Mike Huckabee

Mike Huckabee Officially Enters the Presidential Race

His speech stresses economic issues, but he also makes it clear that he's a socially conservative hawk.

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Note: I do not actually ? him.
Fox Searchlight Pictures

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee officially entered the race for the Republican presidential nomination this morning, with a speech in Hope, Arkansas, that worked hard to appeal to populist blue-collar voters. The candidate led with economic issues, saying the country's joblessness rate is too high and its homeownership rate too low; he also decried stagnant wages, sympathized with the travails of "the bottom 90 percent," invoked the problems at the Veterans Administration, attacked the Trans-Pacific Partnership, denounced any entitlement reforms that would reduce promised payouts, said the War on Poverty has failed, and complained that Obamacare took money from Medicare.

After that Huckabee moved into foreign policy: denouncing Iran, sticking up for the Israeli settlements (he referred to the occupied territories as "Judea and Samaria"), suggesting that Obama can't tell the good guys from the bad guys, playing up the alleged threat of cyberwar, and promising to "conquer" jihadism. Then came a quick tour through social issues, covering abortion (he's against it), gay marriage (also against), and religious liberty (he worries we're on the road to "criminalizing Christianity"). He also said the judiciary is too powerful, made a plea for decentralizing government power, and said we should "expel" the Department of Education. And then, after a quick stop at the subject of border control, he was back to economics, calling for the Fair Tax, for less regulation on farmers, and for more manufacturing—and more energy production—at home.

All in all, while he certainly isn't soft-pedaling his socially conservative views or his hawkish foreign policy positions, Huckabee is clearly putting his focus on economic issues. Some of his ideas there would either keep government big or make it bigger, while others involve rolling parts of the state back; all of them are aimed at that blue-collar vote. And while I have a difficult time conceiving of a plausible scenario that ends with Huckabee getting the GOP nomination, it's not hard to imagine how a campaign positioned this way could affect the stands other candidates are willing to take.

Bonus link: Want to read more about Huckabee? Here are five things you need to know about him.

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  1. “The candidate led with economic issues, saying the country’s joblessness rate is too high and its homeownership rate too low”

    Yeah, the last time we tried to jack up the homeownership rate turned into such an unmitigated success. Why don’t we just let people buy homes if they can afford to buy homes rather than deforming the market in a desperate attempt to get more people houses, after which the market will collapse due to mortgage defaults?

    Anyone who thinks the government has the capacity to cause more homeownership is an idiot who should be disqualified from the presidency.

    1. So…all the candidates should be disqualified?

      1. YES PLEASE

      2. Yes, so that the way is clear for me to run.

        VOTE WARTY 2016
        THE GREATER OF TWO EVILS

        1. THIS TIME…WHY NOT THE WORST?

          (Warty’s running mate is Nicole.)

          1. ONE TIARA TO RULE THEM ALL

            1. Your Grace!

          2. Instead of a dark lord you will have a queen!

        2. Warty campaign ad NSFW (violence/gore)

    2. “Less regulation on farmers” – somehow I suspect this doesn’t mean the government should grant them the freedom to go out of business if they can’t hack it in the marketplace.

    3. Why don’t we just let people buy homes if they can afford to buy homes…

      Affordability is only half the question. Back when I was working for the VA it was the kind of job where I moved around. Like six states in seven years. What I really needed to do was rent. But it was the late 1970s, government at all levels was hellbent on making it easy as possible to buy, so there wasn’t anything left to rent.

      Particularly with today’s mobile society, not everyone should own a home.

      1. I’ve owned a home. At this point, I don’t want to own a home. I’m mobile and I hate repair work and costs.

      2. Larry, Milton Friedman might have opined that ‘every home is “affordable”.’ and I agree!

        The ‘problem’ happens when well-meaning fools bend the economics of the marketplace so that people who CAN’T afford the house they WANT ARE ‘supported’ to be able to do so.

        Much like college loans, y’think? Why are there too many graduates who can’t pay off those loans? Maybe because that market, too, was bent to make those loans “affordable” to students who couldn’t afford ’em in an open market, but could in a distorted market?

        Critical Thinking is dead.

    4. Glad somebody finally caught on to that idea… now pass it on to the unwashed Believers who’d vote for that mistake every day of the week….

  2. Most objectively awful Team Red candidate to enter the race in the last few days: Carson, Fiorina, or Huckabee?

    1. Huckabee, easily.

      1. The Huckster is actually worse than the atrocious Bernie Sanders. At least Bernie doesn’t want to conquer the Middle East for Israel and he is Jewish.

        Other than that they both suck equally. And Huck is against the TPP? He sucks even more than I thought.

        1. BUUUUTTTPPPPPLLLLUUUUUUUGG

    2. Huckabee.

      I wish he’d just stop running every cycle.

      1. This is what – the third time he’s tried to get the nomination? I’m just wondering what happens to all the leftover campaign money.

        1. Oh, come on… take a wild guess…

    3. Objectively awful or objectionally awful? Both are a close call, but I’d go with Fiorina for the objectively and Carson for the objectionally. Fiorina has zero qualifications for the job, including obviously the inability to recognize the lack of qualifications. Carson, given his background, has obviously had to work very hard to achieve the level of retardation he displays. Fiorina is an idiot who doesn’t know she’s an idiot, Carson is an idiot who is proud of how big an idiot he is. (Naturally, I say this only as a straightwhitemale so of course am going to vote for one of my own just like the left advises me. I couldn’t possibly support a woman or a black person or a gay person.)

