpace account, in which he has over 16,000 friends. In addition, Huckabee has created a Facebook page, in which he has over 30,000 supporters.

Huckabee plays the bass guitar in a band known as Capitol Offense. He has performed with the band at numerous events throughout his campaign, including at a troop rally in New Hampshire in July. Earlier in 2007, the band played at a National Governors Association staff party in Des Moines, Iowa. On January 2, Mike Huckabee played the guitar along with the Tonight Show Band on the Tonight Show With Jay Leno.

During his campaign, Huckabee made frequent appearances on late night television shows including The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Late Show with David Letterman, Saturday Night Live, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson and The Colbert Report.

Mike Huckabee has generated a considerable following of young voters, primarily because of his support of the Fair Tax as well as his concerns about global warming, education, and several other issues typically not referred to by Republicans .

Huckabee has also gained considerable popularity from his frequent appearances on The Daily Show, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and The Colbert Report, all of which have considerably younger viewers.

In the early part of 2008, there was a comedic on-air "feud" between Conan O'Brien (host of Late Night with Conan O'Brien), Stephen Colbert (host of The Colbert Report), and later Jon Stewart (host of The Daily Show), with the three men taking credit for Huckabee's success and popularity among young voters, saying that they "made Huckabee".

On February 7, 2008, Huckabee made a trip to New York to appear on The Tyra Banks Show, a popular show with younger women, and later that night, went back on The Colbert Report to declare he was still a candidate in the race and played a game of air hockey with the host, Stephen Colbert.

On February 23, 2008, Huckabee appeared on the Weekend Update portion of Saturday Night Live to explain why he was still in the election despite the "mathematical impossibility" of him winning the nomination. After an explanation by Seth Meyers about why he cannot win, Huckabee said that he would "not overstay his welcome" if he did not win the nomination.

In a debate, Huckabee claimed to have gained 48 percent of the black vote, a feat seldom reached by Republican candidates since the 1930s. However, this figure was based on a very small sample of blacks polled at exit polls; the actual number has been estimated at 20%.

On January 21, 2008 Mike Huckabee received the endorsement of 50 African-American leaders in Atlanta, Georgia . The endorsers cited Huckabee's record on life, education, minorities, the economy, the prison system, and immigration as Arkansas governor.

Hip-Hop 4 Huckabee, a blog targeted to young African-American voters, features several highlights of Huckabee's speeches and policies that tend to the needs of the black community.

Governor Huckabee's notable endorsements include five current United States congressmen (including former presidential candidate Duncan Hunter), conservative leaders such as Focus on the Family chairman James Dobson, Minuteman Project founder Jim Gilchrist, and Liberty University chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr..

Huckabee has also benefited from the support of actor Chuck Norris, with whom he recorded a TV ad and who held a fundraiser for him. Huckabee has also been endorsed by professional wrestler "The Nature Boy" Ric Flair and boxer Roy Jones Jr.

Some Huckabee endorsements have come from groups who don't typically support Republicans. He is the only Republican endorsed by a major labor union (having the support of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers) and has been endorsed by 50 African-American political and religious leaders. He also has the support of one of Texas's largest newspapers, the Dallas Morning News.

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Mike Huckabee

Mike Huckabee

Michael Dale "Mike" Huckabee (born August 24, 1955) is a Republican politician and political commentator for Fox News Channel who served as governor of Arkansas from 1996 to 2007. Huckabee finished third in the 2008 United States Republican presidential primaries; he announced his candidacy on January 28, 2007. Following losses to John McCain in the Texas, Ohio, Vermont, and Rhode Island primaries, McCain became the presumptive Republican nominee and Huckabee exited the race on March 4, 2008.

Huckabee is the author of several books, an ordained Southern Baptist minister and a public speaker. He and his wife, Janet, have been married 33 years and have three grown children: John Mark, David, and Sarah.

Huckabee's first job, at 14, was working at a radio station where he read the news and weather. He was elected Governor of Arkansas Boys State in 1972 and is a Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership Alumnus. He was student council president at Hope High School in 1973. He has one sister, Pat (Harris) who is a middle school teacher.

Huckabee married Janet McCain on May 25, 1974. He graduated magna cum laude from Ouachita Baptist University, completing his bachelor's degree in Religion in 2½ years before attending Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. He dropped out of seminary after one year in order to take a job in Christian broadcasting. He has two honorary doctoral degrees: a Doctor of Humane Letters, received from John Brown University in 1991, and a Doctor of Laws from Ouachita Baptist University in 1992.

