Monday, April 30, 2007

Concord Monitor: Huckabee 'in tune' with New Hampshire

Here's a great must-read editorial from the Concord Monitor, published today. Since these sometimes disappear after a while, here's a quick excerpt:

"An incrementalist conservative - with a sense of humor? A cautious Christian who strives to bring morality, as well as common sense, to policy questions? Huckabee is not far from where the country is right now..."

Concord Monitor
April 30, 2007

Saturday, April 28, 2007

IowaPolitics.com: Huckabee Gaining Momentum

IowaPolitics.com says Huckabee is gaining momentum in the state.

BSR

Huckabee Barnstorming Iowa

Governor Huckabee announced last week he is moving his campaign to Iowa in order to focus his energies on performing well in the August straw polls. True to his word, he has a full schedule in Iowa beginning today. Check it out:

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-AR) holds a 9:00 am ET GOP breakfast at Coldwater Golf Links in Ames, IA

Followed by an 11:30 am ET speech to a diabetes conference at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines.

Huckabee then holds a 4:00 pm ET meet and greet at Park centre in Newton Iowa

Followed by a 5:15 pm ET media availability.

At 6:30 pm ET, Huckabee attends the "Iowa Right to Life Spring Fling" at the White Oak Winery in Cambridge, IA

Huckabee concludes with 8:00 pm ET remarks to the Union County GOP event at the Supertel Inn in Creston, IA.

Whew! And not included on the schedule are his daily run that took place sometime around 5 AM and the fundraising calls he is sure be making late into the night.

Run, Mike, Run!


BSR

Thursday, April 26, 2007

David Huckabee Arrested for Bringing Gun to Airport

UPDATED (see below for comment by Governor Huckabee)

Well, there are good days and there are bad days. This will go down as one of the "bad" days for David Huckabee, son of Governor Mike Huckabee. David, whom I know, forgot he left his Glock in his bag when he went to the airport this morning.

David is a great young man, and a good person. He has a concealed weapons permit and he knows how to use firearms responsibly. I feel for him because I know how easy it is to forget such things. A couple of years ago I left a handfull of bullets in my bag after hunting season. Weeks later, when I tried to run that bag through the x-ray machine at the airport... lets just say they weren't happy. Thank the good Lord my gun wasn't in there...just the bullets.

This same thing has happened to lots of people. But most of them didn't have a dad running for president.

Cheer up, David. This too shall pass!

On the lighter side, maybe this will give Governor Huckabee the opportunity to talk to the news media about his strong support of our 2nd ammendment rights -- which will NOT be changed by this incident.

UPDATE: Governor Huckabee has commented on this incident this evening and, as I predicted, he still supports our 2nd Ammendment rights. He also supports the courts and our legal system. Here's an excerpt of his remarks: "I love my son but what he did was irresponsible, but not intentional. The right to carry a firearm has to be balanced with an equal responsibility to not make foolish errors...It is the court's responsibility to properly consequence him for a foolish act but his family's responsibility to love him and temper our disappointment with our support."


BSR

Huckabee Moving Campaign Staff to Iowa


Word is out that Governor Huckabee is moving his campaign, including staff, to Iowa in order to focus on performing well in the key straw polling scheduled in August.


Go, Mike, Go!


BSR

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Huckabee "Whips" Giuliani

This is a MUST READ article from Human Events by Terence Jeffrey. Jeffrey writes about Huckabee's land slide victory in a recent South Carolina straw poll after head-to-head speeches by all the candidates (except McCain who skipped the meeting). Jeffrey then had the opportunity to see Huckabee speak at the American Spectator "Newsmaker" breakfast on Monday, after which he asked Huckabee some GREAT questions and got some GREAT answers.

Read on...


by Terence P. Jeffrey
Posted 04/25/2007 ETUpdated 04/25/2007 ET


Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, leading in every national poll of Republican presidential candidates, ventured down to Spartanburg, S.C., last weekend and got whipped -- by a former governor from a place called Hope.


Giuliani was one of six presidential candidates who spoke to the Spartanburg County Republican Party Convention. The others were former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas, Rep. Duncan Hunter of California, Chicago businessman John Cox and former Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas. Each was asked to address five topics: the war on terror, illegal immigration, taxes, trade and the "sanctity of life and the traditional marriage amendment."


