Next in this exercise of analyzing the presidential candidates we have Republican Mike Huckabee, who has been surging in popularity of late, though still a long-shot to win the nomination.
About the candidate: Mike Huckabee is the former governor of Arkansas, having served from 1996 to 2007. Huckabee is an ordained Southern Baptist minister. Prior to his political career, Huckabee was pastor of several Southern Baptist churches. He served as president of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention from 1989 to 1991 and as president of a religion-oriented television station.
|Issue/Voting Criteria||Candidate’s Stance||Candidate’s Record||Grade|
|1. Strengthening the Family||From Huckabee’s website
My faith is my life – it defines me. My faith doesn’t influence my decisions, it drives them. I don’t separate my faith from my personal and professional lives.
-While Governor, Huckabee signed the “Covenant Marriage Act”, which compels the couple to seek counseling if problems develop during the marriage, provides limited grounds for divorce or separation, and restricts lawsuits against spouses. Huckabee said the law, “offers couples a chance to be held to a higher level of marital commitment.”
-Huckabee opposes abortions, same-sex marriages, and civil unions
From Right Wing News
-Huckabee has a superb record on right to life issues, and supports an amendment to protect marriage
|1A. Pro-Life/Anti-Abortion||From Huckabee’s website
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.
|1B. Pro-Traditional Marriage
||From Huckabee’s website
I support and have always supported passage of a federal constitutional amendment that defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman.
|2. Defending Our Country||From Huckabee’s website
-Our Founding Fathers wanted to guarantee our God-given liberties. They wanted us to be able to defend ourselves, and that’s why they gave us the Second Amendment.
-A nation must provide its citizens freedom and security. A nation must be able to defend itself and feed itself. We have learned how disastrous it is to be dependent on other countries for our energy needs.
-Huckabee supported a 2005 bill to make some illegal aliens eligible for scholarships and in-state college tuition
-Regarding his position to give public benefits to children of illegal immigrants, he said, “I have always said you don’t punish a child for the crime of a parent”
-Huckabee supports the War in Iraq, the troop surge and the continued operation of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp
-He believes the United States’ number one priority should be to secure America’s borders. However, Huckabee supports a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants.
|2A. Defeating Terrorists||From Huckabee’s website
I believe that we are currently engaged in a world war. Radical Islamic fascists have declared war on our country and our way of life. This war is not a conventional war, and these terrorists are not a conventional enemy. I will fight the war on terror with the intensity and single-mindedness that it deserves.
|2B. Protecting Our Borders||From Huckabee’s website
My number one priority is to secure America’s border. I opposed the amnesty bill that was defeated by the Senate in June.
|3. Free Market Economic Policy||From Huckabee’s website
-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.
-We don’t need universal health care mandated by federal edict or funded through ever-higher taxes.
-As Governor, Huckabee signed into law a 3 cent per gallon increase in tax on gasoline
-He led a campaign to funnel 100 percent of the state’s tobacco settlement revenues into the health care system, rather than the general fund.
-He signed a tax on private nursing homes for $5.25 per day per non-Medicare patient
-He was named “Friend of a Taxpayer” by American for Tax Reform (ATR) for his cut in statewide spending
-Huckabee publicly opposed the repeal of a sales tax on groceries and medicine in 2002
From Huckabee’s website
As Governor of Arkansas:
– I pushed through a $90 million tax relief package
– I doubled the standard deduction for taxpayers
-I eliminated the marriage penalty and capital gains tax on home sales
– I cut taxes and fees nearly 100 times, saving the people of Arkansas almost $380 million.
– When I left office, AR had a nearly $850 million state surplus
|3A. Lower Taxes||From Huckabee’s website
-I am running to completely eliminate all federal income and payroll taxes.
-I support the FairTax, a consumption tax, like the taxes on retail sales
|3B. Smaller Government||From Huckabee’s website
-To control spending, I believe the President should have the line-item veto.
-Government deficits are is not due to Americans’ being under-taxed, but to the government’s over-spending.
Mike Huckabee’s grade point average comes out to 3.56 on a 4 point scale, which is lower than I expected. I was surprised at Huckabee’s poor economic record relating to his support for tax increases. Also hurting Huckabee was his weak stance on illegal immigration. On the plus side, Huckabee is the first candidate I have examined to get a perfect score on the Strengthening the Family category.