Thursday, March 8, 2007

Huckabee Signs No Tax Pledge

Mike Huckabee released the following statement which confirms that if he is elected President, he will not support the raising of income taxes at the Federal level.

Little Rock, AR – Mike Huckabee officially delivered a signed Presidential Taxpayer Protection Pledge to Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) President Grover Norquist during ATR’s “Wednesday Meeting” in Washington, D.C. this morning.

The former governor announced he would sign the pledge on Friday, March 2, 2007 at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference.

“Having already been a longtime supporter of ending the death tax and cutting 90 taxes while governor, it was not difficult to pledge not to raise the income tax rates at the federal level,” Huckabee said.

By signing the pledge, Huckabee agreed to “oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rates for individuals and/or businesses … and oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates.”

“We applaud Governor Huckabee for signing the Presidential Taxpayer Protection Pledge,” Norquist said. “Governor Huckabee recognizes that the challenge is to rein in spending and reduce taxes.”

Huckabee is a fiscal conservative who passed Arkansas’ first broad-based tax cut package in state history. During his ten and a half years as Governor, he cut taxes more than 90 times, saving taxpayers almost $380 million. He doubled the child care tax credit and eliminated the marriage penalty from the tax code. He also cut welfare rolls by nearly 50 percent while balancing the state budget.

Huckabee formed a Presidential Exploratory Committee for a potential 2008 White House bid after departing office earlier this year.

ATR has sponsored the Taxpayer Protection Pledge since 1986 and offered the Pledge to all candidates for federal office since 1987. The document is a written promise by legislators and candidates for office that commits them to oppose any effort to increase the federal income taxes on individuals and businesses.

“I continue to encourage every Presidential candidate to show their commitment to the U.S. taxpayer by signing the pledge,” Norquist said.

Newsweek Profile on Huckabee

Newsweek have done a detailed interview with Mike Huckabee. It's the national attention that Huckabee needs at this point. It's worth a read.

March 5, 2007 - Mike Huckabee is in an unusual situation for a politician. He doesn’t have to pander to his base. A former Southern Baptist preacher, he starts his 2008 presidential bid well to the right of his party’s most serious contenders. His long-held pro-life, pro-gun, and anti-gay marriage agenda would seem to be music to the ears of conservatives unhappy with the fact that social-issue moderates like John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, and (at least until recently) Mitt Romney are hogging the headlines. So why isn’t the governor of Arkansas and current Republican presidential candidate, stuck around two percent in recent polls, catching fire among religious conservatives? Huckabee has a plan to fix that—and it starts with this interview. NEWSWEEK's Susannah Meadows talked with the other guy from a place called Hope about gays, hell and donuts.

You recently lost more than 100 pounds. Are the people you meet on the campaign trail more interested in talking about your weight than policy?

Huckabee: It certainly is a point of fascination. It’s one of the rare times a politician enjoys talking about losing. It also segues into talking about not only the health issue, but the fact that 80% of Americans’ health-care costs are caused by chronic disease. And most of that is due to over-eating, under-exercising, smoking.

Would you put America on a diet?

A lot of people want this to be a simple solution: more P.E., less vending machines. There is an entire cultural shift that has to take place. What has to happen is that we change from a culture of disease to a culture of health. The government can’t do it for people, but there is a role government can play. In Arkansas, we created incentives. For example, you got discounts on health insurance if you didn’t smoke. [In this country] smokers can take breaks and smoke on company time. If you want to exercise, we say you do that on your lunch hour. People who are healthy pay high premiums for those who are not. There’s no incentive in the system.

I heard fried Twinkies used to be one of your favorite foods. Do ever indulge anymore?

The food that I used to crave, the amazing thing is, I often find it repulsive. Something dripping in grease, it’s like, ‘Oh my gosh, I would be better off eating the sack it came in.’ I don’t walk by the donut counter anymore and go into withdrawal.


Friday, February 16, 2007

Huckabee Opens Campaign Office

Mike Huckabee on Wednesday opened his campaign office in Arkansas. Huckabee said that there wasn't any thought that the headquarters would be anywhere else but Arkansas.

Huckabee also said that while the goal was to get to Washington, it was critically important to be based in the place that all his values were formed, and where his roots are and what is important to him. It is also the place where his political life has been lived, and where his key supporters are.