Huckabee was an Alumni member of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity.

At 21, Huckabee was a staffer for James Robison, a television evangelist. Robison commented, "His convictions shape his character and his character will shape his policies. His whole life has been shaped by moral absolutes." Huckabee has stated, "Politics are totally directed by worldview. That's why when people say, 'We ought to separate politics from religion,' I say to separate the two is absolutely impossible". Huckabee believes in Biblical inerrancy. Prior to his political career, Huckabee served as pastor at Beech Street Baptist Church in Texarkana from 1980–1986 and then at Immanuel Baptist Church in Pine Bluff, Arkansas from 1986–1992. In both Texarkana and Pine Bluff Huckabee started 24-hour television stations "where he produced documentaries and hosted a program called Positive Alternatives. He encouraged the all-white Immanuel Baptist Church to accept black members in the mid 1980s. He served as president of a religion-oriented television station. In 1989 Huckabee ran against the Rev. Dr. Ronnie Floyd of Springdale for the presidency of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention. Huckabee won and served as president from 1989 to 1991.

In 1992, in Huckabee's first political race, he lost to incumbent Senator Dale Bumpers (D), receiving 40 percent of the vote in the general election. That same election saw Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton ascend to the Presidency, making Lieutenant Governor Jim Guy Tucker the new Governor. Huckabee narrowly won a special election for lieutenant governor on July 27, 1993. He defeated Nate Coulter, who had been Bumpers' campaign manager the previous year (51%-49%). Huckabee became only the second Republican since Reconstruction to serve as Arkansas lieutenant governor, the first being Maurice Britt from 1967 to 1971.

In 1994, Huckabee was re-elected to a full term as lieutenant governor, beating Democrat Charlie Cole Chaffin with nearly 59 percent of the vote. While Lieutenant Governor, Huckabee accepted $71,500 in speaking fees and traveling expenses from a nonprofit group, Action America. R. J. Reynolds was the group's largest contributor.

In October 1995, David Pryor announced that he was retiring from the United States Senate. Huckabee then announced he was running for the open seat and moved well ahead in the polls. He won the Republican nomination unopposed.

During his campaign, Huckabee opposed in December then-Governor Tucker's plan for a constitutional convention. The plan was defeated by voters 20 percent-80 percent in a special election. In January 1996, Huckabee campaigned in televised ads paid for by the Republican National Committee and the Arkansas Republican Party against a highway referendum. Tucker supported the referendum, which included tax increases and a bond program, to improve 1,300 miles (2,100 km) of highway. On the referendum, the bond question, which included a sales tax increase and a gas tax increase, lost 13 percent-87 percent. A second question, a five-cent increase on diesel tax, lost 14 percent-86 percent. Huckabee also opposed Tucker's plan for school consolidation.

In May 1996 Tucker, involved in the Whitewater scandal, was convicted "on one count of arranging nearly $3 million in fraudulent loans" and he promised to resign by July 15. Huckabee then announced he would quit the Senate race and instead fill the unexpired term of Tucker.

Huckabee announced his run for the White House on Meet the Press on January 28, 2007.

At the August 11 Iowa Straw Poll, Huckabee took second place with 2,587 votes, roughly 18 percent. Huckabee spent $57.98 per vote in the Straw Poll, which is the lowest among the top three finishers. Huckabee drew attention with an unconventional ad featuring Chuck Norris. In a later ad Huckabee wished voters a merry Christmas, and said that "what really matters is the celebration of the birth of Christ." Critics accused him of exploiting the issue of religion, which he denied. According to the Associated Press, on NBC's Meet The Press on December 31, 2007, Huckabee "stood by" a 1998 comment in which he said, "I hope we answer the alarm clock and take this nation back for Christ." Huckabee told NBC that his comment was "appropriate to be said to a gathering of Southern Baptists." Huckabee has credited divine intervention with some of his political success.

On January 3, 2008, Huckabee won the Iowa Republican caucuses, receiving 34% of the electorate and 17 delegates, compared to the 25% of Mitt Romney who finished second, receiving 12 delegates, Fred Thompson who came in third place and received three delegates, John McCain who came in fourth place and received three delegates and Ron Paul who came in fifth place and received two delegates.

