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Mike Huckabee

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

Statistics -

FULL NAME: Michael Dale Huckabee
DATE OF BIRTH: August 24, 1955
AGE: 52
SPOUSE: Janet McCain
CHILDREN: John Mark, David, and Sarah
PETS: Jet - Black Lab and Sonic - Shih Tzu
RESIDENCE: Little Rock, AR
ALTERNATE CAREER CHOICE: Bass guitar player for a touring rock band
LAST FICTION READ: "My oldest son's screenplay."
FAVORITE FOOD TO COOK/EAT: Ribeye steak on the grill
TALENTS: Voice impersonations of dozens of celebrities
WORST HABIT: Channel surfing on TV or radio

QUICK FACT: Mike has completed four marathons: The 2005 and 2006 Little Rock Marathons, the Marine Corps Marathon and the ING New York City Marathon. As a result of his accomplishments, The Road Runners Club of America named him its ‘Southern Region Runner of the Year’ and USA Track & Field named him their ‘Athlete of the Week’ for the country.


Biography -

Michael Dale "Mike" Huckabee is the former governor of the U.S. state of Arkansas, having served from 1996 to 2007, and  was only the third Republican governor of the state since Reconstruction. Prior to his political career, Huckabee was pastor of several Southern Baptist churches in Arkadelphia, Texarkana, and Pine Bluff, Arkansas. He served as president of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention from 1989 to 1991 and as president of a religious-oriented television station. He has chaired the Southern Growth Policies Board, the Southern Region Education Board, the Southern Technology Council, and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, and currently serves as Chair of 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 was born in Hope, Arkansas, to Mae Elder and Dorsey W. Huckabee. He was elected Governor of Arkansas Boys State in 1972. He graduated magna cum laude from Ouachita Baptist University, completing his bachelors degree in 2½ years before attending Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.

In Huckabee's first political race, he lost to incumbent U.S. Senator Dale Bumpers (D) in 1992, having received some 40 percent of the vote. That same election saw Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton ascend to the Presidency. This made Lieutenant Governor Jim Guy Tucker the new Governor. Huckabee won a special election for lieutenant governor which was held early in 1993. He hence became only the second Republican since Reconstruction to have served as Arkansas lieutenant governor. Huckabee was re-elected to a full term as lieutenant governor in 1994.

On July 15, 1996, he was sworn in as Governor of Arkansas; Tucker had resigned because of a felony conviction in the Whitewater scandal. He rescinded his resignation as Huckabee was preparing to be sworn in, however, but within a few hours, Tucker reinstated his resignation, and Huckabee was sworn in. As governor, Huckabee signed legislation that created ARKids First, a health insurance program designed to provide insurance to children of families who could not qualify for Medicaid but could not afford private insurance. In November 1998, Huckabee was elected to a full four-year term. He defeated retired Colonel Gene McVay of Fort Smith in the primary and Jonesboro attorney Bill Bristow, a Democrat, in the general election.

At the beginning of his first full term, Huckabee led a public relations campaign for a bond program to pay for road reconstruction. Arkansas voters had traditionally shied away from public debt, having experienced a major bond scandal that affected the state's finances for the latter half of the 19th century. This time, however, the voters approved Huckabee's program. Huckabee also led a campaign to dedicate via constitutional amendment 1/8 of each cent of the state sales tax to improvement of the state's park system and natural resources. As part of the campaign, Huckabee traveled the entire length of the Arkansas River (the part within Arkansas) by boat.

He was made the chair of the Southern Governors' Association in 1999 and served in that capacity through 2000. In 2000, Huckabee also led a campaign to funnel 100 percent of the state's tobacco settlement revenues into the state's health care system, rather than into the general fund. In April 2001, Canadian comedian Rick Mercer aired his Talking to Americans special; in it, Governor Mike Huckabee was recorded congratulating Canada on preserving its National Igloo.

In November 2002, he was reelected to his second (and final because of term limits) four-year term. Governor Huckabee narrowly defeated State Treasurer Jimmie Lou Fisher, garnering 53% of the vote to her 47%. By the end of that term, Huckabee owned the third-longest tenure of any Arkansas Governor (only Democrats Orval Faubus, who served six consecutive 2-year terms (1955–1967), and Bill Clinton, who served eleven years, eleven months (1979–1981; 1983–1992), had longer tenures).

