Mike Huckabee's Political Views
The former governor of Arkansas and a current commentator for Fox News, Mike Huckabee is probably most famous for his unsuccessful runs for the Republican Presidential nomination in 2008 and 2016 and his fondness for food-related analogies in explaining his political views. This hub will attempt to take an unbiased look at Governor Huckabee's political views to determine what he really thinks about the key issues currently affecting the United States. How does he stack up against Rubio, Cruz, Trump, Christie, Carson, and the other potential Republican nominees? Could he be a potential Vice Presidential candidate for the Donald or another candidate?
Huckabee on the Issues
1. Budget Deficits and Taxes: While governor of Arkansas Huckabee had a mixed record on taxes, signing many tax cuts into law but also passing a few tax increases as well. Huckabee did sign Grover Norquist's pledge to not increase taxes at the federal level while running for President in 2008. Generally, Huckabee has called for lower federal spending as a solution to persistent federal budget deficits, because "our dependency on foreign countries puts us in danger." However, Huckabee has not offered specific examples of the types of federal spending that should be cut, and he has proposed a large increase in military spending in past statements (for more information see the Foreign Policy Section).
2. Jobs and Economic Growth: Huckabee came out strongly against the government bailouts of the financial and auto industries in 2008-2009, stating "It’s not the job of government to prop up companies not doing well due to reckless mismanagement." Generally Huckabee has called for decreased regulation and taxes a solution to the economic crisis, especially as they relate to small businesses, stating in November 2008: "a large corporation can hire Washington reps who will help create the rigmarole that disproportionately hurts its smaller rivals. That's one reason why big government and big business usually get along so well together."
3. Health Care: Huckabee has repeatedly spoken against the health care reform bill passed by Congress and signed by President Obama in 2010, calling it "a Frankenstein that should never have come out of the laboratory." During the 2008 presidential campaign, Huckabee called for solving the nation's current health care problems (such as 40 million uninsured and the denial of coverage for those with pre-existing conditions) with a combination of policies, including: medical liability reform, electronic record keeping, expanding health savings accounts,and making health insurance tax deductible for individuals and families as it now is for businesses.
4. Global Warming and Environmental issues: During the 2008 election campaign Huckabee repeatedly expressed support for a cap and trade system, stating in October 2007, "I also support cap and trade of carbon emissions. And I was disappointed that the Senate rejected a carbon counting system to measure the sources of emissions, because that would have been the first and the most important step toward implementing true cap and trade." However, in recent interviews, Huckabee has denied taking that position. Huckabee has expressed support for federal support for research and development into alternative energy sources as it will help reduce dependence on foreign oil.
5. Foreign Policy: Huckabee largely supported the conduct of the Bush administration during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. In recent years, Huckabee has called for a return to the level of military spending under Ronald Reagan, when military expenditures averaged around 6% of GDP vs. the current 3% of GDP. Huckabee is also a strong supporter of Israel, stating "the Jews have a God-given right to reclaim land given to their ancestors and taken away from them."
6. Social Issues: Huckabee is extremely conservative socially. He has repeatedly come out againt abortion in any and all circumstances, including cases of rape and incest, and has said that it will be a "good day for America" if Roe vs. Wade is repealed. Huckabee has repeatedly voiced opposition to gay marriage and questioned the morality of gay Americans in a 2007 interview, stating: "well I believe it would be — just like lying is sinful and stealing is sinful. There are a lot of things that are sinful. It doesn't mean that a person is a horrible person. It means that they engage in behavior that is outside the norms of those boundaries of our traditional view of what's right and what's wrong. So, I think that anybody who has, maybe a traditional worldview of sexuality would classify that as an unusual behavior that is not traditional and that would be outside those bounds."
7. Immigration Policy: While governor of Arkansas, Huckabee was relatively moderate on immigration issues. In a 2006 interview with the Washington Post, he stated "I tend to think that the rational approach is to find a way to give people a pathway to citizenship. You shouldn't ignore the law or ignore those who break it. But by the same token, I think it's a little disingenuous when I hear people say they should experience the full weight of the law in every respect with no pathway, because that's not something we practice in any other area of criminal justice in this country.... To think that we're going to go lock up 12 million people, or even round them up and drive them to the border and let them go, might make a great political speech, but it's not going to happen." During the 2008 campaign, Huckabee expressed a more conservative position on immigration, as he supported the creation of a border fence and increased border patrols. However, Huckabee has expressed continued opposition to a constitutional amendment that would repeal birthright citizenship for the children of illegal immigrants born in the United States.
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