On January 8, 2008, Huckabee finished in third place in the New Hampshire primary, behind John McCain in first place, and Mitt Romney who finished second, with Huckabee receiving one more delegate for a total of 18 delegates, gained via elections, and 21 total delegates, versus 30 total (24 via elections) for Romney, and 10 for McCain (all via elections).

On January 15, 2008, Huckabee finished in third place in the Michigan Republican primary, 2008, behind John McCain in second place, Mitt Romney who finished first and ahead of Ron Paul who finished in fourth place.

On January 19, 2008, Huckabee finished in second place in the South Carolina Republican primary, 2008, behind John McCain who finished first and ahead of Fred Thompson who finished third.

On January 29, 2008, Huckabee finished in fourth place in the Florida primary, behind Rudy Guliani in third, Mitt Romney in second, and John McCain in first place.

On February 5, 2008, Huckabee won the first contest of "Super Tuesday", the West Virginia GOP state convention, winning 52% of the electorate to Mitt Romney's 47%. Backers of rival John McCain threw him their support to prevent Mitt Romney from capturing the winner-take-all GOP state convention vote. Huckabee also registered victories in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia and Tennessee on Super Tuesday, bringing his delegate count up to 156, compared to 689 for Republican party front-runner John McCain.

On February 9, 2008, Huckabee won the first election following Super Tuesday, by winning 60% of the vote in the Kansas Republican Caucuses. This was also the first contest to be held without Mitt Romney, who was said to be splitting the conservative vote with Huckabee and some pundits suggested it was the reason for Huckabee's landslide victory. Huckabee also won the Louisiana Republican Primary with 44% of the vote to John McCain's 43% in second. Although Huckabee won the primary he was not awarded any delegates, because of the state party rules that state a candidate must pass the 50% threshold to receive the state's pledged delegates.

On March 4, 2008, Huckabee withdrew from seeking the candidacy as it became apparent he would lose in Texas, where he had hoped to win and that John McCain would get the 1191 delegates required to win the Republican nomination.

On June 12, 2008 Fox News announced the hiring of Mike Huckabee as a political commentator and regular contributor to their 2008 American presidential election coverage, in their New York election headquarters.

Huckabee recently completed his seventh book, titled Do The Right Thing: Inside the Movement That's Bringing Common Sense Back to America which was released on November 18, 2008.

Even though Huckabee had signed a television contract and a book deal with a pressing deadline, he was mentioned by most to be on John McCain's short list for his Vice Presidential running mate. Huckabee was eventually passed over for Sarah Palin. Before his passing, the popular pundit Tim Russert even referred to Huckabee as "Vice President Huckabee" several times when he appeared on Meet The Press on May 18, 2008.

Huckabee also gave a speech at the 2008 Republican National Convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota on September 3rd. In the speech, he expressed support for presidential candidate John McCain, giving an account of McCain's experience as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.

Huckabee hosts a weekend show, Huckabee, on Fox News. The show premiered Saturday September 27, 2008, at 8 PM EST.

Huckabee filled in for Paul Harvey in July 2008. A few months later, he signed a deal with ABC Radio Networks to carry a daily commentary, The Huckabee Report, beginning in January 2009.

Due to his association with the FairTax, in August 2008, Huckabee was interviewed by Life Is My Movie Entertainment and will be featured in the documentary about taxes and tax reform, An Inconvenient Tax due to be released in 2009.

In a November 19, 2008 article by the Associated Press, Huckabee addressed the possibility of running for President in 2012. He said, "I'm not ruling anything out for the future, but I'm not making any specific plans".

Marc Ambinder has identified him as the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012.

Amid speculation about a future run for the Presidency, a CNN poll in December 2008 found Huckabee at the top of the list of 2012 GOP contenders, along with Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin, fellow 2008 Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.

Huckabee was made the chair of the Southern Governors' Association in 1999 and served in capacity through 2000. He has chaired the Southern Growth Policies Board, the Southern Region Education Board, the Southern Technology Council, the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, and the Education Commission of the States. He is also a member of the Republican Governors Association and former chairman of the National Governors Association. Huckabee is presently the chairman of a conservative PAC called the Vertical Politics Institute.