On November 21, 2002, the Arkansas Supreme Court declared that the state's school funding procedure was unconstitutional and ordered the state to produce a fair system. Huckabee proposed a controversial plan that would consolidate many of the state's smaller school districts. School consolidation is very unpopular in rural Arkansas. Huckabee's plan was rejected by the legislature, and the court order has not yet been satisfied.

After Hurricane Katrina made landfall and an estimated 70,000 evacuees fled to Arkansas, 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. Many of these shelters, either closed or set to close, were reopened or kept open to process a "second wave" of Katrina evacuees being moved from Texas in the wake of arriving Hurricane Rita.

Huckabee has voiced his support of creationism. He was quoted in July 2004 on "Arkansans Ask," his regular show on the Arkansas Educational Television Network: "I think that students also should be given exposure to the theories not only of evolution but to the basis of those who believe in creationism." Huckabee also stated "I do not necessarily buy into the traditional Darwinian theory, personally

In November 2005, Time named Huckabee one of the five best governors in the U.S. In early 2006, Huckabee — along with fellow governors Rick Perry (R-TX); Jim Doyle (D-WI); and Dave Freudenthal (D-WY) — travelled to the Middle East and South Asia as part of Department of Defense-sponsored 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.

James Carville, Clinton's former political consultant, said the following about Huckabee: "He likes people, he knows how to relate to people.. His father was a preacher. He can talk the talk. I'm impressed with this guy's political skills". (Carville's statement was incorrect: Huckabee's father was a firefighter, not a preacher; Huckabee is the preacher.) Huckabee has recently 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 nine other 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 among other things. Political analyst and former Clinton 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 who said that they do not believe in evolution.

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 choice endorses abortion. "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 governor would participate in the Iowa Republican Party's Straw Poll, scheduled for Saturday, August 11, 2007 in Ames, at Iowa State University.

When elected governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee was significantly overweight. During 2003, physicians diagnosed the governor with adult-onset diabetes and informed him that he would not live more than ten years if he did not lose weight. Prompted by this diagnosis (as well as the subsequent death of former Governor White, whose obesity led to a fatal heart attack), Huckabee went on a diet. He subsequently lost over 110 pounds, according to a New York Times article at a pace so rapid that "it was as if he simply unzipped a fat suit and stepped out." He has publicly recounted his previous burdens as an overweight man: the steps of the Arkansas capitol building from the entrance of the building up to the Governor's office were so long and steep that Huckabee 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 unable to respond appropriately due to his overexertion and breathlessness. Huckabee has talked about his weight loss and made health care reform a major component of his later tenure as governor. This has included a series of dialogues between leaders in the food industry and leaders in public health.  In addition, Huckabee ran in the 2006 New York City Marathon.


Platform Issues -

2nd Amendment Rights:

The Second Amendment is primarily about tyranny and self-defense, not hunting. The Founding Fathers wanted us to be able to defend ourselves from our own government, if need be, and from all threats to our lives and property. Second Amendment rights belong to individuals, not cities or states. I oppose gun control based on geography. I consistently opposed banning assault weapons and opposed the Brady Bill. As Governor, I protected gun manufacturers from frivolous law suits. I was the first Governor in the country to have a concealed handgun license.



We must be able to feed ourselves as part of our national security. We must help our farmers lead the way to energy independence. As a percentage of national income, we spend only half as much on food as people in other developed countries. Subsidies help keep our food costs low by keeping production levels high. We need subsidies to help our farmers compete with heavily subsidized farmers in Europe and Asia and to insulate them from the effects of natural disasters. We need a counter cyclical revenue program that makes payments based on low yields as well as low prices, and we need a fully-funded crop insurance program. Our agricultural policies must encourage young people to enter and stay in farming. As President, I will watch out for our farmers because our national well-being depends on theirs.


Crisis Management:

You need to know that your President will calmly and confidently lift you up in a crisis. During the massive emergency of Hurricane Katrina, when local, state, and federal governments were in melt-down, I stepped forward and directed the rescue and relief of 75,000 victims. Our island of success in a sea of failure was one of the reasons Time magazine named me one of America's five best governors. I will remove FEMA from the Department of Homeland Security and restore it to Cabinet status, so that the Director reports directly to me. My FEMA Director will have sterling credentials, including extensive, hands-on experience in disaster response. I will reassess, tighten, and strengthen the focus and mission of the Department of Homeland Security. When the Department was formed, it brought together 180,000 people from 22 agencies, and its size and structure have proven to be unwieldy and inefficient. I will address the many unresolved issues from 9/11, such as the security of our ports and our chemical plants. I will not allow the federal government to pre-empt stricter state standards enacted for your protection.


