Mike Huckabee

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Mike Huckabee

Michael Huckabee was born on August 24, 1955, in Hope, Arkansas. He was the first male member of his family to earn a high school diploma, and enrolled at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, where he majored in religion and minored in speech. He won a special election for lieutenant governor in 1993, then became governor when Jim Guy Tucker was convicted in events relating to Whitewater. Huckabee was elected to full terms in 1998 and 2002. He ran for the Republican nomination for president in 2008 but lost to John McCain. In 2015, Huckabee announced that he will run for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. (Bio)

Tax Reform

Huckabee's Tax Reform (section page)

FairTax System

Proposed a FairTax system (MHWTR)

  • abolish IRS and tax code
  • eliminate all income tax, including payroll, Medicare, Social Security, and investment income taxes
  • establish national sales tax
  • “senior bonus payment” instead of Social Security
  • bonus payments to poor individuals
  • claim: the FairTax system will ensure that everyone including criminals will be required to pay the tax, since it is a sales tax instead of income tax, reinvest $22 trillion parked offshore back to the United States, grow economy by 6% each year, create millions of manufacturing jobs

FairTax is better than punishing productivity

"If we got rid of all the taxes on our work, got rid of the taxes on our savings, investments, capital gains, and inheritance, and made a zero tax, we'd pay at the point of consumption. Why should we punish people for their productivity? The FairTax doesn't punish people for doing well and building the economy. Give a person his whole paycheck because every American would no longer have a payroll tax taken out." (RD3)

FairTax gets rid of IRS and sifts power back to the states

"Q: Will you abolish or cut the size of the EPA, the IRS, the Department of Education?

HUCKABEE: There are a lot of things happening at the federal level that are absolutely beyond the jurisdiction of the Constitution. This is power that should be shifted back to the states, whether it's the EPA or the Department of Education. We can get rid of the Internal Revenue Service if we would pass the FairTax, and move power back where the founders believed it should have been all along."(RD1)

FairTax broadens tax base to include non-wage-earners

"Q: You say that changing entitlements would be breaking a promise to the American people, and you say that you can keep those programs, save Social Security, save Medicare, without major reforms through a FairTax, which is a broad tax on consumption. How that would work?

HUCKABEE: One of the reasons that Social Security is in so much trouble is that the only funding stream comes from people who get a wage. The people who get wages is declining dramatically. Most of the income in this country is made by people at the top who get dividends and capital gains. The FairTax transforms the process by which we fund Social Security and Medicare because the money paid in consumption is paid by everybody, including illegals, prostitutes, pimps, drug dealers, all the people that are freeloading off the system now. That's why it ought to be a transformed system." (RD1)

Jobs and Business Policy

Huckabee's Jobs and Business Policy (section page)


Stop punishing manufacturing; stop punishing work[1]

"We'd get rid of taxes on people's work, so, we wouldn't punish people for working anymore. We've lost five million manufacturing jobs since 2000. The jobs are in Mexico, they're in China, they're in Indonesia. Bring the jobs back. And with the FairTax, you do that, because you don't tax capital and labor. And here's the best part. We don't reduce the IRS, we get rid of the IRS." (RD4)

Wall Street executives should have gone to jail in 2008

"Q: You have railed against income inequality. You've said that some Wall Street executives should have gone to jail over the roles that they played during the financial crisis. Are there specific steps you would require from corporate America to try and reduce the income inequality.

HUCKABEE: Look, corporations ought to exercise some responsibility. When CEO income has risen 90% above the average worker, when the bottom 90% of this country's economy has had stagnant wages for the past 40 years, somebody is taking it in the teeth. And it's not the folks on Wall Street. I'm not anti-Wall Street, but I don't believe the government ought to wear a team jersey, pick winners and losers. The government ought to wear a striped shirt and just make sure the game is played fairly."(RD3)

Fight the Wall-Street-to-Washington axis of power

"Q: Decade after decade, there are promises from Republicans to shrink government. But it gets bigger, even under Republican politicians. So is the government simply too big to shrink?