Afterward, delegates gave each candidate a score of up to five points for how well they addressed each area. Huckabee garnered 3,522 points, beating the second-place Giuliani by 361.


The same day at the Greenville County, S.C., Republican convention, Huckabee placed second behind Romney (132 to 111). [NOTE FROM BSR: It should be noted that it has been widely reported that the Romney campaign paid people to stuff the ballot box in has favor, and yet he still only narrowly beat Huckabee.]


Giuliani won a mere 35 votes. These straw polls not only exposed Giuliani's relative weakness in one of the nation's most Republican states, they also demonstrated the potential appeal of Huckabee, a Baptist minister and unapologetic pro-life and pro-marriage conservative, who in two gubernatorial victories proved he could win crossover voters in a key swing state.


Can a Republican like Giuliani, who favors same-sex unions, tax-funded abortion and, until recently at least, partial-birth abortion, hold states like Arkansas in the Republican column? At the end of an American Spectator Newsmaker Breakfast on Monday, I put the question directly to Huckabee. He gave a direct answer.


Me: "Do you think Rudy Giuliani could appeal to Democrats in Arkansas?"


Huckabee: "No. You can't go to Arkansas and be for things like partial-birth abortion, tax-funded abortion, gun-control and same-sex civil unions or marriages and carry that state."


Me: "Would Rudy expand the base of the Republican Party in the Midwest, do you think?"


Huckabee: "No, I don't think so."

Me: "What would the nomination of Rudy Giuliani say about the future of the Republican Party in your view?"


Huckabee: "You know, I respect Rudy a lot for his skills as a mayor. He obviously turned New York around. I don't want to do anything that would disparage where his skills are. But I am not sure I can answer your question. That may be one for the political analysts more than me."


Me: "Well, put it this way: Let's say you're a conscientious Christian conservative --"


Huckabee: "Yeah."


Me: "You believe that abortion takes the life of an innocent child --"


Huckabee: "Which I do."


Me: "And you believe that marriage should only be between a man and a woman --"


Huckabee: "I do."


Me: "And that the state should not legally recognize alternative unions --"


Huckabee: "I do not favor alternative unions."


Me: "And there is a third-party candidate who is pro-life and pro-marriage running against a Republican like Rudy Giuliani. Which candidate should a good Christian conservative vote for?"


Huckabee: "If Christians don't vote conscience and conviction, and they only vote parties -- if they are purely partisan -- then they really disenfranchise themselves from the very basis upon which they said they were involved in politics. They become just another Republican special-interest group. They are no longer a part of a principled minority, or, as it were, a majority or constituency."


Another reporter: "In that situation, how would you vote, governor?"


Huckabee: "I'll be very clear: I am Christian first; I am a Republican second. And so, my convictions are what led me to the Republican Party. And I am not saying that I would never vote for a person who is different from me, because obviously I have to vote for a lot of people who are different than me and have different views. But my value system is the one thing I have to hold on to. A hundred years from now, which party is in power is not going to make a whole lot of difference, but whether I was true to my moral compass means everything."


Me: "Well, governor, it sounds to me like what you just said is that if you have a Rudy Giuliani running as the Republican and there is a third-party candidate who is pro-family and pro-marriage, that the conscientious Christian conservative ought to vote for the pro-life, pro-marriage candidate over Rudy Giuliani?"


Huckabee: "Well, I've got a better idea, Terry. What they ought to do is nominate me, and then we don't have that challenge."


Me: "Right."


Huckabee: "So, let me not answer the hypothetical 'what if,' because I don't think we're going there. I really don't."


Republicans who want their party to remain the political vehicle of choice for conscientious pro-life, pro-marriage conservatives better hope this man from Arkansas is right about where the GOP is going.


Terence Jeffrey is Editor of HUMAN EVENTS. If you would like to send a comment to Mr. Jeffrey you can reach him by email at terencejeffrey@eaglepub.com

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Huckabee Strong South Carolina

UPDATED! See below...