Watch Huckabee's speech at the office opening.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Mike Huckabee Interview

Mike Huckabee was interviewed by "SC Hotline - Insider Politics from across the state of South Carolina."

Monday, February 12, 2007

Former S.C First Lady Supports Huckabee

Former First Lady of South Carolina, Iris Campbell has thrown her support behind Mike Huckabee's campaign for the Republican nomination.

Iris Campbell is the wife of the late Governor, Carroll Campbell. She will serve as Honorary State Chairwoman of Huckabee's campaign in South Carolina.

Their son, Mike Campbell will serve as a senior adviser in Huckabee's national campaign.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Huckabee in South Carolina - Major Announcement

Mike Huckabee is this weekend campaigning in key state South Carolina. Last night he was the guest speaker at the Horry County Republican Ball in Myrtle Beach, which followed a question and answer session with local reporters.

Tomorrow, Huckabee has advised that he will make a major announcement regarding his exploratory committee.

The announcement will take place at 10am at the Capitol City Club, in Colombia followed by a media conference call at 10.30am.

This Week and Mike Huckabee

ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos will today be running a story on Mike Huckabee. It is sure to be good viewing.

"Then, continuing our "This Week: On the Trail" series, I head to New Hampshire to catch up with former Arkansas governor and Republican presidential contender Mike Huckabee. He does not have the name recognition some of the top-tier candidates enjoy, but his conservative credentials may make him a viable force in next year's primary. As the GOP field of declared candidates gets increasingly crowded, we'll find out how this evangelical plans to take on the front-runners."

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Media Meet Mike Huckabee

The Media this morning had the opportunity to meet Mike Huckabee at a special breakfast in Washington D.C. The breakfast was organized by the Christian Science Monitor.

While he is currently not regarded highly in the polls, Huckabee said that there is only one place to go, and that was up. He said there was no advantage to being in first place in the polls right now.

Huckabee said of his chances, that 4 out of the last 5 Presidents were former Governors. And that as Governor, he had the chance to deal with real issues, like health, transport and education, as well as balancing budgets.

On Foreign policy, while Huckabee admitted he didn't have the standard Washington type experience of some other candidates. But he said that neither did Ronald Reagan when he assumed the Presidency in 1981.

And Huckabee said that he was Commander in Chief in a State where 80% of the National Guard had been deployed overseas.

Huckabee hopes to stand in contrast to John McCain and Rudy Giuliani by emphasising his stance on social conservative issues.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Frist Adviser Heads Huckabee Campaign

An adviser to former Senate Majority Leader, Bill Frist, has been appointed Campaign Manager for Mike Huckabee's bid for the Republican nomination.

John "Chip" Saltsman, who has been the Chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party, was a senior adviser to Frist's PAC Volpac.

Apparently Saltsman was very active in preparing for a possible run by Frist for the nomination. Frist announced late last year that he would not be entering the contest.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Iowa Traffic Jam

In Iowa, one could be mistaken for thinking that we are in primary season already.

But with 12 months to go before the first vote, traffic is already slowing to a crawl, thanks to the influx of candidates, their entourage, the media and the supporters of the wide field who have expressed an interest in the Presidency.

It was Mike Huckabee's turn today. Oh, and also Sam Brownback's. On Saturday and Sunday, it was Hillary Clinton. And Tommy Thompson. Then there is local Tom Vilsack who is always campaigning.

John Edwards has been here at least 17 times in the last 2 years, and you can expect more visits in the coming weeks from Joe Biden and Bill Richardson who have been here nearly 20 times between them since the end of 2004.

And just wait for Barack Obama - could it be bigger than Clinton?

That's just some of the close to 30 candidates who are running, exploring, or actively considering a tilt for President.

Yes, it's a traffic jam.

But a necessary one for all of the candidates.

Much of the millions they spend over the next 12 months will be in Iowa, such is the power of securing an early victory, or polling well. Or so they think.

So expect more school visits, more packed public hall meetings and more meet and greets. This is politics local style.

Well, except for the heavily stage managed events, more press and photographers than the Oscars and the fact that everything you say is being beamed live around the country.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Huckabee is in for Republican Nomination

Mike Huckabee has just declared on Meet the Press with Tim Russert that he will be a candidate for the Republican Nomination for President of the United States.

Huckabee will file papers tomorrow to set up an exploratory committee.