Huckabee's personality has been described in positive terms as "gentle and warm", "charming", "friendly, teddy-bear", and "engaging, warm, relaxed, and persuasive". Huckabee's personality has been described in negative terms as "petty, thin-skinned, self-righteous," and "somewhat vindictive". Mixed descriptions include "best of leaders and the worst of thin-skinned pols" and "charming and aloof".

In 2000, the Arkansas Governor's Mansion was being renovated and Huckabee moved into a mobile home. The move became the topic of jokes. "It's not a trailer. It's a triple wide," Huckabee said. Huckabee jokingly told Jay Leno that the 2,100-square-foot (200 m2), $110,000 trailer donated by the Arkansas Manufactured Housing Association, "was big enough for your chin." Huckabee said the move saved the state substantial money because support and security staff did not have to move to a new rented location.

Over the years, Huckabee has made a number of public statements that have drawn criticism, including comparing his weight loss to the experience of a concentration camp, for which the National Jewish Democratic Council chastised Huckabee; his joking about suicide while speaking of fundraising efforts by himself and his opponents in the Republican primaries, for which he was criticized by various suicide awareness groups; and his asking "Don't Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?" when discussing Mitt Romney's religion.

In December 2007, Huckabee was criticized for his comments subsequent to the assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. He said that Pakistan has more illegal immigrants to the United States than any country but Mexico. However, INS data indicates that Pakistan is nowhere near the top of the list. Moreover, some questioned why he made a connection between Bhutto's death and immigration. In January 2008, in an interview with the website Beliefnet, Huckabee said "I think the radical view is to say that we're going to change the definition of marriage so that it can mean two men, two women, a man and three women, a man and a child, a man and animal." Huckabee has been criticized by Talking Points Memo, which interpreted his comment as equating homosexuality with paedophilia and bestiality.

After rejection of the Bailout Bill on September 29, 2008, he appeared on Fox News and repeatedly blamed "Market to Market" rules (presumably meaning 'Mark to Market'). The phrase has a very literal and descriptive meaning (ascribe value (mark) at current (market) value).

Although Huckabee has stated that he never smoked nor drank, he declared himself a "recovering foodaholic". Huckabee has publicly recounted his previous burdens as an obese man: the steps of the Arkansas capitol from the entrance of the building up to the Governor's office were so long and steep that he would be out of breath and exhausted by the time he reached the top of the stairs. He secretly feared that he would be interviewed by media at the top of the steps, and that he would be too out of breath to respond.

Huckabee has discussed his weight loss and used health care reform as a major focus of his governorship.

At an August 2007 forum on cancer hosted by Lance Armstrong, Huckabee said he would support a federal smoking ban, but has stated that he believes the issue is best addressed by state and local governments.

Huckabee's band, Capitol Offense, has played for political events and parties, including entertaining at unofficial inaugural balls in Washington, D.C. in January 2001 and later again 2005, both organized and promoted by the conservative website Free Republic as well as the 2004 GOP Convention.

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Governorship of Mike Huckabee

Huckabee in 2004

Tucker, insisting he had a strong case for appeal, rescinded his resignation as Huckabee was preparing to be sworn in, but within a few hours reinstated his resignation after Huckabee threatened to initiate impeachment proceedings against Tucker. Huckabee was sworn in as Governor of Arkansas on July 15, 1996. In November 1998, Huckabee was elected to a full four-year term by defeating retired Colonel Gene McVay in the primary and Jonesboro attorney Bill Bristow in the general election, becoming the state's third elected Republican Governor since Reconstruction. In November 2002, Huckabee was reelected to his second four-year term by defeating State Treasurer Jimmie Lou Fisher, garnering 53 percent of the vote. By the end of his term, Huckabee owned the third-longest tenure of any Arkansas Governor. Only Democrats Orval Faubus, who served six consecutive two-year terms (1955–1967), and Bill Clinton, who served 11 years, 11 months (1979–1981; 1983–1992), had longer tenures.

In late 1996, Huckabee campaigned for ballot Amendment 1, a plan to adjust property tax rules to make school funding more equal across the state, and Amendment 2, a constitutional amendment increasing the state sales tax 0.125 percent to improve the state's park system and natural resources. As part of the campaign, Huckabee traveled the entire length of the Arkansas River within Arkansas by boat. Amendment 1 passed 52%-48% and Amendment 2 passed 51%-49%.