Not much reported in the media are the results of county straw polls. The MSM favors regurgitating the national polls, that are based completely on name recognition and survey people who know little, if anything, about the candidates' positions on things like abortion, taxes or gun control.

But we're here to tell you what is REALLY happening....on the ground, where the real campaigning is taking place. We're happy to report to that in South Carolina, an early primary state, Governor Mike Huckabee is doing very well.

Case in point? Consider the results of the recent Greenville, SC straw poll taken immediately after the candidates addressed the county convention:

Greeville County

Mitt Romney - 132 (31%)
Mike Huckabee - 111 (26%)
Duncan Hunter - 87 (21%)
Rudy Giuliani - 35 (8%)
Sam Brownback - 19 (4.5%)
John McCain - 17 (4%)
John Cox - 10 (2%)
Tom Tancredo - 5 (1%)
Tommy Thompson - 3 (<1%) color="#cc0000">UPDATE: Here's another paper reporting on another county convention poll in South Carolina (Spartanburg)

Huckabee bests Giuliani, others in Saturday poll

Kirsten Singleton Saturday, April 21, 2007 at 01:00 am

SPARTANBURG, S.C. - Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee charmed some of South Carolina's Republican faithful Saturday, besting all his opponents on a poll measuring how well each spoke on the issues Spartanburg Republicans consider most important.

"If Huckabee can ramp up his fundraising efforts, he could be a real top-tier player," Spartanburg County Republican chair Rick Beltram said.

Huckabee..."was on his game today," Beltram said.

Huckabee emphasized the need to take care of returning veterans and to overhaul the country's tax system.

"We need a flat tax, not the kind of fat tax we have now," he said.

Noting that, like
Bill Clinton, he's from Hope, Ark., Huckabee smiled, "Ladies and gentlemen, give us another chance."

Roebuck resident
Sandy Shen is willing. Shen likes Huckabee and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney because they have leadership experience candidates coming from Congress don't.

"They all have good intentions," she said.

CNN reports a bit more detail in a story headlined "McCain fairs poorly, Huckabee well in S.C. straw poll".

... So far, Huckabee has done better in South Carolina than in nationwide polling.

"It shows that if you work hard for votes, people respond and will vote for you," Greenville County Republican Chairman Samuel Harms said.

In Spartanburg, each of the candidates gave a 10-minute speech and was evaluated on how he handled five different issues. The issues discussed were the war on terror and war in Iraq, border security and illegal immigration, fair trade, making President Bush's tax cuts permanent and social issues like abortion and gay marriage.

About 700 people participated and awarded the candidates one, three or five points. Huckabee finished first with 3,522 points, Giuliani came in second with 3,161, followed by Hunter with 3,090 and Romney with 2,972. Brownback earned 2,931 points, Cox had 2,456 and McCain got 2,027.

BSR

Friday, April 20, 2007

Huckabee Quote of the Day

Governor Mike Huckabee is winning support in New Hampshire, according to The Nashua Telegraph. Huckabee impressed a gathering of the Nashua Area Federation of Republican Women with his committment to healthcare and his authentic conservative values.

According to The Telegraph New Hampshire resident Maria Schaafsma only needed to hear Huckabee twice to convince her he should run the country. A 21-year-old nursing major at Saint Anselm College, Schaafsma first appreciated hearing Huckabee’s stance on health care, stressing the importance of preventive health care. But it was Huckabee’s emotional pledge to provide the best physical and mental health care to U.S. military personnel and veterans that sealed her vote.


Clearly furious at the shabby treatment received by many returning veterans, Huckabee said if elected president, he would make veterans’ health care a priority, even if funding required “chopping up” and selling the marble of every monument in Washington.


That's right, Governor...go get 'em.


BSR

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Other Bloggers on Mike Huckabee

Our friend Monday Morning Clacker of the New Hampshire blog Green Mountain Politics spent the day with Governor Huckabee on the campaign trail yesterday. He's got a great analysis, including video of the Governor he posted to YouTube.

Says the Clacker, "The former Governor is definitely getting some traction in New Hampshire. But don't take our word for it. Simply Note which prominent New Hampshire State Senator will announce his endorsement of Huckabee tomorrow..."