HUCKABEE: It's not too big to shrink. But the problem is we have a Wall Street-to-Washington axis of power that has controlled the political climate. The donor class feeds the political class who does the dance that the donor class wants. And the result is federal government keeps getting bigger. Every person on this stage who has been a governor will tell that you the biggest fight they had was not the other party. Wasn't even the legislature. It was the federal government, who continually put mandates on the states that we had to suck up and pay for. There are a lot of things happening at the federal level that are absolutely beyond the jurisdiction of the Constitution. This is power that should be shifted back to the states, whether it's the EPA or the Department of Education."(RD1)


Wages for bottom 90% of the economy stagnant for 40 years[2]

"The Fed is in trouble because they haven't addressed the number one issue that's hurting Americans and that's that wages for the bottom 90 percent of the economy have been stagnant for 40 years. In the 25 years after World War II, wages grew by 85 percent. People were moving up. That's not happening any more, and in large measure, the Fed has manipulated the dollar so it doesn't have a standard. Tie the dollar to something fixed and if it's not going to be gold, make it the commodity basket."(RD4)

Health Policy

Huckabee's Health Policy (section page)

"We need to remember that there is no controversy about the things that are driving medical costs. The next president ought to declare a war on cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer's, because those are the four things that are causing the greatest cost. I remember the polio vaccine. We saved billions of dollars since that time, because we haven't had to treat for polio. Why doesn't this country focus on cures rather than treatment? We change the economy and the country." (RD2)

"ObamaCare is a $2.2 trillion disaster that dumps millions of people into a broken, expensive system and does nothing to fix the basic problems everyday Americans face. We must tackle out-of-control costs.ObamaCare raided $700 billion from Medicare. This is not reform — it’s theft. We must reject government dependency. We need solutions and choices — not government mandates and new taxes. We must address pre-existing conditions with common sense. As a governor, I know these issues first hand. Our system of “sick care” is upside down. Doctors, hospitals and drug companies get paid for treating people who are sick — not keeping people healthy or preventing illnesses. So many Americans cannot afford to get sick, while others take advantage of a system that isn’t fair. ObamaCare simply doubles down on this backwards, broken, flawed and failing system. We need honesty, leadership and real reform. As President, I will repeal ObamaCare and fight for real health care reform." (MHWH)

Drug Policy

Huckabee's Drug Policy (section page)

Adapted from On The Issues:

Drug courts reduce both cost & recidivism

Drug courts provide one example of tried & true reform. With drug courts, a nonviolent drug offender can be directed to enroll in drug treatment program with comprehensive and intensive supervision, particularly as they reenter the community. Naturally, any violation of good behavior during this period results in prison. However, if the individual successfully completes drug rehabilitation and demonstrates responsible behavior over a period of time, the court would expunge that person's record.

1999: doubled methamphetamine sentences

Q: Has Mitt Romney said anything that’s untrue about you? A: How long do we have on the program today? He’s said many things that are untrue. He said that I reduced methamphetamine sentences in Arkansas. Truth is I signed a bill in 1999 that doubled those sentences. We did not reduce them. Our sentences were four times harsher than they were in Massachusetts. He said that I supported special breaks for illegal aliens. That’s not true. We supported simply giving children who had earned a scholarship the same--it never happened, it didn’t make the legislature. He made allegations that our increased spending by ridiculous amounts, and The New York Times came back and defended that, and said that’s just simply not true. And they took him apart and showed that the increases in spending were, frankly, the same if not a little better than his if you took into consideration the accounting methods we changed in Arkansas, very modest gains in spending.

More drug courts & rehab, instead of incarceration

We really don’t have so much a crime problem in this country. We have a drug and alcohol problem. 80% of the people who are in our prisons and jails are there for a drug or alcohol crime. They either were high or drunk when they committed the crime, or they committed the crime to get high or drunk. And what has made a huge mistake is that we’ve incarcerated so many of the people who really need drug rehab more than they need long-term incarceration.

Drug education fails; drug punishment works

A clash of worldviews is going to occur between those who think man is basically good and those who say man is basically self-centered.

Supports drug courts for non-violent drug offendors

80% of all those incarcerated were there because of drugs or alcohol; and were drunk or high when they committed their crime, or committed the crime in order to get drunk or high. We don’t have a crime problem; we have a drug and alcohol problem.

Stricter penalties for drug-related crimes

  • Strengthen penalties and sentences for drug-related crimes.
  • Support the .08 blood-alcohol-content limit defining drunk driving.
  • Implement penalties other than incarceration for certain non-violent offenders.
  • Support programs to provide prison inmates with vocational and job-related skills and job-placement assistance when released.

Treatment for drug use instead of incarceration

We’ll ask for drug courts to be expanded because it makes more sense to treat people with a drug problem rather than simply incarcerating them and putting them in a place where their problems are not dealt with. That’s one of our initiatives.