Huckabee signed legislation to create a health insurance program which extended coverage to children of lower-income families, to be funded in part by Medicaid, SCHIP, and a tobacco industry lawsuit settlement. The program, ARKids First, reduced the number of uninsured children to nine percent (compared with 12 percent for the nation) in 2003. Also in his first year as governor Huckabee signed a partial birth abortion ban and a $7.6 Million Smart Start program for primary school students to learn "the basic skills of reading, math, and character." Huckabee vetoed a $140 million bill for capital improvements. The Arkansas General Assembly overrode the veto.

Huckabee made sure that state agencies were compliant with charitable choice. His administration issued guidelines in October 2000, which allow religious groups to offer voluntary religious programs and to leave their religious artifacts on the walls as long as welfare clients are not pressured to convert and tax money doesn't directly underwrite them. Religious groups are allowed to reject a job candidate on religious grounds. The guidelines also guarantee that any client can receive alternative placement if the client objects to a religious provider.

In a February 1998 presidential straw poll of 65 Christian Coalition leaders, Huckabee came in second to John Ashcroft and ahead of Steve Forbes, J. C. Watts and George W. Bush.

On May 22, 1998, the Arkansas Ethics Commission fined Huckabee US$1,000 for failing to report campaign payments made to himself and his wife. In October 1998 the Arkansas Times suggested Huckabee used a fund set up for the maintenance of the Governor's Mansion for his own personal use. The Times later reported Huckabee was listed as the recipient of furniture given to the Governor's Mansion and not the Mansion itself. Tom Mars, Huckabee's attorney, denied any misuse or inappropriate actions.

Huckabee has come under criticism for his handling of the case of Wayne DuMond (also spelled Dumond), a convicted rapist who was released during Huckabee's governorship. Despite a crude castration and a professed religious conversion in prison, DuMond subsequently sexually assaulted and murdered a woman in Missouri. DuMond's case had attracted national attention in the mid-1990s from critics of President Clinton who felt that Clinton, Arkansas Governor at the time of the rape, had been too harsh with DuMond because DuMond's victim was a distant Clinton relative. Clinton had recused himself from any involvement in the case. Before taking office, Huckabee met with DuMond's wife and privately announced his intention that DuMond be set free, stating his unhappiness with the way Clinton handled the case.

On September 20, 1996, Huckabee publicly announced his intention of commuting DuMond's sentence to time served. DuMond had originally been sentenced to life plus twenty years in prison, but in 1992, Tucker reduced the sentence to 39½ years, which gave DuMond the possibility of parole. Although there was strong pressure to commute DuMond's sentence from Clinton critics ill-informed by the New York Post columns of Steve Dunleavy, a close friend and writer for Rupert Murdoch, there was also strong opposition to Huckabee's plan from DuMond's victims, female Arkansas legislators, and various law enforcement officials, leaving Huckabee in a difficult situation politically.

On October 31, 1996, Huckabee met privately with the parole board to talk about the DuMond case. The Arkansas Times has argued that this closed-door meeting appeared to violate Arkansas' FOIA law. On January 16, 1997, DuMond was granted parole, just five months after he had been rejected. Huckabee released a statement saying, "I concur with the board's action and hope the lives of all those involved can move forward. The action of the board accomplishes what I sought to do in considering an earlier request for commutation ...In light of the action of the board, my original intent to commute the sentence to time served is no longer relevant." The parole was granted on the condition that DuMond leave the state. He moved to Smithville, Missouri in 1999 and was later convicted there of sexually assaulting and murdering a woman who lived near his home. DuMond was also a suspect in the murder of a pregnant woman in Platte County, Missouri. DuMond died in prison in 2005. Pulaski County Prosecuting Attorney Larry Jegley has argued Huckabee granted too many clemencies.

In 2005, The Arkansas Times reported on the role that Huckabee played in the parole board's decision.

When questioned about the case during his presidential campaign in 2007, Huckabee denied pressuring any parole board members to release DuMond, despite three of the parole board members stating that they felt he did pressure them to do so. Huckabee's official website states: "Governor Huckabee either denied Wayne DuMond's clemency request, or took no action (which is the same as a denial) on four separate occasions." The website states that it was Governor Jim Tucker who "made Wayne DuMond immediately eligible for parole," which, his website says, is granted by the parole board and not by the governor.

In July 1999, Huckabee hosted a $500-a-plate fundraiser for Rudy Giuliani's campaign for US Senate in Little Rock.