For the entire scoop, click HERE.

Thanks, Clacker!

BSR

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Virginia Tech School Violence: Kids Who Kill

This blog is almost exclusively devoted to collecting and presenting information about Governor Mike Huckabee's qualifications for the presidency, including his views on social issues. We keep our reports generally positive in tone, but sometimes current events prohibit a sunny disposition.

Major media outlets are reporting this morning that the shooter in yesterday's unbelievable massacre at Virginia Tech University was one of its own students.

This reminds us of a sad and horrifying event several years ago in Jonesboro, Arkansas. The Jonesboro crime occurred after a disturbing series of similar events across the country had already prompted Governor Mike Huckabee to write Kids Who Kill: Confronting Our Culture of Violence.

Sadly, Governor Huckabee has far too much experience dealing with such situations. You can see our previous post about that HERE.

Central to the theme of Huckabee's book is this: Legislation is not the answer. He believes that such crimes by children are the result of a "demoralization of America" and asks that we all take a look at ourselves and our families for the answer.

"Violence, infidelity, mayhem, perversity, gore, betrayal, lust and disrespect have all been sanctified in music, television, movies and video games as necessary complements of a culture of self-fulfillment, self-absorption and self-realization," he says. "As we refuse to stand for morality, we easily fall into serving immorality."

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Virginia Tech family today.

BSR

Monday, April 16, 2007

New Huckabee Blog

Governor Mike Huckabee has long been known as an ardent supported of arts education in the public schools. Now there is a great new blog devoted to educating you about that.

Check out the very well done Mike Huckabee and Arts Education blog HERE.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Other Bloggers on Mike Huckabee

Bob Hayton of Minnesota has a very well written Christian-focused blog called Fundamentally Reformed. After having done a lot of homework on the GOP candidates for president, Bob has come to the following conclusion:

"I encourage you to check out Huckabee for president. Pray for him and pull for him. I think he would be an incredible blessing to our nation."

You can check out Bob's entire post HERE.

Thank you, Bob, for doing your homework and sharing your thoughts.

BSR

Other Bloggers on Mike Huckabee

Mike Faulk of the Tennessee blog Mountain 'Publican has a post up today about a personal experience with Governor Mike Huckabee after the Governor's speech at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference last Fall in Memphis.

"During my chance to meet him personally after his speech, I learned all I needed to know about his character," Faulk says.

Vist Mr. Faulk's blog yourself for the whole story. Click HERE.

BSR

Friday, April 13, 2007

New Huckabee YouTube Channel

Governor Huckabee's new YouTube channel is up and running with at least 10 videos already in place. I'm excited because I've thought for more than a year now that YouTube is going to play a major role in what is sure to be the most unprecedented presidential election in U.S. History.

Check it out HERE.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

MSM on Mike Huckabee

"I am convinced that Huckabee would be the GOP
nominee if more people got to know him."
Mark Thornton, Editor
The Star-Herald

Members of the main stream media who live in the South know Mike Huckabee better than most. Almost without exception, they like what they see and hear from Huckabee. Here's the most recent occurance, published as an editorial by Mark Thornton of The Star-Herald in Mississippi.

Says Thornton:

"Republicans who are less than thrilled with its field of presidential hopefuls should take a close look at Mike Huckabee. He was written about in this very space two years ago as someone who seemed to have presidential qualities. He is an affable conservative with solid ideas. And for voters who don’t care about that sort of thing, he has an interesting personal side, too. He’s a Southern Baptist preacher who lost 100 pounds and plays bass in a rock band. The only real strike against him is that he, like a former president you may remember, was governor of Arkansas ... from Hope. (And for those who can’t get over that, remember that Bill Clinton’s shortcomings were as a man ... he was actually a good president.) I am convinced that Huckabee would be the GOP nominee if more people got to know him."

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Other Bloggers on Mike Huckabee

Our good friend over at New Hampshire blog Green Mountain Politics was present at Governor Huckabee's recent blogger conference call. He's got a great post up about it, including this little tidbit:

"We can speak to Huck's New Hampshire organization - it seems like its coming together nicely. Everything we've heard while dining (drinking) our way from one end of the Elm Street information pipeline to the other makes it sound as though Debra Vanderbeek is getting Huckabee's soldiers lined up. Authenticity backed up by field soldiers is a good thing to have for New Hampshire campaigns. And, we look forward to getting an up-close look when Huckabee comes back to the Granite State next week."