Informational videos don't work and never will

How can we change a drug-addicted culture? Do we say, "If these people weren't poor, or if they only knew what drugs did, then they wouldn't be doing this"? If so, you'd prepare a bunch of informational videos and explain the danger. And in fact, that is just what much of government has been doing. And has it worked? No. Will it ever work? No. Why not? Because talking drugs appeals to the self-centered, pleasure-seeking people we are by nature.

Curb supply by eradication; change attitudes to curb demand

In order to curb the flow of illegal drugs, we must work to [eradicate] the supply and at the same time diminish the demand by changing the public’s attitude toward drugs.

More federal funding for all aspects of Drug War

To reduce the presence of illegal drugs, drug-related organized crime, and the adverse effects of drug and alcohol abuse in society requires a comprehensive strategy involving federal, state, and local governments. The Governors believe that one of the most severe public health threats is the recent rise in substance abuse among children.

  • The Federal Role
    • The profits from illicit drug trafficking can be effectively used to help state efforts to dry up the demand for these drugs. The nation’s Governors urge the President and Congress to fully fund drug and alcohol abuse education, drug courts, treatment, prevention, and law enforcement efforts, including the initiative to combat and clean up methamphetamine production laboratories, at the state and local levels of government.
  • Intensified Eradication and Interdiction
    • Federal funding for use of the National Guard in drug and border enforcement deserves continued support. The Governors urge the President and Congress to utilize the role of U.S. military forces in interdiction efforts.
  • High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Program.
    • The HIDTA program provides additional federal funds to those areas to help federal, state, and local law enforcement organizations invest in infrastructure and joint initiatives to dismantle drug trafficking organizations. Governors support the HIDTA initiative and urge Congress to continue supporting the program.
  • The Federal Role in Reducing International Drug Trafficking.
    • The nation’s Governors urge the Administration and Congress to significantly tighten procedures for certifying foreign countries for eligibility to receive U.S. aid based on their cooperation with U.S. surveillance, interdiction, and eradication efforts.
  • Drug Legalization
    • The nation’s Governors believe illicit drug legalization is not a viable alternative, either as a philosophy or as a practical reality.

Middle East

Huckabee's Middle East (section page)

Foreign Policy

Rebuild America’s military superiority. The best way to avoid conflict is to build a lethal fighting force so strong and powerful that no one would dare mess with us.

Restore our role as leader of the Free World. Our enemies no longer fear us and our allies no longer trust or respect us.

Reject Obama’s crisis-management approach to the world. We need a President who will accept responsibility and lead.

As President, I will lead with moral clarity in a dangerous world. Moral clarity is the foundation to our economic and military strength.(HHWNS)


"In a world of uncertainty, evil, and moral insanity, Israel is a shining light of moral clarity. The enemies of Israel are the enemies of America. Sadly, this Administration spends more time berating Israel for building houses in the lands given to Abraham than telling the Iranians to stop building bombs pointed at us. As President, I will:

  • Stand with the Jewish people in our shared fight against Radical Islam.
  • Support a unified Jerusalem.
  • Confront and stop Iran—this Administration’s willingness to trust Iran and undermine Israel is unprecedented and wrong.
  • Support Israel in the fight for peace, religious freedom, and human rights."(MHWI)


Huckabee's Trade (section page)

Free and Fair Trade

"As president, I will fight for America’s future and America’s farmers. I will:

  • Reject Obama’s radical, EPA mandates that strangle farmers with bureaucracy and Washington nonsense.
  • Fight for free and fair trade. Americans can compete with anyone in the world, but agriculture trade is often unfair and not free.
  • Support American corn producers and the renewable fuel standard. Washington shouldn’t pick favorites or change the rules in the middle of the game.
  • Abolish the Death Tax and protect family farms." (MHWA)

Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

"I support free, fair trade, but I’m sick of America’s workers getting punched in the gut."

"We don’t create good jobs for Americans by entering into unbalanced trade deals that forgo congressional scrutiny and ignore the law only to import low-wage labor, undercut American workers, and drive wages lower than the Dead Sea."

"I cannot support giving this administration trade promotion authority (TPA) for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)" given the following reasons:

  • Obama administration cannot be trusted to negotiate on behalf of the American people.
  • President Obama should sort out a clear, honest framework of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) with Congress before horse-trading with foreign bureaucrats.
  • Political pressure from Obama administration will force Congress to accept even a lousy TPP agreement.
  • Poorly crafted TPP will worsen problems on immigration and currency manipulation, such as number of foreign workers and artificially cheap imports.