Rather than funnel 100 percent of the state's tobacco settlement revenues into the general fund, Huckabee campaigned to put it in the state's health care system.

On March 7, 2001, Huckabee signed a tax on private nursing homes for $5.25 per day per non-Medicare patient. However, Huckabee was named "Friend of a Taxpayer" by Americans for Tax Reform for his cut in statewide spending.

On April 11, 2001, Huckabee signed the "Covenant Marriage Act," a marriage contract option that compels couples to seek counseling if problems develop during the marriage, provides limited grounds for divorce or separation, and restricts lawsuits against spouses. Huckabee said the law, "offers couples a chance to be held to a higher level of marital commitment." He and his wife converted to a covenant marriage in 2004.

Later in 2001, his refusal to raise taxes in the face of a budget shortfall sparked criticism from lawmakers and the media. In response to the criticism he created the "Tax Me More Fund", which was a voluntary fund for people who felt that the government needed to raise more taxes. State Sen. Minority Leader John Brown called the "Tax Me More Fund" a campaign tactic. However, the Club for Growth argues Huckabee increased state spending 65.3 percent (1996–2004) and supported five tax increases. In response, Huckabee said he doubled the standard deduction and the child care tax credit, eliminated the marriage penalty and the capital gains tax on the sale of a home, and reduced the capital gains tax for both businesses and individuals. Ernest Dumas of the Arkansas Times, a consistent Huckabee critic, responded most of the tax cuts were small deductions and exemptions initiated by the state legislature, that the broad-based tax cut was proposed by his predecessor and Huckabee was "the biggest taxer and spender in Arkansas history." Former Arkansas State Representative Randy Minton (R) has said; " support for taxes split the Republican Party, and damaged our name brand." The group has pointed out that Huckabee publicly opposed the repeal of a sales tax on groceries and medicine in 2002, signed a bill raising taxes on gasoline in 1999, and signed a $5.25 bed-tax on private nursing home patients in 2001.

In 2002, Huckabee ran for Governor and his wife Janet ran for Arkansas Secretary of State. The New York Times reported this set off an "avalanche of criticism." A Republican State Representative, Jake Files, commented, "'That's just a lot of power in one family's hands" Mike Huckabee later stated that his wife tried to recruit other Republican candidates willing to run for Secretary of State. But no one else was willing, so she ran herself. Mike Huckabee won his race with 53 percent of the vote, while his wife Janet lost her race by 62% to 38%.

On November 21, 2002, the Arkansas Supreme Court declared the state's school funding procedure was unconstitutional and ordered to produce a fair system. Huckabee proposed a plan to consolidate schools districts of less than 1,500 students. The plan would have consolidated 310 schools districts into 107-116 schools districts with a more centralized administrative and governance network. The legislature instead passed a plan in January 2004 to consolidate school districts of less than 350 students. The issue would resurface when the Arkansas Supreme Court ruled again on school funding in December 2005.

On April 11, 2003 Huckabee signed a law which mandates annual body mass index (BMI) measurements for all public school children. The results are reported to parents with information about how to combat obesity. The law also sets up advisory committees to promote exercise and good nutrition for schools. On May 8, 2003, Huckabee signed into law increases in cigarette and tobacco taxes as well as a three percent income tax surcharge.

In July 2003, Roby Brock reached a settlement with Huckabee and the Arkansas Educational Television Network. Brock had filed a lawsuit alleging that the defendants had conspired to remove his television program from the air.

In opening remarks among Hispanic civil rights leaders at a LULAC convention, Huckabee said the nation will need to address the concerns of the Hispanic community because of its growing influence and population base. "Pretty soon, Southern white guys like me may be in the minority," Huckabee said jokingly as the crowd roared in laughter. He told the LULAC delegates that their presence in the state's capital city was very important because Arkansas has one of the fastest growing Hispanic populations in the nation. "Your gathering is so very significant for our state," Huckabee said.

In April 2005, Huckabee vetoed a bill which would have allowed public drinking of alcohol in entertainment districts.

After Hurricane Katrina made landfall in August 2005, an estimated 70,000 evacuees fled to Arkansas and Huckabee ordered state agencies to take care of them. State parks offered discounts, waived pet restrictions, and bumped other reservations in favor of evacuees. Pharmacists were given emergency authority to dispense prescriptions and provide access to dialysis machines. Shelters opened up in nearly every portion of the state, and Huckabee requested that the entire state be declared a disaster area. It was not. Many of these shelters, either closed or set to close, were reopened or kept open to process a "second wave" of Katrina evacuees moved from Texas in the wake of arriving Hurricane Rita. (See also Hurricane Katrina disaster relief).

