Huckabee makes Estherville stop
After an introduction from State Rep. Tedd Gassman, presidential candidate Mike Huckabee opened his remarks to a local crowd of about 40 at the Estherville VFW Thursday night with a joke: “In 2008, I attended the Winnebago County Fair and I distinctly remember the scent of the hog pens. Of course I wasn’t certain if the smell was the hogs or the reporters.”
He also noted, “If people in Iowa think it’s cold, then it’s stinkin’ cold.”
Huckabee emphasized his leadership experience as governor of Arkansas.
The presidency, Huckabee said, “is not an entry-level job.” Huckabee pointed out that for 7 years “we had a 1-term senator with no executive experience, who had never even sponsored any meaningful legislation. The election is a life or death decision, and America elected Barack Obama because he could give good speeches.” Huckabee told the story of a flight delay in Atlanta. The gate agent went on the PA system to say, “I think the crew is on its way, but meanwhile would anyone here like to fly the plane?”
Huckabee, a grandfather of five young children ages 4 and under, asked, “Why would anyone get on that plane? Why would we put our grandchildren’s future in the hands of someone who’s never sat in the cockpit? Why turn the most challenging position in the world over to someone who’s never done anything like it?”
Huckabee said he resolved to secure the nation’s borders against illegal entry, raise the standard of the middle class, and introduce Huckabee’s idea of tax reform, which he calls FairTax. “Instead of tinkering with the tax code, we need a tax revolution that helps every hard-working American and eliminates the IRS once and for all,” Huckabee said.
The advantages of FairTax, according to Huckabee, include the guarantee that criminals, illegal immigrants, and all who operate in the underground economy pay their fair share, and “not just hard working Americans who play by the rules.”
The FairTax abolishes the IRS as well as Medicare, payroll, and investment income taxes. These taxes are replaced by “a flat, simple, family-friendly national sales tax.”
Huckabee said there are currently around 80 members of Congress who support FairTax, and it is gaining momentum. “But it takes a President to assume leadership and make this sort of sweeping reform happen,” he said.
Pastor David Hovinga asked Huckabee a question about gridlock in Washington and how as President, Huckabee would fix it.
Huckabee answered, “We’ve done it.” While no one can fire the legislative branch and start over, he found himself as Arkansas governor building trust and relationships, and working on corruption in state government.
Huckabee said, “I’m a fighter. A fighter doesn’t just go into a fight. A fighter wins. I have a history of this. It’s not about anger; it’s about commitment. I love my country. It’s not easy. I went on TV to talk about issues. That was the easiest job I’ve ever had with the highest pay. I will tell you that I’ll do anything to make America better.”
Huckabee favors term limits for the legislative and judicial branches of government and a ban on congress members coming back as lobbyists. “I’ll work with anyone who wants to help build America. Success is making a win-win situation. The person across the aisle is not the enemy. Not everything they want is crazy and wrong. We find common ground. That’s a biblical principle. We gain cooperation for little things, and later we’re given bigger things.”
Craig Kesler asked a question about Huckabee’s support of Kim Davis, the clerk of court in Kentucky who refused to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
“I think our constitutional protection of religious liberty extends to protection in the workplace,” Huckabee said, adding that if he is elected, “the attorney general and justice department will protect religious liberty for American citizens.”
Huckabee added that he supports Kim Davis because she was acting out of her Christian faith. “I wouldn’t surrender the power of the executive branch when it comes to religious liberty,” he said.
Huckabee addressed the local concern of wind and other sustainable energies, saying he is in favor of all forms of energy. “We ought to be exporting our energy and take those markets from the Saudis and Russians,” he said.
Huckabee urged voters, no matter how cold or snowy or bad the roads may be Feb. 1 to caucus for him and help him to win the Iowa caucus as he did in 2008.