"We need to expand trade and work with partners across the globe to grow our economy. However, this Administration (TPA) cannot be trusted to negotiate a deal that makes sense for American workers. [3]

More Quotes on Free Trade

Adapted from On The Issues

  • Trans Pacific Partnership isn't fair trade or free trade
    • Huckabee complained that American wages have been stagnant since Chinese trade agreements went into effect over the past few decades: "People are working hard, and they have less to show for it," he said. "We need to quit apologizing for being America, and we need to start making it so that Americans can prosper and not just so that the Chinese can buy Louis Vuitton and Gucci bags.
  • Free AND fair trade: globalize, but help those whom it harms
    • I support free trade, but it has to be fair trade. We are losing jobs because of an unlevel, unfair trading arena that must be fixed.
  • Diplomacy hasn't worked; impose sanctions on China
    • The federal government won't take the necessary steps when China refuses to play by the rules of fair trade. For the past six years, we've relied on diplomacy, when we should have imposed sanctions and brought legal actions against them. It's only very recently that our government has at last begun minimal action. We need less talk and more of that action.
  • Supports NAFTA & CAFTA, if partners “hafta” abide by rules
    • "I think the free-trade agreements are wonderful to have, and I supported NAFTA and CAFTA. But I always say, then you “hafta” make sure that these free trade agreements are being abided by both parties, and that’s not what’s happened."
  • Fair trade includes lead-free products & playing by rules
    • The main thing we have to do is to make sure that our free trade agreements involve fair trade. And that’s something that we’ve got to do a better job of enforcing, is to make sure that those products which are coming into the US are free of lead, that they’re safe, that they’re manufactured in the same kind of standards that we expect our American companies to use when they built things. And that hasn’t happened. And one of the reasons we’re losing a lot of jobs is that we’ve been in such a rush to make sure that we exemplify the boundaries of free trade, that we forgot that we’re all supposed to play by the same rules. If somebody cheats, you’re not playing the game fairly. When the Chinese send toys that have lead, they have dog food that causes our pets to die, when we have food that comes to us contaminated, when things that are created by people who have worked in sweatshops--how does an American worker expect to compete?
  • A free country must feed, fuel, & fight for itself
    • When we start outsourcing everything and we are in that kind of a trade deficit, then just remember, who feeds us, who fuels us and who helps us to fight, that’s to whom we are enslaved. So if we can’t do those three things, our national security is very much at risk.
  • We need fair trade because we’re losing jobs
    • The fact is, we don’t have fair trade. And that’s the issue we’ve got to address. Our real problem continues to be that an American company is having to pay an extraordinarily high tax on everything they produce, but the countries who are exporting to us don’t have the same border adjustability that we do.
  • This country can never yield its sovereignty for any reason
    • I believe with all my heart is that this country can never, ever, ever yield its sovereignty to any other country for any reason, under any circumstance, ever That’s why I would agree that we not only need closed and secure borders, but more importantly, we need a re-understanding that we are a sovereign nation, and we do not yield ourselves over.
  • Trade sanctions on Saudi Arabia for persecuting Christians
  • China trade contingent on human rights & product safety
  • No NAFTA Superhighway from Canada to Mexico
  • Marketplace pushes innovation to top & prices to bottom
    • I believe in free trade and allowing the marketplace to push innovative ideas to the top & prices to the bottom. Perhaps the most compelling challenge is ensuring that a free trade correspondingly represents a fair trade.
  • Farm subsidies ok because Europe & Asia do same
    • It has been policy to pay farmers a stipend for their crops to ensure the farmers will receive a guaranteed minimum price. Some conservatives believe that all agricultural subsidies should be discontinued and allow the market to function. In an ideal world, this would be good practice, but American farmers are competing with subsidized farmers in Europe and Asia, and the fixed costs faced by farmers involving land, equipment, seed, and supplies means that even if they do not sell a single stalk of corn, they will have significant expenses.
  • Enforce trade law against subsidized Canadian lumber imports


Huckabee's Immigration (section page)

Border Security

"America has an immigration crisis on its hands, and it’s time for the federal government to do its job. Without a secure border, nothing matters.We have drug cartels running reckless on our southern border, and the Washington establishment wants to reward illegal immigrants with amnesty and citizenship.