In 2005, Huckabee, supported by then-Arkansas Attorney General Mike Beebe, opposed efforts by Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson to reduce water pollution. Edmondson had sued Arkansas poultry companies alleging that chicken waste fouled Oklahoma rivers explaining, "You can't stand on the Arkansas side of the border, dump toxins into the river and wash your hands of the problem." Huckabee accused Edmondson of "political gamesmanship", later Edmondson, in 2006, called Huckabee "a poultry company apologist." Huckabee went to Oklahoma to campaign against Edmondson in the 2006 election.

In early 2006, Huckabee – along with fellow governors Rick Perry (R-TX); Jim Doyle (D-WI); and Dave Freudenthal (D-WY) – went on a week-long visit to the Middle East and South Asia as part of a Department of Defense-funded trip to provide the state leaders with an idea of the conditions under which American forces are serving. While visiting Baghdad and Tikrit, Huckabee and the governors received briefings from Gen. George Casey and Amb. Zalmay Khalilzad.

In November 2006, both Huckabee and his wife drew criticism for creating wedding registries in the amount of over $6000 at both the Target and Dillard's web sites, in conjunction with a housewarming party to celebrate a new house they had purchased in Little Rock. The Arkansas Times, which first reported the story, noted that wedding gifts represent one of the exceptions to a $100 cap on gifts to political leaders under Arkansas law. Huckabee said that the registries were intended only for those who were invited to the event, that he was not involved in organizing the event, and that they were classified as wedding registries only because those sites did not have separate categories for housewarming parties.

Throughout his tenure as Governor, welfare enrollment declined by nearly half. During his last year in office the state's economy grew 4.4%, beating the national average of 4.2%.

Shortly before announcing his candidacy for the President of the United States, Huckabee ordered that the drives of 83 computers and 4 servers be destroyed during his transition phase in leaving office. According to Claire Bailey, director of the Arkansas Department of Information Systems, the governor's office chose a combination of writing over the data and destroying the hard drives. Huckabee said that the decision to crush the hard drives was made in order to "protect the privacy of those who had personal information on the drives." Critics, however, recalled that early in Huckabee's term as governor, documents, e-mails and memos stored on hard drives formed the basis of embarrassing stories about Huckabee, including the allegations regarding personal use of the Governor's Mansion funds.

In 2005, Time magazine named him one of the five best governors in the U.S., writing "Huckabee has approached his state's troubles with energy and innovation". The Club for Growth accuses Huckabee of being a liberal in disguise, saying Huckabee increased state spending 65.3 percent (1996–2004) and supported five tax increases. The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration states during Huckabee's tenure, taxes were cut ninety times for a decrease of $378 million dollars, while taxes were raised twenty-one times for an increase of $883 million dollars. Arkansas Health Care Association President Jim Cooper stated the private nursing home tax was necessary in order to avert future huge tax increases as a result of years of mismanagement.

On December 26, 2007 the conservative organization Judicial Watch announced that Mike Huckabee was named to its list of Washington's "Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians" for 2007. They state that Huckabee, as governor, was the subject of "14 ethics complaints and a volley of questions about his integrity, ranging from his management of campaign cash to his use of a nonprofit organization to subsidize his income to his destruction of state computer files on his way out of the governor's office." Judicial Watch further accused Huckabee of attempting to block the state ethics commission's investigations of the allegations.

The Cato Institute, a libertarian non-profit public policy research foundation, gave Huckabee an "F" for spending and tax policy in 2006. Huckabee has asserted he did not raise spending significantly in areas he could control and in those areas spending rose six-tenths of one percent a year during his entire governance. He also signed the first broad-based tax cut in Arkansas's history. For 2006, he says that his state enjoyed a surplus of nearly $850 million. In January, 2008, Huckabee repeated this assertion, while also pointing out that at the beginning of his term Arkansas had a $200 million deficit. However, during his tenure, the state's general obligation debt increased by almost $1 billion.

At the end of his final term, Governor Huckabee pardoned Rolling Stone Keith Richards of a traffic offense in Arkansas 32 years prior.

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Source : Wikipedia