Education and the Arts:

I believe that every child in America has the right to a quality public education that teaches the fundamental skills needed to compete in a global economy. Music and the arts are not extraneous, extra-curricular, or expendable - I believe they are essential. I want to provide every child these "Weapons of Mass Instruction." Our future economy depends on a creative generation. We need to judge the success of our schools by the results we obtain, not the revenue we spend. Test scores rose dramatically when I was Governor of Arkansas because of my education reforms. I have been a strong, consistent supporter of the rights of parents to home school their children, of creating more charter schools, and of public school choice. We need a clear distinction between federal and state roles in education. While there is value in the "No Child Left Behind" law's effort to set high standards, states must be allowed to develop their own benchmarks.


Energy Independence:

The first thing I will do as President is send Congress my comprehensive plan for energy independence. We will achieve energy independence by the end of my second term. Achieving energy independence is vital to achieving success both in the war on terror and in globalization. Energy independence will help guarantee both our safety and our prosperity. We have to explore, we have to conserve, and we have to pursue all avenues of alternative energy: nuclear, wind, solar, hydrogen, clean coal, biodiesel, and biomass.


Faith and Politics:

The First Amendment requires that expressions of faith be neither prohibited nor preferred. My faith is my life - it defines me. I don't separate my faith from my personal and professional lives. Real faith makes us more humble and mindful, not of the faults of others, but of our own. It makes us less judgmental, as we see others with the same frailties we have. Faith gives us strength in the face of injustice and motivates us to do our best for "the least of us." Our nation was birthed in a spirit of faith - not a prescriptive faith telling us how or whether to believe, but acknowledging a providence that pervades our world.


Foreign Policy: Israel:

I am a steadfast supporter of Israel, our staunch ally in the War on Terror, the only fully-functioning democracy in the Middle East, and our greatest friend in that region. The United States must remain true to its long-standing commitment to the Israeli. As President, I will always ensure that Israel has access to the state-of-the-art weapons and technology she needs to defend herself from those who seek her annihilation.


Health Care:

The health care system in this country is irrevocably broken, in part because it is only a "health care" system, not a "health" system. We don't need universal health care mandated by federal edict. We do need to get serious about preventive health care. I advocate policies that will encourage the private sector to seek innovative ways to bring down costs. I value the states' role as laboratories for new market-based approaches. When I'm President, Americans will have more control of their health care options, not less. As President, I will work with the private sector, Congress, health care providers, and other concerned parties to lead a complete overhaul of our health care system. Our health care system is making our businesses non-competitive in the global economy. It is time to recognize that jobs don't need health care, people do, and move from employer-based to consumer-based health care.



I oppose the current immigration bill that the Senate is considering because it offers amnesty. While I appreciate the hard work of the Senate and the Administration, this bill is not in the best interests of our national security, our citizens, and those who are patiently following the rules to become citizens. My number one priority is to secure America's border. We have to know who is coming into our country, where they are going, and why they are here. We need a fence along our border with Mexico, electronic in some places, and more highly-trained border agents. Those who are caught trying to enter illegally must be detained, processed, and deported. Illegal immigrants already living among us who commit crimes must be prosecuted to the full extent of the law and incarcerated or deported.



I support and have consistently supported passage of a federal constitutional amendment that defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman. As Governor of Arkansas, I led the successful effort to pass a similar state constitutional amendment in 2002. As Governor of Arkansas, I led the successful effort to make our state only the third to adopt "covenant" marriage. Our true strength comes from our families.


National Security/Foreign Policy - Iraq:

Iraq is a battle in our generational, ideological war on terror. The Democrats deny that the war in Iraq is part of the war on terror even as we fight Al Qaeda there. Al Qaeda seeks permanent bases in Anbar province to plot and train against us. General Petraeus and our troops are giving their all to provide a window of opportunity for the Iraq government to succeed, while the Democrats are running for the exit doors. The surge is a military means to achieve the political end of sectarian reconciliation among the Iraqis. Setting a timetable for withdrawal is a mistake. This country has never declared war until "a week from Wednesday," we have always declared war until victory. I am focused on winning. Withdrawal would have serious strategic consequences for us and horrific humanitarian consequences for the Iraqis. I support a regional summit so that Iraq's neighbors become militarily and financially committed to stabilizing Iraq.