Notice that important little word "authenticity"? Its a theme. Get ready to hear a lot of it.

Check out the entire post HERE.

BSR

Monday, April 09, 2007

Mike Huckabee: Authentic

First, my apologies to regular readers. I was away again unexpectedly last week without easy access to the blog. That is all behind me now - at least for a while - so I'm back in the saddle for regular updates.

Here's today's update: If there was one word that could describe Mike Huckabee, I would chose "authentic." What do I mean by that, you ask?

Unlike Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee is authentically pro-life.

Unlike Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee is authentically pro-marriage.

Unlike Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee is an authentic defender of gun rights.

Unlike Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee is an authentic outdoorsman, hunter and fisherman.

Unlike Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee's authenticity is not the subject of jokes and comic strips.

Sadly, the only way in which Mitt Romney can be characterized as "authentic" is that he is an authentic panderer who will say anything - shamelessly - in order to curry favor.
America deserves better. America deserves an authentic leader like Mike Huckabee.
I can't WAIT for the debates!

BSR


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Huckabee: In it for the long haul

Governor Mike Huckabee, a marathoner, said he intends to finish strong in the 2008 race for president. "Its not how you start, its how you finish," he says. "You don't get spooked in the early steps of the race," Huckabee said in an interview broadcast by Little Rock radio station KARN. The Republican likened the race to a marathon - Huckabee has run in four of them - and said he is pacing himself for a long run.

Huckabee advisor Chip Saltsman said his goal was to raise $500,000 in the first three months of the year. "You've got to remember we just started this campaign six weeks ago," Saltsman said. "You've got some of these guys who have been running for president for six years."

Huckabee said he expects his fortunes to improve when GOP primary voters hear his conservative message.

When will that be, you ask? For starters, May 3 will bring us the first presidential debate showdown between the leading contenders at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Accepting former first lady Nancy Reagan's invitation are Brownback, Giuliani, McCain, Romney and others.

We'll see how Gov. Huckabee does (HINT: He'll wow 'em).

BSR

Sunday, April 01, 2007

UPDATE: Where Has BSR Been?

Hello, all. I'm back and I owe you an apology. I have been travelling for the last week, without access to a computer. I meant to put up a notice explaining that I would be away, but apparently I forgot to actually do that in my rush to prepare for my trip. I'm back now, and will get back on schedule with the blog.

UPDATE: New posts now up below!

BSR

Real Clear Politics: Huckabee Interview

Tom Bevan of Real Clear Politics travelled to New Hampshire with Governor Huckabee recently to observe Huckabee on the trail. Bevan's take-away opinion from that experience was that Governor Huckabee "... may fare better - perhaps much better - than many currently expect."

Today we have an excerpt of the transcript from an interview Mr. Bevan conducted with Governor Huckabee during that trip.


March 27, 2007


Interview With Mike Huckabee



(Editor's Note: The following interview took place on March 14 as Governor Huckabee campaigned in New Hampshire.)


RCP: First question: why are you doing this?


HUCKABEE: Because I really believe this county needs leadership that will restore America to its spirit of optimism, bring practical solutions to many of the problems we face, and that can bring people together from not only other parts of the country but from political parties. I think there's a void of that kind of leadership right now in the political structure of Washington.


RCP: And what's the issue that driving you?


HUCKABEE: The single most important issue is restoring America's faith in itself. This country is at its best when it's optimistic and resilient and when it sees that its greatest days are ahead of it, not behind it. We are at our worst when we tend to get filled with fear and anxiety. Fear is a motivator that will motivate people for the short term, but hope is what motivates people for the long term. And we are a nation that thrives best when we have an anticipation of the life that we're going to help build for our kids, as opposed to saying, 'oh boy, it's going to be bad for them.' We don't need to be thinking that way, and that requires leadership.


RCP: Let's talk about specific issues, starting with Iraq. You support the surge, correct?