As President, I will:

1) Reject President Obama's unconstitutional executive orders.

2) Oppose amnesty.

3) Secure the border now.

If you reward people who play outside the rules and punish people who live within the rules, pretty soon nobody is going to play by the rules. We are a nation of immigrants, but we are also a nation of laws." (MHWBS)


Huckabee's Environmental (section page)


"We should explore and exploit all forms of domestically produced energy — oil, gas, wind, solar, bio-fuels, hydro-electric, nuclear, coal — anything and everything."(MHWE)

  • push for energy independence
  • support Keystone Pipeline


"When it comes to education, the Obama Administration is lost at sea. We must shift power back to state and local governments. In my ten years as governor, I fought for parents, students and local control.

  • Washington bureaucrats and big-government central planners are out-of-control.
  • Education is a family function — not a federal function.
  • Education decisions are best made by the most local government — Moms and Dads.
  • I believe we must demand results, accountability and success for every child in every classroom. I oppose watering down our education standards or automatically promoting every student.
  • I also oppose Common Core and believe we should abolish the federal department of education. We must kill Common Core and restore common sense.

The rising cost of college also threatens middle class families, students and the American dream. For too many, college is where students discover mountains of debt — but not a lifelong career. We must tackle the establishment and reform our colleges and universities so they make sense for the jobs of tomorrow."(MHWE)

Spending and Debt

Reject the failed Obama-Clinton policies that punish working families and encourage government dependency.

Secure the border & end illegal immigration.

Repeal & replace ObamaCare.(MHWSD)

Gun Control

Defend the 2nd Amendment

Oppose new gun control laws

Protect the rights of gun owners from Big Government

Oppose new gun restrictions, registrations, regulations & mandates (MHWGC)


"My first act as President will be to end the national disgrace of failing to properly care for veterans who sacrificed so greatly for our country. America’s soldiers deserve first-class treatment and top-quality care — anything less is unfair, unacceptable, and simply un-American. As President, I will:

1) Fix the VA and give our heroes greater choices. We must hold VA hospital officials and government bureaucrats accountable.

2) Solve the disability claims crisis and inexcusable wait times.

3) Empower our veterans with permanent careers, purpose, and a growing economy — not temporary programs or government gimmicks.

4) Fight for mental health awareness, treatment, and suicide prevention.

Priorities matter — our nation must make sure the first fruits of our treasury go to those serving in uniform." (MHWV)


"As president, I will fight for America’s future and America’s farmers. I will:

1) Reject Obama’s radical, EPA mandates that strangle farmers with bureaucracy and Washington nonsense.

2)Fight for free and fair trade. Americans can compete with anyone in the world, but agriculture trade is often unfair and not free.

3)Support American corn producers and the renewable fuel standard. Washington shouldn’t pick favorites or change the rules in the middle of the game.

4)Abolish the Death Tax and protect family farms.

I governed a rural state for ten years and 25% of our economy was agriculture. I was also born and raised in rural America. As President, I will never forget my roots or my small town values."(MHWA)

Family Values

"I will never apologize for my faith, my convictions or my values. Period.

Life begins at conception. This isn’t just a Biblical view — it’s affirmed by modern science and every unique human DNA schedule, which is present at conception.

As Governor, I promoted and signed a fetal protection act. I imposed a ban on partial birth abortion, established waiting periods, created parental notification requirements, and passed a bill so mothers who brought a newborn to a hospital or fire station would not be prosecuted for child abandonment.

I may stand alone, but I am absolutely faithful to the issue of marriage. Not because it’s politically expedient, but because it’s the Biblical position, the historical position and the right position. We must defend, protect and preserve traditional marriage." (MHWFV)

Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Huckabee's Entrepreneurship and Innovation (section page)

Small Businesses

  • “The federal government needs to ease the regulation burden on businesses, and eliminate many of the fees, procedures, rules and forms that make small business so difficult.” (SBE)
  • "Small businesses are the backbone of American life." (FBMH)


  • (Note: this quote is from 2008) "A vendor experienced in political Web site design wanted $250,000 for a 3-month contract, plus 6% of contributions. We turned to some old friends [instead], for $11,000 and no cut of the contributions. Looking back, this was one of the most important moves we made in those early months. The Web became one of the most powerful, most successful tools we had for getting our message out and bringing contributions in. If we hadn't had such a fantastic online presence at such a bargain price, we would have never achieved the results we did." (OTIMHT)

Sources Key

(MHWTR) = [4]