Former Arkansas Governor and Fox News host, Mike Huckabee came to the Barley House for a lively interview that covered the angry mood of American voters, Obama’s foreign policy woes, the promises of Social Security, and what to do about health care, and the real abortion question. Huckabee believes that the voters have a right to be angry with politicians, but they shouldn’t let that cloud their judgment by choosing a president with no government experience. He feels that it would compound the problems created by the election of Barack Obama who had no executive experience and minimal legislative experience.
At the beginning and end of the interview, Chris Ryan and Dean Spiliotes, a professor of Political Science at Southern New Hampshire University, discuss the issues and strategies of the Republican presidential candidates. In particular, they examine the problems and strengths of Governor Huckabee who finished second in the New Hampshire Primary in 2008.
Mike Huckabee came across as prepared and passionate about the issues. He believes that the voters are angry and feel betrayed by politicians from both parties who make all kinds of promises and don’t deliver. He compiled what he considers a laundry list of president Obama’s foreign policy miscalculations and missteps: backing the wrong side in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood; saying that Yemen is doing great just before the government that we supported collapsed; drawing a red line in Syria and then doing nothing; standing by while Libya imploded; failing to get a status of forces agreement in Iraq; promising but not delivering weapons to the Kurds; and making an agreement with Iran–the craziest people in the Middle East while they chant death to America and our ally, Israel. As Gov. Huckabee puts it, “Leading from behind has left us behind! Our friends no longer trust us and we make friends with a sworn enemy. It’s insanity.”
Huckabee believes that the American people are upset that there appears to be one set of rules for Wall Street and Washington and another set of rules for ordinary citizens. “The donor class funds the political class at the expense of the working class.”
Mike Huckabee is very upset about any attempts to diminish Social Security which believes is a sacred trust between the people who have paid into it and their government. He points out the hypocrisy in the Congress voting a pay raise for itself taking effect in January 2016 while denying a COLA (Cost-of-Living Adjustment) for Social Security recipients. This is only the third time in 40 years that there has been no increase in benefits paid to the 70 million pensioners. For one third of these people, Social Security benefits make up 90% of their income. Huckabee feels that because people don’t have a choice about paying into the Social Security system throughout their lives as workers, the government has an obligation to fulfill its promises with no strings attached.
The Governor also had an interesting take on the shortcomings of the Affordable Care Act. Huckabee feels that Obamacare was designed to cut deals for special interest groups like the hospitals, insurance and big drug companies. He believes that it would have been better to address the health crises in this country, not the health care industry. He would put forward the goal of curing these four major diseases–cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s. Huckabee believes that if the same amount of national attention that was given to the space program was placed into eradicating these deadly and devastating diseases that we wouldn’t have a healthcare problem.
Mike Huckabee also had a novel approach to climate change. He sees it as an opportunity to use the fossil fuel resources of the United States to achieve energy independence, increase our exports, improve our economy, and bankrupt our enemies. He sees ISIS and Putin as a bigger threat.
On abortion, there is little or no wiggle room in his position. Mike Huckabee believes that life begins at conception, and that this unborn life is a human being with due process rights. He is quick to point out that modern medical technology shows that it is more than a blob of tissue.
In the last part of the interview, Governor Huckabee described what the country would be like in 2024, after 8 years of a Huckabee Administration. Due to the Huckabee Fair Tax on consumption rather than income, the economy will be booming. More people will be back to work. There will be an increase in manufacturing. The US will have the strongest military in history. Americans will be more civil and optimistic.