HUCKABEE: I support the president's right as Commander-in-Chief to make the decisions that he feels like will work and General Petraeus is the person in whom he has placed his trust and the Senate has given unanimous confirmation to him. I don't know if it's going to work, but let's hope it does. I have to respect that he's looking at information that I don't have and he's based this decision on those intelligence reports and the reports that he's getting from his generals in the field. I always have to express, and I will today, some concerns that we are overextending our National Guard and Reserve forces and we're asking so much of them that I fear we're going to stress them to the point of really breaking the system. These are supposed to be citizen-soldiers and in many cases they're now going for long and extended and repeated deployments. That is a concern to me. But some positive things are happening. This weekend when 13 nations gathered in Baghdad to talk about involvement of other nations. I've been saying for months that what has to happen is a greater sense of participation of the other nations in that neighborhood, and that's starting to happen.


RCP: So do you think it was the right decision? Or are you not willing to make that judgment from where you sit right now?


HUCKABEE: It's not that I'm unwilling...I just have to respect that as the Commander-in-Chief he has the right to make that decision. I have respect for him in having done so knowing that it was not necessarily going to be popular. But I also understand that it had better work, because if it doesn't then I think he adds more fuel to his critics...My concern is that if you're going to do this we need to do it with all the resources possible....we spend 3.8% of GDP right now on defense. That is less than any time since the end of the Cold War... We've never spent that small amount of our GDP during a shooting war. You have to wonder, are we trying to do too much with too little?


RCP: Are you suggesting we spend more on defense? President Huckabee would increase our defense spending?


HUCKABEE: I'd see what our needs were. One of the issues we've got to face is whether or not we've allocated enough resources for what we intend to do. We've got to have a strong military, there's no doubt about that. But we have to use our military very sparingly, and one of the concerns I do have is that we're fighting a very unconventional war. It is not a traditional war in the sense that we're fighting an army, we're not fighting a nation, we're not fighting an armed force that has uniforms and an insignia and a battle flag. We're fighting an ideology. And it exists in cells throughout many, many different nations. It doesn't seem that you're going to win an unconventional war by deploying a conventional army in a conventional manner. So I think there's got to be some redefinition of the strategy and the picture. The second thing, when I was a college freshman I had a professor that used to tell us, "don't use all your water on too small a fire." His point was, to apply it to today, we have to be careful that we don't use all the resources that we have just in Iraq because we've got Iran, North Korea, we have other hot spots in the world that could break out. If we're in such a position that we have completely extended ourselves to the point where we have no more resources to give, that puts us in a rather vulnerable position.


RCP: How concerned are you about Iraq and how it's going to affect the Republican race for the Presidency in 2008?


HUCKABEE: It will be a huge issue. But none of us know how much of an issue it will be a year from now, because everything could change...what we have to do is to remember that no president is elected based on the issues of yesterday, or even today. Presidents are elected on the basis of their character and their judgment, so that when the crisis comes that they will face that they're going to deal with it based on an operating system that is within them. ...Pundits tend to think it's what you know, in other words it's your "database" that's incredibly important...The American people tend to look at your operating system. They want to find out what processes will you use to take the data and make a decision. That's the smart move, because when it comes down to it no president has all the data at his fingertips or in his head, because the issues that you campaign on may change the day you get elected.


RCP: So what's the best example you can provide of your operating system, of your judgment in terms of handling a crisis?


HUCKABEE: First of all I can tell you if you look at my record for 10 ½ years as Governor you'd see a consistency of what I'd call true problem solving, anticipating what issues are going to be and trying to, as Wayne Gretzsky would say, skate toward the puck before it's there.
In terms of crisis, whether it's massive tornadoes that ripped 250 miles of territory off the Arkansas landscape, or dealing with 75,000 evacuees that poured into our state after Hurricane Katrina and the fact that while FEMA was in complete meltdown we increased our state's population 3% in 5 days with people who had literally nothing but a plastic garbage sack with maybe a change of clothes -and some of them didn't even have that - and they came in with 5 days of muddy water on their bodies and nothing else, not even a photo ID. We were able to take those people and process them and unlike other parts of the country where it was a chaotic disaster, we managed that crisis in our own state because we took all the resources that could be marshaled, we brought them together, we innovated and we didn't wait on the federal government to give us permission to help people. I think it's that kind of leadership America looks for, whether it's the aftermath of a hurricane or whether it's confronting the realities of a terrorist attack.