      1. I went the other way. Between the three of them, Carson and Fiorina having no past political/government experience is a plus. There’s a chance, however minute, that they’d have some redeeming policies. Huckabee’s been a politician/political commentator forever. His level of horribleness is a known quantity.

      2. Fiorina has zero qualifications for the job…

        That didn’t stop the incumbent.

        Carson is wrong on guns, which sounds a big alarm for me. Huckabee rates way too high on the Christian Government scale.

        But I’d buy popcorn for a Fiorina/Clinton catfight debate.

        “Two vaginas enter, one vagina leaves.”

    4. Huckabee. SoCon who thinks government needs to “uplift” people but has a strong affinity for cronyism and conquering the Holy Land. He’s a doodoo typhoon.

    5. Huckabee.

    6. The Huckster, hands down. He’s like some sort of Republican strawman magically brought to life or something.

  3. #6: He looks like a fat version of Thurston Howell III.

  4. You know what shocked me the most? I found out today that Huckabee is 59. He’s looked 65 for almost 10 years now.

  5. I’m disappointed that you didn’t use this picture.

    1. The “I ate the salty ham” photo

      1. The “I am the salty ham” photo.

    2. THEY ALL WANT CAKE

    3. WHO SAID VERTICAL STRIPES ARE SLIMMING?

      1. Past a certain point, vertical stripes just make a person look like a watermelon.

        1. Big Top Huckabee

    4. I really like that happy smiling dog, though. I hope his sons didn’t eat it.

      1. The two sons need to be nicknamed Sloth and Chunk.

    5. How awful was that campaign manager’s job?

      “Uh, sir, we’ve done some focus group testing and, well, it seems that even the ‘corpulent fuck’ vote in Arkansas finds your family repulsive.”

    6. With clothing from the Helen Keller Collection?
      Who dresses these people?!

  6. Mike Huckabee will never be president.

    1. Now THERE’S something we can thank God for, amirite? COME ON PEOPLE, THANK JEEBUS FOR NO HUCKSTER!!!

  7. Five things I need to know?
    Mi-chael Huck-a-bee
    Five syllables, five things too much.

  8. I don’t want to be accused of micro-managing, but I cannot understand why “I Heart Huckabees” is on a list of DVDs considered suitable for armed-forces entertainment. That self-indulgent crap is not suitable for combat troops.

    That’s all I have to say.

    That and, “Fuck off, Huckabee.”

    1. I liked it; good silly entertainment.

      Having said that, the best movie I saw in the navy was sometime mid-70s, mess deck with a 16mm projector and the rollup screen; some French Foreign Legion movie (not in French, but ….) which was forgettable except for when the commandant’s wife was stripping to distract the guards so her rebel lover could sneak over the wall and open the gate. The projectionist was bored and so he ran that stripping scene back and forth until it got too hot, and he had to go forward again.

  9. I was gonna post the clip of “and there was much rejoicing….yaaaaay.” from Monty Python, but the “yays” were much too enthusiastic.

    I can’t see him drawing any attention, at all, beyond today. I bet Gary Johnson will get more airplay than this FaFu.

  10. In the old days he would have had a shot at the Dem nomination – only social issues prevent that now.

  11. Somewhere PB just came in his pants over the prospect of getting to scream about CHRISTFAGS on a daily basis until Huckabee drops out of the race.

    1. It will continue to bitch about CHRISTFAGS even after Huckster drops out.

  12. Somewhere PB just came in his pants over the prospect of getting to scream about CHRISTFAGS on a daily basis until Huckabee drops out of the race.

    1. A thought so nice, he orgasmed twice?

  13. This is an alternative:

    Almanian for President – 2016
    I Probably Won’t Make It Any Worse

    1) No, fuck you, cut spending (YEAH, I STOLE IT – DEAL WITH IT)
    2) Agile Cyborg appointed Poet Laureate, whether he accepts it or not. It doesn’t pay anything, so who cares.
    3) White House sold to Disney as a theme park – proceeds to be used for….something = my house become the POTUS residence while I’m in office – we still have bonfires on Friday nights and weekends.
    4) Start eliminating agencies, probably alphabetically by acronym, but maybe by playing poker or darts. Some that will be going – BATF, DEA, DHS, HHS, EPA, Education, Energy, NASA (FUCK NASA – bring on MOAR SPACE X and the like). More to come….

  14. How about we go 4 years without a National Dad? Just to see what happens?

    The president has only 3 responsibilities: passing/vetoing laws, commanding the military, and appointing ambassadors and such.

    The new laws can wait, the military can go on autopilot, and the empty slots can stay empty.

    As for spending bills, it almost never gets vetoed anyway, so that can go on autopilot too.

    1. Don’t forget pardons.

  15. Meh. He’s the ex-governor of Arkansas. How bad can he be?

  16. Oh come on everybody. Don’t you all get as big of a kick as I do watching these social conservatives pound their heads against the wall in their forever running campaigns on the Wars on Women, Drugs and Gays? Their egos must be the size of earth and their beliefs that only they can save us ? the Huckabees, Santorums and Perrys ? comic relief. Let them waste their time and energy and destroy the GOP in the process.

    The evangelical/religious right have destroyed their party and the country, handing it over to the socialists. Are you proud of yourselves? Your offspring will hate you for generations to come.

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