National Security/Foreign Policy - War on Terror:

I believe that we are currently engaged in a world war. This war is not a conventional war, and these terrorists are not a conventional enemy. The top priority of the President as Commander in Chief is first and foremost protecting our own citizens. With a focus on renewed diplomacy and inclusion, we can accomplish the goals of our nation without having to go it alone. During the Cold War, we had hawks and doves, but this new war requires us to be a phoenix, rising reborn to meet each new challenge and seize each new opportunity. As President, I will fight this war hard, but I will also fight it smart, using all our political, economic, diplomatic, and intelligence weapons as well as our military might. The terrorists train in small, scattered groups. We can accomplish a great deal with swift, surgical air strikes and commando raids by our elite units. We have to get tough with President Musharaff who has allowed Al Qaeda and the Taliban to have bases in Waziristan. We don't have a dog in the fight between Sunnis and Shiites - our enemy is Islamic extremism in all its guises. The long-term solution is to empower moderates in the region by attacking the underlying conditions that breed terror. Part of winning the war on terror is achieving energy independence. I believe in the Powell Doctrine of using overwhelming force to accomplish a mission. I have the executive and crisis management experience, the judgment and the temperament to be an effective commander in chief. I will expand the army and increase the defense budget.


Sanctity of Life:

I support and have always supported passage of a constitutional amendment to protect the right to life. My convictions regarding the sanctity of life have always been clear and consistent, without equivocation or wavering. I believe that Roe v. Wade should be over-turned. I applaud the Supreme Court's recent decision in Gonzales v. Cathcart forbidding the gruesome practice of partial birth abortion. While I am optimistic that we are turning the tide in favor of life, we still have many battles ahead of us to protect those who cannot protect themselves, and so it is vital that we elect a pro-life President. I first became politically active because of abortion, when I helped pass Arkansas' Unborn Child Amendment, which requires the state to do whatever it legally can to protect life. As Governor, I did all I could to protect life. The many pro-life laws I got through my Democrat legislature are the accomplishments that give me the most pride and personal satisfaction. To me, life doesn't begin at conception and end at birth. Every child deserves a quality education, first-rate health care, decent housing in a safe neighborhood, and clean air and drinking water. Every child deserves the opportunity to discover and use his God-given gifts and talents. 



I support the FairTax. As Governor of Arkansas, I cut taxes and fees almost 100 times, saving the taxpayers almost $380 million. I left a surplus of nearly $850 million, which I urged should go back to the people. Our massive deficit is not due to Americans' being under-taxed, but to the government's over-spending. To control spending, I believe the President should have the line-item veto. I believe in free trade, but it has to be fair trade. Globalization, done right, done fairly, can be the equivalent of a big pay raise by allowing us to buy things more cheaply.



Voting Record -

For Huckabee's Voting Record on issues such as Abortion, Civil Rights, Environment, Gun Control, Immigration, and more, please see:



"Our culture is failing in its understanding of the proper role of marriage. About half the marriages performed in the US end up in divorce. Why does it matter? Divorce dramatically increases the likelihood of poverty; drug use; premarital sex; juvenile delinquency; and academic failure. The cost to society of failed marriages is too high to calculate. In most instances, only the lawyers come out winners. One of the reasons so many marriages fail is that couples have accepted the myth that the purpose of marriage is to be happy. If the expectations for a marriage arise from a sentimental love story filled with constant excitement, adventure, and romance, the couple is headed for disappointment. By saying the purpose of marriage is not to be happy, I'm not suggesting the primary goal of marriage is misery. The purpose of marriage is to establish a relationship in which we learn to love another person in the sacrificial and unselfish manner that God loves us."

"I would never want to sacrifice one particle of America's power. Ronald Reagan had it right when he led this country to unprecedented military strength. Our best defense is a military so well equipped and so well trained that no one wants to challenge it. Strength is a far more effective deterrent to war than is weakness, and the US should never be apologetic for the development of the strongest military forces on the face of the earth. But with the development of strength and unprecedented power there must also be unprecedented restraint."