RCP: Do you have a specific tax proposal out yet? Are you in favor of a flat tax? Reducing rates further? Simplifying the system?


HUCKABEE: I would favor a flat tax. I know it's complicated to get there, but the system we have is just archaic and virtually out of control. To me there are four F's in a good tax system: it ought to be flatter, fairer, finite and family friendly. Flatter means that there is a proportionate sense of sharing the burden, so everybody has skin in the game. Fairer means that there's not only equitable distribution but it does not penalize productivity and subsidize irresponsibility, which to me is a good tenant of government. Family friendly simply means that there is a sense in which you encourage a family unit, you encourage marriage, which is critical, you encourage stable homes and fatherhood, you don't create tax policies that would discourage having children but rather would encourage having children and raising them in your homes and families. Finite is simply that you recognize there is just a limit to how much you can take out of people's pockets and how much you can take out of the private sector and still have a thriving economy and create jobs.


RCP: Let's switch gears again to immigration. I believe you said when President Bush sent 6,000 National Guard troops to the border that you supported that decision but that "militarizing" the border was not the answer. In the interview earlier today, you said that we have to secure our border. If securing our borders is first and foremost, how do we go about getting control of the border?


HUCKABEE: A physical border coupled with an electronic border, to me, is paramount. It's essential. And it's going to be expensive but it's probably less expensive than to continue to do what we're doing now which is to leave these borders open with no idea of who's coming and where they are and what they're doing. I've never really worried about someone slipping across the border to pluck chickens or pick tomatoes or make beds, but it does worry me that somebody could also slip across the border with a shoulder fired missile launcher. That's pretty darn serious and we've just left ourselves vulnerable for that. And it's not just the Mexican border; we've got to be just as concerned about the Canadian border. And it's not a matter of it being an insult to these other countries; it's to protect them as much as it is us, from people who traverse those borders without any real sense of authority. That's critical, and it's important to everyone. When I've said we shouldn't militarize the borders, the purpose of the military is to fight wars; it's not to provide police action. What I'd rather see us do is to have border security that is run by an entity that is geared toward just that, it's the role of security and it's a police action, not a military action. We're not fighting Mexico, we're not fighting Canada. It's not a war. We're not putting that military border up. It's a civilian border. Just like when I go to the airport it's a civilian function of the TSA to check me out and to make sure that I am who I say I am and that I'm going where I say I'm going. That's why they check my boarding pass and my photo ID to make sure that I'm not bringing something on that could be harmful, so that's why I go through all that X-ray and patting down process. In the same way, we need to know that a person coming across the border is not bringing something harmful, whether that's a weapon or a communicable disease. We need to know that. It should be conducted in a civilized and civilian manner.

RCP: Are you in favor of the fence?


HUCKABEE: I am. Again, whether it's electronic or physical, in some places electronic may be more practical than a physical one, but the border ought to be secure. I don't see why that's controversial to some people, they say that it is. The reason I say, "why should it be?" is because if you go to any high rise in Manhattan and there are physical barriers between the sidewalk and getting up to the fourteenth floor. Go to any airport and there are many barriers between getting out of your car and getting on that airplane. You can't even go to the stadium without having some barriers and borders. We're used to that, it's part of our system, we understand it. And it's not all related to terrorism, some of it is related just to an orderly process so six people aren't all trying to sit in the same seat. I don't think there is anything that is unfair, unkind, or uncivil about that. I think, in fact, that it's being uncivil to not have some understanding of who's coming, where they're going, what they're going to do, and how they're going to be functioning.


RCP: So you're essentially supportive of the Bush administration's position.


HUCKABEE: I don't want to have an amnesty program. You can't let people break a law and say "hey we're going to look the other way, don't worry about it, we're going to let you in, no problem." People have to make restitution, there's got to be a penalty paid for the crime committed. But it ought to fit the crime...


For the complete interview, click HERE.