Huckabee said that America needs people who understand what it is like to start life from the bottom of the ladder and climb their way to the top. He said that America loves an underdog.

Mike Huckabee will be on a two day tour to Iowa this week, and no doubt will be following up shortly with visits to other key states like South Carolina and New Hampshire.

While Huckabee has until this point not rated highly in the polls, his style and energy will not go unnoticed by Republican voters. Huckabee is socially conservative, but not in the Sam Brownback style.

The key to the Huckabee campaign will be his electability and his ability to sell his message to America.

He is definitely a candidate to watch.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Huckabee to Announce on Meet the Press?

Mike Huckabee will be on Meet the Press with Tim Russert this Sunday morning, and it is very likely that he will make his announcement.

This from the Meet the Press site.

"With the 2008 presidential campaign season already in full-force, we will have an exclusive interview with the former Republican governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee, about his future political plans. Will he make a run for the White House? Find out Sunday."

It seems that Meet the Press have the exclusive on Huckabee's decision to run for the Republican nomination.

As already reported here, Huckabee will be following up with a trip to key state Iowa on Tuesday and Wednesday, followed by an appearance on Fox News on Thursday.

This will be a good week for Huckabee to announce - the last two weeks the media have been consumed with the Clinton and Obama announcements, the State of the Union Address and the Senate hearings on Iraq. The clear air will work very much in Huckabee's favour.


An anonymous official from the Huckabee camp has confirmed that he will be lodging papers on Monday for an exploratory committee.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Mike Huckabee in Iowa Next Week

Mike Huckabee will be in Iowa next Tuesday and Wednesday, which we believe is likely to be a precursor to an announcement that he is running for the Republican Nomination.

Huckabee will jointly host a town meeting in Urbandale next Tuesday night, with appearances on local radio as well as at the Iowa Welcome Center.

On Wednesday, he will be in Tipton and Davenport.

Rumor has it that Huckabee's trip will include a visit to some senior local Republicans.

On Thursday, Huckabee is scheduled to appear on the Fox News Network.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Will Huckabee Announce Next Week?

Reports are emerging that Mike Huckabee will be travelling to Iowa next week, 30th and 31st January, in a move that could precede an announcement of a run for the Republican Nomination for President.

We note that Huckabee is due to appear on the Fox Network the next day, February 1, on the Live Desk With Martha McCullum to discuss his book, "From Hope to Higher Ground", as well as "..other topics of national interest."

In Huckabee's calendar, this appearance on Fox is his last scheduled public activity.

Could this clean diary after February 1 be used to kick off his campaign for the nomination? It is a real possibility.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Huckabee Yet to Decide on Presidential Run

Mike Huckabee, Governor of Arkansas from 1996 until last week, has yet to decide whether he will be a candidate for the Republican Nomination for President of the United States.

However, leaving us in little doubt that he is seriously thinking about it, Huckabee has engaged on a national tour to promote his new book, "From Hope to Higher Ground".

Huckabee appears to be emerging as a real dark horse in this race, and one that may well be able to step up to the plate if the big guns like McCain and Giuliani fall over.

Huckabee was a southern Governor from Arkansas, only the third Republican in the last 130 years to hold that title. That gives him credibility - he is electable.

Then add the fact that he is socially conservative, he is an Evangelical Christian. He appeals to the conservative GOP base.

And then consider that for health reasons, Huckabee lost over 110 pounds through disciplined dieting. If you look at the before and after photos, the difference is stark - this man knows how to make a commitment and stick to it. In 2006 he ran the New York City Marathon.

Huckabee was notably in the news during the Hurricane Katrina disaster, when Arkansas helped with many of the thousands of displaced people. At a time when disaster relief nationally failed, Huckabee's state of Arkansas was one of the first to step in.

We don't know how long it will be before Huckabee makes a decision. But it would be expected that he will announce something after he concludes the book tour.

If he does run, expect the media to take his candidacy for President a lot more seriously. And expect the same from his opponents in the GOP.

It wasn't that long ago that a former Governor from Arkansas was elected President. Mike Huckabee will be a credible candidate if he runs, make no mistake.

Mike Huckabee appeared on the Jon Stewart Daily Show recently. Huckabee is witty and down to earth. A very polished performance, so its worth a view. Watch part 1 here.