"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. While those who deal drugs and entice others into enslaving addictions deserve prison sentences, we end up locking away many non-violent drug users, some of whom spend longer periods in prison than they would if they committed a violent crime. A major reform in dealing with drug offenders in Arkansas was the establishment of drug courts, where a non-violent drug offender could be directed to enroll in drug treatment programs or heavily supervised community service. The recidivism rate dropped to 31%. More significantly, the cost per day was lower than that of prison, while at the same time allowing the offender to regain his or her life."

"While many elected officials pontificate proudly about their deep interest in and commitment to public education, so many put their own children in private schools. If the public schools are so deserving of their (and our) support, why aren't they deserving of the ultimate support--having confidence enough in them for their own children to be educated there? My three children were the first children of any Arkansas governor in at least 50 years who spent their first through senior high education entirely in the public schools of Arkansas. My wife and I are ourselves products of public schools. For us, there was no option as we grew up in families that could not have afforded a private school had one even existed in our hometown."

"Some people preach that having too much is a sin, but that is not what the Bible teaches. The issue of wealth is not how much you have but how you got it. One of the great challenges of life is determining that our pleasure shouldn't be based on the amount of our treasure. When life and its enjoyment are defined by what we have accumulated, we're to be pitied rather than envied. Our treasure should never become our job, home, car, property, or any other "toys." Consumerism can be intoxicating and addictive. Those who are swept up in its power find their occasional moments of ecstasy tied to the purchase of something. A sense of real peace is achieved only when you can say that material things are genuinely immaterial. It's not so much what we have but what has us that will determine our inner tranquility. There's no prohibition in God's Word to having much, but there's a strong admonition not to allow even a little to possess us."

"Whether we should even have a death penalty is a tough issue. I believe some crimes deserve it, but that does not mean I like it. I do believe it should be an option, but carrying out the death penalty was unquestionably the worst part of my job as governor. 17 times I sat by a phone with an open line to the death chamber, and gave the verbal order for the lethal injection. I never slept well those nights. I did the job that the law prescribed for me to do, but I hated every minute of it."

"I always am going to err on the side of life. I believe life is precious. I have been in the pro-life camp since I was a teenager. It's because of my view that God is the creator and instigator of life. But those of us in the pro-life movement have to do also some expanding. Life begins at conception but it doesn't end at birth. And if we're really pro-life we have to be concerned about more than just the gestation period. [My administration] passed pro-life legislation, but we also did things that improved the environmental quality that would affect a child's air and water; that he had a better education, & better access to affordable health care. So I think that real pro-life people need to be concerned about affordable housing, safe neighborhoods, access to a college education. That, for me, is what pro-life has to mean."

"Being tough on crime is certainly more popular than being soft, but America needs to be careful that in our attempt to stoutly enforce our laws and protect our citizens, we do not end up with a system that is based more on revenge than restoration. A revenge-based criminal justice system seeks to measure out as harsh a judgment as is possible so as to satisfy the natural inclination to get even."

"We need to be very careful about the overuse of the Guard and the Reserve in our military. As a governor and commander in chief of our Guard, I've seen 80% of our Guard forces deployed to Iraq. Now we're talking about sending them back yet again & again. These are citizen soldiers. They didn't sign up to be gone all the time. They're willing to do their duty, but the toll that it's taking on their families, their employers and their communities is-it's beginning to really wear."

"I don’t think we need a lot more government. We need the government we have to work more efficiently. We need it to work in ways that help our citizens rather than helping us to just grow more government. And, if the economy is slowing, then that’s all the more reason not to launch forth with a whole lot of new government programs but rather to scale back everywhere we can except for determining those things which we cannot scale back and then carrying out our responsibilities."

"A popular but ill-conceived notion is the complete elimination of parole or accredited time for good behavior. Eliminating parole often has the opposite effect of its intention. People are in prison largely because they failed to understand how life should work, with people being rewarded for responsible action, & suffering the consequences of irresponsible action. It is fair to say that people in prison got there due to their unwillingness to abide by simple rules of common courtesy. The concept of parole is that an inmate can complete educational goals, be industrious, follow the rules, and get along with other inmates in order to earn his or her most precious commodity--time. Imagine saying to an inmate, "If you learn a useful skill and act respectfully toward others, you will still serve a full sentence." What kind of incentive is that? Yes, I believe in "commit the crime and do the time," but it is in society's best interest to have a system that keeps hope alive in the minds of violators."


We thank the following resources:

Mike Huckabee Official Website
USA Today
Project Vote Smart
On the Issues



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