Mike Huckabee is holding another blogger conference call. This is my first. These are notes. I will have a seperate analysis post.
First, notes from his opening statement:
The last two weeks have been intense. "The straw poll has been phenomenal for us." "On a non-stop tour in terms of the scheduling and the media." Clearly been traveling a lot.
He called the Machinist union endorsement "phenomenal." Apparently, this is the first time in 100-and-some years that they’ve endorsed a Republican.
"Fundraising is going exceptionally well." Best-ever online contributions. People are volunteering to host fundraisers. "Website traffic has increased by 3-4 times. 150 bloggers for Huckabee."
The other story is the poll number pop. "Ahead of Fred Thompson and significantly ahead of John McCain in Iowa." "What we had hoped had happened did happen."
"Steven Nielsen." Colorado for Huckabee. "What is the plan now with Fred Thompson coming in on September 6th?" Huckabee responds,
"I am not sure how much momentum he is going to have. … Extraordinary expectations that will leave people underwhelmed. … I also believe that it will change the dynamics for him … The fact that he chose not to participate in the NH debate is somewhat telling. … I know the people in NH are not real happy about it. … Goals: doing well in the primary states and fundraising. … We still believe that we have to come out of Iowa and South Carolina."
Kevin Tracy. Asks what Huckabee would do about sex slavery. Response: "Maximum protection to American citizens."
Holly. On the Right Side. York County, South Carolina. She asks about "inferior products made in China" and "balancing out the trade."
"One of the reasons that I got the endorsement of the machinist union. … Further complicated by the buying up of currency. … Free trade is a great thing … but if it is not fair trade, it is not free trade. … Violations of human rights and disregard of the environment. … We do expect them to treat workers with respect. … A regulatory system that is more effect and more like ours. …Protect this country."
John Rogers, With Huckabee. A former Pastor. Asked about the Iowa DOMA law struck down by a judge.
"If you elect liberals to the legislature … this is what you get. … This will light the hearts and minds and feet on this issue. … If you elect people who are a little squishy, this is what you get. … Iowa may need to do what Arkansas did, put it in the Constitution. … I am glad that we did that in Arkansas."
Tom Forbes. Polisticks? "How do you propose to bring as President personal responsibility back into healthcare?"
"Changing the rules… We don’t get benefits for being healthy, we get benefits for being sick. … Giving people a $500 discount for doing a health risk assessment. … Free quit smoking classes… Free weight-loss classes. … Studies show that health costs are 60% or more, even 80%, lower after they reduce their obesity… Turn this thing toward preventive health…"
Joshua. "What will we do as president to curb government spending?"
"Turn the lights on on government spending. … Make every transaction made by the federal government posted on the internet. … Expenditures are out of control because they have been hidden. … Exercise the veto pen… Also work toward a balanced budget amendment. …"
I asked about his economic populism and why economic conservatives should support him. The response:
"I am supported by the true economic conservatives. … I believe that risk ought to be rewarded. .. The attacks come from special interest groups who have an interest in protecting a certain segment. … One of the reasons that I support the Fair Tax is that it doesn’t pick winners and losers. … When we have reforms on tax policy, it ought not be good for a few CEOs and hedge fund managers .. but for everybody. … Hedge fund managers make 2200 times what the average worker makes. … Hundreds of millions of dollars in instant profit… As a Christian, not just an economic issue, but a moral issue. When you have real success, you share it with the people who helped you. … That’s the difference between capitalism and greed. … A President has to show the moral leadership of the country, not just policy leadership. … Get rid of most if not all of Sarbanes-Oxley. … The basic way that the rules have been written to favor a few. … You have a tax policy that encourages boards a huge tax incentive to give a huge salary to the CEO."
Matt Schultz. God, Politics, Lesson. Article and endorsement from New Man Magazine. "Most important endorsement." Magazine of Promise Keepers.